Making vector wallpapers in Photoshop is one of the easiest things a beginner can do in Photoshop. The reason for that is because you’re only going to use silhouetted objects so you don’t have to worry about things like color matching, shadows, illumination and things like that. So, let’s see how it’s done.
- Bike: http://absurdwordpreferred.deviantart.com/art/Vintage-Bike-png-177583530
- Couple: http://coi-stock.deviantart.com/art/Krista-and-Tyler-01-201723002
- Clouds brushes: http://cloud-no9.deviantart.com/art/Cloud-Brushes-ver-1-54644659
- Tree: http://grannyart.blogspot.com/2009/06/usa-west-tree-png-free.html
- Butterflies: http://madetobeunique.deviantart.com/art/Orchard-Swallow-Tail-Butterfly-181724824
- Bird: http://madetobeunique.deviantart.com/art/Flying-Colorful-Wompoo-Dove-216614322
Download tutorial and resources
Create a new document 2000×1600 pixels. Get the Gradient Tool (G) and select 2 tones of orange (or any color you want, really), one of them darker and the other one brighter and draw a gradient as shown in the image.
You can now start making the grass. I made the ground plain but you can create some hills if you want. Select the default Photoshop grass brush and after you deactivate Color Dynamics paint the grass. Go over the same areas until you cover it and you only see the tips of the grass.
You can now make the vector sun rays using the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) and make a selection like shown in the image. Then fill that selection with white and change the layer’s blend mode to Overlay and reduce its Opacity to about 10-20%. There are brushes that can do that, so if you have them, use them but I didn’t have them so I made the rays manually because it’s quicker.
Add the silhouette of a tree. Again, you have 2 options, use a PNG image like me or download some tree brushes. If you use a stock image, place the tree on your canvas and use a Hue/Saturation adjustment and reduce the lightness to -100. I used an adjustment layer but in this case you can use the adjustment from the menu Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation. But keep in mind that if you do it from the menu, you will not be able to undo this adjustment once you close Photoshop (that’s why I use adjustment layers instead).
You can create a more interesting scene if you add some leafs falling from the tree. For that you can use the default leaf Photoshop brush. Make sure you decrease Scattering Count to 1 and increase Minimum Diameter to 50% on Shape Dynamics.
Download the cloud brushes and paint a few clouds with white.
As for the people’s silhouettes you can use a vector, a brush or a stock image. I used a stock image which I downloaded from deviantART. I used the Pen Tool (P) to subtract the couple from the background and then I used a Hue/Saturation adjustment to reduce the Lightness to -100 and create the silhouette. If you have a brush or vector is a lot quicker though.
Now you can add the bike, the bird and some butterflies and use the same silhouetting technique (Use Hue/Saturation and decrease lightness to -100)
I used the Custom Shape Tool (U) to draw three red hearts above the couple’s heads. The effect you see applied is a default black to white Gradient Overlay with Softlight Blend mode.
Use the Pen Tool (P) and create a shape as shown in the image. I named the layer lake. Add a Gradient Overlay with black to white effect with Softlight or Overlay blend mode to simulate shadow. Then create a layer mask for that layer and use the same grass brush to mask the edges. When you mask the top edges, flip the brush vertically (see video walkthrough for more details).
You can leave the lake just as it is or you can create some reflections. If you want to do that, use the Rectangular Marquee tool (M) to select the top part of the image and then go to Edit>Copy Merged. Then, paste the copied image over the lake as clipping mask, flip it vertically and change the blend mode to Softlight. (see video for more details)
You can totally change the look and mood of the image if you use a real sky as background instead of a solid gradient sky. Take a look at some of the results I got.
Hope you enjoyed the tutorial. Feel free to submit your results to the Facebook Fan page or on the Flickr group.