Evelyn Chartres Author

Taking a Bite Out of the Lady

This is Part 9 of the Digital Alchemy tutorial and previously we made the Lady Green with Envy.

Lady Shade may share the undead’s skin-tone, but lacks something linking her with vampire lore. Early on in the cover’s design it was decided that the effect should be subtle to provide the viewer with a clue. This made fangs too obvious, however puncture marks hidden in the shadow of her neck seemed appropriate.

Using the Brush tool from the Tools Bar, place two marks in the appropriate area as shown below:

A new layer was created when those brush marks were made. From the Adjust menu, select Brightness and Contrast then Highlight/Midtone/Shadow. When you select Highlight/Midtone/Shadow, you will be requested to convert to a Raster Layer, agree and continue.

Set the elements as shown below or select Intense colour pre-set from Settings.

Double-click on the Fangs Layer then click on the Layer Styles tab. We are going adjust the Emboss settings to add shadows and depth. Either replicate what you see below or experiment to add a unique flare.

Double-click on the Fangs Layer then click on Blend Ranges tab. Select Soft Light as the Blend mode for this example.

From the Tools Bar, select the Soften Brush. This feature smooths-out elements within the affected area, a useful feature for removing the jagged edges.

Hover over the area then click to apply the effect, continue until satisfied. Remember to use CTRL-Z to Undo when necessary.

When complete the effect should produce an image that looks like the one below. Not only is the end result subtle, but should make this clue worth finding.

Next in Part 10, we will Remove the Lady’s Glow.

Green with Envy

This is Part 8 of the Digital Alchemy tutorial and previousy we gave the Lady Lips to Die For.

Now it is time to add a bit of colour to her eyes. This process can be accomplished using the Brush tool from the Tools Bar. Select a colour you wish to use from the Materials Palette (in this case a bright green), then zoom-in on Lady Shade’s eyes.

Use the Brush tool to paint over the iris.  Cover them as best you can, we can fine-tune during the next step.


There is no need to create a New Layer since one will be created automatically when you use the Brush tool.

Select the Eraser tool from the Tools Bar to adjust the iris fill as necessary. Using the Eraser tool will convert the layer to a Raster Layer; this feature is desirable since it enables setting Blend Mode to Hue.

Next in Part 9, we will Take a Bite out of the Lady.

Give the Lady a Flower

Digital Alchemy – Part 6

This is Part 6 of the Digital Alchemy tutorial where previously Lady Shade Awoke.

Lady Shade is washed out as she has no colour to make her stick out. In previous sections, we created layers for her lips and the flower. Now is the time to bring some colour back to the Lady, so let’s start with the flower adorning her dress.

Make sure the Rose Layer is visible prior to selecting it. From the Adjust menu, select Color followed by Red/Green/Blue. When the Red/Green/Blue window appears set the options as follows:

This above imbues the Rose Layer with a pink hue. If you are interested in having the Rose Layer take on more of a blood red colour, use the settings shown below instead. It is recommend you place these variants in separate layers so you can transition from one to the other.

Now that the colours have been changed, we will enhance the shadows within that layer. From the Adjust menu, select Brightness and Contrast then Highlight/Midtone/Shadow.

From the newly opened Highlight/Midtone/Shadow window; set the options as you see them below or select Intense color under Settings.

When done, click on OK to apply this effect to the layer. Now adjust the Blend Mode by selecting Soft Light. Note, you can experiment and see how the different filters apply.

Next in Part 7, Lady Shade will get Lips to Die For.

Lips to Die For

Digital Alchemy – Part 7

In Part 7 of the Digital Alchemy tutorial and previously we Gave the Lady a Flower.

Modifying the lips follows the same procedures used in Give the Lady a Flower. First adjust Red/Green/Blue then Highlight/Midtone/Shadow followed by setting Blend Mode to Soft Light.

In this case you will need to use the Eraser tool from the Tools Bar to clear out excess material. Once satisfied, your image should approximate the one below.

Next in Part 8, Lady Shade will be Green with Envy.

Lady Shade Awakens

Digital Alchemy – Part 5

This is part 5 of the Digital Alchemy tutorial and previously we embodied the phrase Let There be Night.

Lady Shade is a variant which has some effects normally associated with the undead. Duplicate Lady – Normal layer to switch back-and-forth as necessary. Select the Lady - Normal Layer, right mouse-click then select Duplicate.

Rename the layer by double-clicking on the layer then providing a new name such as Lady – Shade.

First, strip colour from the Lady Shade layer. From the Adjust menu, select Hue and Saturation then Hue/Saturation/Lightness.

When the Hue/Saturation/Lightness window will appear, set the Saturation level to about -50 to get the desired effect.

By adjusting saturation, we end up with the Lady not matching the background. She does not blend in with the night background and sticks out like a bad paste job. We can use the Blend mode option for a layer to smooth out transitions.

Double-click on the layer that opens the Layer Properties window. From here, adjust the Blend mode and set it using the Soft Light option.


When experimenting, you can set the Blend mode to the first option then cycle through using the arrow keys. This way you can preview differences in the Blend modes until you find the desired one.

Definition – Soft Light

Combines the Burn and Dodge blend modes.  If the color channel value of the selected layer is less than 128, the Burn blend mode is used.  If the color channel value is greater than or equal to 128, the Dodge blend mode is used.  You can use the Soft Light blend mode to add soft highlights or shadows.

Select Soft Light, click on OK and the following effect will be shown.

Next in Part 6, Lady Shade will be Given a Flower.