We draw bubbles in Photoshop

In this tutorial, we will show how to create an abstract background with multi-colored bubbles in Photoshop. You will learn to add Layer styles (Layer Styles), paint bubbles, apply brushes, etc. A PSD file is provided for the lesson. Let’s get started!

Preview of the final image

Step 1

Start by creating New document (New) (Ctrl + N) in Photoshop CS5 with a size of 1920×1200 pixels. (RGB mode) and a resolution of 72 pix. Use the tool Fill (Paint Bucket) (G) to fill a new layer with black.

Now take the tool Ellipse (Ellipse) (U) (Ellipse) (U) to draw an oval. Use the tool Outline selection (Direct Selection) (A) to change the shape, as shown in the image.

Step 2

Click on the icon Add layer style (Add Layer Style) located at the bottom of the layers panel and select Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay).

Click on the color bar to call. Gradient editor (Gradient Editor) and set the specified colors. Click OK to close the dialog box. Gradient editor (Gradient Editor).

We have the following figure:

Step 3

Now above the layer with our shape we will create a new layer. Select both layers and press Ctrl + E to merge them. On the rasterized layer, apply the following filter. Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur).

The result is the following:

Step 4

Using tool Ellipse(Ellipse) (U) and Outline selection (Direct Selection) (A) Create a shape as shown in the image.

Set the parameter Fill (Fill) 50%. Click on the icon Layer styles (Layer Styles) at the bottom of the layers panel and select Internal glow (Inner Glow).

Add a Stamping (Bevel and Emboss):

Apply Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay)

Click on the color bar to bring up Gradient editor (Gradient Editor), and set the specified colors. Click OK to close the dialog box.

We got the following:

Step 5

To create the next shape we will use several elements. To start with the tool Ellipse (Ellipse) (U) draw a small oval on which we will set three reference points with the tool Add anchor point (Add Anchor Point). Tool Angle (Convert Point) is needed for body shaping.

Install Fill (Fill) at 0% for this layer and add Layer style (Layer Style) Stroke (Stroke).

Set the fill type to Gradient (Gradient) and click on the color bar to call Gradient editor (Gradient Editor). Set the colors as shown below. Click OK to close the dialog box.

We got the following:

Step 6

Make a copy of the last layer and use the tool. Free transformation (Free Transform) (Ctrl + T) to shift it to the right. Install Opacity (Opacity) for this layer by 34%.

Step 7

Create a copy of the very first shape. Call Free transformation (Free Transform) to reduce this copy a little by applying different tinctures to it.

Click on the icon Layer styles (Layer Styles) at the bottom of the layers panel and select Inner shadow (Inner Shadow).

Add a External glow (Outer Glow):

Stamping (Bevel and Emboss):

Apply Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay):

Click on the color bar to open it. Gradient editor (Gradient Editor) and set the colors as shown. Click OK to close the dialog box.

We got the following:

Step 8

Using the same method, create the next element using the tool Ellipse (Ellipse) (U) and Angle (Convert point).

Install Fill (Fill) 0% for this layer and click on the icon Layer styles (Layer Styles) at the bottom of the layers panel for selection Inner shadow (Inner Shadow).

Add a Internal glow (Inner Glow)

Apply Stamping (Bevel and Emboss):

Here’s what we got:

Step 9

Add a Mask (Layer Mask) to the layer by selecting Add layer mask (Add a layer mask) at the bottom of the layers panel. Select the soft mechanical brush in black.

Paint her mask to the left, then apply the tool. Finger (Smudge) to achieve the same effect as in the image.

Step 10

Make a copy of the last layer and use the tool. Free transformation (Free Transform) to make it smaller. Also apply various settings to this layer:

Install Fill (Fill) for this layer at 0%. Click on the icon Layer styles (Layer Styles) at the bottom of the layers panel and select the option Inner shadow (Inner Shadow):

Add a Stamping (Bevel and Emboss):

Apply Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay)

Click on the color bar to open it. Gradient editor (Gradient Editor), and set the colors as shown in the image. Click OK to close the dialog box. Gradient editor (Gradient Editor).

Here’s what we got:

Add to this layer Layer mask (Layer Mask) and apply the same steps as in the previous example.

Step 11

Create another copy of the last layer created, and this time use the tool Outline selection (Direct Selection) to move the lower anchor point to the left. Apply different settings for this layer.

Install Fill (Fill) for this layer at 0%. Click on the icon Layer styles (Layer Styles) at the bottom of the toolbar and select Inner shadow (Inner Shadow).

Apply Internal glow (Inner Glow):

Apply Stamping (Bevel and Emboss):

Apply Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay)

Click on the color bar to open it. Gradient editor (Gradient Editor) and set the colors as shown in the image below. Click Ok to close the dialog box. Gradient editor (Gradient Editor).

Here’s what we got:

Step 12

Create a copy of the last layer created, make a smaller shape and add different effects for this copy.

Install Fill (Fill) 0% for this layer and click on the icon Add Layer Style (Layer Style) at the bottom of the Layers Panel to select the option Inner shadow (Inner Shadow):

Internal luminescence (Inner Glow)

Stamping (Bevel and Emboss)

Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay)

Gradient parameters are the same as in the previous step.

Step 13

Add to this layer Layer mask (Layer Mask) by selecting Add layer mask (Add a layer mask) at the bottom of the layers panel. Choose a round brush with soft black edges (set Opacity (Opacity) at 10% in the settings panel).

Paint over the mask using this brush to hide the following areas of the figure:

Step 14

Now select the tool Ellipse (Ellipse) (U), select tool Outline selection (Direct Selection) and Angle (Convert Point) to reproduce the figure we already know.

Click on the icon Layer styles (Layer Styles) at the bottom of the toolbar and select Inner shadow (Inner Shadow).

Internal glow (Inner Glow)

Stamping (Bevel and Emboss)

Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay):

Click on the color bar to bring up Gradient editor (Gradient Editor) set the colors as shown. Click OK to close. Gradient editor (Gradient Editor).

We get the following result:

Add a Layer mask (Layer Mask) by selecting Add layer mask (Add a layer mask) at the bottom of the layers panel and select a round soft brush (set Opacity (Opacity) 80% in the settings panel).

Using this brush, paint over the protruding parts of the figure:

Step 15

Now, using the method already known to us, we will reproduce the following figure.

Click Add Layer Style (Add Layer Style) at the bottom of the toolbar and select Inner shadow (Inner Shadow)

Internal glow (Inner Glow)

Stamping (Bevel and Emboss)

Gloss (Satin)

Apply Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay):

Open up Gradient editor (Gradient Editor) and set the colors as shown in the image. Click OK to close the dialog box. Gradient editor (Gradient Editor).

Here’s what we got:

Step 16

Create a copy of the created layer and select Free transformation (Free Transform) Ctrl + T, place it as shown in the image. Remove Layer style (Layer Style) Stamping (Bevel and Emboss).

Step 17

Create a new layer and use a round hard brush to draw a small circle of color # 60FFC3 (set Opacity (Opacity) at 20% in the settings panel).

This is what happens:

Step 18

Create a copy of the last layer created and apply the following filter: Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur). Place this layer below the previous one. To better see the effect, hide the top layer.

Here’s what we got:

Make the top layer visible again:

Then rasterize the previously created layer. Create a new layer above it, select both layers in the layers panel and press Ctrl + E to merge them. Create a copy of the rasterized layer and select the tool Free Transformation (Free Transform) to make the layer smaller in size by placing it as shown below:

Step 19

Now create a small oval with the tool Ellipse (Ellipse) (u).

Click on the icon Add Layer Style (Layer Style) at the bottom of the layers panel and select Inner shadow (Inner Shadow).

Internal glow (Inner Glow):

Stamping (Bevel and Emboss)

Apply Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay)

Click on the color bar to call. Gradient editor (Gradient Editor) and set the colors as shown. Click OK to close. Gradient editor (Gradient Editor).

Here is what happened:

Step 20

Create multiple copies of the last layer created and select the tool Free transformation (Free Transform) (Ctrl + T) to resize copies by placing them, as shown in the image below:

Step 21

On the next new layer using a brush Soft Mechanical color # FFFF00 paint over, as shown in the image below.

This is what should happen:

Install Blend mode (Blend Mode) for this layer on Hard mix (Hard Mix).

Step 22

Using the tool Ellipse (Ellipse) (U), create a small oval.

Click on the icon Add layer styles (Add layer styles) at the bottom of the layers panel and select External glow (Outer Glow).

Apply Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay):

Click on the color bar to call. Gradient editor (Gradient Editor) and set the colors as shown. Click OK to close the dialog box. Gradient editor (Gradient Editor).

That’s what we did

Step 23

Create two copies of the last layer created and apply Free transformation (Free Transform) to resize copies. To select copies go to menu Layer styles (Layer Styes)> External glow (Outer Glow).

That’s what happens

Step 24

Now we need to take the tool Ellipse (Ellipse) (U) and Angle (Convert Point) to draw the next shape that looks like a stretched ellipse.

Click on the icon Add Layer Styles (Add Layer Styles) at the bottom of the Layers Panel and select Shadow (Drop Shadow).

Add a External glow (Outer Glow)

Apply Gradient overlay (Gradient Overlay)

Click on the color bar to call. Gradient editor (Gradient Editor) and set the colors as shown below. Click OK to close. Gradient editor (Gradient Editor).

Here’s what we got:

Step 25

Add a Layer mask (Layer Mask) by selecting Add layer mask (Add a layer mask) at the bottom of the toolbar and select Black Soft Mechanical Brush (set Opacity (Opacity) by 15% in the settings panel).

Paint the mask using this brush to hide the areas shown in the image below:

Step 26

Create a copy of the last layer created and select the tool Free transformation (Free Transform) (Ctrl + T) to move the copy to the left.

Using this method create even more shapes.

Step 27

Click on the icon Create a new adjustment layer (Create New adjustment layer) at the bottom of the layers panel and select Curves (Curves), adjust the graph as shown below to make an easy color correction.

That’s what we did

Step 28

Create a new layer and use a round brush with soft yellow edges (Opacity (Opacity) brush 10%) to add more colors to the composition.

Here is what happened:

Step 29

Create a new layer and add more color with a stiff round brush. Set the brush color to # 19E4E4. Opacity (Opacity) and brush size change according to the settings below:

Here’s what we got:

Step 30

To the next new layer, apply the same brush, changing Opacity (Opacity) and brush diameter. Thus, we add more circles to the canvas.

Step 31

On the next new layer, draw with a soft round brush of color # CB0012 (Opacity (Opacity) brush – 15%).

Here’s what we got:

Click on the Create New adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the toolbar, select Curves (Curves) to color correct:

This is what should happen:

Our vector abstract background with multi-colored bubbles is ready!

Full size can be found here.

Download the free layered .psd file here.

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