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Adding a Realistic Tattoo the Easy Way with Photoshop

Take a look at the image we’ll be creating. Want access to the full PSD files and downloadable copies of every tutorial, including this one? Join Psd Plus for just $9/month. You can view the final image preview below.

Introduction

The image we’re going to begin with is part of a series of images photographer Richard Radstone created featuring models representing various mythical creatures. The creature being represented here was a Celtic war goddess, Aerten.

In addition to the more exotic makeup we thought she needed a little something extra so we added a tattoo to finish off the look. She does make a beautiful warrior, doesn’t she? Now let’s get started.

Step 1

Open the file we’re going to add the tattoo to. The image below is the one we’ll be using for this tutorial. Psd Plus members will find it located in the “final.psd” file located in the “source file.” Also, you’re welcome to use an image of your choice.

The basic retouching and clean-up has already been done on the image so it’s all ready for our tattoo.

Step 2

Now we’re going to use Photoshop’s Place command to place the Illustrator file of the tattoo in the image. Go to File > Place and choose “Tattoo1.eps” (which for Psd Plus members is located in the source folder) and hit Enter. You will then see the tattoo appear in your image as another layer named “Tattoo 1.” By default Photoshop CS4 makes this layer a “Smart Object.”

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