drawing Drawing Tutorial

Beginners' Guide to Adobe Photoshop

Ever wanted to learn how to use Adobe Photoshop, but had no idea where to start? This tutorial goes right back to the basics and is designed for the Adobe Photoshop beginner. It only gives you the very basic features you need to know to start using Adobe Photoshop. From there, you'll quickly discover most of the other features of the program for yourself! :)

Tutorial category: drawing  
Tutorial type:
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Tools used: Adobe Photoshop (version CS2, although yours may differ)




Step 1

I assume you already have Photoshop open! :D From the menu bar up the top, click File > New. The size will depend on whether you will be printing your picture or if it is for on screen use only.

For on screen use I use pixels.

For printable pictures I use inches.

If you are printing your pictures, check your printer's pixel/inch capabilities and change the resolution to suit. The higher the resolution the better the image quality, but remember that some computers cannot handle large images in Photoshop! This goes for the actual image size also.


Step 2

Here are the windows that you will need the most (all others I consider as optional, so ignore them for now).

Navigator Window.

This allows you to pan across your image and zoom in and out.

The red rectangle is what part of your image is shown on screen you can move this about by clicking and dragging. You can zoom in and out by using the slider at the bottom or typing in the required zoom percentage on the left.



Step 3

Swatches Window.

This is your colour pallette. You can choose basic colour from here. You can also save your selected colour to the pallette by clicking on the grey area below.

Color Window.

If you want to be more selective about your colours, you can use this. Type in the RGB values of your colour or click on the colour picker.


Step 4

Tools Window.

All the drawing tools are located in a tall, thin window. There are far too many tools to name and explain all of them, but I will try and include the ones you will probably use most often.

Note that some icons may have a small arrow next to them (see pic). If you click and hold the icon more tool options will appear.

Note that when you click on a tool, options for that tool will appear up the top under the menu bar. (Apologies, your version of Photoshop may vary!)


Step 5

Selection Tools.

1a. Rectangular Marquee Tool.

Used for selecting parts of your image. To add to a selection, hold Shift before dragging. To make the selection exactly square, start dragging, then hold Shift.

1b. Elliptical Marquee Tool

As above. To make the selection an exact circle, start dragging, then hold Shift.

2a. Lasso Tool

Select areas manually.

2b. Polygonal Lasso Tool

Use by selecting points to make up your shape.

3. Magic Wand Tool

Selects area you click on.



Step 6

4. Move Tool.

Used to drag images/selections about.

5. Crop Tool.

Used to alter size of canvas.

6a. Brush Tool

Most used tool! Self explanatory. Change the shape, size, flow and opacity of your brush from the menu at the top.

6b. Pencil Tool.

As brush tool, but pixelated. Useful for clean straight lines and pixel drawings.


Step 7

7a. Paint Bucket Tool.

Self explanatory. I do not use this tool very often.

7b. Gradient Tool.

Very useful! Choose from different gradients from the menu at the top. The first two selections in the menu take into account the colours that you have selected. Draw a line to fill selected area. The longer your line the more softer the graduation will be.

8. Eraser Tool.

Another useful tool! :P Select the mode, opacity and flow from the menu.

9. Blur Tool. Sharpen Tool and Smudge Tool.

All self explanatory.


Step 8

10. Type Tool

For adding text. Select Font type, size, colour etc from menu. Click canvas and type.

11. Pen Tool and Freeform Pen Tool

Select fill and colour options from the menu at the top. Create a shape by hand using the pen tool.

12. Rectangle, Rounded Rectangle, Ellipse and Polygon Tools.

Select fill and colour options from the menu at the top. (To make an exact square or circle, select either rectangle or ellipse, start dragging, then hold Shift). When using polygon tool, select number of sides from menu.

13. Line Tool.

Self explanatory

14. Custom Shape Tool.

Very fun to use and experiment with when first learning photoshop! :D As with other shape tools, select fill and colour options from the menu at the top, but now there is another menu which allows you to select lots of different shapes such as arrows, animals, signs, stars, speech bubbles, etc.


Step 9

Selected Colours and Colour Picker.

In Photoshop you are able to choose two colours - a main colour and a background colour. You can switch the two by clicking the little double ended arrow symbol on the top right (shortcut = Ctrl+X). You can quickly switch to black paint with white background by clicking on the little symbol to the bottom left.

If you double click on the selected colour you open up the Colour Picker. Here you can adjust the RGB values, hue, saturation etc.


Step 10

Layers Window.

The Layers window shows the various layers that your image is made up of.

To make a new layer, click the New Layer button, as shown in picture.

Remember create a new layer for each part of your image. This allows you to go back and edit the layers individually.

You can name each layer by double clicking on the title (ie. "Layer 1").

(Note: If you open up a gif iamge and find that you cannot add layers - Go to Image > Mode and change to RGB Color)


Step 11

Here is a rough guide to how your layers should be built up.

I have drawn a quick picture of Thumper to show you.

Each element is on a different layer and I have named all the layers applicable to what they are. This makes finding a layer quick and simple - it is easy to get in a mess if you do not name your layers!


Step 12


If you go into Edit > Transform. This will give you a list of things you can apply to your layer (or selection).

Tip: If you flip your drawing horizontally, you may see errors that you did not see before!


Step 13

Blending Options.

You can add drop shadows, bevel edges and more to your layers. Select the layer you want to add to.

Go to Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options

Or, you can also access this by selecting Blending Options from the Layers Menu.

Once you have added an effect to a layer you can turn them on and off by clicking the eye symbol next to each effect.



Step 14

A couple of very useful shortcut commands:

CTRL + Alt + Z = Undo

CRTL + Z = Undo last command

I hope I haven't waffled too much! Photoshop can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be! It is a very sophisticated program, but easy to use.

Ciao for now!

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