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Kevin Roodhorst shows us through the process he adopted to transforming a stock image of the Buddha into one that represents the mysticism and divinity the being represents.

Classic Image to Supernatural!

The stock photos that were used were bought on shutterstock.com. Working step by step on the image, aspects of mystical dimensions were slowly developed by adding external elements, colour balance, textures and the likes, thereby providing a supernatural quality to the overall imagery of the enlightened being.


Step 1

This was used as the input image for the project. The main idea was to bring forth the underlying aura or vibe of holiness and divinity to the otherwise straightforward imagery that can be seen over here.


Step 2

Started with masking the Buddha statue with the brush tool in quick mask mode. Once masked, a hole was created in the middle of the concrete pieces that had to be placed on top. This served as a base for the process that was to follow.


Step 3

Here, the concrete pieces were integrated together and some shade was added to it, as well. The shade was made with curves. In the same way, the colour of the concrete was also adjusted with the colour balance and curve layers.


Step 4

On top, a nice water stock photo was placed with some rocks on the side. It was then adjusted to tone with a curve layer, further adjusting the colour with a colour balance layer. The layer itself was set to screen mode while, for the central portion, an underwater cave stock photo that had been set to screen mode was used.


Step 5

A nice looking coral stock photo was further picked up. For the basic underwater look, a solid colour blue adjustment was used on soft- light. The same solid colour was used for integration of the diver’s layer on soft-light along with some curves for the highlights and shadows.



A boat and some fishes were also used around the coral. The most important part was to make it look underwater, which can only be done by making it hazy i.e. brushing soft paint strokes of blue around the Buddha and lowering the opacity by quite a bit. Also, the particles around the Buddha brought a lot of realism. These are just tiny white dots with a lowered opacity and some gaussian blur applied. To make the Buddha look old, a lot of textures was added on top of it. Used cracked ground stock photos, likewise, were set to multiply or darken.


Published in Issue 42

Every designer wish to be independent and willing to jump into the word of freelance but most of them unaware of the fundamental challenges of the initial phase. So, we dedicated this issue to freelancers and interviewed some established and talented designers to dig deep for the expert advice. Kevin Roodhorst on the other hand, an experienced freelancer from Amsterdam, has recently shifted to be a full-timer with an Agency says “Freelancing is not all roses!” and shared the best way to survive as a freelancer! So, whether you are a freelancer or planning to be one, this issue is a must-read. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!


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Creative Gaga - Issue 55


In this Advanced Photoshop tutorial, Kevin Roodhorst shows you step by step how this Astronaut Photo Manipulation is made. Someone even decided to have this as a huge tattoo on his arm!


Kevin Roodhorst a 26-year-old digital artist/retoucher from Almere, The Netherlands, specialized in high-end creative imaging and editorial/commercial advertising.




Wacom Intuos
– Eizo 27inch Screen,
– Photoshop CC 2017



More From Kevin

Creative Gaga - Issue 55


The Netherlands might be below sea-level, but when it comes to design, it’s right up there! Digital artist, Kevin Roodhorst, believes in developing concepts and working on a central element. Here, he takes us on a tour of his design that has helped bag various international exposure.


CG: Tell us about your evolution as a designer? What made you choose this career path? What do you enjoy most about what you do?

KR: I started around the age of 13, making a mixtape and album covers for artists I liked. After receiving a lot of positive comments I was motivated to keep photoshopping. I graduated in 2012 as a Graphic Designer and currently work at a post production studio called Souverein for almost 2 years. Becoming a designer was a natural choice. I loved how one can create in Photoshop and develop creative ideas. I enjoy the freshness and freedom that comes with this profession.


CG: Most of your designs focus on human forms and faces. Is that your style or is it coincidence? What are key elements you always use in every design? What are your inspirations?

KR: It’s not really what I would call style. I simply love working with eye catching elements or models and manipulating them furthermore. And it’s just a coincidence that most of the time it happens to be a beautiful female model with a mysterious expression. Beauty can never escape any eye, can it? And just like a central plot in a book, placing the element right in the center of the canvas helps in making the artwork hard-hitting and comprehendible. As for inspirations, surfing the web is it. There are plenty of inspiration websites floating around like: fromupnorth.com or abduzeedo.com or behance.net. Another thing to explore, that’s interesting and inspiring, is the work of other artists online.


CG: You mainly focus on designing for advertising. How do you use your design to put your own idea into it? How much freedom are you given? How often do you feel restricted?

KR: The amount of freedom you get depends on the client and the brief. But most of the time, they want me to work on their project because of my style and strengths. Hence, the restriction is not so often present as much as freedom is. But at the end of the day, one has to understand that it’s not personal work and that appeals differently to each and every one. When the client comes back with feedback, changes need to be made even if you’re not satisfied with it. I guess this is a universal truth!


CG: Being a freelancer at such a young age, how do you manage to get assignments and projects? Have you worked on some international projects?

KR: I’m glad to be living as a designer in the time of social media. As you might have already guessed, most assignments are obtained via social media, mainly Facebook and Behance network. Once you get your name out there the rest of it happens on its own. Before you know it, you become viral and at that point of time it doesn’t matter where in the world you are. That’s how my portfolio has assignments that are international. I regularly work for clients in Brazil and Canada.


CG: How is it being a designer in The Netherlands? Is there a lot of competition? How do you feel your skills and talent stand out from the rest?

KR: I think that I’m lucky to be a designer in The Netherlands because there are enough companies offering work and looking for talented designers. I didn’t noticed much competition when looking for work. It’s really important to start as soon as possible by landing a job with a design company instead of staying at school. In this creative sector, you don’t learn much at school. You have to figure it out yourself.


CG: Where do you see yourself in the next five years? What is your dream project that you’d love to do at some point in life?

KR: In 5 years, hopefully I’m still working at Souverein with much more knowledge and experience! My dream project would be to work for a client such as Discovery or National Geographic.


Published in Issue 22

This issue is dedicated to the talented design graduates who are not just looking to work but seeking experience in order to realise the greater goal of life. The issue features various designers from India and abroad. Kevin Roodhorst from The Netherlands realised his goal so early in life that propelled him to start his career as a designer as young as 13. Ashish Subhash Boyne, a student of Sir JJ Institute of Applied Art realised his dream while studying when he started doing freelance projects, which allow him to express his free thoughts. To name a few talents we have Vivek Nag from Fine Arts from Rachna Sansad, Simran Nanda from Pearl Academy, Anisha Raj from MAEER MIT Institute of Design, Giby Joseph from Animation and Art School and much more.


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Creative Gaga - Issue 55