In this tutorial, I will show you one method to create the appearance of a burn on skin using a texture you may not have thought of before.

Here are the 2 images I shall use, a hand and a crab shell.

Okay – firstly, the hand should be on the bottom layer with the crab shell on top. Drop the opacity of the shell so you can see to position it where you want the burns to be. Also use Free Transform (Ctrl + T) to enlarge or decrease the size according to what you want.

As you can see, I’m also including a bit of the wood grain on the arm. Now – Bring the opacity back up to 100%. Time to pick a blend mode.

If you’re unsure what blend modes are, what they each do, or which one to pick; I wrote a tutorial on this a while back – Found Here: Blend Modes Tutorial

I’m going to use Overlay for this example.

With the shell layer selected, Layer > Add Layer Mask > Reveal All. Take a black brush and paint over the areas where you dont want the texture (over the white space, basically – though not very important here, it would be if you had a complex background)

Some brightness/contrast tweaks, Dodge & Burn if you want to create dark and light areas to accentuate the texture.

Note, the effect here worked best on the arm rather than the hand. If you’re to use this in a piece of your own, make sure to pick a texture which suits the whole image… Or mix and match!

Other textures you may not have thought of for this effect would include Mother of Pearl, most shells, diseased leaves, etc.

If you would like further information or help understanding aspects of this topic, please post in the Tutorial Talk Forum.

Thanks
~Steve~

About the author:

I live in Northern Ireland, currently still in school studying to do Sonic Arts at university. Enjoy photography (Nikon D70s) and Photoshop (Cs), aswell as playing bass in jazz bands and singing choral/classical works.
Check out my Profile/Gallery for more tutorials and to see my work.