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Create a Horror Skin Effect With Photoshop

Making horror art I often get asked how I get texture to show through flesh, its actually very simple and uses my favourite Photoshop tool, Layer Masks.

Step 1.

Download the skull stock photo, then go and download a photo of my good friend PickledPizza  🙂

Step 2.


Copy the skull picture to the face photo, we do this by loading both photos in Photoshop then we drag the skull Photo to the New Layer Icon in the Layer Palette while holding the ALT key. From the Dialogue select the name of the Face Photo.

Step 3.


Lower the opacity to the skull layer to around 45% and the using free transform enlarge the Layer so the skull is the same size as the head, move the skull around until the logo on the skulls head is over the top of the faces forehead.

Step 4.

Increase the opacity to 100% and then add a Hide All Layer Mask (Layer>Layer Mask>Hide All) this will hide the skull. Select the Brush Tool and set the foreground to white, then in the options bar set the brushes Opacity to 10%.

Step 5.


In this case as we want to reveal some of the skull we simply paint over the skull to gently reveal the texture. For best results use a low opacity brush and take your time to remove only enough of the skin to reveal the underlying texture still leaving the skin mostly in place.


About Simon Rudd (51 Articles)
Simon Rudd is a freelance writer and artist specialising in Photoshop tutorials as well as Horror, the Macabre and Fantasy themed pictures. He frequently writes for magazines and websites.

1 Comment on Create a Horror Skin Effect With Photoshop

  1. nice tutorial thanks..

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