Photoshop tutorials for professionals and beginners

Make a Sexy Racing Wallpaper in Photoshop

In this tutorial I will show you how to make a simple sexy wallpaper with Photoshop using free stock images. I used a car and a sexy girl to make it but you can use a motorcycle, a jet fighter or whatever you have in mind. I will also show you how to apply a simple colored tattoo on the skin.

Final result preview

Stock images used

Step 1

If you are going to make a multiple size wallpaper you should start with the highest one first. If you want to use it as wallpaper on your own desktop, create the document to fit the exact same resolution of your screen. I created a 2000×1200 document but you can make it smaller if you have a slow computer.

Now, get the Gradient Tool (G) and and select the Radial type. Then, on the empty background layer click and drag to draw a radial gradient like in the image below. The exact color values are irrelevant, you can use the Levels too to make it lighter or darker.

We are going to make some changes to this background but now let’s add the rest of the elements and we will deal with the details later.

Step 2

Open the car stock image and crop it with the Pen Tool (P). The area under the wheel is too dark to see where to draw the path with the pen tool but you can add a temporary levels adjustment layer and light up the middle tones. When you’re done drawing the path you can delete the adjustment layer.

So, crop the car and paste it on your wallpaper canvas on a new layer.

Step 3

Let’s add some shadows underneath the car. There is an easy and effective way of creating shadows underneath cars. Create a new layer below and name it car shadow. Select the Polygonal Lasso Tool (L) and “connect” the three wheels like shown in the image below. Fill the selection with black and then apply Gaussian Blur. I used 34px for the blur radial but that depends on the size of your image.

Step 4

You can make the car look shinier if you increase the contrast. As always, I used the levels adjustment layer. See image below.

Step 5

Just the gray background looks a bit dull so I added a yellow stripe. You can use this stripe to add text (which I did) or add other design elements or details.Create the yellow stripe using the Rectangle Tool (U) instead of rectangular selection tool. Make the shape wider than you canvas.

The reason why I made it wider than the canvas is because when you add effects like stroke or drop shadow these effects will also be visible on the vertical edges or you will see the shifted shadow on one end of the shape and I don’t want that (see an example on the image below).

I only want the effects to be visible on the top and bottom edges (the horizontal edges). Because the left and right edges are outside the canvas they are not visible. On the image below I used some extreme effects so you can see better.

Step 6

Now let’s style this stripe. First create a new layer above it and name it arrow. Then select the custom shape tool and choose the arrow shape (see image below). Draw a fairly big arrow and align it to the center of the stripe using the top icons (select the move tool first by pressing V).

You must select both the stripe layer and the arrow layer in order to be activate the align tools on the top tool bar.

Step 7

Ok, this step might be a bit difficult for some users but I’ll try my best to explain it so you can understand. I will use the shape of the arrow to create a gap on the yellow stripe and then I will apply some effects to the arrow layer and reduce its opacity. The explanation might look extensive but actually this action can be done in 20-30 seconds.

Select the arrow layer and reduce Fill (not Opacity) to 0 to make it invisible. Now load the arrow’s selection by clicking its vector thumbnail on the layer’s palette while you hold down the Ctrl key.

With the selection loaded select the yellow stripe layer and go to Layer>Layer Mask>Hide Selection or hold down the Alt key and click the layer mask icon. You should end up with something like in the image below.

Step 8

On this step we are going to apply effects to this yellow line to make it look modern. Select the yellow line layer and apply Drop Shadow and Gradient Overlay. I used the settings shown in the image below.

Step 9

I want to add a subtle 3D effect to the arrow, you can skip this step if you want and go to step 11 but at least read it, you might just learn something of what I will show you next.

Open the layer styles for the arrow layer and apply a Drop Shadow and Bevel effect as shown below.

The arrow was invisible because you set the Fill to 0 but the effects are visible. In order to hide unwanted effects load the yellow stripe selection and create a layer mask on the arrow layer using that selection. You should get something like in the image below.

Step 10

Now here comes a cool tip. You can see that even after applying the layer mask we still have some unwanted effects but I will show you how easy is to get rid of that.

Open the layer styles window on the arrow layer and check the option that says “Layer Mask Hides Effects” and your done, those unwanted effects are gone.

Step 11

Ok let’s move on, it’s time to add the sexy girl on the wallpaper. Crop her from the background using the method you used when you subtracted the car, with the Pen Tool (P) because it’s the most accurate selection tool. Place the girl on the left side of the wallpaper on a new layer and name it girl.

Step 12

Select the Healing Spot Tool (J) and get rid of any imperfections that you find on the skin. Be careful with sensitive areas, she’s very ticklish hehehe.

Step 13

Now, create a new layer as clipping mask (right click the layer and choose Create Clipping Mask). Go to Edit>Fill and choose 50% Gray and after that set the layer’s Blend Mode to Overlay.

Now, get the Burn tool and go over all the areas of the body that have shadows. Use Exposure 9% and Midtones. Then do the same with the Dodge tool but on areas that have highlights. That will enhance her already hot body. I also enhanced the eyes with dodge and burn.

This is a process that I repeatedly explained on many of my tutorials and it can do wonders. You can find a more detailed explanation on Step 11 of my my Dry World Tutorial.

I also increase the saturation with and adjustment layer. Hover the mouse over the image below to see the result that I got.

Step 14

I also added a tattoo on the girl’s body. Open the tatoo image, scale it down and place it over the girl’s body using the Multiply blend mode. Don’t just paste is straight, rotate it a bit and also distort just a bit to make it fit the body lines using the Warp Tool.

Step 15

Ok, the basic layout of the wallpaper is done all you need to do now is to add some details and “decorate” it as you like. I took advantage of the yellow stripe and I added some text. For the text I used a simple style with 0% Fill, Drop Shadow 1px clear yellow and Inner Shadow to create a hollow text effect.

Step 16

I had the idea of speed on my mind so I made a speed meter using the Line Tool (U). I made 5 vertical lines and then I duplicated them. I placed the speed-meter lines behind the yellow line.

Step 17

The background behind the girl and the car looked too empty so I added the word “sexy” on a new layer with Soft Light blend mode.

Step 18

We are almost done. I just added some more details on the bottom part. Remember that I told you I will come back to the background layer? Duplicate the background layer that you created on Step 1, place it below the original and name it color. Use the Hue/Saturation adjustment to change the color (check the Colorize option).

Go back to the original background layer and create a layer mask. Then get the Lasso tool and draw by hand an irregular selection like in the image below and mask the bottom part of the background to reveal the color layer underneath. See the image below.

Step 19

Now the final detail on the bottom. I used the same speed meter created on Step 16 but this time I used the Overlay blend mode and I added some numbers above it using the Quiver font, color #cb4175 and blend mode Color Dodge.

That’s all I did to it but you can add more details if you want. Don’t overload it, wallpapers must be simple otherwise they will not look good on the desktop.

I hope you liked the tutorial. Remember to credit me and share this page. If you liked it, Stumble it. See you on the next tutorial.

Final Result


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