Feb 06, 2015

How to Make an Album Cover in Photoshop

Join us for a jam packed episode on how to create an amazing painted album cover! Get ready to play with blending modes…this is gonna be fun.

How to Make an Album Cover in Photoshop

For this specific look, you will need three elements:

  1. Side view portrait
  2. Painted background
  3. Hat (If not already on the subject)

Use various selection tools to select and position your images where you would like them to go. Keep in mind that album covers are generally in a 1:1 ratio (a square). We suggest unchecking “delete cropped pixels” so you can recover your image if you need to.

When your portrait is ready, it’s time to make it into a sort of silhouette! Turn it into a layer mask by holding Crtl/Cmd and clicking on your subject to select it, and then clicking the layer mask button.

From here on out, this technique is mostly just playing with blending modes. We inverted the blue color so that it appears bright orangeish red, so that’s something you might want to experiment with. For this specific image, we utilized the subtract blending mode. We also played around with the size and position of the painted background layers to get different effects. Don’t forget that you can unlink your layer masks for more control!

Quick Tip: To flip through the blending modes, hold Shift and press the plus or minus keys (make sure you are on the move tool first)

Feel free to play around with text as well. You can make adjustments in the character panel for things like tracking, caps, font, and size. We use Helvetica Neue for this episode. If you’d like to add a drop shadow, double click on the text layer and go down to drop shadow. After tweaking it to your liking, you can actually drag that drop shadow onto other layers while holding Alt/Opt and it will copy it over for you!


user image You
(will not be published)

    • user image
      Hossam Ghaly

      Hi im Hossam from Egypt if u like to get it touch to improve our skills , im a beginner designer &photographer and i need to connect with others .just search for me at FB (

  • user image
    Jeff Kingston

    Fun episode 🙂
    I would like to see an episode featuring the displace filter to see what you do with it. Thanks for all the Phlearning 🙂

  • user image

    What I usually do to center a layer is select it in the Layers panel, press Ctrl+A to select the entire canvas and then use the Move tool’s centering options. Is there an advantage to the technique Aaron uses?

  • user image
    Dale Hardin

    During the tutorial you sometimes group layers using cont + E and sometimes using cont + G. What is the difference?



  • user image

    Aaron, thanks for sharing this tutorial. It’s very helpful and I enjoyed the tip of centering text. You might already know this, but one other way to center text is using the Rectangular Marquee (M) selection tool. So to select the entire document I select the move tool (V) use the keyboard shortcut CMNDL+A then simply use the align tools to get the text accurately centered.

    The Rectangular Marquee selection tool can also be used at any size anywhere on the document to position other layers as well. Once we’re done positioning text then simply using the keyboard shortcut of CMND+D deselects the document.

    Of course this also eliminates creating another layer used as a guide, changing opacity, and then deleting it, but I know this can be useful in so many other ways; therefore I’m practicing the route you shared as well. Thanks again for such an amazing tutorial, I hope you have a great week!

  • user image
    Marko Jõgisoo

    “Amazing and stupid at the same time” haha. It’s realy cool. It’s so fun to take only one background picture and then change its colors and size and make people think that you used so much pictures and effort. Soo cool.

  • user image

    U r amazing. I have to invest in photoshop CS6 and so I could really pursue my dream to become a fashion and freelance photographer. Your tutorials are so inspiring, love your work. Please keep it coming!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • user image
    Cameron Borers

    Mine reminds me of a Miley Cyrus album. But still great. I used a Lion. #GreatTutorial

  • user image
    DK Sharma

    Thanks Aaron… For super cool episode.
    It helped me a lot to come up this one

  • user image

    You see I’m trying to make an album and a album cover because I already have songs on YouTube.

  • user image

    hoe do you make plastic in photo to wrap around objects or make ice block
    and how take back grounds out bottle or glass

    • user image
      Ned Schneebly

      Yo dude what did you search to get that background? Love it btw! Anywhere I can hear your music ?