1. Tech
The contents of the Graphics Software site are copyright © Sue Chastain and About.com. These pages may be printed for personal reference, but they may not be distributed or republished for any purpose without prior written permission. Please see the About.com User Agreement for more information.
Adobe Photoshop Basics
Lesson 7 - Exercise 3 - Painted Flower

Exercise 3 - Painted Flower

Download this zip file for all the images you need to complete the exercises for Lesson 7. (Mac users can use Aladdin's free Stuffit Expander to extract the zip file.)

Open the lesson7e3.jpg flower image for exercise 3.

Promote the background to a layer named "flower picture."

In Photoshop 5, make sure the background color is set to white and choose Layer > New > Background. In Photoshop 6, choose Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid Color. Set the color to white and then drop this layer to the bottom of the layers palette.

Use the eyedropper to pick up a purple color from the petals near the center of the flowers.

Add a new layer named petal outlines, and trace around the petals using the Wet Paint option of the paint brush tool.

Drop the opacity down on the flower picture layer if desired.

Create another new layer named petal paint and start painting in the petal color. Experiment with both the airbrush and the paintbrush. Also experiment with the fade options to paint in some of the darker veins of color. Don't worry about going outside the lines. I will show you how to fix that next.

If you've gone outside the lines on the petals, use the magic want to select the area outside of the outlines on the petal outline layer. Make sure the magic want is NOT set to use all layers. Once you have your selection, switch back to the petal paint layer and press delete/backspace to crop off the paint outside of the lines.

Next you can hide your two petal layers and add a new layer for the flower center. First pick a brown color and use a large soft brush with Wet Edges OFF to lay down a base for the flower center.

On yet another layer, you can use a custom brush to paint the yellow pollen onto the flower center. The brush I used was a textured brush from the default brushes.

At this point you may find it helpful to move the original flower photo above your painting layer and drop the opacity way back so you can just barely see it. Be sure to switch back to your pollen layer before painting again if you do!

Start painting with a brownish yellow using randomly placed clicks. Gradually increase the intensity of the yellow and pile it on for more depth.

When you've finished you can hide the original flower photo, and drop the petal paint layer below the petal outline layer to see the result.

If necessary, make a selection based on the petal outline layer, then switch to the petal paint layer and fill it more. Make the center part of the petals darker and add more veining.

On the brown flower center layer, use a textured brush with the eraser tool to texture the edge of the flower center.

Here's my very crude, 10-minute example:


I've deliberately left the steps a bit vague here to encourage your own experimentation. We're not going for a photographic replica here. The point is to develop your skills with a variety of Photoshop's painting tools. Keep working on it and practicing with this photo or some of your own until you've got something you're comfortable posting in the classroom forum.

Next > Exercise 4 - Erase to History


©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.