Apr 24, 2015

How to Create Graphic Art in Photoshop

It’s our first episode in our brand new studio and boy is it a good one.  Learn how to create graphic art in photoshop!  Today’s episode is for all those artist out there.  We show you some basic techniques you can use to create some awesome graphic art.  From color fill adjustment layers to layer masks, to transforming selections and saving custom color swatches.  This episode has a little something for the whole phamily!

Section 1:  Creating a Color Fill Layer (4:27)

We kick things off by using a Color Fill Adjustment layer.  Then we use a layer mask to define the visibility of that layer.  A key point to remember here is that painting white on a layer mask makes that layer visible.  Painting black on the layer mask makes that layer invisible.  This concept is constant throughout the episode because it determines what is actually showing on our layer.  Using our Fill Dialog box, we choose to fill the layer with white.

Section 2: Creating a Target (6:28)

So now that the basics are out of the way, it’s time for us to begin creating our target.  We start off by choosing the color of our target.  Let’s say you come across a color that you really like and want it to be accessible for a while, you can do that by going to Window—>Swatches, name the color whatever you want, and then hit enter.  Now that color will always show up in your Color Box Dialog.  Once we have chosen the red we want for our target, we use our Elliptical Marquee Tool to create a perfect circle.  We hold down Shift and click and drag to create a perfect circle.  We then inverse our selection a couple times to ensure the red rings of our target only show up where we want them to.

Section 3: Creating the Arrows (11:52)

Now that we’ve got our target, we need to create some arrows.  We use our Marquee Selection Tool to define the shape of our arrow.  We then grab our adjustment layer and choose the color we want to fill our selection with.  We use the exact same process to create the feathers of the arrow.  This time we load our selection into a new Color Fill layer.  This time we fill the selection with white.  In order to duplicate our arrow we just grab our layers and group them together and drag them to the new group icon and viola!  We now have to arrows.  We use our Transform tool to rotate one of our arrows to make it look like two arrows have hit the bullseye.

Section 4: Creating the Shadow (14:25)

For the grand finale, we create a shadow for our target to pull it all together.  We start off by using the Polygonal Lasso Tool, which is nested right under the regular Lasso Tool.  Next, we define the shape for the shadow of our target.  Once we close off our selection, we create a solid color adjustment layer right above our background layer.  We choose a color we see fit for the shadow of our target and hit enter.  We then crop our document a bit to make our graphic a bit more focused and centered.


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  • Robert

    Hey Aaron, another great tutorial. How about something with HDR…lol

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    Congrats with your new studio, Aaron and all the other people working at Phlearn. I wish you a lot of prosperity the next five years!

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    Congrats on the new studio – cant wait to see more from it. You are gonna love that view of the skyline every day. Looks like a great view for a timelapse.

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    Great tutorial on graphics!

    Love the new studio space – looks like a super place to work. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

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    is the new location near Humboldt Park in Chicago? Are fans allowed to visit?

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    John Carlisle

    Hey Aaron, I am only fairly new to the Phlearn Phamily but your Photoshop tutorials have helped me so much, I reckon I have watched each episode half a dozen times, they are awesome.

    Could you please do a tutorial on how to apply the grunge effect to an image. Even better still, you could use my image. This is an image of my Uncle Martin posing it on, staring at his initials that he chiseled into the concrete pylon of a bridge near to my folks property, he’s quite the character.

    Anyway cheers mate, if you guys are ever in the neighborhood (Western Australia) drop in for couple of beers.



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    Jim Mauch

    I have a problem that I am sure is rediculusly simple to solve yet I have no idea how to pull it off. If you want to bring one object such as this target to the exact center to line up with another centered object can I do this in one easy operation or do I have to do it by eyeing it. It seems that the selections in Photoshop to do this operation are always greyed out. Yes, I am seriously Photoshop challenged.

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    Sir, your work is very awesome
    i am very big fan,,, no word for u sir ji,,

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    Geir Hammersland

    Hello from Norway 🙂 I love your pages and I learn alot of PhotoShop from your pages. Keep gooing the good work.

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    Daniel Lucas

    Hey Aaron, I just wanted to thank you for making my job, and consequently my life, that much easier on a weekly basis! Your videos never fail to teach and inspire me to do better as a Graphic Designer! Thank you very much for this simple, easy to follow tutorial.

    I was wondering, would you ever consider incorporating Illustrator tutorials into Phlearn? I believe you could have wonderful tutorials that would help people with the most difficult of processes in one of the harder programs to use.