Adding Wispy Smoke

Let's begin by painting some wispy smoke coming from the candle. 1.

Create a new layer.

Pick the Fine Spray airbrush variant in the Airbrushes category, and paint a wispy and curly plume of smoke coming from the flame (Figure 5.17). Pick the Soften effect and blur the smoke. Set the Amount to 4. Duplicate the curling Smoke layer.

Hide the bottom Smoke layer so it's easier to see the changes you're making to the top layer.

Figure 5.17 A curly plume of smoke is painted on a new layer using the Fine Spray airbrush.

6. Pick the Distorto variant in the Distortion brush category.

7. In the options bar, change Grain to 12% and Opacity to 0.

8. As you paint over the smoke, push and pull with the brush to exaggerate the curly nature of the wisps (Figure 5.18).

Figure 5.18 The Distorto brush is used to push and pull the painted smoke to exaggerate its wispy appearance.

9. Unhide the lower Smoke layer.

10. Select both Smoke layers and collapse them to one layer (Figure 5.19).

Alvaro Castagnet Paintings
Figure 5.19 The two Smoke layers are collapsed to one layer.

The smoke looks pretty good. It has a nice transient appearance, but the color is rather boring. It's easy to add color to the smoke by following these steps.

1. Create a new layer above the Smoke layer.

2. Fill the layer with a linear gradient that begins with a blue on the right to an orange on the left.

3. Change the Composite Method of the layer to Colorize.

4. Click on the Smoke layer, and load a selection based on transparency.

5. Invert the selection.

6. Click on the Gradient layer, and press the Backspace key to clear the layer of everything except the area protected by the selection.

7. Select the Gradient layer and Smoke layer and collapse them together.

8. Lower the Opacity setting of the Smoke layer to around 30% (Figure 5.20).

The smoke is finished. It is curly and wispy as expected, and we added some subtle color to make it look more interesting.

Figure 5.20 A subtle color shift has been added to the smoke.

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