We draw a hummingbird in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a hummingbird texture image in Photoshop. To create this composition, we use the basic technique that will help you create a beautiful picture!

Stages of the lesson

First we will create the background. Next, we will add a graphic image by applying the blending options. I chose the hummingbird image as the main graphic shape, however, you can use any other image of your choice!

I will explain to you and show you the settings that I used to create this picture, in turn, I invite you to experiment when creating your picture using this technique!

In conclusion, we will conduct a color correction to make the picture look complete. To complete this tutorial, you will need Photoshop CS 3 or higher.

Final result

To complete the lesson you will need:

  1. Hummingbird
  2. Texture (or brush) Smoke
  3. Concrete texture for the background
  4. Metal texture
  5. Bokeh texture

Author’s Note: instead of a paid hummingbird image, you can use any other image, this hummingbird image is used as an example and your final result may differ from the original, and instead of paid stock images, you can choose any other image on the stock resources, including the texture for the background or smoke texture.

Step 1

First create a working paper. I prefer to use large document sizes with high resolution, which helps to scale the image while working. However, you can use your own dimensions to create a working document that is best suited for you and better processed on your computer.

Step 2

To create a background, create a new layer. Apply a gradient, a color gradient from a light shade in the center (# 14dc02) to a dark shade at the edges (# 008325). The gradient may seem atypical, but it will help us later when we use textures to add focus to our main object without additional load.

Step 3

Next, let’s add a concrete texture to our background. I prefer to convert images into smart objects, therefore, convert the concrete texture layer to a smart object so that when scaling, you do not lose image quality in case you change your mind and decide to do something different. Next, change the blending mode for the layer with the texture of concrete to Soft light (Soft Light), and also reduce the opacity of the texture layer to 27%.

Step 4

Next, we do the same thing by adding two more textures. (Translator’s Note: unfortunately, the author does not indicate which textures he adds, try adding the concrete texture first and then adding the Bokeh texture). Make sure that the texture completely covers the workspace, do not forget to also change the blending mode and set the opacity of the layers. You can experiment with the settings, with the blending modes and the degree of opacity of the layers, respectively.

Although this is the background, nevertheless, I want to make it interesting, the main thing is not to overload the focus of our picture. I also used a correction layer Black and white (black and white), in the settings of this adjustment layer, click the button Auto (Auto) to mute shades slightly. Once you are satisfied with the background, group all the layers related to the background into one group. Hold down (SHIFT) + select all layers, and then press keys (CONTROL + G) or go Layer – Group Layers (Layer> Group Layers).

Step 5

So, we created the background, it’s time to add the main object. Depending on the source image, this step will be slightly different, but the basic process will be the same. Next, with the tool Pen (pen tool), we will highlight every detail of the hummingbird image, while filling each selected detail with a separate color shade.

Once you have created the outline, right-click and in the window that appears, select the option fill the contour (fill path). (Translator’s Note: as soon as you create the outline, further Form a selection (Make selection), then fill in the outline or paint over it with a brush). Once you have selected the option fill the contour (fill path), next, the fill color selection window will appear, select any color shade in the color palette. Don’t forget, each individual detail of a hummingbird needs to be created on a separate layer, when you have many layers, then group all the layers into separate groups (for example, the “trunk” group, the “wings” group, etc.).

Finally, group all created groups into one group, name this group “Hummingbird” or name the group at your discretion. It is very important to create a common group, since later we will apply layer styles to our little bird as a whole graphic object.

Step 6

So, we created a graphic image of a hummingbird with every detail of the image on separate layers. Next, we grouped all the layers into groups, and then combined all the groups into one group, I called the combined group “Hummingbirds”. Now, we will apply the layer styles to the image of a hummingbird as an entire image, for this, right-click on the layer with the merged group and in the window that appears, select the option Options overlay(Blending Options).

Any layer styles that we will apply will affect the whole group as to the whole object, and not to each individual layer. It is very convenient to add layer styles to one object. In the screenshots below, you can see the settings that I used, you can play a little with them and see what you get!

Step 7

In this step, we will combine all the details together, and you will learn how to do it! Now for each layer with a hummingbird detail, we will add layer styles. I usually start with the largest part of the object, so I can clearly see the result after applying layer styles.

As soon as you are satisfied with the result, then we will apply the same layer styles to each individual layer. To do this, right-click on the layer to which you just applied layer styles and in the window that appears, select the option Copy layer styles (COPY STYLE). Next, go to the next layer with the figure, also right-click on the layer with the figure and in the window that appears, select the option Paste layer styles (PASTE STYLE).

To speed up the process, we can select several layers at once, and then paste the layer styles (Apply the texture in the option Overlapping pattern (pattern overlay) is selective, you can use your texture).

Step 8

Now that we have applied the blending parameters to each layer with the detail of the hummingbird shape, the whole composition begins to look like the final result! But you still need to add a few details to make the whole composition look more elegant! First, we will add a metal texture to each layer with a separate detail of the hummingbird’s shape as a clipping mask.

There are several ways to add textures, including through the layer style. Overlapping pattern (Pattern Overlay) in Blending options (blending options), but I personally prefer to use clipping masks because of the convenience and degree of control.

So add a metal texture over the layer or group to which you want to apply the effect, see the screenshot below. Next, right-click on the metal texture layer and in the window that appears, select the option Create clipping mask (Create Clipping Mask). Thus, the texture will only affect the underlying layer. Arrange / rotate the metal texture for each layer or group so as to get a unique look for each detail of the hummingbird’s figure, this will add a sense of depth and help you distinguish one layer from another.

Change the blending mode for the texture layer to Soft light (SOFT LIGHT), as well as adjust the degree of opacity of the layer of your choice, although I left the layer opacity at 100%.

Step 9

We have almost completed the lesson! Next, we will add the Smoke texture, I used the Smoke paid texture, which I purchased to create another project, but you can choose the same texture on the stock resources like Deviantart and Free Stock Exchange.

Open the Smoke texture, then move this texture to our working document, placing a layer with a group with a background and below a layer with a group with a main graphic shape, for a layer with a smoke texture located on a black background, change the blending mode to Lightening (screen), in this mode, only light areas of the texture will be visible, and dark areas will become opaque, a very useful blend mode for objects such as dust, fire, smoke and even water splashes.

If the image of the smoke is too transparent, then simply duplicate the smoke texture layer using the same blending mode. I also used a layer mask to hide the edges of the texture, creating a smooth transition with the background, for this we go Layer- Layer Mask- Show All (Layer> Layer Mask> Reveal All).

Using layer masks is a very useful action. You can find many lessons on layer masks, but for those who are just starting to learn Photoshop, I would like to clarify that using layer masks, you can hide or restore the original treated area using a black or white brush (using a black brush, you can hide a part of the image, and using a white brush, you can restore the processed part of the image) without deleting parts of the image, as happens when working with an eraser.

Step 10

Great job! We have completed work on the creation of our composition! The final step is selective, but it can be useful for you if you are interested in color correction using Gradient Map (Gradiant Maps) to add interesting color shades to your work. Gradient map (Gradiant Maps) acts the same as the adjustment layer. Black and white (Black and White), but instead of black and white, we can control colors. Therefore, I suggest you experiment with gradient maps!

Gradient maps can be a great tool when adding beautiful and delicate color shades to the final image, which also gives the picture a more holistic look, which is very important in works such as photo manipulation, not as important as in this work, however, they complement big picture.

I also used a correction layer Levels (levels) to add a bit of contrast. In the screenshots below, you can see the settings for the adjustment layers and gradient maps, I usually reduce the opacity of the adjustment layers with gradient maps to 10% to add a subtle effect. I invite you to play with gradient maps and see how they work and how to use them!

I hope that you liked this lesson, and you learned something new for yourself. Thank you for attending the lesson, and I wish you a good time at this lesson.

Final result

Download archive with alternative materials for the lesson

Author: Jacob Pryor

Translator: Sadigaliyev Marat

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