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Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 37 of 70

Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Floor Replacement Texture


Creating a Fine Art Series

Lesson 37 of 70

Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Floor Replacement Texture


Lesson Info

Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Floor Replacement Texture

Okay, So once we have all of that filled back in where we want it and it looks like we're pretty close, the background is a lot darker than it was, so we're not gonna have any sort of weird highlights coming up in the background behind her. I want to start thinking about how we're going to add that floor in. How are we going to get that look of there being cracked ground underneath her first, I'm going to save because I have a bad track record of that, Okay. And I'm going into bridge to look for my stock folder. And my stock folder has lots of textures in it. And I specifically brought this one which has this cracked ground. So let's take that in. And your first thing you notice is that it's the wrong perspective. We were looking at her kind of looking straight at her. This is looking down at the ground, so we're gonna have to do a lot of manipulation. But I am not afraid of it. So don't worry about manipulating this image. It's gonna work out just fine. We're going to use the move too...

l to drag and drop this image in okay and we can drag it into place so we know that it's gonna roughly go right around her. And I'm not gonna bother making a bigger smaller right now because we need to change perspective really drastically. So I'm going into image. Sorry, Edit, transform perspective. And I'm just going to pull the bottom edges out to put it on the same plane that she was on just like that. And yes, this is a lot of stretching and, no, I would not normally want to do something like that. But the benefit here is that it's only going to be a teensy little bit, and it's going to be under other layers, so I will allow it. So I'm going to go ahead and create a layer mask there, and we're going to erase all around to create a really soft transition from where the cracks are, too, where the darkness is on the outside and hopefully it's going to start to look like it's really there. Were going to have a huge, huge lighting issue to start, and that's okay because we can fix it. It's also obviously on top of our subject, which we don't want. I'm going to make my brush size even bigger and take the opacity down to 50% to try to create a more believable transition around the edges here again, taking the opacity down and again, going around the outside edges just to create that look like it's really fading. And now we're going to get it off of our subject. So taking the brush size down so that we're fitting within the subject here, taking the hardness up because the subject is in focus, so the hardness should always match. If the subject is in focus and opacity back up, we're going to fully erase it off of her Now. Now, I can't really see where she is, So I'm gonna erase more than I need Thio all around her and then bring it back exactly where I need to bring it back. Okay, so we've raised too much right now. Let's go in and see where we need Thio. Restore it. Okay. Looks good. Smaller brush. Switch to white and come in. And you can see I just made a mistake here, which is really important to point out because I make mistakes. All the time I made the mistake of starting to erase it and blend it before erasing it around her. So now I'm bringing it back at 100% opacity when I had already tried to blend it into the background. So that step has to happen second. So that was just a mistake and that's okay. Just keep going. It doesn't really matter very much at all. There are other things that I'm thinking about here. I'm thinking about how I can possibly create shadows because it doesn't look like she's sitting on this ground It alright, we haven't changed the color, the lighting, we haven't changed anything about it. So we're gonna have to create connection points of shadows where she sits on this cracked desert ground. And however we do that there are multiple ways. We simply have to make sure that she is connected appropriately that whatever lighting we used its simulated and how we do the shadows, shadows are quite difficult for a lot of people and for myself included because there are so many different types of shadows. There are shadows that are really harsh that are really soft that have different color temperatures in them. And that is something that we have to think about when we're creating the shadows in her going Thio. Just get rid of that and almost finished. Okay, now let's go and really bring back that desert. And then again, because I messed that up. We're going to do it again. We're going to start erasing the outside edges okay, there, and we'll do that all again. So now I'm going to go in on my layer mask with a big soft brush. Had 100% opacity. Now we can start to erase the outside edges just like we did before, because we brought it back up to her skin already. So that's great. And now what do we do before we lowered the opacity? Now that hard edge is gone and again, sweeping around the outside edges and lowering again and sweeping. So it's going to really start Thio fall off in the distance once you do that. Okay, good, it's falling off right. It's almost like there's a spotlight on her, but now we know that this ground is too bright for this situation that we're in. So let's create a curve adjustment layer and pin it down by clipping it onto our layer to which is the cracked earth. And let's just darken. It will darken that layer down a lot good, and that makes it blend even more. Now the shadows come in. I'm using my lasso tool to create shadows underneath her foot and leg. Here, definitely need something there, absolutely, all in that area and on the other side of her Azaz. Well, maybe even that far out. So we'll right click, and this is not going to be a once and done things. Shading takes a long time and many different layers to get it exactly right. So let's try 60 pixels for that one. Create a curves layer and pin it down to that cracked broken floor, and from the highlights start to pull down to create a shadow. You can also play with the mid tones to see how that goes, just in terms of creating something a little bit darker, and I like how that looks. I think it's a little too much back here behind the back leg, so I use my brush tool Thio. Just a race lightly. 30% sounds pretty good, so let's just erase it lightly from that area. There we go. And that looks pretty good to me. I'm gonna need a little bit more shading just through there where it's really dark and maybe a little bit through here. Just wear her knee connects, right? Click and feather. Let's do 30 pixels this time and one more curves. Adjustment layer pinned down and right from the mid tones this time. So we want a nice dark shadow. Okay, great. Now the shadow is not underneath. I'm sorry. The cracked ground is not underneath the layer with all of the color that we already added. So one more curve pinned down, and we'll just make sure that it has that same yellow hue that the rest of it does by adding yellow and adding some red. So now it has the same Hugh. I think it could even do a little more with Cem yellow. There we go. Okay. So you see how we did that? We've added a new floor. We've added shading. It looks pretty natural to me. I think that it could use a little bit of contrast. So that's the final step curve. And let's see if we can. There we go, because the subject has a lot of contrast on her. We want to make sure we'll pin that down. We wanna make sure that the ground has the same amount since it wasn't there. And it doesn't have the same properties applied to it. Okay, Not bad looking pretty good. Okay, So I like where this is going so far. I'm going to grab some texture to put in the background, and you might be thinking, but Brooke, you had texture in the background and you got rid of it. Well, the thing about backdrops is that you can't really choose where the texture goes. It's always in the same spot. And if you use the same backdrop multiple times, then your images will have the same texture in the same spot in every image. So I want to avoid that by adding my own texture in, and I'm just gonna look through it the different options that I have and what might be most appropriate. And I think, to keep with the cracked kind of dry look, we'll go with something like this that already has the cracks in its cracked and crumbling. So let's take that in the same thing that we did before dragging and dropping it, okay? And then control T or command t to just stretch it across the image wherever you think it needs to go. I think I actually wanna flip it. So let's go into edit Transform Flip Vertical. And I did that because I didn't really like this portion very much. But I really like all the texture up in here, So I wanna make sure that shows up where the subject's faces, because that's gonna be the area that we look Thio more than anything else. Now, when I change the blending mode on that layer, there are many, many things that I could dio. This is lighten, which is my favorite for really dark images, because it's going to stick to whatever's darkest. That's pretty much what we want. But you can always go through all of the options to see what works best for you, and I think that we will go with lighten and now, obviously this looks ridiculous because it's covering almost the whole image. There are some things that we could do for that we can create that curves, layer and pin it down and we can play with how bright that layer itself is. If we make it darker, it's going to blend more into the background. So that's one really good option. We can also just take the opacity of that layer down so we'll just go ahead and start to take the opacity. And don't forget, when you add an overlay into Photoshop, you can manipulate it all you want. So create a layer mask on it and get in there and see if you could just erase it where you're not as fund. So obviously, on our subject, we wanna I want to get that off of her just a little bit there like that. And I'm going with a A really low opacity. So I'm not worried about, you know, just wiping it all the way. I want to slowly work at it to create kind of, Ah, a nice visual, uh, movement with the texture that's in the background. I want to get it off of the helmet because that's the area of clarity in the image. When I talk about the area of clarity I'm really talking about, where do you want the I to go first. And that's usually the clearest part of the image. The area of most contrast, the brightest thing, the darkest thing. So I'm making sure that I have that look. I really like the position of this texture. You can see that it's kind of has a circular sweeping motion around it. So I'm going to leave that. But I like toe layer my textures. So let's go find another texture. This one immediately stood out because now I'm looking for shape and pattern and form. And this has that same shape, pattern and form of the sort of circular look to it. So let's take that in. This makes me really excited because I love, love, having repeating form and shape in an image. I accidentally pin that down. So let me release it, Okay, Now it's its own layer, and I'm going to stretch that just like I did the other one all the way across. Okay, Good. And then just move it wherever I might want it. I think that looks good. Same process. We're gonna go in, probably choose, lighten lower the opacity, and also play with the curve adjustment on that. So that we can see if it should be brighter or darker. What needs to happen there? We're just adding contrast, bringing it down. I really like this texture. I know it's very heavy handed right now, but I think that it is creating exactly the right flow and movement that I want to see in this piece. And it adds abstraction to it quite a bit. So I'm gonna take the opacity up a little bit. Make sure that I'm getting that texture off of the helmet because I don't want to see that there or on her skin so much. I wanted to overlap a little bit, so I do want there to be some bits of texture overlapping, but I want to get rid of it in other parts. So I'm just finessing with how far that texture goes, and I might even play with making it a little bit darker. I think it's a little heavy handed, yet there we go, just bringing it down now again, getting rid of some of the texture overall, so making the brush bigger and lowering the opacity down to 20 just getting rid of the texture. All through that area a little bit. Good. I think that looks really nice. Maybe through there. Okay, go ahead. I like how that looks quite a lot, but the issue for me is that the textures don't have any color. And I wanna make sure the colors very uniforms. So I'm gonna create one more curve adjustment layer and let's see if we can add some color into that texture by going to blue and adding yellow and going thio read and adding red, making that cohesive color palette. Okay, I think the textures too bright around the edges. So I'm gonna select wherever I want it to be darker. Just like that. Right? Click and feather. Let's do a big 1 500 pixels this time. And then right, click and select. Inverse. And now I can make that texture just a little bit darker on the outside edges. There we go. This is looking really beautiful. I think

Class Description


  • Beat “creator's block” by practicing exercises to help you overcome it
  • Conceptualize a series that nails story, emotion, and connection
  • Execute a low-budget, high-impact photoshoot for your series
  • Edit your images for series cohesion and seamless compositing
  • Brand yourself and your art into a story that others can connect with


Creating a fine art body of work can be daunting when you consider that a great series has innovative ideas, cohesive editing, and an undeniable connection to an audience. During this class, Brooke will walk through the entire process of creating a fine art series, from conceptualization, shooting, and editing to branding and pricing. The success of a body of work comes from the artist’s ability to go beyond the connection to an audience; it must land in the heart of the viewer and then instill a call to action within them. Brooke will lead you through not only how to make your work relatable, but how to take that extra step to become unforgettable, and ultimately, sellable.


  • Intermediate creators who want to focus on personal work and find a deeper level of creating.
  • Creators who not only want to tighten the cohesion of their work but ensure that the full depth of meaning is communicated.
  • Artists who want to learn simple yet effective ways of creating a body of personal work.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (v21.2.4) and Adobe Bridge CC 2020 (v10.1.1)


Brooke explores the darkness and light in people, and her work looks at that juxtaposition. As a self-portrait artist, she photographs herself and becomes the characters of dreams inspired by a childhood of intense imagination and fear. Being the creator and the actor, Brooke controls her darkness and confronts those fears.

After studying films for years in college, she realized her love of storytelling was universal. She started photography then in 2008, excited to create in solitude and take on character roles herself. Brooke works from a place of theme, often gravitating toward death and rebirth or beauty and decay.

Ultimately, her process is more discovery than creation. She follows her curiosity into the unknown to see who her characters might become. Brooke believes the greatest gift an artist has is the ability to channel fears, hopes, and experience into a representation of one's potential.

While her images come from a personal place of exploration, the goal in creating is not only to satisfy herself; her greatest wish is to show others a part of themselves. Art is a mirror for the creator and the observer.

Brooke's passion is storytelling, and her life is engulfed in it. From creating self-portraits and writing to international adventures and motivational speeches, she wants to live a thousand lives in one. She keeps her curiosity burning to live a truly interesting story.

*This course contains artistic nudity.


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Overview of Brooke’s Journey

    How Brooke went from creating only for herself to building a multi-faceted career in fine art photography.

  3. Your Timeline is Nonlinear

    How to incorporate the idea of wealth into your journey as an artist.

  4. Using Curiosity and Intention to Build Your Career

    Too many people rely heavily on either intuition or goal setting as a means of propelling their career forward. Brooke believes that there is a blend between the two that sets most professionals apart.

  5. What Factors Dictate Growth

    A look at how improvement in the categories of technique, conceptualization, clarity of voice and vision, and impact all work together to create growth.

  6. Organic Growth vs. Forced Growth

    The most successful artists are able to use inspiration strategically to create innovative works that regularly impress their audience.

  7. Niche Branding

    If you brand yourself into a story, you will be less likely to fall victim to boredom within your branded niche.

  8. Brooke’s Artistic Evolution and Timeline

    Watch as Brooke shares every important event in the past eleven years as an artist to see which were the most helpful in propelling her career forward.

  9. How Can You Get Ahead if You Feel Behind?

    When you learn to celebrate small successes like they are big successes, you will rewire your brain to find optimism in the journey rather than pessimism.

  10. Ideation and Conceptualization to Identify Meaning in Your Art

    Walk through several categories of meaning to figure out how you create and how others perceive your creations. You will learn how to layer the concepts of your art, create controversy in your ideas, how to make viewers feel something, and figure out where you land on the scale of fixation.

  11. Idea Fluency

    Learn abou how your ability to generate many good ideas in a short time is directly influenced by brain science, and then learn how to control your own idea fluency through exercises.

  12. How to Represent an Idea

    Ideas are represented by four elements: visual, symbolic, experiences, and emotions. Learn how to control those elements in your work by figuring them out in your work.

  13. How to Innovate an Idea

    By examining your sense of style, sense of idea, and sense of innovation, we will walk through exercises to not only create what is in your mind, but to take it further to stir yourself and your audience.

  14. Creating a Dialogue With Your Art

    Dialogue comes from provocation and response. Take a look at how to provoke an audience through visual and thematic clues, and then how to issue a definitive call to action.

  15. Conceptualization For a Series vs. a Single Image

    Find out the differences between coming up with ideas for a single image vs. a series and see examples of series Brooke has created to deconstruct how they work.

  16. Transforming a Single Image Into a Series

    A look at how to take a single idea and transform it into a cohesive series by focusing on visuals, theme, and through-line.

  17. How to Tell a Story in a Series

    Storytelling can unfold thematically, abstractly, linearly, and/or concretely. Here you will look at how story structure can help create a more impactful series.

  18. How to Create Costumes From Fabric

    Look at which fabrics work best for costuming, how color plays a role in costume selection, and how to tea dye or coffee stain costumes.

  19. Brooke’s Most Useful Costumes

    See which costumes Brooke uses again and again and how to build a costume wardrobe with a few essentials that won’t break your budget.

  20. Using Paint and Clay as Texture in an Image

    Brooke will demonstrate how creating texture on both skin and costumes can create a more dynamic look in the final image.

  21. Create Physical Elements in an Image

    Brooke will share ideas of how to create sculptural elements in your images, like using wire, paper mache, and more.

  22. Shooting for a Fine Art Series

    How you can create cohesion and conceptual flow across images in a series.

  23. Conceptualization: Flowery Fish Bowl in the Desert

    A description of the image being created and why it is conceptually and visually relevant to the rest of the series.

  24. Wardrobe and Texture

    How to choose wardrobe based on the concept of the image, and how to add texture to make the image more visually appealing.

  25. Posing for the Story

    Brooke will photograph three different poses, each one changing the story of the image, to demonstrate how pose can alter the viewer’s perception of the series.

  26. Choosing an Image

    Brooke will explain why she chose one image over another to demonstrate the need for angles and dynamic movement within an image.

  27. Conceptualization: Rainy Plexiglass

    A description of the image being created and why it is conceptually and visually relevant to the rest of the series.

  28. Posing for the Story

    Brooke walks through poses that become more and more complex, from posing the model behind a Plexiglas sheet, then adding water, then adding syrup.

  29. Creating Backlight

    Using a portable LED light, Brooke moves the light from the side to the back to create a more abstract image.

  30. Photo Shoot #1 - Creating a Simple Composite
  31. Photo Shoot #2 - Creating a Dynamic Composite
  32. Photo Shoot #3 - Creating a Storytelling Composite
  33. Shooting the Background Images
  34. Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Working With Backgrounds
  35. Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Retouching the Subject
  36. Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Color Grading
  37. Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Floor Replacement Texture
  38. Editing Samsara Shoot #1 - Final Adjustments
  39. Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Cropping and Editing Backgrounds
  40. Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Selective Adjustments
  41. Editing Samsara Shoot #2 - Adding Texture + Fine Tuning
  42. Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Compositing Models
  43. Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Expanding Rooms
  44. Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Selective Color
  45. Editing Composite Shoot #1 - Selective Exposure
  46. Editing Composite Shoot #2- Masking Into Backgrounds
  47. Editing Composite Shoot #2- Creating Rooms in Photoshop
  48. Editing Composite Shoot #2- Compositing Hair
  49. Editing Composite Shoot #2- Global Adjustments
  50. Editing Composite Shoot #3- Blending Composite Elements
  51. Editing Composite Shoot #3- Advanced Compositing
  52. Editing Composite Shoot #3- Cleanup
  53. Materials for Alternative Processes

    Brooke shows some materials she uses for alternative processes, or applying texture to an image after it is printed. She shows oil paints, wax, and more.

  54. Oil Painting on Prints

    A look at applying oil paints to canvas prints and how that adds value to original prints.

  55. Encaustic Wax on Prints

    A look at applying encaustic wax to canvas prints and how that adds value to original prints.

  56. Failure vs. Sell Out

    Brooke shares how the most successful artists straddle a line between personal work and consideration of audience.

  57. Create Art You Love and Bring an Audience To You

    When you identify areas of your process and craft that are non-negotiable vs. negotiable, you begin to identify how you can work best with clients and what you need to keep sacred.

  58. Branding Yourself Into a Story

    When you consider that branding is a mixture of personality, art, storytelling, and business, you can feel more at ease with your brand not just being one single thing.

  59. The Artistic Narrative

    Defining what stories you want to tell about yourself directly influences how you tell the story of your brand through your business.

  60. Get People to Care About Your Story

    Your brand must inherently bring interest and value to the people who are viewing it. Take a look at how you can begin down that journey.

  61. Get People to Buy Your Story

    From identifying your clientele to figuring out how you can meet their needs, shifting someone from an admirer of your art to a patron of your business is important in becoming a full time artist.

  62. Getting Galleries and Publishers to Take Notice

    Steps we can take to get representatives to pay attention, like the importance of regular interaction and becoming a resource.

  63. Pricing For Commissions
  64. Original Prints vs. Limited Edition Prints vs. Open Edition Prints

    Brooke goes through the benefits of selling original prints and how they can be done simply to add to your arsenal as an artist.

  65. Class Outro
  66. Live Premiere
  67. Live Premiere: Layers of Depth 1
  68. Live Premiere: Layers of Depth 2
  69. Live Premiere: Q&A
  70. Live Premiere: Photo Critique


a Creativelive Student

Brooke never fails to deliver. I found this course superb from start to finish. From exercising your creative 'muscle', demystifying taking self portraits, and showing that they don't have to be perfect before you begin editing, to walking you through her editing process and how to price your work. Brooke's enthusiastic personality and excitement about the work shines through it all. Definitely recommended!

Søren Nielsen

Thank for fantastic motivating an very inspiring. The story telling and selling module was very helpful - thanks from Denmark

Rebecca Potter

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Brooke for this amazing class. Inspired and so full of practical knowledge, this is the best class I've ever watched. You have given me the confidence to pursue what I've always been afraid to do. Watch this space!