Fundamentals of Photoshop: Color, Swatches, and Blending (Photoshop IV) | Meg Lewis | Skillshare

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Fundamentals of Photoshop: Color, Swatches, and Blending (Photoshop IV)

teacher avatar Meg Lewis, Designer, comedian, performer

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

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.

      Intro to Color Windows


    • 3.

      Color Settings and Windows


    • 4.

      Intro to Swatches


    • 5.

      Swatches and Foreground/Background Colors


    • 6.

      Intro to Blending, Opacity, and Transparency


    • 7.

      Blending Modes, Transparency, Opacity


    • 8.

      Intro to Filters


    • 9.



    • 10.

      Intro to Brushes


    • 11.



    • 12.

      Retro Poster Project


    • 13.

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About This Class

In collaboration with Adobe, we're excited to announce a free 5-class series on Adobe Photoshop CC for Beginners that'll run from March 1 – March 31st 2015. Each week, you’ll create projects in Photoshop and submit your work on Skillshare for feedback from your classmates, pushing your skills even further.

If you complete all project assignments before the final deadline, you’ll be eligible to receive a free voucher to take the Adobe Certified Associate exam in Photoshop (a $95 value). The top student chosen by the class teaching assistants (TAs) will also be awarded 1 free year of Creative Cloud membership. Judging will be based on quality of projects submitted and student participation.

This is the fourth class in the 5-class series.

Important Notice

A trial of Adobe Photoshop CC or Creative Cloud membership will be needed to get the most out of this course. If you’re not a Creative Cloud member we recommend that you download a free 30-day trial of Adobe Photoshop CC when you start the course.

→ Click here to start your 30-day free trial of Adobe Photoshop CC

→ Click here to purchase a Creative Cloud membership

Welcome to the fourth class in this five-part series of Photoshop classes. Throughout this series we'll cover everything you need to know to become a Photoshop pro. Knowing how to use Photoshop is an incredibly useful skill and is commonly used by anyone from photographers to graphic designers and illustrators. It is such a robust program that can be extremely overwhelming. I'll do my best to make you feel comfortable while I teach you the ins and outs.

This series is perfect if you're slightly familiar with yet aren't completely confident in your Photoshop skills. If you have never opened Photoshop and are feeling brave; this class is great for you too! It’s absolutely fine if you’ve never opened Photoshop until now.

Photoshop is such an exciting program as it allows you to produce so many kinds of beautiful things. Anything from beautiful business cards and stationery to websites tailored just for you can be created in Photoshop. The goal of this series is to get you to expert level so that your imagination can go straight to Photoshop’s canvas.

What You'll Learn
In this class (Photoshop IV) we'll study inspiration and learn how to archive that inspiration. We'll save color swatches and add them to our library. I'll show you how to use filters to your advantage and use brushes to take your work to an expert level. Topics covered in this class include:

  • Color Options and Windows. We'll get familiarized with Photoshop’s many color features, windows, and settings. I’ll also let you guys in on the difference in color between designing for print and web.
  • Color Swatches. We’ll start off by taking an image from the internet and sampling colors. I’ll show you guys how to find color inspiration and then save those colors to your Photoshop swatches. We’ll then study how to save and load swatch libraries so that you can archive beautiful color combinations.
  • Blending Modes and Transparency. Blending modes can be very tricky. When used properly, they can create a beautiful effect that only Photoshop can master. I’ll show you guys when to use blending modes and how they can be most effective. We’ll also look at opacity vs transparency and when to use each.
  • Filters. Filters are a crazy thing that is unique to Photoshop. When used incorrectly, they can make your work look terrible. However, there is a time and a place for filters. I’ll show you guys which filters you need to know and which to leave behind.
  • Brushes. Brushes are such a cool aspect of Photoshop that can create stunning work. Knowing how to use brushes will really take your Photoshop abilities to the next level. I’ll show you how to apply various brushes and load new brushes that you’ve found online. We’ll also take a look at some gorgeous examples of Photoshop art made with brushes.

What You'll Make
At the end of the class you'll design a retro-style poster using color, typography, and the new techniques learned in this class. Take a look above at my retro reproduction to see what type of work you'll be able to complete in this class.

Required Class Supplies
Adobe Photoshop. If you don’t have the program you can download a 30 day free trial here. All class tutorials are recorded on a Mac using Photoshop via Adobe Creative Cloud. You do not need a Mac or the most recent version of Photoshop to follow along. Most of the tools are consistent across all versions of Photoshop. 

Please note: Photoshop Elements is a limited version of Photoshop and is not recommended for this course.

Other Classes in This Series:

Meet Your Teacher

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Meg Lewis

Designer, comedian, performer


Hi! I'm Meg! I'm a designer, performer, and educator making the world a happier place through books! talks! writing! spaces! podcasts! workshops! and videos! I work with brands like Dropbox, Pinterest, Facebook, Condé Nast Digital, Slack, NPR, Vox, VICE, Google, and Bloomingdale’s to create playful content and experiences that cultivate a positive emotional connection between their brand and community. I love to combine comedy with my unique skillset to create businesses, projects, and offerings that turn traditionally boring subjects into fun, impactful experiences!

As an expert on non-conformity and personal brand, my educational resources, classes, and workshops have helped thousands of brands and individuals shine!

&nb... See full profile

Level: All Levels

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1. Trailer: I'm Meg Louis. This class is my favorite final project of the entire Photoshop series. Throughout this class, we'll study color inspiration and learn how to archive and save those colors. Then, we'll learn some advanced techniques in Photoshop that will take your work to highly skilled level. I'll show you guys how to use filters most effectively to enhance your work. Lastly, it's onto brushes, where we will study just how crazy Photoshop art can get when brushes are involved. At the end of the class, you'll be designing a retro style poster using color, typography, and the new techniques you learned in this class. 2. Intro to Color Windows: Let's start out with our lesson on color by getting familiarized with Photoshop's many color features, windows, and settings. I'll also let you guys in on the difference in color between designing for print and designing for web. 3. Color Settings and Windows: Hello everybody, welcome to class number four in this series of Skillshare classes on Photoshop. This class is all about color, and I really want to go over a few different things about color with you, as well as show you around a different color options in Windows throughout Photoshop. The first thing that need to know, and we touched briefly on this in the first class of the series, is the difference between designing for print and designing for Web, with color. So, there are two different color modes, and whenever you create your new file in Photoshop, you can see that there are two different options that you need to know about for color, which is RGB and CMYK. Now, we've been doing things in RGB along the way just because that is designing for screens, and we're really just doing that for this class, we're not really printing anything in this class. In my day-to-day job, I don't ever really print anything, I mostly design for the Web, so I'm mostly designing in RGB. Again, RGB stands for Red, Green and Blue and that is designing for screens or for the Web, for devices like iPhones, websites, iPad apps, Android apps, all kinds of things, I'll use RGB because it's not being printed, is just being looked at on screens and devices. Quite nice. CMYK stands for Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Key. Key, just so you know, is a printing term for black. CMYK is the color mode you need to be in if you're printing, and printers all work in CMYK format. If you've ever had a printer where you have to buy separate ink cartridges, you might know a little bit about those CMYK colors, because you need to have a separate cartridge for each of those. All right. So, the thing to know about RGB, is each color value red, green and blue has a number of zero through 255, and that's a random number. If all of the values are at zero, you get black. As you can see here, our color is black. If we change everything to 255, you get white. Okay, so combinations in between create different colors, and that's generally all you need to know about how to make colors in RGB. I personally like to just use the Color Picker, and pick a color and let those numbers calculate on their own. I think that that's an easier way of doing it, but if you think in numbers and you prefer doing it that way, be my guest. To reiterate what I've said in previous classes with choosing colors, there are a few different ways that you can do it. Again, I like to click on the color itself, which brings up this Color Picker, and pick my colors this way. I just like it because his view is a little larger, and friendlier, and easier to find what color I'm looking for. However, you can use this little gradient slider rainbow Dealey Bob, to choose your color as well, by grabbing the eyedropper, and moving it around and picking your color that way. I just think this is too small and it's a little bit challenging for me to find the exact color that I'm looking for this way. Another thing you can do, is go down here in your toolbar, at the bottom left-hand corner and pick your color from this part of the toolbar. It's the same as picking your color up here, nothing different brings up the Color Picker, and helps you select your color this way, and as you can see it reflected up here and my color Window as well. So, it's no big deal you can choose your color whichever way you please it's up to you. The last general thing you need to know about color is dealing with swatches, and we will move on to the swatches In the next lesson, but for now I just wanted to show you around the color settings in Photoshop, and we'll dive in deeper in the next lesson. 4. Intro to Swatches: We'll start off by taking an image from the Internet and sampling colors. I'll show you guys how to find color inspiration, and then save those colors to your Photoshop swatches. We'll then study how to save and load swatch library so you can archive beautiful color combinations. 5. Swatches and Foreground/Background Colors: Another way to choose colors is by going through your swatches. So, as you can see, there is the swatches window over here attached to the color window. You can see a lot of swatches are ready to go for you right in here. If you want to, you can create your own swatches. So, for instance, if you're working on a project where you had teal and a navy blue color and they weren't necessarily over here in your swatches because they're kind of colors that you made up on your own, let's find a nice teal. So, say this teal, I have and I want to add it to my swatches so that I can save it for later. I selected that color, it's ready to go, and all I need to do is click on this new swatch button, like so. I can name my swatch or I can leave it as the default title of Swatch 1. I'm going to call it Teal Custom, and then when I press enter, it's over here in my swatches and I can save it and use it as often as I want. Again, if I want to save a navy blue color that's a custom color of my own, I can set this color here, go down to blue, find that rich navy blue, there we go, press okay, and then again create new swatch, call this Navy Custom. Perfect. So now, that teal color and the navy color is ready to go. So, for instance, if I made a rectangle, it defaults to navy because that's color I still have selected. But if I wanted it to be a different color, like the teal color for instance, I will go over to the rectangle in my layers, double-click on that, which brings up the color picker, I can either try to find the same teal but that's going to be pretty challenging for me to do. Or I can go over here to swatches and just grab that swatch and then press okay, and now it's that teal color for me, which is quite nice. Say I don't actually like any of the swatches that are in my swatches window and I want to start fresh with my own new swatches, it's kind of a challenge to go through and delete each one of these at a time, and to do that you would just drag and drop the swatch into the trash can and do it that way. In the past, I've done this and it takes forever because you end up accidentally double-clicking the swatch and bringing it up and then it's a whole huge challenge. Something easy that you can do is hover over the actual swatch, and then press on your Alt option key and you'll see some scissors pop up, and you can just click on that with the scissors and keep clicking and keep clicking, which actually creates this nice animation of colors moving, but what I'm really doing is I'm just cutting out each swatch one at a time, like so. So, I'm doing this, get rid of all my swatches, I don't like them, almost done, almost done. This is really an exercise to see how fast you can click. Almost done. Okay, let's cut these rest of them out. So look, I have cut out all my swatches, I have none left, and now I can start from scratch. So, say I want to save some swatches for later. My work day-to-day, I have different color schemes for different clients, and every client has their own set of colors that I need to be using throughout the entire project. So, if we have a client that uses particularly green hues, so let's say we were sampling their colors and they uses dark forest green, we would save that color to our swatches, we could name it Forest, then we can save the next color which is like a lighter paler green. We can save this, call it Pale Green. Their next color is like a grayish green, for instance. Save this, call it, oops, sorry, didn't call it anything, call it Grey Green. One last color, let's do a very, very, very deep dark green. Save it here, call it Dark Green. Great. Okay. So, we have our four colors for our color scheme here. So, if I wanted to save it and refer back to it later, there's a couple of things I can do. I can go up here to this little menu icon and click on it and do Save Swatches, and we just need to give it a name. So we'll call this GreenColorPalette and save. Something else that you need to know that you can do is you can reset your swatches at anytime to those default swatches that we didn't like by just clicking on that menu again and going to Reset Swatches. It we'll say, "Are you sure you want to replace your swatches with the default colors?" Let's say okay. Look, there are those colors again that we hated so much that we just spent so much time deleting. But if we want to load those swatches that we just saved, our GreenColorPalette, we would go up to the menu and we could say either Load Swatches which will load those green color swatches on top of existing colors or we could do a Replace Swatches. So, let's replace them. In here, in our color swatches window file, Photoshop has saved our color swatches in that file for us. Thank you, Photoshop. So, I can select GreenColorPalette and open, and now it has replaced those default colors with our green colors again. Something that I mentioned before but it definitely needs to be mentioned again is that you have what's called the foreground and a background color. So, if I interchange between this dark green color and the light pale green color, I would select this background white color here and then put it on light green and press okay. So now, I have this rich dark green color as my foreground color and the light green as my background color. So, if I'm creating shapes and I want it to be dark green but then I create another shape that I want to be light green, I can easily toggle between the two and now make a light green shape. It's really nice if you're using two colors often to just easily toggled between those two colors often on as often as you need to. That's really how foreground and background colors become beneficial to you and Photoshop. 6. Intro to Blending, Opacity, and Transparency: Blending modes are a fickle Photoshop beast. When used properly, they can create a beautiful effect that only Photoshop can master. I'll show you guys when to use blending modes and how they can be most effective. We'll also look at opacity versus transparency and when to use each. 7. Blending Modes, Transparency, Opacity: Let's talk about blending modes in Photoshop. They are a really beneficial thing that you can do with colors and even photos and different kinds of layers and they are things that you apply to layers to get them to overlay on top of one another in interesting ways. We've touched briefly on these but I would like to definitely dive in much deeper and see what kind of cool things we can do together. Okay. So, let's start off with some simple shapes like some rectangles first of all. I'll make a rectangle here. Let's just keep that as purple, that's fine. Let's make another rectangle. Let's call this layer first purple rectangle. Okay. So, let's make another layer. Another rectangle. Let's call this one. Let's pick our color first to jump ahead of ourselves. Let's pick this nice pinkish reddish color. Okay. So, let's call this pink rectangle. Okay. So, let's start adding some blending modes. Now, the thing to know is that these are your blending modes right here this little drop-down menu. When you click it, you can see all of the different kinds of blending modes that we have, and there are so many, and they all do so many spectacular things. Now, it's hard to say what each one does so I would highly recommend that you just play around with them to see visually what they do. Darken obviously just darkens the one on top, and you can see that whenever you rearrange them, sometimes they'll have different effects on the other one. So darken, we have multiply, which is my personal favorite. Look at that, it just multiplied the color pink right on top of purple, so you get this color that's right in between pink and purple and I think it looks quite nice. But as you go down, you can kind of see the different effects that these have on the shape. Some of them don't do anything, some of them do really interesting things, and then whenever you move into photography, you'll notice that there are other effects that happen as well. This is kind of interesting here. Hard light is our blending mode here. Linear light. This is just one of the most important things about Photoshop and why Photoshop is so much better than most applications is that there are just so many amazing things that you can do like this, constantly. Saturation is nice. Color is always nice, and luminosity is nice that adds a color effect to the area of pink that is on top of the purple. But then the rest of the pink layer is turned to grey. Okay. So, let's put this back on multiply because we will be using a lot of multiply blending modes in our final project and also darken if you're interested. But I'm going to keep it and multiply for now. Let's now talk about the difference between these two settings over here opacity and fill, and we touched briefly on this before whenever we were doing a stroke around our letters and during our greeting card lesson in the last class. But I just kind of want to go over it again in more detail. So, at first glance, bumping opacity down, just [inaudible] the transparency and that seems pretty self-explanatory. But fill on the other hand, seems to be doing the exact same thing. Now, if we added a stroke onto the outside of the shape, we would have the fill as being the pink part inside of the shape and the stroke is simply just something outside of the fill. All right, and the fill would just bumped down the shape color not a stroke. So, let's add a stroke and see that an application. I'll double-click on pink rectangle to bring up our layers styles, and go to stroke. As you can see, a stroke has been added. Let's make it a little larger, 10 pixels and let's set it on the inside because I don't like that round edge it was getting. As you noticed, we can set blending modes to our actual stroke itself, but I'm not going to do that. I would rather just go to normal for now. Keep it at black is fine. Okay. So as you see, when I bumped down fill, it's just taking the fill color, the pink color and making that transparent rather than making the stroke transparent. However, if I went to opacity and bumped down the opacity, as you can see, it's making the stroke transparent as well as the fill. So, that is the general difference between opacity and fill. 8. Intro to Filters: Filters are a crazy thing that is completely unique to Photoshop. When used incorrectly, they can make your work look terrible. However, there's a time and a place for filters to be used. I'll show you guys which filters you need to know and which to leave behind. 9. Filters: Let's now dive deep into what Photoshop filters are and which ones you'll need to know. There are quite a few filters. You can see, if we click up here on "Filter", How many there are? There are so many that I use very frequently, and there are so many that I never use at all. So, we will go one by one and learn about some of the filters one at a time. Let's start with the Liquify filter as it is a cool filter that I think it's fun to learn, it allows you to warp photos and push things in and pull things out. So for instance, when a Photoshop retoucher is working on a magazine spread and they need to make a model look skinnier than they already are in certain areas, this is exactly what they're doing. Okay. So, we have our Liquify window up here, you can see here in this frame. Let's zoom on in on my face. So, I have a photo here of myself and maybe I want my chin to look a little thinner, remove a little bit of the double chin. So, we'd zoom on into that. Here, we have this thing called the Pucker tool. There are lots of tools within in the Liquify filter. The Pucker tool pushes things in, whereas other tools like the Bloat tool will push things out. So here, we have my Pucker filter. You can see that if I click and drag, I can actually pull things in very subtly. You might not even be able to tell that things are moving, but they certainly are. If you want things to move along a little bit faster, you can move up your brush size, let's move it up to 25. Now, you can actually see that I'm pushing things in. The line isn't very smooth because I'm not being very meticulous for the class. But as you can see, this is what would happen, and we're just pushing things in here. Be mindful not to touch the hair because it will pull the hair into the face. But this is exactly how you can make your face and chin appear thinner. Then, you can go through and use that Patch tool that I told you about in the first class, and remove some of these imperfections here. Okay. So, if I wanted to use the Bloat tool, for instance, to make my lips larger, I suppose I could do that. Let's get our brush size about yay big. Look at that, huge lips. I'm going to look terrifying when this is over, aren't I? So, this is how you would do that to make our lips bigger. Also again, I would be much more subtle about this if I were doing this in real life. I would probably make the brush size much smaller and really zoom in and really be meticulous with this. But for this class, this is fine, we're working absolutely fine here. So, if we go into our history window, I can preview the way I looked before versus now. Already, you can see my lips are huge. I look pretty ridiculous. I actually prefer the way that I really look as opposed to that, but you be the judge. The Liquify filter is so much fun. I encourage you to play around with it. Let's move on to the next filter. The next filter that I would like to go over with you guys is the Blur filter. This one I use quite often in web design and just with editing photos. So sometimes, you'll need to make things blurry for fun, and that's a good thing sometimes. If you go to "Filter", "Blur", you can see all of these different kinds of blur. I prefer the Gaussian blur, that is my favorite kind of blur because it gives a nice even blur over the all entire photo. You can see if I up the pixels, it gets extra blurry, not blurry. Sometimes, it looks really nice to have this subtle, blurred background to things, where you're changing from light to dark colors or if I was using a photo that isn't black and white, you can get a nice mix of colors that way, I highly recommend it. But if we just want a subtle blur and put text over this photo, that could look really nice, and it would give a little nice focal point to our text. That's Gaussian blur, I'm going to cancel out of this and show you another kind of blur. For instance, we have the Motion blur, which would make me look like I'm moving. I don't particularly like this one as it makes me look feel dizzy, but it's up to you, you can change the angle of the motion so it looks like I'm moving up and down or side to side while this photo is being taken. I don't quite like this blur, but it's up to you on whether you do or not. Lastly, we can look at a blur that I really don't think you'll ever use, but I just want to show you that it exists. It's Shape blur and it gives you the blur and the shape of this object that you've selected. I'm not really sure what the application of this would be, but it is up to you on whether you want to use it. I think it's kind of strange, but I'm curious to see if you guys find an application. Next stop, let's go to "Filter", "Distort", and let's do some distortion. These are fun to play with. But again, these are kind of filters that I never use, but let's play with them anyway. Let's go to "Pinch", and you might be thinking maybe this is like the Liquify, Pucker tool that I was using, and it's really not. So just to show you, you can't really tell what's going on if I zoom out, but if I apply this Pinch filter and press "OK", you can see it in our real photo and look what it did to me. It makes me look like some sort of mutant. It certainly looks like I have a very tiny head and a large body. Okay, that's the Pinch filter. Again, we can go into distort and try some of these other ones like Ripple, and that gives a nice ripply effects to my face. Again, these look a little cheesy, but it's up to you if you like them or not. Again, "Filter", "Distort", let's try, let's see. Let's try Wave. How's that? You can already see in this preview, that it looks pretty crazy. But again, here's what it does. Let's move on to the next filter, the Noise filter. All right. So, we can add noise, dust, and scratches or we can even remove noise from our photograph. So this photograph, let's just try adding some regular old noise. So you can see, as I turn this up, it's adding a lot of fuss to make it look like our photo is grainy. If we add a subtle amount, sometimes it looks quite nice to make it look like this was taken with an old film camera, and that's generally what noise does. You can change it from uniform to Gaussian, which is just a subtle change to the speckles or you can change the speckles from being colorful like this to being more monochromatic, which I actually prefer, just like that. So, it turns our photo into looking a little bit older and more interesting. That is it for the filters that I highly recommend and use most frequently. Again, they are something that's a little cheesy if used in excess, but if you use filters wisely and really subtly, they can do some really wonderful things for your Photoshop designs. 10. Intro to Brushes: Brushes are such a cool aspect of Photoshop that can create stunning work. Knowing how to use brushes, will really take your Photoshop abilities to the next level. I'll show you how to apply various brushes and load new brushes that you found online. We'll also take a look at some gorgeous examples of Photoshop art that is made with brushes. 11. Brushes: It's time to go over Photoshop brushes, finding new brushes and applying those brushes. So, in order to bring up brushes, we need to go into window and find our brush window. Open that right on up and look at all of these things in the brush and brush presets window. My goodness, there are so many things we can do. Everything is grayed out right now because we don't have our brush tools selected. So, let's go into our toolbar, select brush or press B to get to our brush. Now, look, everything is open. So, we can see over here all of our different kinds of default Photoshop brushes, and you can brush on your canvas and test out how all of these behave and look. Photoshop has the way of if you brush on top of an existing brush point, it gets darker, and darker, and darker like an actual brush. So, you can play around with all these brushes, see what they do. You can move them around or just stamp them once to give an effect. There's a leaf that we could just stamp ones. Moving around, some of them are fanned out more than others, some of them are really soft, others are really hard. You can just play around. So, we've fiddled around with all the brushes by now. I'm going to go into my history window and scroll all the way up to the top to go back to my original state. There's how my original file was. Let's go back into our brushes. We also have these brush presets, which are preset sizes and widths of brushes that Photoshop is recommending for us. For instance, this brush here, they recommend. If we scroll down, this brush they also recommend. So, these are just preset widths. We can also adjust the size of the brush itself to bigger or smaller and see what it does that way. If we go back to brush, there are some additional options over here like shape dynamics, scattering, texture. We're going to add actual textures and patterns onto our brushes. Remember these bubbles from before, I can add this to our brush. These are all very advanced things that if you plan on painting a lot in Photoshop and really using brushes, I would highly recommend that you get to know these presets and all of these options. But for now, I'm just going to show you how to find some brushes online and then apply them into your brushes on Photoshop. Let's start off by going to one of my favorite sites for finding resources including brushes and download some brushes from that site. It is called Creative Market. You can see They have plenty of resources for designers, photographers and artists. The best part is that you can find Photoshop brushes here. So, if I search Photoshop brushes, I can see all kinds of brushes that are ready to go for me to download. I specifically like realistic type brushes and I think they look most interesting. So, for instance, maybe I want to download this Grunge Photoshop brushes pack. This comes with a set of various five brush sets of all different textures, and you can see here all the different five brush sets. So, I already purchased this and I've already downloaded it and put it onto my desktop. It was only $4, not very expensive. But now it is on my desktop right here, so we could see my brushes that I've downloaded here. I'm not going to double-click on them to open them quite yet. I'm going to go back into Photoshop and load them that way. In order to load brushes, I need to go back into my brush presets window right here. I need to click on the little menu up here in the upper right-hand corner. You can see all of these presets here and all of these options, but I just want to load some new brushes that I downloaded. I'll go to my desktop and go to those brushes that I downloaded and load them in this way. So, we'll start with the first one. I'll open it. Where did it go? I think it actually went all the way down to the very bottom. There you can see them. These are the coffee stain ring brushes that I just downloaded. So, if I open up my brush tool and I scroll all the way down to these presets, these are the new brushes that I've downloaded. You can see them here. So, there's my coffee stain. It's huge, so I can lower the size substantially. Let's raise it a little bit more, and then there's my coffee stain. So, if I click a few times, it gets darker, one time lighter. Pretty cool, right? Let's try loading another brush just to see if it does the same thing. Let's go to our brush presets, click on the little menu, and go load brushes. Here has remembered my folder of new brushes. Let's go to this second brush set, open that, and we'll scroll down. Yeah, there we go. There are new brushes at the bottom and these are little Grunge paper frame edges. You can see, like that. We have all four corners here which is really nice. Again, let's lower that, just like that. So again, brushes are an extremely valuable thing to know how to use, and I think that I have taught you pretty well to go ahead and find some brushes online or to be able to use the default brushes. The important thing to remember are the two windows; we have brush and also brush presets. Always make sure that your brush tool on the toolbar is selected so that you can use those brushes. Make sure to look at your brush tip shapes and go crazy because it's really fun to use all of these little options, thickness and length to mess with your brushes and alter them in Photoshop before using them. A huge tip is to always make a new layer each time you're using brushes, so that you don't have to completely start all the way over whenever you make a mistake. Trust me, with brushes, you will make plenty of mistakes because they are pretty tricky and very finicky but exceptionally fun to use. 12. Retro Poster Project: Hey everybody. All right, let's talk about the final project. You are tasked with designing a retro style poster using a lot of colors, the pen tool and a ton of blending modes. So, I've created this Pinterest board as inspiration and I've linked it into the resources section for this class. You can see here that we have a lot of really retro style abstract, typographic posters and prints here, and you are welcomed to just take one of these and try to recreate it or create your own. For the purpose of this class and this tutorial, I am going to try to recreate one of these other posters. So let's get going. I think I want to recreate this poster right here and in order to do so, I need to first save this poster to my desktop, so I'm just going to drag and drop it and now let's open up Photoshop. I'm creating a new Photoshop document here and let's just say that I want to make it 800 pixels wide by 200 pixels tall because I'm creating a poster and that's kind of a common dimension. So, let's name this retro poster. So, here's our poster, I'll press F to go into full screen mode and now I zoom in just a little bit and let's paste in our retro poster that we're going to be recreating. So we'll go file, place embedded because we want to embed that poster on in, and then place. So, it's a quite a bit smaller, so I'm just going to stretch it out all the way by holding down shift while I resize, just so I can see it a little bit better in context of my own poster and I'm going to move it down to the bottom. So, something that I'm going to do is I'm going to be tracing every object in here, every little shape and color. So, I want to make sure that this poster layer stays put, so I'm going to actually lock it. First I'll name it poster and now I'm going to make sure it's selected and lock. So now this layer is locked and I can start creating new layers on top of it. So, let's start off with our first shape. I'm going to start off with this wine glass type shape here and to do that I will be making a shape with the pen tool. So I'll press P to grab the pencil or I'll just select it here and make sure that this is set off a path and onto shape. All right. So now I'm just going to create this shape here. So let's do this. In Azure moments as I'm tracing this shape, it's creating the shape for me, which is a challenge because at some point it's hard to see and as I go on down through my shape you will notice that as well. I'm just creating a little curves. See, how I can't really quite see my shape anymore? And that's okay for this project, we're not being perfectionists. I just want to get the general gist of the wine glass ready to go. So, I finished creating the shape for my wine glass but now I need to sample that real wine glass color. So, I will hide this so that I can see the shape underneath and I will go onto my purple wine glass shape that I just made, double-click to bring up the color picker and I'll go off of my color picker to bring up that eye dropper tool and I'll sample the color until I find my favorite version of it over here and this looks really nice. So, let's show that wine glass and it looks great, perfect, wonderful. So, let's rename this coral wine glass. Wonderful. So, let's move on to the other shapes. Let's create a new layer first, I'm going to just go downward, so I'll start with this purple one and move my way down. So let's bring up our pen tool again, make sure it's on shape and I'll just trace the shape and you can see these aren't perfect rectangles, they're wonky with a little bit of curvature to them, which I quite like. So, I'm going to make sure that I'm adding little bits of curvature along the way. So let's rename this purple rectangle and let's hide it and make a new layer and move on to blue. Pen tool is selected, it's own shape, now let's make this blue layer, there's a little bit of a curve right there and then we'll just go across here, there's another curve just slightly and then we'll finish that connection and let's title this blue rectangle. Again it's not quite blue, so let's hide it and double-click and then select that proper blue color. I think the purple is actually almost there. If you want to re-sample, go ahead, just get that right purple color that we like, I kind of like this color. So, we've blue, we have purple and we have the coral wine glass. So, up next looks to be the yellow rectangle. So let's make a new layer and start tracing this yellow rectangle like so, there's a little bit of a curve which I really enjoy, it helps give the imperfection of the retro poster that I really like. So let's name this yellow rectangle, hide it and then select the color, that's great. So now it's onto the ship shapes here the sailboat. To do this I'm going to zoom in a bit by pressing Z and clicking, perfect. So, I created new layer for each of these triangles and these should go pretty fast. When I grab my pen tool, I'll just make these triangles real quickly. They don't need to be perfect, they do need to be this off-white color though, so I'll sample that color and this is bright white triangle, tie that. Here's the next white triangle, double-click the color, select that off-white color again, name it left white triangle, hide it, new layer. Pen tool is selected, here's our red triangle, perfect, let's name this red triangle and then sample the red color. Up to you whether you think sampling this red, the darker red or the lighter red is good. I'm going to select the lighter red for now, that might change later. Last triangle. Let's create this last triangle together and you see this one's a little bit more curved, which is fine. If you are unsure of how to use the pen tool because you didn't take the previous class, I highly recommend you go back and take the class that is on the pen tool. Sample that red color again. So, we have all of our shapes ready to go, they're all in here, I'll show you all of them but obviously they look nothing like the poster. So let's do a little work to make sure that they end up looking just like the poster. The real question here is how do we get our colors to lay over one another like they do in the poste, r and we can do that exactly with blending modes. So, as I mentioned before the blending mode you need to know for this project, is multiply. So, if we have all of our layers selected, oops I forgot to name this layer, let's name this layer bottom red triangle. So, let's select all of our layers and go blending modes, multiply and you can see they're already laying over. The problem is that I'm now getting most of the poster below it showing so I really want to make sure that that's not happening. So in-between the poster and all of our shapes, I'm going to create a new fill layer. By doing that, I click on the black and white cookie and do solid color and then I just pick a random color for now, I'm going to make sure that it needs to be the same color as that background and the poster. So I'll hide it, double-click on the color and then sample the color from the poster below. Perfect. So now its the right color. Now, I'll zoom out, you can see all of my colors laying on top of one another. The one crucial thing that we're missing though is that, let me hide all these layers, is this circle that's cut out of a wine glass. So let's do that real quick. So, we have our wine glass layer, let's select it and then let's grab the circle elliptical marquee tool. This tool will allow us to create our circle right on top of the other circle with this marching haunts line. So, I'm holding down shift while I'm clicking and dragging my circle to make sure that it's a perfect circle and the crucial thing to know here is that see how many the circle isn't exactly right on top of the actual circle on the original poster? I don't know how to do that exactly without messing everything up and starting over. In order to do this, you just need to hold down space bar while you're doing everything else. So, I'm clicking and dragging while holding shift and then also pressing spacebar intermittently to move it around and it's a tricky combination of learning when to press spacebar and when to not and it's definitely something that I highly recommend that you do on your own and practice with a little bit because it is a little bit finicky. When I finally have the circle over that other circle wine glass, let's that go and now we have our marching haunts right on top. So the next step is to add a mask and before with masks, we would just click the "Mask" button and it would just show us what's in this circle but we don't want that, we want the exact opposite, we want it to show us everything else except for what's in the circle on this coral wine glass layer. In order to do that it's quite simple and it just requires one-click. Rather than just simply clicking the "Mask" button down here, we hold down alt option and then we click. Again, we hold down alt option, same button and then we click the mask and as you can see it is just masked out what was inside of this circle rather than everything except for what's inside of this circle which it normally does. So, rather than just pressing that mask button, we hold down alt option and then we click. Very easy. I think that's pretty good for now. What do you guys think? I think it's time to move on to topography. So first, we need to make sure that we can see the topography from original poster underneath. So, I'll go to this colorful layer and I'll bomb down the opacity just so that I can see enough of the topography to make it matter. So, let's start out by just typing. So I'll click T to bring out my type tool and then click anywhere on the canvas where you want to type and I'll start typing what it says. I'll type eastern and north eastern England. Great. Okay. Well, the first problem is that the font is purple and the font is nowhere near close to the one in the poster. Now, the one in the poster is an older font, probably from mid-century, and a font that I know that was really popular that looks similar is Helvetica. I'm sure you've heard of Helvetica and seen it before. I have Helvetica on my computer. You should too. Let's make it bold because this looks pretty bold and also this is much larger. So, let's start bumping down the font size. Let's try 18. That's too small so, let's go to maybe 26, something in between. That looks perfect. Now, our letter spacing is a little bit wider than it is here. They're touching each other a little more. So, let's change this from what I have at 100, and let's try 0. Well lay it on top. That looks pretty good, but the letter spacing is a little further apart in there, so let's change this to maybe 25. That's a little too much. Let's go 20, and I'll call it a day on that. I think that looks really nice. But now we need to change it from purple to the color that's actually in the poster. So, we'll hide my color fill layer and then go with color, and then sample the color from the poster. Perfect. Okay, so now I can lay my text by clicking the text layer in my Layers window and move it on over on top of theirs. Again, I can use the arrow keys on my keyboard to get it really perfect. Great. So, let's move on to 1961 here. So I'll press T to bring up my type tool or press over here, click anywhere on my canvas and just type 1961. Okay. There's something new we can do here and that's just pressing Command T to bring up that bounding box transform, and hold down Shift while we make it bigger. I don't have the exact same font as they're using but this is close enough for purposes of this class. So, I'll just lay this over, use my arrow keys to make it perfect, and that's good for now right? Okay, that's the general gist of what we're doing here. I would like for you to go ahead and lay your own text over your own images if you're recreating an original retro poster or if you're creating your own. You can see the example of what my finished product looks like on the class info page, the main page for the class on Skillshare. You can see how I did that. I just continue to lay text over this image here like so, and then once I'm finally done, I can bump that back up to 100 percent. I will continue to add the rest of the text onto this poster and then I'll be right back. All right. Look where I'm at. I added all the text to my poster and now I just need to bump up the opacity back on my fill layer, and there we have the poster. The one thing that we are missing though is that grady sort of texture that older posters seemed to have. In order to do that, we can add patterns on top of numerous of our layer, if not all of our layers, in fact. In order to find patterns, I like to go to one specific site called So, Subtle Patterns has hundreds of beautiful seamless patterns that you can use in Photoshop. So, for this project, I think I would naturally just type paper, search for paper textures, and here we have quite a few paper textures. I really like this textured paper one, and just so you know all of these are free and you can download as many or as few of them as you want. So, I've already downloaded this and have it on my desktop. Let's minimize our browser and go back into Photoshop. Let's start applying this pattern. First of all, I'd like to apply it to our fill layer. I'm going to zoom in so that we can really see it. I will double-click on the fill layer, open up our layer styles and go into Pattern Overlay. Okay? And there's our disgusting bubbles that we used previously in a different class. Let's try loading a new pattern though. That's really important. As our new paper pattern isn't quite here yet, we first need to be able to load our pattern before we can actually apply it. So, let's start by doing that. In order to load my pattern, I need to have the texture paper pattern file ready to go. Here it is. This is what I downloaded from that website, textured paper. I just need to drag this down and open it up into Photoshop. Here's our pattern and now what I need to do is define it as a pattern. In order to do this, I just go to Edit, Define Pattern. Now, I can name it if I'd like. I can name this paper texture, and that's all good. Now it's ready to go. So, let's go back over to our retro poster. On our color fill, I have a Pattern Overlay applied, I can just double-click on that Pattern Overlay and reselect the pattern. Your new loaded pattern always shows up at the very end and there it is. But it's not quite the right color anymore. I need to play with some blending modes to find the right blending mode for this project. Again, I really like multiply for this because it still brought out that off-white texture of our original color fill with the new pattern. Again, you can just mess with opacity to try to find the right balance for you. I think I like about 75 percent opacity for this and set on multiply. Okay, so that's great for the background. It looks really nice but I do want to fill it into the other colors in layers. In order to do that, I just have to apply this pattern overlay to the other colors and shapes. Okay. So let's do that now. First of all, let's move all of our text into a group. I'll click on this Create a New Group button here and put text and then I will select everything that is text and drag it into that group. This way, we can really just focus on our color fill and our shapes. Let's put our text at the very top so that our color fill can be even closer to our shapes. Okay, this is the order that I need them to be in and this isn't mandatory at all. This is just how I like to work. In order to apply our pattern from our color fill to our shapes, here's what we do. We simply have to click on this fx here. Do you know that the fx stands for the Layer Styles? It just means that you have effects applied to your layer. This just means that you have some layer styles and layer effects on those layers. Okay? We just need to copy these effects onto our other shapes. In order to do that, I hold down Alt option, and then click and drag and let go onto my next shape. Again, hold down alt option, click, drag on to the next shape and let go. Hold down Alt option, click, drag, let go. I'll keep doing that over and over on all of my shapes. Look at that. Now we have a nice textured aesthetic going on with our poster and it really is starting to look very retro. I could also apply these effects to the text itself, but whenever you're dealing with really dark things, you can't see the pattern overlay as well. I will apply it anyway, just so that you can see me applying it and see what it looks like. It couldn't hurt right? Okay, it is applied now. Again, you really can't see it. If you had a lighter text on your design, then you probably would be able to see it. Okay, that's it for the final project. I can't wait to see what you guys do. Again, with all the other classes in this series, please upload your final projects onto Skillshare. I will be checking them frequently and I can't wait to see them. I'm really excited to see what you come up with, to see if you come up with your original compositions or if you choose to recreate an original retro poster yourself. Along the way, if you have any questions, please post them to the class Q and A discussion feed. I'll take a look and try to answer your questions when I can. But when I can't, if you could please just check that as well and answer your classmates questions, it would be really helpful to everybody. It's really nice to have such a fostering community in this class and I just really admire all my classmates that I've had, and my students that I've had that have given feedback on projects and answering my own questions. All right. So it's on to the next class. Thank you so much. 13. More Creative Classes on Skillshare: