1. Design & Illustration
  2. Adobe Photoshop

How to Make a Gold Statue in Photoshop

Read Time:7 minsLanguages:
Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

Today, we will be learning how to make a gold statue in Photoshop using gradient maps and some lesser-known Photoshop image effects! We will be adding extra shine, as well as a color grade that will turn our image icy blue to complement the golden orange tones of our model. 

gold dripping effectgold dripping effectgold dripping effect

If you are looking to dip a subject in gold and you're in a hurry, try a gold statue Photoshop action! Turn any item, person, or animal into a highly detailed gold statue that's dripping in chromed-out goodness!

Dripping Gold Photoshop ActionDripping Gold Photoshop ActionDripping Gold Photoshop Action

What You Will Learn in This Adobe Photoshop Tutorial

  • How to add noise in Photoshop
  • How to make a gold statue in Photoshop
  • How to create a color grade in Photoshop

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

What You'll Need

To complete this project, you will need the following resources:

Find more resources on Envato Elements!

1. How to Add Noise to an Image 

Step 1 

Let’s start by creating a quick base for our image! First, a Color Fill layer set to a pale blue #a9c9dd color. 

blue background blue background blue background

Step 2

Next, let’s Right-click > Create Smart Object, just in case we want to change these upcoming settings later on. Now let’s go to Filter > Camera Raw Filter. Then, under Effects, we are going to set Grain to 27. 

add noiseadd noiseadd noise

2. How to Make a Gold Statue in Photoshop

Step 1 

Let's start our gold effect in Photoshop by placing our extracted subject. Use any extraction method you’d like, but you do need to make sure it’s 100% extracted!

place subjectplace subjectplace subject

Step 2

Duplicate your subject, and hide the original—we’ll be needing it later! Now, let’s go to Image > Adjustments > Black and White to turn the image greyscale. 

greyscale image greyscale image greyscale image

Step 3

And then Filter > Camera Raw Filter again, where we are going to adjust two settings. First, go into Basic and set the Texture to -59. Second, go into Detail and set Noise Reduction to 100. 

This will smooth out your image. This image originally had a fair amount of noise and smaller skin details, so we had to smooth those out substantially. Some images may need much less, or if you want a gold foil Photoshop effect, you can keep more of the skin's natural texture. 

remove noise remove noise remove noise

Step 4

Let’s Right-Click > Rasterize Layer.

Now, if your subject has a layer mask from being extracted, feel free to skip this step, but if not then hold Control and click the subject’s layer icon. This will create a selection in the shape of the subject. 

Add a layer mask, and the mask will form the shape of the subject. 

Step 5

Now, let’s go to Image > Apply Image. Set the Layer to Merged, the Channel to RGB, Invert Checked, and the Blending to Difference. 

Hit OK. 

apply imageapply imageapply image

Step 6

We are going to repeat Image > Apply Image one more time, keeping the same settings. 

apply image againapply image againapply image again

Step 7

Next, you are going to select any areas where you may need to repeat the Apply Image setting to intensify the effect. For this image, I reapplied the Apply Image to the back of the head, ear, and upper neck region using the Lasso Tool set to a Feather of 50 px so it created a nice blended transition. 

spot treat spot treat spot treat

Step 8

Next, let’s take a soft round brush and on a New Layer fill in any odd-looking highlights with white—like on the subject’s nose and ears. 

fill in hot spots fill in hot spots fill in hot spots

Step 9

Time to create a Gradient Map adjustment layer, clip it into the subject layer, and then set it to the following colors and placements.


  • Brown 1 #180e0a
  • Brown 2 #3d2013
  • Orange 1 #87461c
  • Orange 2 #ca9d40
  • Yellow 1 #e7d63e
  • Yellow 2 #fffbcb
  • White #fff
how to make a gold statue in photoshophow to make a gold statue in photoshophow to make a gold statue in photoshop

Step 10

Underneath the Gradient Map layer, create and clip a Levels adjustment layer. Use this layer to fine-tune your gold effect, making it either brighter or darker—whichever you prefer!

levels levels levels

Step 11

Sandwiched in between the Gradient Map and the Levels layer, create a New Layer set to Overlay. Use this layer to add any additional brightness or darkness. 

add some highlights add some highlights add some highlights

Step 12

Now, we are going to flip back on our original subject layer, the one we did not turn black and white. 

On the golden subject layer, we are going to mask out any areas we don’t want to be gold—like clothes, glasses, or heavy shadows. You can also create different designs or effects here, like a dripping effect. 

mask out the gold mask out the gold mask out the gold
gold drip effectgold drip effectgold drip effect

3. How to Add Shine to Metal in Photoshop

Step 1 

Once you're happy with your gold subject’s mask, create and clip a New Layer above all of its current clipped layers, setting it to Screen. 

Now, using a medium soft round Brush, paint a light orange #ffcf71 color along the rim of the subject, focusing on the areas where the light would be hitting them the hardest. 

ad rim light ad rim light ad rim light

Step 2

Now let’s add some final shine by creating two New Layers, setting one to Screen and the other to Overlay.

On these layers, we are going to paint some star-like reflections. I am using a simple six-pointed star brush, though any brush will work, and you can also just paint them in by hand. 

I like to layer the stars on top of each other, so I will paint a star on the Screen layer, and then a similar star over the top of it on the Overlay layer. 

add shineadd shineadd shine

4. How to Create a Color Grade 

Step 1 

Let’s finish things off with a color grade! 

First, a Color Lookup layer set to Bleach Bypass, at 24% Opacity.

bleach bypassbleach bypassbleach bypass

Step 2

Second, a Color Lookup layer set to Horror Blue, at 75% Opacity.

horror bluehorror bluehorror blue

Step 3

Third, a Color Lookup layer set to the second Kodak option, at 50% Opacity.


Step 4

And finally, a Selective Color layer affecting the Reds, Yellows, Cyans, Blues, Magentas, and Whites. 

selective colorselective colorselective color

Step 5

Group all of these adjustment layers, naming the group Color Grade and then bringing down its Opacity to between 20% and 50%. 

The amount is up to you! I ended up liking it at around 25% Opacity. 

reduce opacity  reduce opacity  reduce opacity

You're Done

That's how to make a gold statue in Photoshop! These same steps can be used to create other metal effects as well, including chrome, silver, and even a dark black metal effect. Spot treat certain areas, or guild whole images—the possibilities are endless!  

How to Make a Gold Statue in PhotoshopHow to Make a Gold Statue in PhotoshopHow to Make a Gold Statue in Photoshop

Master the Gold Effect in Photoshop!

Mixed Texture Photo Effect (ATN)

Mixed Texture Photo EffectMixed Texture Photo EffectMixed Texture Photo Effect

Create an edgy gold and black design with this gold statue Photoshop action. The mixed texture photo effect action can create both black and white cement, as well as gold and silver textures. Use them to create accents or to guild a whole statue!

Fancy Gold Text Effect (PSD)

Fancy Gold Text EffectFancy Gold Text EffectFancy Gold Text Effect

Apply a gold texture Photoshop text effect to any word! Just plug in your own text, and choose a fancy script font to get the full luxurious feel. This PSD includes a high-res cement texture to feature your golden words on. 

Goldish Kit For Photoshop+Extras (EPS, ASL, AI, PNG)

Goldish Kit. For Photoshop+ExtrasGoldish Kit. For Photoshop+ExtrasGoldish Kit. For Photoshop+Extras

Get 28 different seamless gold foil Photoshop layer styles, as well as eight patterns, nine ink splatters, and a whopping 38 gold textures for Photoshop! The goldish kit has everything you need to create gold designs. 

Gold Glossy Text Effect (PSD)

Gold glossy text effectGold glossy text effectGold glossy text effect

The gold glossy text effect takes a different approach to gold, choosing to pair it with a sleek black, keeping the gold as an accent! Easily input your own text, and pair it with one of the free full-res textures included with the PSD!

Looking to learn even more? Check these out!

One subscription.
Unlimited Downloads.
Get unlimited downloads