What we are going to do is really easy and can be very useful. For this tutorial, we will use some very cool photos as well. I hope you enjoy this little tutorial and that it inspires you to create your own magic Christmas night! The image below is what we’re going to achieve at the end of this tutorial. It is up to your imagination to incorporate it in your own fantasy world and create a story around it. Let’s get started!

Tutorial Details

  • Estimated Completion Time: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Program: Adobe Photoshop

Used Images: Snow, Sky, Moon, Stars, Flying Santa, Iceberg, Trees

  • Create a new document in Photoshop – 1200 *1600px, 72 px/inch.
  • Insert trees image above white background layer.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Open Tool Preset picker and choose Airbrush Soft Round Tool.
  • Fill white layer below trees image with similar color spots like on the screen shot. Use Eyedropper tool to pick color from winter scene layer. Just keep active Brush Tool and click with it to color spots with the pressed “Alt” on your keyboard.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • In order to remove trees layer contour and make background more realistic, correct your airbrush settings. Use Opacity and Flow parameters around 35%.
  • Create a new empty layer above “trees”
  • Process all rough areas with translucent brush. Check out zoom screen shots below.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • To create smoother background you may also use Blur Tool with following adjustments.

  • It will be fine, if you will have something similar.

  • Insert Sky image (choose Image 3 from the list of the sky images). Rotate it to make the image vertically. Also, you will need to apply flip Horizontal transformation. Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal.

  • Apply Gradient map to the sky layer. Image > Adjustments > Gradient Map.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Add Layer Mask to the sky layer.
  • Fill it with black and white linear gradient just like on the screen shot.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • In order to make clouds contour more realistic, process bottom part of the sky with the soft translucent brush(Brush Tool Opacity should be around 35-50%). Make these corrections in the Layer Mask, check out that the mask thumbnail is active.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • You may see here the processed area.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Then you may merge all created layers.
  • Make the top part of the tallest tree. Select the head of the next tree using Lasso Tool.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Copy and paste selected tree head into the new layer.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Apply Custom Warp transformation to make this shape little bit different than the original.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Erase outside background with the soft Eraser Tool.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • You may create funny and fairy twisted tips for the trees.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Draw the shape with small translucent brush(Opacity around 50%) using 3-5 white/gray shades from the original tree.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Insert snow image.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Erase the part of the image marked on the screen shot, you may use regular small round brush with the Hardness around 85-90%.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Merge all previous layers again(“merged layers” on the screen shot) except the last one, leave snow surface image in the separate layer. Apply Match Color adjustments to this layer.
  • Go to Image > Adjustments > Match Color. In the Source menu choose current psd file and last merged layer from the Layer drop down menu. Play with Image Options to find better result of color corrections.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Then apply some corrections to the ground snow layer using Selective Color settings. Image > Adjustments > Selective Color.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • You should have similar result.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • You may draw curled heads for the small trees as well.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Insert iceberg image.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Erase background. You may use Polygonal Lasso Tool to load selection for this shape. Inverse selection and remove outside selected area.
  • Duplicate separated from background layer.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Merge bottom layers again except two iceberg layers and apply match color adjustments to the one of them just like for the snow surface in the previous steps.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Change Opacity for the changed iceberg layer, make it around 90%. Then merge both of layers.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Move the image with Iceberg like on the screen shot, add Layer Mask and fill it with black and white gradient to erase bottom part of the iceberg.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Take the soft translucent brash and correct iceberg contour to create fade effect.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • You may add several ice edges in the bottom part using translucent brushes.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Now merge all created layers including Iceberg layer and all previous.
  • Apply Levels effect to the merged landscape.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Then apply selective color settings.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • You should have something like the image below:

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Insert Moon image apply Auto Contrast and Auto Levels settings

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Apply Screen Blending Mode and Fill 60% to this layer.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Add following layer style effects:

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Insert fireworks image.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Rotate this layer on 90° .

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Apply Arch Warp Transformation.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Apply Auto Contrast adjustment to stars layer and Screen Blending mode. Erase very large light spots.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Correct levels adjustments for stars layer as well.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Add some cool shades for the stars layer.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Insert flying Santa Clause silhouette.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Go to Channels Palette and loads selection for the white background – use command Ctrl + click to one of channel thumbnail.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

  • Return to the layers palette and clear selected white background.
  • transform this shape make it smaller, apply Fill = 0% for this layer.
  • Apply Outer Glow and Gradient Overlay effects.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

Christmas night, new year card, flying Santa Claus, fairy christmas landscape, snow scene, christmas trees, iceberg, night stars, moon light, santa's deers, christmas sleigh.

And here is the final image:






About the author

Alex Roman

Independent graphic artist and architect based in Bucharest. I really love what i do!

Follow me on Instagram and Facebook.


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Comments

  • Gorny S.
    Sweet tutorial! Thanks for putting this together.
  • Sebastian
    Thanks for providing this tutorial. Really useful to help beginners out, including the professionals as well. Thanks once again.
  • Gianna M.
    Excellent work! It’s nice to see how all element blend together in the end.
  • Birthea Lem
    GORGEOUS work, and extremely well-done tutorial. Thank you very much for this, the piece itself is excellent and better still is understanding the techniques behind achieving this look and feel.





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