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Design a Stunning Stargazing Poster in Photoshop



WHAT WE’RE CREATING:

Hey there Design Cutters! Renee here with a tutorial for a stargazing night poster. We’ll create everything in Photoshop using a mix of textures, layer masks and blend modes.

Here’s a look at what we’ll be creating:

Stargazing PT

Follow along with this tutorial: Download the freebie files

The freebie pack includes textures and patterns from Blixa 6, Daily Texture, Eclectic Anthology and Mix Pix Box.

This freebie pack is just a small sample of the large number of resources available in The Gigantic Textures and Patterns Bundle for just $29 (that’s an incredible 99% off). Set your work apart with the world-class textures and patterns available in this, our biggest texture bundle yet.

Stargazing PT

Additional Resources

We’ll be using the fonts Bellisimo and Local Brewery Four from a previous pack. If you don’t have Bellisimo, a loose handwritten font like RofiTaste by Alit Suarnegara will work as a replacement. For Local Brewery Four, you could substitute a tall, sans serif font with a very slight hint of vintage style like HermanoAlto by Levi Szekeres.

We’ll also be using a photo by Dan Musat available on Unsplash. Download it here.

Step 1: Background

Open Photoshop and go to File > New. In the New Document dialog box, enter a document name, a width of 12 inches and a height of 18 inches. Set your Resolution to 300 ppi and your Color Mode to RGB.

Click OK to create the document.

Stargazing PT

Save your file.

We’ll start with a base background and slowly build up more complex textures. Go to File > Place Linked and navigate to DailyTexture_Ocean-and-Sea-13 in the freebies folder. Press Place.

Stargazing PT

Hold Shift and pull the corner handles to increase the size until it fills the entire artboard. Press enter to complete the placement

Stargazing PT

Step 2: Photo

Go to File > Place Linked and navigate to the photo downloaded from Unsplash. Press Place.

Hold Shift and pull out on the corner handles to increase the size of the photo to about 16 inches wide. Press Enter.

Stargazing PT

Click on the photo and drag it down until the guy’s feet are about 1.5 inches from the bottom of the artboard.

Stargazing PT

At the bottom of the Layers palette (Window > Layers), click the Add Layer Mask icon.

Switch over to the Magic Wand tool (w). Click once on the silhouetted figure.

Stargazing PT

Select your Lasso tool (L). Hold Shift and draw a line across the top part of the selection, then outside the artboard until you loop back to the original starting point (see image below).

Stargazing PT

This will add the entire area we drew around to your selection.

Stargazing PT

We’ll give our image a dreamy effect by keeping our edges soft and letting textures bleed through.

Go to Select >Modify > Feather. In the dialog pop-up box, enter 100 pixels and click OK.

Stargazing PT

Stargazing PT

Now go to Select > Inverse.

Press X to make sure your foreground color is black and your background color is white.

Press Option + Backspace. Then press Cmd + d to Deselect.

Stargazing PT

Our last step on the photo will be to clean up the area around the figure a little bit. We want to keep it soft, but the bleeding colors look a little too dramatic.

Switch to your Brush tool (b). In the Brush Preset Picker, select the Soft Round brush. At the top of the artboard, change the Opacity to 30%.

Stargazing PT

When using layer masks, black is used to hide areas. White is used to show areas. Since the current foreground color is black, click a few times around the edges of the silhouette to clean up a little of the bright halo around the figure. Then run the brush lightly over the edge where the waves meet the water.

If you overdo it, you can press X to switch your foreground color to white, then brush over the areas you want more opaque (that you want to see).

Stargazing PT

Step 3: Text

At the bottom of the Layers palette, click the Create a New Group icon. Double click the name and rename it Text.

Select your Type Tool (t). Click once in the top middle of the artboard and type: A Night of. Press enter, then type Stargazing.

In your toolbar, select your Move Tool (v).

Open your Character palette (Window > Character) and change the font to Bellisimo Regular at 300 pt. Set the Leading, the vertical space between lines, to 195 pt. Click the Color thumbnail to bring up the Color Picker and enter RGB values of 255/255/255 (or simply select white in the color field).

Lastly for the headline, open the Paragraph palette (Window > Paragraph) and select Center Text.

Stargazing PT

Stargazing PT

Select your Type tool again. Click once below the headline and type: Experience the wonder of nature.

Switch to the Move tool (v).

In the Character palette, change the font to Local Brewery Four at 30 pt.

Stargazing PT

Center under the headline.

Stargazing PT

Select your Type tool again. Click once in the bottom left corner and type:

Saturday, Nov 12

From dusk to dawn

At Carson Beach

Use the Type tool to select just the top line and in the Character palette, change the font size to 48 pt.

Stargazing PT

Select the second and third lines and change the font size to 36 pt.

Switch to the Move tool. In the Paragraph palette, select Center Text.

Stargazing PT

Step 4: Stars

It’s hard to stargaze without stars, so let’s add some to the poster.

Go to File > Place Linked and navigate to Blixa6_Stars_MidnightWC in the freebies folder. Press Place.

Hold Shift and pull out on the corner handles to increase the size of the image until it’s large enough to reach from the top of the artboard to the place the waves meet the water. Press Enter.

Stargazing PT

In the Layers palette, drag the star layer down below the photo layer.

Stargazing PT

At the top of the Layers palette, change the Blend Mode from Normal to Multiply. Change the Opacity to 75%.

Stargazing PT

We’ll soften the appearance of the stars with a layer mask. At the bottom of the Layers palette, click the Add Layer Mask icon.

Select your Brush tool (b). Press the right bracket key on your keyboard several times to increase the size of the Brush to about 2500 pixels.

Press X to toggle your Foreground and Background colors, making Black the Foreground color.

Brush along the bottom edge of the stars.

Stargazing PT

Next, brush over a few random areas – like the top corners and edges.

Stargazing PT

Go to File > Place Linked and select MixPixBox_StarClusters_2 in the freebies folder. Press Place, then press Enter.

Switch to the Move tool (v) and position the gold stars under “Stargazing”.

In the Layers palette, drag this layer just below the Text group.

Stargazing PT

Step 5: Additional Textures

Go to File > Place Linked and select EclecticAnthology_Vintage_Effervescent-13 in the freebies folder. Press Place.

Use the top and bottom handles to stretch the image until it covers the artboard. Press Enter.

Stargazing PT

In the Layers palette, drag the Effervescent texture layer just above the photo layer.

At the top of the Layers palette, change the Blend Mode to Divide and reduce Opacity to 80%.

Stargazing PT

The photo looks a little washed out, so let’s add an adjustment.

In the Layers palette, select the photo layer to make it active.

Open the Adjustments panel (Window > Adjustments). Click on the icon for Levels.

In the Levels Adjustment panel, click the middle slider on the histogram and change the location to 0.80.

Stargazing PT

To apply this adjustment to the photo layer only (and not every layer below it), click the icon on the far left of the levels adjustment panel.

Stargazing PT

The levels adjustment has made the text at the bottom left a little hard to read, so we’ll add a subtle darker area behind it.

In the Layers palette, click the Create A New Layer icon.

Switch to your Brush tool. Click once on the foreground color swatch to open the Color Picker. Hovering over the image area will automatically activate the Eyedropper tool. Click once on a dark blue area of the waves to sample the color, then press OK on the Color Picker.

Click once or twice on the area under the text in the bottom left corner. This should be enough to create some contrast and make the words easier to read.

Stargazing PT

Our last touch will be to add some comets and falling stars.

Go to File > Place Linked and navigate to MixPixBox_DigitalPapers_4 in the freebies folder. Press Place.

Hold Shift and pull out on the corner handles to increase the size of the image until it covers the artboard. Press Enter.

Stargazing PT

At the bottom of the Layers palette, click the Add Layer Mask icon. Press Opt + backspace to fill the entire mask with black, making the entire new texture invisible.

Select your Brush tool. Press X to toggle your Foreground color to White.

Press the left bracket key on your keyboard several times to reduce the size of the brush to about 1800 px.

Click once at the top right of the artboard to make part of the “comet” from the texture visible.

Stargazing PT

Click again in the top left corner, middle left and middle right. Experiment until you find a look you like. Remember, if you want to make something less visible, just toggle the foreground color to black and brush back over the area.

Stargazing PT

In the Layers palette, drag this layer just above the EclecticAnthology_Vintage_Effervescent-13 layer.

Stargazing PT

And we’re done! We’ve created an eclectic, bright poster by layering lots of images and textures.

Stargazing PT

Remember that whether it’s your outcome for this tutorial or something new you’ve made, we’d love to see your designs on our Facebook page.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions or suggestions. I always look forward to hearing from you!

There’s still time to check out The Gigantic Textures and Patterns Bundle, our biggest texture and pattern pack ever, for only $29.

32 Lovely Comments from our Community:

  1. Priscila says:

    Thank you very much for all the tutorials and gifts that you give us. I loved working with these textures. You are the best!!

    • Carol Stratford says:

      That is awesome to hear Priscilla and we are so happy to hear you enjoyed these 🙂 We would love to see your finished result if you were keen to share!

  2. Andrea says:

    Thank you so much for these wonderful tutorials, it’s becoming so much easier learning from you.

    • carol@designcuts.com says:

      Hey Andrea,

      Aw thank you so much for such lovely feedback- we are so pleased you are enjoying working with the tutorials!

      We would love to see anything that you create so please do feel free to share anything that you are working on 🙂

  3. Deborah Williams says:

    Hi! I’m using your tutorials to learn Photoshop (been using Elements for years, just upgraded to CC). But I’m on Windows and I’m getting thrown by the keyboard differences. Early on in the process, we make a selection (inverse) of the man in the water and then “Press Option + Backspace. Then press Cmd + d to Deselect.” Since there’s no description of what that first action is, it’s hard for me to identify what I’m trying to accomplish. I know that Option = Alt, but I thought Macs didn’t have a Backspace, so the combo is a bit confusing. I’ve tried several combinations of keys to produce the effect in the photo, but just can’t get it to work.
    Your tutorials are so much fun and are really helping me to learn PS, but this one is a stumper! I’d definitely appreciate a hint as to what I’m doing wrong! The first tutorial I tried was one that had a YouTube video and that helped when I hit a block, but I couldn’t find a corresponding video for this one.
    You guys are simply the greatest (!), so I know you’ll get me through it!
    Thanks!!!

    • Ben Neeves says:

      Hey Deborah,

      Thank you so much for your comment! It’s great to hear our tutorials have been helpful in getting you up to speed with Photoshop CC from elements 🙂

      I’m so sorry for any confusion caused with the keyboard shortcuts on this one. Unfortunately there is not an accompanying video with this tutorial but rest assured, I’m on the case to get you up and running again! Whilst older versions of Mac keyboards did not feature the backspace key, the recent Macs now come with a backspace key but you should be able to do this tutorial step by selecting “Alt + Backspace” on your Windows keyboard 🙂

      Please let me know how you get on with this, Deborah, and don’t hesitate to contact me should you experience any problems. I’m here to help. Apologies once again for any inconvenience this has caused.

      • Deborah Williams says:

        Ben, thanks so much for the quick response! Everything worked out great, and now I’ve got a few more CC tricks up my sleeve and a gorgeous, moody, vibrant poster as well!!

        Said it before; saying it again — DC is the BEST!

        Deborah

  4. Lynsey says:

    Just cause it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s not super heplful.

  5. Sarah Showalter says:

    This was wonderful! I’ve used PS since the stone age and LOVE learning new things and shortcuts! Thank you for your gracious freebie AND especially the time in creating the tutorial!

    • Ben Neeves says:

      Hey Sarah,

      Thank you so much for your incredibly kind words about our tutorials & freebies! It’s so great to hear you are enjoying them and are learning some new tips & tricks as well 🙂

      Thanks again, Sarah! If there is ever anything I could assist you with please do get in touch. I’m always happy to help!

  6. aaftabalalamsbz says:

    great!

  7. deborah says:

    Nicely done tutorial, clearly outlined steps and photos help a lot. Thank you for making this available.

    • Ben Neeves says:

      Hey Deborah,

      Thank you so much for your incredibly kind words! We are so pleased to hear you enjoyed this tutorial 🙂 Renee did an absolutely amazing job putting this together!

  8. marta.hendel says:

    Thanks for this amazing tutorial 🙂 I had great time doing it! Hope to see in future screenshots of layers panel 😉

    • Ben Neeves says:

      Hey Marta,

      Thank you so much for your kind words! It’s fantastic to hear that you had a great time with this tutorial 🙂 Thank you for your feedback as well! I have passed this on to our tutorial creator and we’ll be sure to get this included in future tutorials!

      Thanks again, Marta, and if you have any other suggestions or queries I can help with please do let me know! I’m always happy to help 🙂

  9. Terri Bonzo says:

    SO MUCH FUN! I really enjoyed this, thank you. My favorite shades of blue as well. How did you know? 😉

    • SJ Duff says:

      Hey Terri,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a comment!

      I am so glad you enjoyed this tutorial and your favourite shades of blue too? How awesome 😀

  10. Bonnie says:

    I loved this tutorial. I use a PC and I’m sure you’re using a MAC so some of the instructions did not appear the same, but eventually, I knew how to make it work.
    I’ve actually never worked with masks before so that was confusing, but that’s why I wanted to do the tutorial and I learned a lot of new techniques that I had not done before.
    and of course I LOVE the artistic space and stars textures. Thank you for offering this fun adventure!

    • Ben Neeves says:

      Hey Bonnie,

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment! We are so thrilled that you loved this tutorial and I’m pleased you were able to make it work on your PC. I apologise for any confusion caused but we will definitely take this on board when creating our future bundles 🙂 It is also fantastic to hear that this tutorial was a great help for you when working with masks for the first time 🙂

      Thanks again, Bonnie. If you do have any questions or if there is ever anything I could assist you with please do get in touch. I’m always happy to help!

  11. Jeanne Bertolina says:

    No font?

    • SJ Duff says:

      Hey Jeanne,

      I am so sorry that the fonts used aren’t part of the freebie files for this one.

      Bellisimo and Local Brewery Four were included in previous DC font bundles I am afraid! If you don’t have Bellisimo, a loose handwritten font like RofiTaste by Alit Suarnegara will work as a replacement. For Local Brewery Four, you could substitute a tall, sans serif font with a very slight hint of vintage style like HermanoAlto by Levi Szekeres 🙂

  12. Michael says:

    Where do I find the Unsplash image of the man?

  13. Georgie B says:

    Fantastic Tut thank you! I will give this a go later on and then put the tut to good use on something new of my own – thanks so much DC’s

    • SJ Duff says:

      Hey Georgie,

      Thank you so much for your awesome feedback!

      I hope you enjoy using this in your own projects and please feel free to share anything you create with us- we always love to see what our community is working on 🙂

  14. Rachel says:

    Thanks a lot! It’s great!

  15. Carol Abel says:

    At the end of the tutorial I would like to see a screenshot of what the layers palette should look like if you’ve followed all the steps correctly. As a newbie to Photoshop I find this very helpful. Thank you.

    • Cecilia Ramírez says:

      Thanks again guys!

    • SJ Duff says:

      Hey Carol,

      Thanks so much for your feedback.

      This is an awesome idea and I can absolutely get this over to the team and hopefully this may be something we can include in future tutorials for you 🙂

      If you ever need any help or have any questions at all- please do let us know, we are always happy to help!

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