Cut, Collage & Doodle Amazing Print Designs: Adobe Photoshop Basics | Mel Rye | Skillshare

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Cut, Collage & Doodle Amazing Print Designs: Adobe Photoshop Basics

teacher avatar Mel Rye, ✎ Artist + Educator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Tools & Materials


    • 3.

      Having A Theme (Or Not)


    • 4.



    • 5.



    • 6.



    • 7.



    • 8.

      Bringing Your Elements Into One File


    • 9.

      Adding Or Removing Sections


    • 10.

      Changing Size And Position


    • 11.

      Changing Colors


    • 12.

      Saving Your Files


    • 13.

      Creating Your Series


    • 14.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

In this class, you will learn how to use Photoshop to create a series of outcomes from a few quick and easy physical experiments using cutting, collage, and making marks on paper.

Here is an example of the type of experiments you will create:

In the class project, you will create a series of funky abstract print designs. The final designs will be high enough resolution to print out to put into your sketchbook or portfolio, or to put in a frame and hang on the wall.

Using the example worksheet above, the collection of designs you can create from this may look something like this (but the possibilities are endless!):

You don’t need to be able to draw to take this class, the experiments are very free and experimental, much like doodling, but I’ll also provide a few suggestions of marks to make and shapes you could cut and tear if you’re not sure where to begin. You can experiment and have fun, and get straight into making your class project!

You don’t need to be experienced with Photoshop to take this class, as I’ll be going through all the stages of the process step-by-step. There are one or two points where I refer to my other class Photoshop Basics : Creating a Simple Colour Separation as I cover some fundamentals in this class like how to scan or photograph your drawing, which may be useful for reference if you need some support with that.

This class is for anyone who is interested in illustration, graphic design, fine art or printmaking.

In particular it would really interest people who usually work by hand and would like to learn how to manipulate or combine their handmade artwork digitally, as well as those interested in taking their work into physical print processes.

To take this class you will need to already have, or be prepared to download Adobe Photoshop. Please click here for a link to download it. I use some Photoshop shortcuts in my class, which I do explain, but you may find this page useful for further reference.

Adobe Photoshop are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Adobe in the United States and/or other countries.

Meet Your Teacher

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Mel Rye

✎ Artist + Educator

Top Teacher

Hey there, I'm Mel!

I create colourful, fun and playful art. My work celebrates humour, silliness and the unexpected to create joyful pieces which have a broad appeal to both children and adults. I like to work in mixed media, and combine drawing, collage and paper cutting which I often manipulate digitally, although I'm always experimenting with new materials!

Teaching is very much part of who I am and I adore sharing the things I've picked up so far on my creative journey. You can find my work in progress, BTS, creative tips, advice and tutorials on Instagram and YouTube, so it would be great to connect there too!

... See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi. In this class, I'm going to teach you how to use Photoshop to combine various handmade elements. You're going to learn some fundamental processes in Photoshop, such as how to use layers, how to change the relative size, position, and colors of different elements in your compositions. You will cut, tear, and make marks on paper through some really simple guided exercises, which you are then going to import into Photoshop to combine and manipulate them digitally in different ways to create a range of fantastic designs really quickly and easily. My name is Mel Rye, and I'm an illustrator and art teacher with over 10 years experience. The techniques covered in this class are absolutely fundamental, both my own work as an illustrator and to the classes that I teach on Photoshop. This class is aimed at beginners, but those with a little Photoshop experience may also benefit from the processes explored. You don't need to be skilled at drawing to take this class. The guided activities are appropriate to any ability level. If you're not so confident with drawing, I'll be showing you lots of easy ways that you can create some interesting shapes and textures. You can experiment, have fun, and get straight into making your class project. You also don't need any prior experience of Photoshop to take this class, I'll be going through all the stages step-by-step. This class is great for illustrators, fine artists, graphic designers or print makers in particular, or just those who enjoy learning a new skill. In particular, it would be great for those people who usually work by hand but would be really interested in using Photoshop to manipulate their work digitally. Conversely, it may really also appeal to those who normally work digitally because you might really enjoy taking the more free and experimental approach to making your design. Because you'll be learning several key skills in Photoshop, you'll be able to apply these skills to your own work in a huge variety of ways. By the end of this class, you will be able to use Photoshop to add or remove different elements from a composition, change the relative size, position, and shape of different elements in a composition, and change the colors of different elements in your composition. This class is going to be a lot of fun, so I can't wait to see what you're going create with these skills. Join me in the next video, and I'll be outlining all the tools and materials you're going to need to take this class. 2. Tools & Materials: Here's a list of what you're going to need to take this class. An A4 printer to print out the worksheet that you're going to use to create your class project. Don't worry too much if you don't have access to an A4 printer. It's quite easy to make your own template rather than using the one that I've provided and for that you'll just need a pencil eraser and ruler. A piece of white A4 paper to print out the worksheet or draw it if you don't have a printer. A piece of colored A4 paper. It doesn't matter what color, as long as it's not too pale. A pair of scissors, a glue stick, something like Pritt stick is ideal just something that's fairly dry and isn't going to make the paper too wet. Some art materials to make marks with. Just a pen or pencil is fine, but you could also use other things like brushes, paint, charcoal. Whatever you have at home and enjoy working with will work just fine. Again, color doesn't matter, and it can be black or any color, as long as it's not too pale. Adobe Photoshop. If you don't already have Photoshop, you can subscribe to it for a month, which is about 10 pounds per month, or download a free trial. A link to this is included in the course description. A scanner. You'll need this so that we can bring your handmade experiments into Photoshop to work with them. But if you don't have access to a scanner, you could take a digital photograph instead. So now please ensure that you have access to all these materials. In the next class, I'm going to give you an overview of what we're going to be doing in the class project, so that you can choose your approach. So join me there, I can't wait to show you what we're going to be doing. 3. Having A Theme (Or Not): In the class project, we are going to be making three types official component, which we can then combine and manipulate digitally in Photoshop. One. The first is cut-out shapes from paper, which would provide large shapes for us to use in your compositions. Either as filled areas of color or using the outline of the cut shape which could be filled with another of your textures. Bear in mind these shapes can also be changed in size. Two. The second is to create some colors, textures from paper, either torn or cut, which can work really well as multiples to create patterns when laid with your larger shapes. Three. The third and final visual component is doodles. These can be any kind of marks made on paper and this is useful for adding detail and texture to your design. It's useful to know what these components are going to be so that you can choose what kind of approach you want to make when you're creating these handmade elements. One route could be to create some more experimental approach and just create random components which you can manipulate and explore once they're in Photoshop. This can be really exciting because then you're using Photoshop to find those visual connections and relationships with the different components that you've made. Or you may wish to create something a bit more specific to a particular theme. For example, it may be that you really love working with florals and that's something that you really like to incorporate into your work. An example of how this could work with our class projects would be, cut. You could cut out two different shapes of flower. Collage. You could create some smaller cutouts of flow elements. For example, stems, leaves, maybe even circles for the middle parts of the flowers. Doodle, textures, which would work really well with florals. For example, the center of the flower or textures for petals and leaves could be something really interesting to work with. Other types of themes that might work really well with the class project could include things like shells, leaves, geometric shapes, food, really anything that you can imagine. It may even be that you want to give both approaches to try. If you're a complete beginner to Photoshop, I would recommend that you take them all experimental non themed approach and just really play and have fun. That way you can then see what Photoshop is capable of and how you combine different elements, whatever you decide. In the next video, we're going to be starting to make your handmade elements. If you don't already have them place now grab all these tools. Materials are covered in the second video to hand so that we can get cracking with the making. 4. Cut: Before we begin cutting, you will need to just print out the worksheet that I've provided for you in the class project resources. If you don't have a printer, you will need a pencil and ruler, and on a white sheet of A-4 paper, draw out six squares of exactly the same size. You should find that a square of about eight centimeters by eight centimeters, is around the right size to create six squares on one sheet. If you're drawing your own template, just make sure that one; you keep the lines of the squares as light as you can. So don't press too hard. Two, all the squares are the same size. Now that you have your template, the first experiments that you're going to need to do is to cut two paper shapes from your colored paper, which are almost as big as the template squares on your worksheet. To get the size right, it can be helpful to first cut a square of color paper, which is roughly the same size as the worksheet square outline. Then cut your shape from it, taking care to try not to let it get to much smaller. If you don't have a plan or a theme field designs, here are a few examples of the types of shape which would work really well for the cut section of the experiment. You don't want any pencil marks on your colored paper shapes that you're cutting out. So if you can avoid it, just try to cut the shapes straight out of paper without drawing anything on there first. If you really need to draw your paper shape before you cut it out, try to keep the pencil lines as light as you can, and if it's possible without affecting the design, you may be have to turn the paper over to the reverse so you can't see the pencil lines, or just really thoroughly and carefully rub out the pencil marks trying not to damage your cut paper edge. Make sure that you're cut out paper shaped fits within the lines of the square on your worksheet without touching them, and then glue them both down. You need to cut two shapes to fill your first two squares on your worksheet. Once you've done this, join me in the next video and then we'll be moving on to the next two boxes, which we're going to be filling with collage. 5. Collage: The next two template books is on your worksheet. We're going to be filling with smaller colors, shapes of colored paper. There are a few different approaches you could take to do this. If you're working to a theme, you may already have a fairly good idea of what shapes or patterns are going to complement your cut-outs. Remember that the size, position, and color of whatever you create can be changed, so it doesn't need to perfectly match your cut-out shapes. When creating your colors shapes, you could be either cutting the paper or tearing it, and each of these methods is going to give you a different effect. If you're a bit stuck and need some guidance. Here are some examples of some colors shapes which would work really well for these next two boxes. If you're taking a more experimental approach to creating these compositions, why not try filling one box with torn shapes and the other with cup shapes, so that you can try out both methods. Again, please avoid pencil marks on your colored shapes, and once you've arranged them into your boxes in a way that you're happy with. Please glue them down and join me in the next video, and we'll be moving on to the Doodles. 6. Doodle: The final toolbox is on your worksheet, again to be filled with doodles. You can use any medium whatsoever to create these doodles and that material can be black or colored. If it is colored though, please just make sure that the color is nice and strong and it's not too pale. Examples of the types of materials that you might like to use to create your doodles might include; pencil, pen, any kind, a brush with ink or paint, charcoal, pastels, oil pastels, markers. Really anything that you have access to which can make marks on paper will work absolutely perfectly. Even with just one pen or one pencil, you can make absolutely limitless types of doodles and marks on paper. Let your imagination run free, explore, experiment, and just see what happens. It's best to create repeated marks or texture which are going to fill up your box completely, rather than just create smaller individual elements. The doodling parts of these exercises is the part that is possibly open to the most limitless possibilities. Therefore, it's probably the most fun bit. Here's a few examples of the type of thing which would work well but please don't let these examples limit you, really play, explore and see what you can create. 7. Scan: So hopefully you've now completed your worksheet with the first two boxes filled with cut paper shapes, the second two boxes filled with collage paper shapes, and then two boxes filled with doodle marks. We now need to digitize your worksheet by scanning or photographing it so that we can bring it into Photoshop to start playing. We're going to scan in your worksheet at high resolution, 600 DPI. Usually, I suggest scanning in its 300 DPI. So I'll explain why in this instance, I suggest a higher resolution. DPI stands for dots per inch. So the more dots there are per inch, the higher resolution and clearer the image appears. If we're scanning in our artwork at a similar size to the size that we intend to print out the finished piece, then 300 DPI would be more than adequate. In this instance though, our scanned, elements are only about 8 by 8 centimeters. We will most likely want to print them out larger than this. Say for example, you may want to print out your finished designs to fill in A4 page. So please go ahead and scan your finished worksheet in at 600 DPI. Remember, if you're not sure how to do this, check out the video, digitizing your design, in my other Skillshare class, Photoshop basics, creating a simple color separation. There is a link to this in the course description. Now that you've digitized your worksheet, this is a fantastic time to start your class project. It's great to see the individual elements who used as well as the finished designs. So once you've digitized your worksheet, why not go ahead and upload it to start your class project. You can always add the finish Photoshop designs later. I can't wait to see what you've created on your worksheet, and I'll see you in the next video. 8. Bringing Your Elements Into One File: As we work in Photoshop, I'm going to be using some simple keyboard shortcuts. I work on a Mac, so I'll often be using the Command key. If you're on a PC, just substitute the Command key for Control. You can see a full list of keyboard shortcuts on a link in the course description. You'll also notice that the keyboard shortcuts are actually listed in the menus on the right-hand side. You should now have your worksheet, either scanned or photographed, open in Photoshop. Next, we would just need to brighten it up as it's likely to be looking a little bit gray. Just go to Image, Adjustments, Brightness and Contrast. Tick the box that says, Use Legacy, and then increase the brightness and contrast until you have a nice bright white background, and strong colors on your colored paper sections, and defined lines of your doodle sections. Use the Rectangular Marquee selection tool to draw a box just inside the lines of your first cut box, so that you don't get the line included in your selection. As you draw your box, hold down the Shift key to ensure your selection has equal length sides and is a square rather than a rectangle. If you need to zoom in, to do this, you can use the Command plus, to zoom in, and Command minus, to zoom out. Then copy, which you can do on your keyboard with Command C. We're now going to create a new file to work in. So go to File and New, or Command N, and create a new document. The dialog box should be completed with the size of what's on your clipboard currently. So just check that that's the case, and then click Create. Click Command V to paste your first cut shape, which will appear as a new layer in the layers window. If you now go back to the worksheet, the Rectangular Marquee is still selected. If you take your mouse, you can click, and drag this selection to the next cut box. You can use the arrow keys to slightly adjust and nudge its position. Copy, Command C, go to a new document and paste, Command V. Repeat this step for the two collage boxes and then for the two doddle boxes, so that you end up with six layers plus your blank white background layer, in your new document. Now that you have all six elements unchanged in your document, we're going to save it as a PSD file, so that this becomes your master file. Go to File and Save as. Ensure the format drop-down says Photoshop, and chose a suitable place to save the file. Maybe it's something like master and click Save. In the next video, we are going to be starting to add or remove different sections to create your composition. When you're ready, join me there. 9. Adding Or Removing Sections: Currently you have six different elements, six different layers in your file. The first thing we're going to play with is the layer mode. By default, all your layers would be in normal mode. This is essentially a representative of it being drawn on paper with a white background. If you change the layer mode drop down from normal to multiply mode, it becomes transparent, much like your element being printed on a piece of glass, so you can see it and whatever is underneath it. If all your layers are in multiply mode, you will be able to see all of your layers at the same time. Have a play with doing that. You'll notice that where your sections of colored paper develop, the color gets stronger. Later on, we'll play around with changing the colors, so that you can get some lovely effects where colors overlap. But for now, let's just focus on the composition. You can choose to turn some layers off. Clicking the ''Eye Symbol'' on the left hand side of each layer, will turn it on and off. You can play around with choosing which sections you may, or may not like to keep. What you may also wish to do here, is to use the shape from one layer to cut out a section from another layer, using the selection tools. For this, it's really important you know which layer you're working on by checking which layer is highlighted in your Layers Window. If for example, I may wish to cut out a circle shape from my tone strips of paper. I can go into the layer with my circle on it and use the magic to select the circle. If you use the Magic Wand on your colored paper, you may find that rather than just selecting the outline of the shape, it seems to pick up the texture, giving you a strange selection like this. If that happens, experiment with changing the number in the tolerance box in your Magic Wand settings at the top. The lower the number, the more sensitive the Magic Wand is, so just try increasing that number until you're happy with your selection. Now I can select the layer with the tone strips of paper on it. If you copy ''Command C, and then paste, ''Command V'', a new layer will be added, which will have your circle shape on it, made out of your collage tone strips of paper. I can then use the eye to turn off the original tone strips layer, just leaving the circle. Alternatively, once I have the circle selected, if you go to the Select menu and select ''Inverse'', it is not what's inside the circle which is selected, but the area outside of the circle. Then you can press ''Delete'', which will leave you with just the one layer with the circle on it. As you work with a Magic Wand to select areas, you may also need to deselect or turn off your selection. You can do this by clicking ''Command D'' on your keyboard, or going to the Select menu and clicking ''Deselect''. As you begin to experiment on mixed layer modes, you may also like to experiment with changing the layer order, which you can do just by clicking and dragging the layers into whichever order you like. Remember to visualize them at that pile of paper or glass, so the layer at the top of the window is on top of the pile. If you keep a layer in normal mode, but select the background with the Magic Wand and then delete it, the shapes remaining will be opaque, but the background will have disappeared. Because we saved our original PSD file earlier with all the individual elements on it, it doesn't matter which way you prefer to work, as you can always reopen the original file. We've covered quite a few things here. To recap, one, play with the layer mode, normal versus most ply, which is opaque versus transparent. Two, turn layers off if you don't want to see them. Three, cut-out a shape from one layer by selecting the outline from another layer. In the next video, we're going to be looking at changing the size and position of the different elements in your composition. You can always keep adding and removing your different elements later. I'll see you in the next video. 10. Changing Size And Position: We can now look at changing the size and position of your elements to begin to make the composition more interesting. The primary tool we'll be using for this is the Move tool. It's really important when you're moving elements in your composition around that you know which layer you're working with, which will be highlighted in the Layers window. Something that can be both really useful. But in some instance you not want to use it, is the auto select function. This books may be checked by default in your settings at the top. What happens is when using the Move Tool, Photoshop tries to work out what you're trying to move by where you click and so automatically selects the layer. This is really useful when you're working in a big competition with loads of layers. But in our example, all the elements are very much the same size over the top of each other. It's unlikely that this is going to be very useful. It's best just to turn it off. Now you can experiment with selecting different layers and then dragging them around. Next, we will use to transform tool to make different elements bigger or smaller. If you select the layer of an element you'd like to change the size of, on your keyboard, click "Command T" and a box will appear around your element. If you then click and drag the corner of your box, the element can be made larger or smaller. Photoshop has updated this as of October 2018, before which you had to hold down the Shift key to ensure you didn't squash or stretch your element. It now changes proportionately. Holding down Shift now allows you to change it non proportionally, which you may also like to have a play with to create some different effects. Once you're happy with the changes that you've made and transform, on your keyboard, just hit "Enter". As you make an element smaller, you may also like to duplicate it. There's more than one circle, for example. To do this, just go to Layer and Duplicate Layer. Note that it will likely copy the new version exactly on top of the old one in case you can't spot it. If you're trying to make the shape look not identical to the first one, you now know how to change its size. But if you again press "Command T" to end free transform, you can rotate the element by hovering your mouse near one of the corners of the free transform box, then click and drag once it turns into a curved arrow. You may also like to try out clicking and holding down Control whilst in free transform, which will give you several options including flip horizontal and flip vertical, which can be ideal for making the same shape look slightly different. Now you know how to add, remove, duplicate, change size and position of different elements in your composition. The final and I think most exciting stage of the process is we're now going to be playing around with changing the colors. That's what we're going to be doing in the next video. 11. Changing Colors: Now we're going to experiment with changing the color of each individual element in your composition. First select the layer you want to change, color off and on your keyboard hit Command 'U'. This will give you some options to change the hue, saturation and lightness. If you're working with your doodled marks and they are black, you can turn these to color by ticking the box it says colorize. If changing the color from black, first increase the lightness and saturation a little and then you should notice that the black has become colored before you then change the hue slider. When changing the hue, moves the slider really slowly so that you can see a preview of how the color would look before you click "Okay" have a play with changing the colors of the different elements in your composition. Remember if you have overlapping elements on layers which are in multiply mode, the colors will mix. A yellow shape over a blue shape will create areas of green, for example. This can be really effective but often it's easy to get carried away and end up with too many different colors, which can result in a less plays in results. One way around this is to consider using a more limited color palette. Here are a few ideas which might help you with this. One, don't change the lightness or saturation of your collaged colored paper. Just changing the hue alone will keep the collection of colors more harmonious. Then when changing your doodled element colors try to create a similar color, just a light to darker tone of that color. Two, use variations of primary colors, the primary colors mix make all other colors. If you just use yellow, blue, or red or few main elements, they should layer really well. You can partial pull the primary colors to make them more subtle. For example, taking read into a more pinky orange spectrum may work better. Making blue more cyan and yellow more golden can still give the same effect, but in a more pleasing and subtle way. Three, look at images where you really like the colors used. Pinterest can be a great place to look for inspiration. Or you may have a favorite t-shirt, postcard, photo, notebook, anything really that you really just love the colors of and they just feel right. Get creative, have a play and I can't wait to see your color choices. 12. Saving Your Files: You've now learn a huge number of different skills in Photoshop to allow you to manipulate different aspects of your composition. Chances are, you'll now want to go back and revisit either the adding and removing or perhaps the changing of colors, or the size and position, until you hit on something that you feel works and it just feels right. Once you have something that you're happy with, you need to save it as a JPEG file so that you can upload it to your class project. Saving as a JPEG file is also what you need to do if you intend to print out your finished design. To do that, go to File and Save As, and this time changed the format dropdown to JPEG. Named the file and choose save destination somewhere suitable, and then click Save. As soon as you've done that, please revisit your class project and upload that first JPEG alongside your scanned worksheet that you uploaded earlier. I'm really looking forward to seeing what you've done with your first composition. 13. Creating Your Series: Now, you have your first design. It's really easy to keep changing how the elements work together to create more and more compositions. Depending on what you want to change, you could keep working with the same file, or you may wish to go back to that master file we created at the start, before you start to changing any of the elements and open that and start again from the beginning. Each time you create something new which you like, remember to save it as a JPEG file and upload it to your class project. At this point, it can be useful to think about whether you want all your designs to look cohesive life of collection, or if you just enjoy the experiment's nature of working in this way and so don't mind so much if they all look quite different. This may be particularly important to consider if you're intending to print them out to use in a portfolio. Keeping a consistency in your range of chosen colors will help to unify all the designs, even if they all look compositionally really diverse. 14. Final Thoughts: Congratulations on completing your cut, collage and doodle designs. Please post them in your class project, I cannot wait to see what you've created. I really hope you've enjoyed the making process and can see lots of ways that you can use all the skills that you've learned in this class in your work, in other ways. If you have any questions, technical issues, or feedback please post them in the class community board I'll be checking there regularly. The class project is based around just six different individual elements, two cut, two collage and two doodle. But maybe you can see different ways of using elements in your own work. It might be for example that you're really into paper cutting, so you just want to use cut-out shapes to create some pieces, or it might be that you're really into the mark making, so that doodling is really where you want to focus. Whatever you decide to do, and however you might adapt the class project to suit your own style and your own work I would absolutely love to see it, so please do post it in your class project. If you post any of the work that you've made from this class on social media please do tag me with #melryeskillshare, because I would love to see what you're posting. If you enjoyed this class and you'd like to be notified each time I generate a new class, please be sure to follow me, and if you enjoyed it I would be really grateful if you could leave me a review. Thank you so much for joining me in this class, I really hope that you enjoyed it and learned some new skills and techniques, and I hope I see you again in another one of my classes soon. Bye for now.