I created a composite of Olympic gymnast Gabby Douglas. I wanted to illustrate her agility and gracefulness, so I chose animals that exemplified those traits. I chose a white seabird and made a separate layer for each wing, adjusting the hue/saturation levels so that the wings’ color matched Douglas’s leotard. Second, I flipped the gazelle image horizontally before selecting the horns so that they were facing the same direction as Douglas. I moved on to the third animal (a horse) and selected the tail. For the fourth animal, I selected the nose and mouth of a deer after flipping the photo horizontally. Lastly, I used a seascape as the background after cropping out a seabird to make room for the mythical creature I had just created.
Source: Michael Regan/Getty Images
For the mockup, I applied my previously crafted creature composite of athlete Gabby Douglas to a Sports Illustrated mock article. This project required working with smart objects and text layers.