Making an Easy Background

This tutorial will show you how to make an easy background, with a gradient, a couple brushes and some blending options.

Since we are making a background, my canvas size is set to 1680×1050, which is my computer’s current resolution. You can make the background whatever size you want, but starting too large and cropping and resizing later is better than trying to make up for space you should have started with in the first place.

Step 1:

Choose two colors that you want for your gradient background. Make one the foreground color, and one the background color in your color picker in your tools.

Using your Gradient tool, with a Linear Gradient, click and drag on the background. It may take you a couple tries to get it just how you want it.

Step 2:

Make a new layer above your colored background.

Using your Polygonal Lasso tool, draw out an angular section towards the bottom-right corner.

Select your brush tool, as well as a Soft Round brush, setting the size to around 600. Make sure you have white selected as your foreground color, and use your brush along the one edge of your shape.

Repeat these steps on two more separate layers, at slightly different angles, all in the same area.

Change all of the blending options on each of these new layers to Soft Light.

Step 3:

Select one of your new three layers. If you have the Warp tool as an option, this will work great here, but if not, we’ll use the filters that come with Photoshop.

This part will be kind of trial and error, until you get the curves you really want with these features, when doing it through the filters.

Go to Filter>Distort>Spherize and/or Filter>Distort>Shear. They are really straightforward when you get in there as there are not many options to choose from, but they will curve your lines nicely. Try them out some and see what you like. Once you get one line to how you want it, select another layer and work on that one.

Step 4:

Create a new layer over top of the previous layers and change the Blending mode to Luminosity.

Choose a slightly lighter color than one of the colors in the background.

Select your Brush tool, and a Soft Round brush and change the size to about 900, and opacity to 50%.

Click only once or twice in a couple areas. Somewhere along the curved strips you made earlier, and along the left-hand side somewhere.

Step 5:

Create one more layer over top of all the rest, we’re going to add some sparkles to it. Yes, sparkles.

Choose a brush that either resembles a star or a small dot. You’ll probably want the starting size to be about 55. You can leave the opacity at 50% for starters, but you’ll want to up it to 100% after your first couple clicks.

Go to your Brushes tab and alter the Scattering option and the Shape Dynamics option, until you get a nice mix of your brush.

Now that you have your brush ready to go, make sure you have white selected for your color, and start off by just clicking a little bit here and there on the canvas. When you click once, it’s going to put down several little stars. You don’t want to hold down the button and drag, you’ll have way too many little stars. Play with different opacities and areas to get your desired effect!

You’re finished!


Click here to download the full 1680×1050 background.

By Kirin Knapp

Kirin Knapp is a graphic designer for the iEntry Network, publishing company of FlashNewz. A flash animator and illustrator, she is the creator of her home site, Inkdu.com.

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