New Year Card in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a Christmas tree greeting card on a red background in Photoshop CS6. You will learn how to add layer styles, how to draw a Christmas tree, how to use brushes, as well as how to use the Freehand tool, etc.

The link to the PSD file of the lesson is attached at the end of this lesson. So let’s get started!

Final result

Create a new document (Ctrl + N) in Adobe Photoshop CS6, the document size is 1920px x 1200px (color mode RGB color mode), resolution 72 pixels / inch (px / inch).

Create a new layer, then, through the bottom toolbar Add layer styles (Add a layer style). Select an option Gradient Overlay (Gradient Overlay).

In settings Gradient Overlay (Gradient Overlay), click on the color scale to open the settings window Gradient Editor (Gradient Editor), set the control points of the color range, as shown in the screenshot below. Click OK to close the window. Gradient Editor (Gradient Editor).

We created the following background for our greeting card:

Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool (P), set the drawing mode settings on the options Layer layer (Shape Layers). Next, draw the next figure of the Christmas tree, as shown in the screenshot below. The contour of the figure can be corrected by the tool. Angle (Convert Point Tool).

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

To the layer with the figure of Christmas trees, add Layer styles (layer style), select the option Inner shadow (Inner Shadow).

Add an option Gradient Overlay (Gradient Overlay).

In settings Gradient Overlay (Gradient Overlay), click on the color scale to open the settings window Gradient Editor (Gradient Editor), set the control points of the color range, as shown in the screenshot below. Click OK to close the window. Gradient Editor (Gradient Editor).

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Duplicate the last layer with the Christmas tree element, move the duplicate layer below the original layer in the layers palette. On the duplicate layer, delete Layer styles (Layer’s style), and then, fill the Christmas tree shape on the duplicate layer with the color shade # 1C4500.

Using tool Free transformation (Free Transform (Ctrl + T) and tool Angle (Convert Point Tool), you can stretch the shape, and also lower the upper anchor point to sharpen the outline.

Duplicate the last two layers with Christmas tree elements, then select the tool again. Free Transformation (Free Transform (Ctrl + T) to reduce duplicate layers. Arrange duplicate layers as shown in the screenshot below.

Using tool Angle (Convert Point Tool), you can change the position of several anchor points so that the resulting Christmas tree shape is different from the previous original Christmas tree shape.

Select tool again Pen (Pen Tool (P) and Angle (Convert Point Tool) to draw the tip of the Christmas tree. The technique of creating Christmas tree fragments is the same, the settings for the layer styles Inner shadow (Inner Shadow) and Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay) the same that you applied to the elements of the Christmas tree earlier.

Adjust the position of the upper anchor points so that the top of the Christmas tree is pointy.

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Next, duplicate the layers with a shadow, the layers are colored with the color shade # 1C4500 (Translator’s Note: Duplicate those layers whose elements are colored with color (# 1C4500). Hold down (CTRL) + select all the layers that you duplicated containing the shadow, then press the keys (CTRL + E) to merge them into one layer.

The rasterized merged layer must be moved below in the layers palette, placing lower layers with Christmas tree elements, changing the color to a white shade. Using tool Angle (Convert Point Tool), you can change the position of the anchor points by setting them exactly as shown in the screenshot below.

Next, to the created merged layer, add

Enter layer styles by selecting the option Stroke (Stroke).

In settings Gradient Overlay (Gradient Overlay), click on the color scale to open the settings window Gradient Editor (Gradient Editor), set the gradient colors as shown in the screenshot below. Click OK to close the window. Gradient Editor (Gradient Editor).

Add an option Shadow (Drop Shadow).

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Next, we draw the support or the lower part of the trunk of the Christmas tree. Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool (P), set the drawing mode settings on the options Layer layer (Shape Layers). Next, draw the next figure of the Christmas tree, as shown in the screenshot below. Fill the created shape with the color shade # 9C5507. Layer with this part of the Christmas tree, place below all the layers with the elements of the Christmas tree.

Next, to the layer with the support, add layer styles by selecting the option Stroke (Stroke).

Add an option Gradient Overlay (Gradient Overlay).

In settings Gradient Overlay (Gradient Overlay), click on the color scale to open the settings window Gradient Editor (Gradient Editor), set the gradient colors as shown in the screenshot below. Click OK to close the window. Gradient Editor (Gradient Editor).

Add an option Shadow (Drop Shadow).

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Using tool Pen (Pen Tool (P), draw the light flare on the Christmas tree pedestal. Fill the created shape with the # DDC98A color shade. Place the light flare layer on top of the Christmas tree pedestal layer, but below all other layers with Christmas tree elements.

Next, we need to draw a star on top of the Christmas tree. Choose a tool Arbitrary shape (Custom Shape Tool (U), then click on the option Figure (Shape) to open the palette arbitrary shape. In the shapes palette, select the shape of the five-pointed star, then double-click on the selected shape to load it. Click + drag the document to draw the desired shape:

Using tool Angle (Convert Point Tool), select all the anchor points of the star shape. Next, apply the tool Free transformation (Free Transform (Ctrl + T), in the settings, click Keep proportions (Maintain Aspect Ratio), and then pull the anchor points toward the center of the star to change the shape of the five-pointed figure.

Translator’s Note: 1. To select all control points, hold down the Shift + key, select all control points. 2. button Keep proportions (Maintain Aspect Ratio) located in the top toolbar settings Free transformation (Free Transform (Ctrl + T).

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Next, to the layer with the created star shape, add layer styles by selecting the option Shadow (Drop Shadow).

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Next, add volume to the star. Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool (P), set the drawing mode settings on the options Layer layer (Shape Layers). Draw the next triangle inside the star’s guide beam, paint over the painted triangle with the color shade # C6CAC9.

In the same way, you must create shadows for the other rays of the star. Fill colors are shown in the screenshot below.

The asterisk should turn out as in the screenshot below.

At the center of our Christmas card we will write a congratulatory text. Choose a tool Horizontal text (Horizontal Type tool (T). Set the font, color, size in the settings tab Symbol (Character). I used the following font, which can be downloaded from the FontSquirrel website.

Click on the working paper, then type ‘Merry Christmas’ / ’Merry Christmas’. Press (Enter) to apply the text.

Add to the text layer Layer styles (layer style), select the option Shadow (Drop Shadow).

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Next, we will draw a shadow under the greeting text. Create a new layer, select a soft round brush, brush color # 360000. Just click on the document.

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Using tool Free Transformation (Free Transform (Ctrl + T), move the drawn spot under the text, squeeze the spot vertically and stretch a little horizontally.

Reduce value Fillings (Fill) for a layer with a shadow up to 41%.

Add brightness to the Christmas tree, to do this, create a new layer, then select a hard round brush of white color. Using this brush, paint over the image of a Christmas tree.

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Change the blending mode for this layer to Overlap (Overlay), further reduce the value Fillings (Fill) to 59%.

To the created layer with the light flare, add a layer mask through the bottom toolbar. Choose a soft round brush in black.

While on the layer layer mask, paint over with a soft black brush to hide the next zones on the Christmas tree, as shown in the screenshot below.
Translator’s Note: Begin to paint the bottom from the top, creating a smooth transition.

Create a new layer, select a soft round brush. We need to adjust the brush through the settings tab Brushes (Brushes panel (F5), select option Brush Print Form (Brush Tip Shape). Set the size, spacing, angle of the brush, as shown in the screenshot below. In the preview window, you can see the change of the brush stroke.

Select option Other Dynamics (Shape Dynamics), apply the following settings:

Select option Scattering (Scattering):

Next, go Transition(Transfer):

Using a customized brush, draw snow on our card, as shown in the screenshot below:

Create a new layer. Using the same brush, only this time, increase the diameter of the brush, draw larger snowflakes. Brush color # FEE000, brush opacity 20%.

Next, we will draw a small asterisk next to the greeting text. Choose a tool Polygon (Polygon Tool (U), in the top settings panel, click the icon Polygon tool options (Polygon Options).

Install Depth of the rays (Indent Sides) – 99%, check the boxes Star (Star) and Smooth inside corners (Smooth Indents). Also in the settings Parties (Sides), specify the number of parties – 4.

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Next, add to the star layer Layer styles (layer style), select the option Shadow (Drop Shadow):

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Next, we will draw many small circles under the shadow using the copy technique as well as the tool Ellipse (Ellipse Tool (U).

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Next, merge all the layers with circles into one rasterized layer, for this, hold down (CTRL) + select all layers with circles in the layers palette, and then press the keys (CTRL + E) to merge all selected layers into one layer.

Using tool Free Transformation (Free Transform (Ctrl + T)), reduce the size of the circles. Duplicate the merged layer with the circles and then select the free transformation tool again to arrange the duplicate layer in one row with the original layer.

Using tool Rectangle ( Rectangle Tool (U), draw the next rectangle, as shown in the screenshot below. Next, rasterize the layer with the rectangle and the layer with the circles again, first selecting them and then pressing the keys (CTRL + E).

Next, to the merged layer with circles and a rectangle, add Layer styles (layer style), select the option Gradient Overlay (Gradient Overlay):

In settings Gradient Overlay (Gradient Overlay), click on the color scale to open the settings window Gradient Editor (Gradient Editor), set the control points of the color range, as shown in the screenshot below. Click OK to close the window. Gradient Editor (Gradient Editor).

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

Duplicate the layer with an asterisk next to the text. Place a duplicate asterisk, as shown in the screenshot below.

Once again duplicate the layer with an asterisk several times. Remove layer styles from duplicate layers. Arrange duplicate layers with asterisks throughout the Christmas tree, as shown in the screenshot below. Apply scaling with the tool Free transformation (Free Transform (Ctrl + T).

Finally, we will add a glow to the star at the top of the Christmas tree. Create a new layer, select a white soft round brush. Add a white spot over the star image.

The result should be as in the screenshot below.

And we finished the lesson! Our Christmas card is ready!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Final result

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