I love playing around in Photoshop and Illustrator, I treat them as my digital canvas. I could (and regularly do) waste hours playing around with different ideas….hoping to come up with a masterpiece….it doesn’t happen as often as I like. 🙁 I love to create my own printables and artwork based around my own images, some of these designs I share over on my instagram feed, if you don’t already follow me I would love you to head over there.
When it comes to creating a piece of art for my home, sometimes the simplest thing to use is Photoshop. Today’s DIY Art is about taking a photo you have and a favourite quote, saying or phrase from a book and creating a unique and modern print for your home.
All you need to create this artwork is Photoshop. I know Photoshop is expensive….(Trust me, I know!) But you can download a FREE 30-Day Trial version here and just use it to create this artwork! (and no, this is not sponsored and I am not getting anything for telling you this). So now that you all have Photoshop we can get onto our tutorial. I have written this for ANYONE. If you have never used Photoshop before you can just follow along and I will give you every step. If you know how to use Photoshop, then just skim and you will get the idea of what tools and tricks I use to create the artwork. Please excuse the huge amount of photos for this tutorial but I wanted to make this very easy to follow.
Step 1. Create a new file. Select FILE > NEW (you can download a PDF File of keyboard shortcuts here for both Macs & PC’s – I will be showing you the “long-hand” way)
Step 2. A window will pop up. Give your new file a name eg. “Photoshop-Art” then choose the size – I went with 10 inch Wide by 10 inch High – leave the rest, but make sure your “Resolution” is set at 300 pixels/inch. Once you have done this you can press “OK”.
Step 3. Your New File will look like this (see below), it is your “Background” layer. While we are here lets looks at three things you need to know about. The first is on the left we have our “Tools”, far down the bottom left we have the “Adjustment Layers” and finally we have our “Layers”, layers are all the different parts that make up your artwork, each element we create will be a separate layer and the one in blue is the one that is currently selected. You also need to know is that what is on top is what will be visible so the order your layers are in matters and you can select, hold and drag these to change the order.
Step 4. Before you go any further make sure your rulers are visible on the edges (see below). Select VIEW > RULERS from the top menu. Now we can create guide lines (these are temporary lines that only show up when working in Photoshop and will help you keep things aligned and centered). Left Click on your ruler (either top or side) and hold as you drag it across onto your Background creating a 1/4″ border around the edge (use your rulers to measure the 1/4″). Once you have done that drag another guide and place it in the middle of your Background. A trick here is that guidelines are attracted to the center like a magnet and as you hover the guideline over it, it will “Pull” onto that center spot, when you get that pull just let go.
Step 5. Now we are going to create a square that will go inside the guidelines we just placed to create our border. Select the “Square Shape Tool” from the side menu (see below).
Step 6. Then start at the top left corner of your border and drag the “Square Shape Tool” from that corner down to the lower right corner.
Step 7. I made my square a light grey colour. You can change the colour by double left clicking on the “Colour Changer” in your square shape layer. You will have a multitude of colours to choose from, I recommend a light neutral tone.
Step 8. Select the “Text Tool” from the left side menu (it’s the one with the letter “T” on it) then drag a text box onto your background. This will create a new text layer.
Step 9. You can choose and change your font and size from the sub menu area below your main menu, a pop down box will give you options to scroll through. I used two free fonts “Travelling Typewriter” and “Arial”. There are heaps of websites online that allow you to download FREE fonts, just google it! I have downloaded and purchased more fonts that I care to admit to….it’s connected to my typography addiction, I just cannot help myself.
Step 10. Choose an inspiring saying, quote or passage from a book and type it out in your chosen font. I used one I have on my Facebook Page – “She was unstoppable. Not because she did not have failures or doubts. But because she continued on despite of them.” by Beau Taplin | Unstoppable (I found it online here).
Step 11. Add your “credit” layer of text. I always believe in crediting a source so if you know the author then give them credit. (I know this is not always possible) I always do the “credits” in a smaller size font and a different style (in this case “Arial”).
Step 12. Use your center guide line to center your text box on your background.
Step 13. Select both layers of text (see them highlighted below in blue).
Step 14. Move your text to the bottom of the background, but keep it within your square.
Step 15. Select the “Ellipse Tool” from the left side menu (it is in the same tool as the square shape tool, so if you cannot find it, it will be in there. A little sub-menu box will open with all the various shape options – as show below).
Step 16. Drag a circle shape the same way you did the square earlier. You need to hold down your “shift” (command for Macs) key while you drag so the shape is restrained to a circle.
Step 17. Now open up your chosen photo for your art print. In this case I chose a photo from the Street Art Tour I shot. I felt it went with my quote well. Another great option is landscape photos, sunsets, sky shots or even an urban landscape. It doesn’t have to be a great photo just something you like and helps illustrate your words. I will show you another design I did like this with a photo of a cloudy sky at the end.
Step 18 Drag your image onto your background and make sure you have it as the layer just above the circle.
Step 19. Right Click on the photo layer and a pop-up menu will appear. Select “Create Clipping Mask” from that menu.
Step 20. Your Image will automatically conform to the shape of the circle and the excess will disappear. You can change the size of the image by selecting the corner of your image and dragging it in and out as desired.
Step 21. Now comes the fun part……changing the colours in the photo. Remember the “Adjustment Layers” I pointed out earlier? Well, select that icon at the bottom (the circle – half black, half white shown below).
Step 22. Select “Hue/Saturation” in the pop-up menu.
Step 23. A new layer called “Hue/Saturation 1” will be created (see blue highlighted layer below). Make sure it is above your photo layer and right click on the “Hue/Saturation 1” layer and select “Create Clipping Mask” again, this will make sure what we are about to do will only effect the photo and nothing else.
Step 24. When your “Hue/Saturation 1” layer is created and selected another pop-up menu will appear. Using the controls in this menu we can adjust the colours in our image and change their hue and saturation. I dragged both down a bit and slightly changed the colours to ones I liked.
Another way you can manipulate the colours is to select the little box marked “Colorize” this will colour the image any hue you choose. To get the below effect I changed to a blue/green hue, reduced the saturation and increased the lightness. This will give you pastel colours (or bright depending on how much saturation you use) across your image. Be aware though if you completely reduce the saturation you will make the image black and white. This is a great menu to play around in and you can create some interesting looks with little effort.
Step 25. I chose not to “colorize” my image but just change the hues and saturation. Your final step is to right click the “Background” layer and then select “Flatten Image” from the pop-up menu and saving your file so you can print it. I got mine printed at a Officeworks (obviously this is an Australian store and you need to go somewhere that does cheap printing in your area) and it cost me less than $3 for two colour prints!
You can either frame your print or if you really want to create something unique then build one of my Art Blocks, tutorial here. Which is of course what I did!
I also promised to show you an alternate version with a cloud photo. Well this is the photo, nothing fancy just a shot of the ocean on a cloudy day.
Then I colorized it with a green/blue hue, something that would go well with my previous print as I wanted them to sit together as a set. Can you see what I mean about not needing to have an amazing photo? On a bright sunny day anyone can take a shot like this of the ocean and sky. If you are completely resigned to not taking your own photo you can always find images online to purchase but I am always for giving things a go and why not get out in the beautiful sunshine and take a few snaps?
So what do you think? Would you give creating some artwork in Photoshop a try or have I made it way too confusing?
Hope you have a wonderful weekend, looks like mine will be full of rain….I think I will bunker down with a good book and take intermittent naps!
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