This tutorial will show you how to create a fresh, attractive design based around the theme of nature. You will also get an idea of how to illustrate a concept using stock images, type, brushes and patterns. This design is very versatile and can be used as a wallpaper, website header, advertisement etc.
The tutorial has been created in Photoshop CS5; however you will be able to reproduce the results in any CS version without problems.
Step 1. Start off with a blank canvas and fill it with a light gray color (e.g. #e6e6e6). The dimensions I’ve used are 1366x768, to match the resolution of my monitor and use the final result as a wallpaper.
Step 2. Create a new layer and fill it with a solid green color (in this case, #20b329). Then, add a layer mask to this layer and, on the mask, create a large, black and white radial gradient. For this tutorial, it should be black in the center and white on the edges.
Step 3. To create the typography, type ‘nature’ in Gill Sans Ultra Bold, black, place it in the center of the image and enlarge it using Free Transform. In order to fill this text with a fun theme, you can use this flower pattern.
Then, go to Layer -> Layer Style and use the following effects:
Step 4. Duplicate the text layer and change its color to white. Then, slightly offset it down and to the right, to give the typography an illusion of depth. Clear the layer style and go to Layer -> Layer Style and use the effect below:
Step 5. Next you’re going to start shaping up the center of the image: paste this image behind the text, scale it down to 50% and carefully mask around it until you get a balanced, interesting composition. If the colorful image ends up being too faded by masking, duplicate the layer and adjust the opacity of the resulting layer depending on how vibrant you want it to be. In this case, I’ve set the duplicated layer to opacity: 45%.
Step 6. If you feel that the image could use more color, create a new Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and increase the saturation to +31 and place this layer underneath the typography.
Step 7. To give the image its finishing touches, you can get creative and use brushes to add more details. For example, I’ve used this flowers and waves brush and added a swirl and a few small white flowers above the text.
I’ve given the green swirl a slight 3D effect by overlaying two layers: one with the swirl in a bright green and on top, one with the swirl in dark green. I’ve simply masked parts of the dark green swirl to make it blend with the brighter green.
Step 8. The final detail I’ve added is using this spiral brush. There are infinite ways of using brushes to enhance any composition. In this case, I’ve chosen to create something similar to a paint brush effect by applying a horizontal streak over the center of the image and masking away the excess. I’ve given the streak a transition effect by overlaying a green streak on one layer with a cyan streak on another below it.
The final result: