Aug 10, 2008
Today I'm going to show you how to make a nice looking wallpaper in Photoshop. It includes how to make very nice looking leaves, waterdrops and subtle background effects. Enjoy!
Step 1: The Beginning
First open a new document of your screen size, I used my own resolution, which is 1440x900 pixels.
When you've did that, choose 2 nice blue colours, the I used #0090ff as foreground and #003ebd as background colour.
Then draw a radial gradient from the left top to the left bottom, so you should end up with something like this:
Step 2: Background 2
When you've completed the previous step, you can create a new layer, named 'Background 2'.
Then get a lightblue brush(I used #b4ecff) with a size of 200 pixels, then adjust some brush settings:
With these settings you can start to draw some subtle strokes on your Background 2 layer, to end up with a result looking like this:
Step 3: The Leaves
Now we're done making the Background, we can start on making the main thing, the leaves.
You might think it's very hard, but the only thing you need is a good knowledge of the Pen Tool.
So get the Pen Tool (P) out, create a new layer called Leave and start drawing a shape of a leave.
When you've done that, right click and press 'Fill Path':
After that, right click again and press 'Make Selection'.
When you've made a leave, and kept the selection, create a new layer called 'Darker Sides'.
Get the Pen Tool again, and draw a rough path around the leave you already made:
Then get a very soft brush with a size so it can easily reach the sides of the leave and the colour #328e00, after that, you right click, and press stroke path with a brush, without the Simulate Pressure box selected.
Step 4: The Veins
The vein are as easy as the leave itself, so get started by creating a new layer called 'Vein 1' and picking the Pen Tool (P) again, and drawing a vein through the middle and Fill the Path with colour #a2ff00.
After that, blur it a little bit:
After you've done that, you can create a new layer called 'Vein 2'.
In that layer, with the Pen Tool, draw a new path again, and make a selection by right clicking, and press 'Make Selection.
Then load an intersected selection, by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Alt at the leave layer, so the selection is your path, but only inside the layer.
Then get a Foreground Color To Transparent gradient, with as #a2ff00 as Foreground color.
The Other Veins
For the other veins you can repeat the previous step, with the gradient, so you end up with a result looking like this:
Step 5: Replacement
When you're done making the leave, you can group the layers, you can easily duplicate them later.
After that, Press Ctrl+T, to free Transform the group, and turn it around a bit. Then duplicate the group and do the same.
After that I ended up with this:
You can ofcourse place them differently.
Step 6: Water Drops
Now we're done with the major things of our wallpaper, we can get focussed on the details. One of these is to add some splash to our wallpaper by get some drops of water on the leave.
We start with a new layer named 'Drops' and some small, black circled brushes placed all over our leaves:
Then open the Blending Options of the Drops Layer, and choose these settings:
Our drops should now look like little black drops, if that's the fact, you reduce 'Fill' to 0%, and POOF! Our black drops turned to water drops!
Edit: This tutorial got featured on PSDTuts (along with many other Abduzeedo tutorials)