How to add colour smoke on Photoshop (Skull Edits)

These are my results having edited the images from my Skull Photo Shoot. I used Photoshop to create one photograph with the appearance that plain smoke is being exhaled and another with rainbow coloured smoke. I also altered a third image by adding blue smoke in addition to enhancing the eyes to make them look more striking.


The steps which I completed to achieve these results were:

  1. Firstly, I downloaded a set of smoke brushes for photoshop. This was the link I used to get these from Brusheezy. I then installed them to Photoshop on my laptop by dragging the download document to the appropriate folder.
  2. Then use the brush in white on a new layer, selecting the desired version of the smoke brush from the drop down menu. Place the smoke on the image where you want it. Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 17.32.15
  3. Continue with this process until the desired amount of smoke is reached.Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 17.38.26.png
  4.  Ensure that any edges are faded out and not straight unnatural looking lines by using more smoke brushes or the eraser. I found that using an eraser in the shape of a smoke brush worked really well for this.Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 17.39.42.png

In general I am happy with this result and think that these brushes in particular are very authentic looking. The placement that I have chosen for the smoke from the mouth works really well however I think that from the nose it doesn’t necessarily look quite as real.

To further this, I then coloured this smoke. The process by which I did that is as follows:

  1. Create a new layer and use the gradient tool to spread the rainbow colour across the screen while holding shift. Then change that layer’s setting to “colour”.Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 17.52.11.png
  2. Then, use the eraser on this layer to remove all the colour in the areas that have no smoke.Screen Shot 2016-01-12 at 18.03.39.png


This is obviously less genuine in appearance in regards to looking like actual smoke than the plain coloured version however I think it is interesting looking technique and I like the outcome. The process was fairly time consuming for what it is but I think the erasing has been done to a satisfactory standard yet it could have been more accurate.



This is my final edited photograph. I used the same processes as above to create the smoke and add the colour, although I only used shades of blue this time. I aimed to improve on my previous attempts. I think the smoke here in shape looks better than my first try as it looks as though it is actually leaving the mouth in a streamline and billowing into a small cloud. I have also done a better job of cleaning up the edges so that they’re faded out and not straight. However, I did not spend as much time on erasing the unwanted colour here as I did on the other image so I don’t think this one is as neat as it could be. That being said, due to the size of the image it is not noticeable.

On this photo, I also enhanced the eyes somewhat, brightening them using the dodge tool. This makes them more striking and draws the eye to them. I chose blue smoke to stick with similar, harmonious tones with the eyes as I used a cool blue, so that the colours compliment each other.




2 thoughts on “How to add colour smoke on Photoshop (Skull Edits)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s