How to make angel wings and change skin colors in Photoshop

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to make angel wings, and darken skin and make-up, as well as learn blending and lighting tricks to compose a dark angel manipulation in Photoshop. The final result is shown below.

There’s nothing too complicated here, but you are expected to have a good grasp of the basics in Photoshop in order to use this tutorial. So, for those looking for photoshop tutorials for beginners, you need to other articles that we have written and not this one.

How to make angel wings in photoshop Step 1: The Model and Background

We Our model for this tutorial comes from a great stock photo that can be downloaded here:

So with the photo open in Photoshop, make a selection of the model using the Quick Selection Tool and tidy it up with the Select>Refine Edge options.

For more info on making selections, have a look at this tutorial:

Delete the background, then extend the size of the canvas to 1200 x 1500 from the bottom left corner outwards, so there’s room to add the wings.

Next download the sky stock photo from here:

Drop the photo behind the model in your project file and flip it horizontally, and positioning it as I have below.

How to make angel wings in photoshop Step 2: The Wings

Next we’ll give our model some angel wings, which we’ll extract from an eagle stock photo from here:

Once downloaded, open the stock photo in Photoshop.

Add a Curves adjustment layer, and use the color pickers to give the contrast a boost.

Make a selection of the right wing using the Quick Selection Tool, then copy and paste it into your project file, below the ‘model’ layer.

Do the same with the left wing, and resize and rotate them as needed, so they are positioned realistically.

How to make angel wings in Photoshop Step 3: The Apple

First we’ll need to add a new outstretched arm to hold the apple. You can download a great set of arm stock here:

As with the wings, open the photo in Photoshop, select the appropriate arm using Quick Selection Tool, and Refine Edge, then drop it into your project file, resizing it as needed.

And finally, download the apple stock from here:

Select it and paste it into your project above the arm layer.

With all the photo elements in place, we are now ready to start transforming our model into a dark angel.

How to change skin color in photoshop Step 1: Darkening the Make-up

Now, we will learn how to to change skin color in photoshop.

First add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer above the angel layer with a clipping mask, and take the Saturation down to -30.

Now duplicate the angel layer, and call the duplicated layer ‘make-up’.

Desaturate it, and then take the Brightness down to -60, and the Contrast up to +30.

Give the ‘make-up’ layer a layer mask, and fill the layer mask with black to hide it.

With the layer mask thumbnail selected, take a small, soft, white paintbrush and paint over the eye make up and lips to bring back the darker shade in those areas.

How to change skin color in photoshop Step 2: The Claw

Next we’ll earn how to make eagle claws in photoshop by transforming the hand into a bird talon. You can download the stock photo here:

Use the Quick Selection Tool to make a selection around each claw, and then paste them individually into your project file.

Place the claws above the arm layer, and use the transform tool to position them convincingly at the end of each finger.

Group all the claws into one layer, then go back to the arm layer and use the Hue/Saturation options to tweak the hue, lightness and saturation so the skin colour matches the rest of the models body.

Now we’ll use the same technique we used for the make-up to darken the hand.

Duplicate the arm layer, desaturate it, and take the Brightness down to -60, and the Contrast up to +30.

Give the hand layer a layer mask and fill it with black. Then use a large soft white brush to fade in the dark layer over the hand.

Next merge the talons group and take down the Saturation to -80.

Now we’re going to darken the area where the claws meet the fingers. To do this we will alternate between the hand layer and the talons layer using the Burn Tool to gradually darken the area where the claws meet the fingertips. Use a small soft brush, and have the Exposure set to 5%.

Unhide the apple layer and give it a layer mask. We now need to mask out the areas where the fingers overlap it.

Take the apple’s transparency down so that you can see the talons clearly, then with the layer mask selected; use a small black brush to mask out the areas where the claws overlap the apple.

Now click back on the thumbnail and use the Burn tool to darken the base of the apple.

How to make a halo in photoshop Step 1: The Halo

Before adding the halo we’ll quickly balance out the contrast of all the elements of our manipulation. To do this, add a Brightness/Contrast adjustment layer above all the key elements – model, wings, sky, arm etc. – all with clipping masks. Tweak the sliders in each so that all the contrasts match up.

To create a halo, take the Elliptical Marquee Tool and draw a circle. Go to Select>Modify>Border and set it to 5 pixels.

Fill the selection with white, and then use the transform tool to scale down the ring vertically.

To give the halo a glow, double-click on it’s layer to bring up the Layer Styles box. Click on Outer Glow and set the size to 15, and the range to 100.

How to make a halo in Photoshop Step 2: Final Touches

Add a new layer above all the others and fill it with 50% grey. Call the layer ‘dodge/burn’, and set it’s blending mode to Overlay.

Now alternate between the Dodge and Burn tools, using the Dodge Tool to lighten light areas on the face, wings, hair etc., and the Burn Tool to darken the shadow areas.

Next add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer above the others, and take the Saturation down to -50.

Lastly add a Photo Filter layer set to Soft Light at 29% Opacity. Choose Sepia and take the Density up to 70%.

The Final Outcome

Hope you like this photoshop tutorial on how to make angel wings, how to change skin colors and how to add a halo. This article is bought to you by Matt, who also created the fantasy photoshop tutorial.

Matt is a freelance graphic designer from the UK. Visit his blog at for more tutorials.

By the way, if you are interested to write photoshop tutorials for, please contact us as well.

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7 Comments | Write a Comment

  1. Chris says:

    great tutorial. Love the way you lay out your of the best out there…simple, step-by-step, and concise. Thank You!

  2. nawaz says:

    super effect

  3. samin ahmad says:

    This is the collection which I looking for.It is really helpful for someone who wants to beaprofessonal graphics designer

  4. poonam says:

    its really fantastic.I really haven word in your praise.nice edition, nice concept, nice creation bla bla bla…..

  5. munna100us says:

    Thanks trainer i will do it so soon.

  6. bargain holidays says:

    Change colors technique was very unique. It’s very useful both for beginner and advanced PS designer.

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