Create bright wallpapers with cartoons in Photoshop

As you know, this 2012 year on the Chinese calendar is considered the year of the Water Dragon and it came on the night of January 22-23.

In this tutorial we will create unusual festive wallpapers with cartoon dragons. A lesson is a mixture of vector graphics, drawing, applying textures, filters and brushes. So let’s get started!


(click on image to enlarge)

Materials for the lesson:


We create a new document in FSH, usually for desktop wallpapers use 1920×1200 pixels.
In our work we need the font Lobster font. Download this font, unpack the archive, install it in the FS.

Note of translator: If you do not know how to install the font, use this tutorial.

To create a dragon, use the tool HorizontalTypeTool (Horizontal text), select the previously loaded font “Loster Font”, set the size to 500 pt, color #3b91a4, write the number “2”.

Since we need to draw a whelp in the form of a number 2, it is necessary to convert the figure into a figure. To do this, right-click on the text layer, in the drop-down menu, select Convert to shape (Convert to shape / curves), note that the tool TypeTool (Text) at this point should be active.

Now we will use various tools to change this figure as we want. First, use the tool Ellipse tool (Oval figure), focusing on the picture, draw an oval on the layer with the number “2”. To get it right, be sure to click on the button. Add to Shape Area (Add to the area of ​​the figure). It should turn out like this:

To combine two shapes on one layer, select the tool Path selection tool (Outline selection), click the button Combine (Merge). Thus, the contours of the oval and the numbers “2” will merge and you will get one common contour.

Now we need to draw the tail of our dragon. To do this, move Anchor points (Anchor points) so that the shape of the tail is obtained. To do this, use the tool. Convert point tool (Angle) either DirectSelectionTool (Arrow) move the contour points, focusing on the picture. You can also use tools if necessary. add / delete Anchor Points Tool (Add / Remove anchor point) to change the shape of the tail on your own.

Add LayerStyle (Layer style), for this double click on the layer with the dragon, we set the following parameters there, focusing on the screenshots.
InnerShadow(Inner shadow), # 000000:

Inner glow (Internal glow) color #beeaff:

Add dragon face and body parts. Using the tool Pen tool (Feather) draw scales. To do this, create a new layer and draw a path on it, as in the picture of the author. Fill this outline with the color we used on the dragon body layer #3b91a4. Add a layer with scale layer style: InnerShadow(Inner shadow), # 000000. Settings look at the picture

Now our dragon looks like this:

Via Ellipse tool (Oval figure) draw the nose, eyes and mouth. Each element is drawn on a separate layer. We paint the eye with white color, add a style to the layer Inner shadow(Inner shadow), the settings are selected individually in such a way that it turned out like an example from the author. Add iris and pupil – draw an oval on a new layer with any color, add a layer style Gradient overlay (Overlay gradient), there expose the gradient from the yellow color # efc32a to black. Add a white highlight – draw a white triangle with a pen or a figure, place it over the iris layer. Nose do this: on the new layer we draw an oval, choose the color of the figure yourself, focusing on the picture of the author.

Now we need to draw another dragon. To do this, we create a new group “Dragon1”, move all the layers with a dragon there, copy this group, for convenience we rename this copy to “Dragon2”. Now we will work with the group “Dragon2”. Change the dragon’s body color to # 61a024, using a tool Convert point tool (Angle) either DirectSelectionTool (Arrow) move the reference points so that it turned out approximately as the author. Also add teeth on a layer with scales and change the color of this layer. It should turn out like this:

Using the tool Pen tool (Feather) make our second dragon open mouth. To do this, check the options Substract from Shape Area (Subtract from the figure area). Next, select the tool Path selection tool (Outline selection), click the button Combine (Merge).

Change the dragon eye color on # 5e94e4. We draw him teeth and tongue.

Now we will draw an egg. To do this, use the tool Ellipse tool (Oval figure), on the new layer we will draw an oval of white color. Add an egg layer layer style:
InnerShadow(Inner shadow) color # d0faa8, Inner glow (Internal glow) color # ddf3c6.

Using tool Pen tool (Feather) draw cracks on the egg. You can simply add some cracked texture or paint with a brush. Place the egg between the dragon and its tail.

Draw the sea in the background on the layer Background (Background). To do this, add a layer style. Gradient overlay (Gradient overlay).

Note of translator: settings for gradient – color # dff5ff, position 30%; color # 47c6fd, position 100%.

Take the Wave Pattern texture.

Note translator: registration is required to download this pattern, but you can choose a similar pattern or texture.

Create a new layer on top of the layer. Background (Background), rename it to Sea pattern (Maritime pattern), fill it with white, reduce the parameter Fill (Fill) to 0%. Add style to this layer. Pattern overlay (Pattern overlay) pattern overlay mode Color burn (Blackout basics), opacity thirty%.

Add the sun’s rays, for this download a set of Rays of Light Brushes.

Note of translator: registration is also required to download the kit, but you can draw such rays with CustomShape (Freeform), the name of the figure Registration Target2 (The purpose of registration 2).

We draw white rays, change the opacity layer to rays up to 40%.

Using tool Pen tool (Pen) paint the waves in color# 1c88b5. It should look something like this:

Add a layer with waves style Gradient overlay (Gradient overlay). See settings on the picture:

Add a layer with waves Pattern overlay (Pattern overlay), we take a pattern from the set downloaded earlier.

Note of translator:You can draw such stripes yourself using a tool. Pen tool (Pen) and contour strokes with imitation of brush pressure (preliminarily set a hard brush of small diameter, and then draw the outlines of the waves with a pen).

We expose in the style of the layer to the parameter PatternOverlay(Pattern overlay) the following settings: BlendMode (Blend mode) Overlay(Overlap), Opacity (Opacity) 15%, Scale (Scale) 50%. Duplicate the wave layer, change its parameter Fill (Fill) to 0%, edit the layer style – turn off Gradient overlay (Gradient overlay), change PatternOverlay(Overlay pattern) on Normal (Normal), Opacity (Opacity) 100%, Scale (Scale) 100%.

Note of translator: if you drew stripes of waves yourself, it is possible to duplicate the layer with changing settings. In any case, focus on the picture in the lesson, the result should be approximately as the author.

Create a new document of 400×300 pixels. Using the tool Gradient tool (Gradient) Fill the background with a gradient from transparent to blue color. # 50b9d7. Gradient settings look at the picture below:

Apply Filter – Distort – Twirl(Filter – Distortion – Twisting), set the parameters, focusing on the screenshot. Move this curl into our document on top of the wave layer.

Duplicate the curl layer three times, place them at your discretion, if necessary, reduce or increase these curls. You can also erase the excess on the layers with curls and move some anchor points on the layers with the wave so that the wave overlaps part of the curls. It should look something like this:

Combine all the layers that belong to the sea and the waves in one layer. Move it on top of all layers, reduce Opacity (Opacity) up to 90%.

Note of translator: so that you have an egg, like the author in the picture, you need to edit the layer style something like this – InnerShadow(Inner shadow) color # d0faa8, to increase Size (Size) to 230 pix; Inner glow (Internal glow) color # ddf3c6 also increase Size (Size) to 150 pix., Range (range) 100%.

Add clouds, to do this, download the Clouds Shapes collection of shapes. Draw white clouds on a new layer, add the following style to this layer: InnerShadow(Inner shadow), Outer glow (External glow), Stroke (Stroke) in 1 pix. Settings look at the picture:

Note of translator: registration is required for downloading the cloud set, but you can draw the clouds yourself using tool Pen tool (Feather) or corresponding brushes. Color at Stroke (Stroke) can be put approximately such # 74d5fd.

At this stage, we will add several effects with you in order to turn our work into an unusual drawing. Add an adjustment layer Curves (Curves) on top of all layers.

The advantage of adjustment layers is that at any time you can edit the parameters of these layers. Thus, you independently select those settings for which the picture will seem to you the most interesting.
Add a new layer, fill it with white, rename it to Vignette (Vignette), change the blending mode to Color burn (Dimming basis), set the layer opacity to 80%. Apply to this layer FilterDistortLense correction (Filter – Distortion – Distortion Correction) with the following settings:

Press the key combination CTRl + SHIFT + ALT + E, to create a merged layer. We set the color for Foregroundcolor (Fill color) black, for BackgroundColor (Background color) is white. We go to FilterSketch – Graphic Pen (Filter – Sketch – Magic Pencil), settings are looking at

Note of translator: If you do not get the same effect as the author of the lesson, try replacing the filter Graphic pen Magic pencil on Stamp(Mascara) with the same settings.

Edit this layer BlendingMode (Blend Mode) on Darken (Replace with dark), layer opacity is 20%. Add white highlights and stars. It should turn out like the author in the picture:

Download paper texture, place it on top of all layers, change BlendingMode (Blending mode) this layer on Multiply (Multiplication), opacity 100%. Use the key combination SHIFT+CTRL+U, to discolor the texture. To create a vintage effect, use these Stain Brushes brushes. Our work after applying textures and brushes:

Add an adjustment layer Gradient fill (Gradient), change blending mode to Color (Color), opacity is reduced to 35%.

Create a new layer on top of all layers, change its blending mode to Overlay (Overlap). We draw with white soft round brush in the places where we would like to lighten our image; draw a black soft brush where you need to add shadows. Thus, we will give volume to our picture.

That’s it, our lesson is over!

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