Creating a Grunge Wallpaper Design

Lately I have noticed quite a few grunge style brushes, wallpapers, and other things based off of the grunge look, so I thought I would take a stab at making my own grunge wallpaper.

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First I found an image of a city:

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Now put it in a new document and we will proceed with giving it the grunge effect. This image will be your new layer and the other is your background, make it black.

Now get rid of the sky from your image however you want. You can either just erase with an eraser brush or use the pen tool to do that. Don’t worry about being too accurate or anything because this grunge style should look pretty random.

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Now I am going to add a dry brush filter to the image by going to filter>>artistic>>dry brush and use these settings:

Now you should have something that looks like this:

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After that I am going to use an eraser brush and delete random areas on the image to create more of a grunge effect.

Here is the brush I used:

Take the brush and lightly erase on random areas of the image, I will show you how I erased on a building on the right of the image:

Now go around many places on the image and do the same thing. Here is my result:

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The grunge effect is starting to come together but of course it needs more.

I want to give my overall image a yellow look so I am going to duplicate my image and use some hue/saturation settings on it.

To get to your hue/saturation settings you can either hit ctrl+u on a windows keyboard or go to image>>adjustments>>hue/saturation.

After you get into hue/saturation, in the drop down menu go to yellows and use these settings:

After that set your new layer’s blending mode to color dodge or any other blending mode that looks good to you.

In my image I still see some different colored spots of reds and green so I want to totally get rid of those since i’m wanting an overall yellow picture.

An easy way to do that is to just make a new layer above all the rest and fill the whole canvas with a yellow color, I chose #F4C203, then set your blending mode on the new layer to overlay:

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Now for added realism I am going to add the power lines back into the image by using my pen tool and the same color yellow I used before.

If you aren’t familiar with the pen tool all you have to do is make sure you have a 1px brush chosen and the color you want, then use your pen tool to click and drag to make the curved lines you need. Then right click using the pen tool on your line and click “stroke path” to actually get a line. Then right click on it again to remove the path.

After I created one set of line I just duplicated it 2 more times and moved them down.


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OK, now I want to make some yellow spots in my sky. You can either use a brush tool and make yellow or fill in the entire sky with yellow and erase the parts you don’t want. That is what I am going to do. Use whatever brushes you want to get your desired effect.

Here is my result:

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The last step for this tutorial is to add some text. Find some text you like to write whatever you want on it, I am going to write “Grunge Wallpaper” for this tutorial.

The font I chose is called bertram LET, which is from a font pack I have on my system, but use something you have or download a cool font.

I am not going to do anything fancy with the font, just use the same eraser brush I used on the parts before and erase parts of the letters.

Here is the final result I achieved:

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I hope this tutorial showed you some easy techniques to make your own grunge style objects. Let me know if you have any questions and I will try my best to help you. Thanks for

By John Overbee

John Overbee is a graphic designer for the iEntry Network.

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