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I raised the statue layer’s Alpha back to 100%, then changed the Blend Mode to Screen. This blend mode means that only the lighter values of the layer show through, which makes a great base for the clouds. To remove the background, I opened the Brightness & Contrast menu from the Image tab, then lowered the Brightness by -50 and raised the Contrast by 7. Then, using the Eraser Tool set at 40 Size, 0 Hardness, and 40 Alpha, I erased any remaining remnants of the original background from the statue layer to isolate the figure.
Then came the fun part of assembling the figure! I started with the figure’s right shoulder. To texturize the area with clouds, I first located a portion of the clouds that most closely resembled the figure’s shoulder in terms of shape and brightness. Then, I selected the clouds layer from the Layers Menu and chose the Freeform Selection Tool, with which I drew a selection around a portion of the clouds. Then I copied (Edit > Copy) and pasted (Edit > Paste) this piece onto a new layer.
With the new layer selected, I chose the Transformation Tool to align it with the figure’s shoulder as closely as possible. To rotate images with the Transformation Tool, drag the cursor slightly outside the bounding box of the Transformation Tool until the curved arrow appears, then drag the cursor to rotate the piece clockwise and counterclockwise. Then double-click inside the Transformation box to apply the change.
To raise the brightness of the segment to match the background, I opened the Brightness & Contrast dialog box from the Image tab. I raised the Brightness to 22 and then clicked OK to apply the adjustment. To blend the segment into the new area better, I also needed to soften the edges. I selected the Eraser Tool with the Size set to 80, Hardness set to 0, and Alpha set to 40, and erased the edges of the segment to soften it to create a smoother blend into its environment.