Create in Photoshop a wanted ad in the western style.

In this tutorial, I will show you how to create a Western-style wanted ad. First we draw the poster itself and convert it into a smart object, and then add a background with a tree.

You can find more great western-style designs on GraphicRiver.

1. Create a wanted advertisement

Step 1

Open an image with old paper in Photoshop. It is very convenient to work with this stock file, as it comes in two versions: solid and with torn edges. For better styling and time saving, we will take the second version with torn edges.

Double click on the background layer to transform it into a simple layer, which we call the “poster”.

Via Magic Wand Tool (W) (Magic Wand) select the white background and press the Delete key to delete it. Now we have a great poster base.

Step 2

Above we create a new layer, click on it with the right mouse button and select Create Clipping Mask (Create clipping mask) (Ctrl + Alt + G). Next, switch the blending mode of this layer to Multiply (Multiplication). Take Brush Tool (B) (Brush) with an opacity of 1-50% and light brown color # 966934 obscure the edges of the paper.

Step 3

Above the layer with the paper insert the wanted character. I will use stock photo with cowboy. Switch the blending mode of this layer to Multiply (Multiplication) and at the bottom of the layers panel click on the button Add layer mask (Add layer mask) to add a mask to the layer.

Click on the mask on the layers panel and using Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) (Rectangular selection) select the upper and lower borders of the photo. Fill selected areas with black using Paint Bucket Tool (G) (Fill). This will make more room for text.

Step 4

Move on Layer – New Adjustment Layer– Threshold (Layer – New adjustment layer – Isohelium). Install Threshold Level (Isogel level) to 111 and switch the layer blending mode to Soft Light (Soft light). Decrease Opacity (opacity) up to 54%, right click on the adjustment layer and select Create Clipping Mask (Create clipping mask) (Ctrl + Alt + G).

Add two additional adjustment layers: Hue/ Saturation (Hue / Saturation) and Posterize (Posterization). Adjust them, then reduce the layer opacity Posterize (Posterization) up to 40%:

These layers are also transformed into clipping masks (Ctrl + Alt + G) for the cowboy layer.

Step 5

Let’s add some text! Take Type Tool (T) (Text) and add the necessary labels. All words are written in capital letters, and the word “Wanted” is made underlined.

Experiment with different fonts to find the best option. I used Bell MT for the main text and Bookman Old Style for the amount of the reward.

Extra points for those who come up with the most absurd crime for our Billy!

Step 6

Right click on the text layer and select Blending Options (Overlay options). Add Stroke (Stroke) with brown stroke # 6d4a0e and Color Overlay (Color overlay) (color – # 6a3f23) with the following parameters:

Note: on the screenshot the following settings

Stroke (Stroke)

  • Size (The size): 16 pixels
  • Position (Position): Outside (Outside)
  • Blend Mode(Overlay mode): Overlay(Overlap)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 56%
  • Fill type (Stroke type): Color (Colour)

Color Overlay (Overlay color)

  • Blend Mode(Overlay mode): Normal(Normal)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 17%

Right click on the layer with layer styles and select Copy Layer Style (Copy the layer style), then right-click on the rest of the text layers and select Paste Layer Style (Paste layer style). Also apply these styles to the cowboy layer. The overlay mode “Wanted” and “Billy the Bull” set to Overlay (Overlap), and the rest – on Soft Light (Soft light).

We get this result.

We finish the design of the poster by adding a cross on the word “dead”. To do this, take the tool Line Tool (U) (Line), set on the top panel Weight (Thickness) by 20 pixels and draw two crossed black lines. We apply the same layer styles to them as for the text, and then merge them into one layer (Ctrl + E). Set the blending mode of the resulting layer to Soft Light (Soft light) and reduce Opacity (opacity) up to 75%.

We get here is a poster. Save (Ctrl + Alt + S) work in PSD format and go to the next section.

2. Background preparation

Step 1

For a poster, you can take any suitable background, but in any case you will have to edit the scene lighting. I chose a photo with a tree.

Via Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) (Rectangular lasso) select the part of the trunk next to the squirrel.

Copy (Ctrl + C) and paste (Ctrl + V) the selected area onto the squirrel to hide it. Merge layers together (Ctrl + E).

Step 2

Press Ctrl + J to duplicate the background layer. Apply to copy the mask and black hard brush (B) paint the mask, without touching the tree. As a result, the tree on the mask should remain white, and everything else should be black.

Next, over the original layer, add a new layer and transform it into a clipping mask (Ctrl + Alt + G). Switch the blending mode of this layer to Soft Light (Soft light) and reduce Opacity (opacity) up to 58%. On this layer we put a soft black shadow to better highlight the tree.

3. Add a poster on the tree

Step 1

To begin, open the file with the poster in Photoshop. Select all the layers on the layers panel, click on them with the right mouse button and select Convert to Smart Object (Convert to smart object). Then right click on the smart object, select Export Contents (Export content) and save the poster as a smart object.

Switch to a document with a tree. Move on File – Place Embedded (File – Place embedded) and paste the saved smart object with a poster above the tree layers.

Now, if you need to correct the poster, you can double-click the thumbnail of the smart object in the layers panel to open it in a separate window.

Step 2

Select a layer with a poster, press Ctrl + T to switch to the free transformation mode, right-click on the document and select Warp (Deformation). We must deform the poster so that it looks nailed to the tree.

When finished with the transformation, press Enter to apply the changes. After that, right click on the layer and select Blending Options (Overlay options). Apply style Drop Shadow (Shadow), click OK and temporarily hide the shadow by clicking on the eye icon opposite the layer style name in the layers panel.

Note: on the screenshot the following settings

Drop Shadow (Shadow)

  • Blend Mode(Overlay mode): Multiply(Multiplication)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 27%
  • Angle (Angle): 120
  • Distance (Offset): 37 pixels.
  • Spread (Swings): 8%
  • Size(Size): 7 pixels.

Add a mask for the poster. Activate Brush Tool (B) (Brush) and black color hold on the bottom right corner to hide it. Now the poster does not overlap the vegetation in the foreground.

Step 3

Next we add bullet holes and nail. To begin, copy and paste the bullet holes into the working document, rotate them and switch the layer blending mode to Multiply (Multiplication).

Right click on the layer with holes and select Blending Options (Overlay options). Add two layer styles: Bevel Emboss (Embossed) and Drop Shadow (Shadow) with the following parameters:

Note: on the screenshot the following settings

Bevel Emboss (Embossed)

  • Style (Style): Inner bevel (internal bevel)
  • Depth (Depth): 84%
  • Direction (Direction): Up (up)
  • Size (Size): 3 pix
  • Soften (mitigation): 0 pix
  • Shading (Shading)
  • Angle (Angle): 120
  • Altitude(Height): 30
  • Highlight mode (Mode backlight): Screen (Screen)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 54%
  • Shadow mode (Mode shadows): Multiply(Multiplication)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 29%

Drop shadow (Shadow)

  • Blend Mode(Overlay mode): Multiply(Multiplication)
  • Opacity (Opacity): 30%
  • Angle (Angle): 120
  • Distance (Offset): 0 pix.
  • Spread (Span): 0%
  • Size(Size): 32 pixels.

Step 4

Via Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) (Rectangular lasso) select the nail in the stock photo, copy and paste the selected area on the working document on the new layer. Place the nail at the top of the poster so that the sheet looks nailed to the tree.

Step 5

Now add the falling leaves in the foreground. For this using Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) (Rectangular lasso) select the leaf near the tree.

Then double-click Ctrl + J to duplicate the sheet. For each copy, apply the transformation (Ctrl + T), rotate them, then apply the filter Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (Filter – Blur – Blur in motion). Install Angle (Angle) at 65 degrees, Distance (Offset) – 15 pixels.

4. Adjust the lighting and color.

Step 1

Most of the collage is ready, so we can switch to refining the lighting and creating a more harmonious color palette. To begin, add a correction layer above the hole layer. Curves (Curves) and transform it into a clipping mask. Raise the curve higher so that the bullet holes become brighter.

Step 2

Let’s add more scuffs on the poster. Create a new layer and fill it with brown color # 704f25, then switch the blending mode to Multiply (Multiplication). Add a mask to the layer, but fill it with completely black color.

Without removing the selection from the mask, draw a white brush (B) in those places where you want to add more scuffs and shadows. Do not forget to draw the shadow of the nail!

Step 3

We now turn to color correction! Add two adjustment layers Color Lookup (Search for color) and customize them as shown below. Decrease Opacity (opacity) layer Teal to 70%, and Sunset – up to 76%.

Next, go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Gradient Map (Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Gradient Map). In the settings, choose a black and white linear gradient and switch the blending mode to Saturation (Saturation). Reduce the opacity of the gradient layer to 35%.

Step 4

In this paper, do not interfere with a little smoke from the shots. Copy and paste the stock photo with smoke on the working paper and duplicate (Ctrl + J) it. We place copies of smoke on the bullet holes and switch the blending mode to Screen (Lightening).

Add a mask to each smoke layer and hide the edges to create a smoother transition.

Step 5

We return to the duplicate of the background layer, on which we left only the tree, and everything else was masked. Above we add a new layer and create a clipping mask (Ctrl + Alt + G). Take Brush Tool (B) (Brush) and in the right part of the tree draw a smooth black shadow. This will make the work more atmospheric.

Step 6

Make the layer style visible. Drop Shadow (Shadow), which we applied to the layer with the poster. Above we create a new adjustment layer. Color Lookup (Search for color) to diversify the color palette and add shades of sunset. Switch overlay mode to Darken (Dimming) and decrement Opacity (opacity) up to 83%.

Step 7

Create a new layer and switch its blend mode to Overlay (Overlap). With a soft round brush (B) we paint highlights all over the stage (color # b1a9a3). Add more highlights on bullet holes, nail and leaves.

Our task is to create a lighting scheme that will direct the viewer’s eye to the poster immediately.

Step 8

To increase the contrast, add the last adjustment layer. Color Lookup (Search for color) and reduce its opacity to 40%.

Step 9

I want to make the details of the poster clearer, but you can stop and save the version of the work that you did. To do this, we first merge all the layers together (Ctrl + E). Then duplicate (Ctrl + J) the resulting layer and apply to the copy Filter – Other – High Pass (Filter – Other – Color Contrast). Install Radius (Radius) 4.5 pixels and click OK.

Switch the copy overlay mode to Overlay (Overlap). After that we take Eraser Tool (E) (Eraser) and delete everything except the tree and the poster. Now the result should look much clearer!

We are done!

Congratulations on completing the lesson! Photo cowboy can replace your own or your friends.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial. Feel free to leave questions or share the results in the comments below.

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