common object example


Create a Winged Beast in Photoshop

    ●  Combine a flightless animal with some wings from another animal to create a mythical beast!

Learn About:

FeatheringPen ToolSmudge Tool
Color Replacement ToolGradient Editor

   •   This tutorial is used in the Renaissance Project and the Monster Mesh Project.

Other People's Work:

Here are examples of work inspired by this tutorial.


Step #1: Extracting the Horse and Wing ~

Find a bird with a wing on the Internet and open it in Photoshop …

… click on the Pen Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (p) …

pen tool

 … and select the wing.

Step #2: Feathering ~

Right-Click and hit Make Selection …

… go to: Select > Inverse and then go to: Select > Modify > Feather and in the dialog box apply approximately 5px.

 Hit Delete to remove the background …

… feathering makes the edges less jagged.

Repeat with the horse:


Find a horse …


… open in Photoshop … 


… trace it  …


… feather it …


… and delete the background.


Step #3: Adjusting the Horse to the Background ~

Find a Background and paste your wing and horse on top.

Hit the keyboard shortcut: Cmd (⌘) +T and adjust the wing and horse to fit …   

Step #4: Duplicate the Layer ~

Right-Click on the Wing layer and select Duplicate Layer.

Drag the duplicate layer behind the horse layer.

Also try the Warp Tool to adjust the wings …

Make the wings look as natural as you can …

Step #5: Color and Exposure ~

Get the Eyedropper Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (i) …

… and select the color of your horse.

With the color selected, get the Color Replacement Tool …

… paint the wings.

You might also try: Image > Adjustments > Hue/Saturation to get the wings looking natural.

Step #6: Darken ~

Lastly, darken the wing behind the horse using the Exposure tool: Image > Adjustments > Exposure

Step #6: Smudge Tool ~

Use the Smudge Tool which is behind the Blur Tool …

… and blend the wing into the horse.

Step #7: Another New Layer ~

Create a new layer BELOW the horse layer and name it lights.

Step #8: Gradient ~

Select the Gradient Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (G) …

… click the Gradient Editor in the menu bar …









Gradient Type = Noise


Roughness: 100%


Add Transparency


Select the Angle Gradient in the Menu Bar …

… and drag with the Gradient Tool.

Step #9: Blending Modes ~

Add a colorful background BEHIND the Lights layer …

… and lastly, scroll through the Blending Modes of the LIGHTS layer to find a blending mode you like.







Try Multiply, Screen or Overlay or whatever you like best …


If you see other blending modes you like as you're scrolling down, don't be afraid to experiment.


Blending Modes are awesome!

Hint: You can scroll through the different Blending Modes by hitting Alt (⌥)+Shift+Plus:

Last Step: Save and Attach ~

Go to: File > Save for Web … and save the file as a .jpg

Make your image approximately 500 pixels wide.