Easter is upon us, and what better way to celebrate then by sitting in front of the computer and learning new Photoshop techniques for creating festive holiday greeting cards (at least it will get you away from the Wii for a while and let your knees recover from the balance board step-ups – amirite?). By the way, if you happen across the Easter Bunny, ask him if he saw that Leprechaun that stole my vodka last week. Anyway, today’s tutorial will show you how to design most of the Painted Egg Greeting Card.
Step 1: Set Up Your Document Size and Fold
We’re making a print ready greeting card here, not a web design template, so let’s start by creating a document with an 11 inch width and a height of 8.8 inches. Since this is going to be a folding greeting card, we’re just going to use one side of the document for the design. Therefore, we need to create a fold/guide line in the middle so that we know where the boundary for the design is. Turn on the ruler by pressing control R, and then you can see the total width of the document from the ruler; you just have to divide the document width into 2 sections and drag the ruler to the middle point. Here’s how it looks:
Step 2: Paint the Background in Pastels
Now, we can start painting our background. Create a new layer, select the Brush (B), and set the the diameter to 500 pixels.
Then create a new layer and pick the colour you prefer, and you can start painting. You can have as many colours as you prefer but just remember to have a new layer for each different colour. This is the colours I used: #1f9adc (blue), #f5ec64 (yellow), and #c0f564 (Green). This is how my painting looks:
Step 3: Make the Paint Look More Smooth and Fluid
Next, let’s add some effects to the paint. Go to Filter >Sketch >Water Paper and use the following settings: Fiber Length = 15, Brightness = 60, and Contrast = 80
This is how it looks now:
Step 4: Create Eggs from Scratch
What’s an Easter greeting card without Easter Eggs? To draw some eggs into the design layout, select the Ellipse Tool (U) and draw a shape that resembles an egg like the one shown below:
Step 5: Dye Your Easter Eggs
Remember how much fun it was dying Easter Eggs as a kid? This next step is nothing like that. Right click on the egg layer and select Blending Options, go to Gradient and use the settings shown below:
Step 6: Speckle the Eggs
We’ve dyed the eggs with a base coat, often referred to as the “primary egg surfacing” in the Easter biz, but we’re not making golden eggs, we’re making Easter Eggs. So, now, let’s draw something on the egg. We’ve chosen something simple for our first egg, small colorful circles. Create a new layer and use the Ellipse Tool to draw a few circles in different sizes and colors, like the example below:
Step 7: Curve Your Paint Job
The following things are not flat: the world, a marble, your head, Joy from “till death”, and this here egg. Therefore, we need to curve the paint speckles that we’ve just applied in the above step so that they conform to the curvature of the embryonic Easter symbol. So, lets first merge all circles into one layer; select all your circle layers, right click, and select Merge Layers. Then, click control T to transform, right click on it, and select Warp. Next, on top of the left screen there will be a drop down menu for the warp, from the menu just select Bulge.
Drag the top and bottom points to match the shape of the egg like what’s shown below:
Now, let’s do another warp for the side of the egg. Click Control T, right click for the warp, and drag on the side edges to fit the egg.
Step 8: Add Further Dimension to the Egg
Let’s create a soft inner shadow on the egg to make it look more 3 dimensional. Click on the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M), and draw a smaller egg shape like the one shown below:
Then, create a new layer, and fill it with a black transparent gradient
Next, select ‘Soft Light’ mode on the gradient layer. Here are the results:
Step 9: Final Touches
We’re done with one egg; you can create a few more eggs to fill up the card. We’ve added 3 eggs to our card, and wrote a short Easter message on it; here’s how it looks:
We’ve also made several other varieties and sizes of our greeting card as seen below: