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How to create retro aesthetic poster in Photoshop

Today, I’m going to show you how to blend a stock image with shapes and pattern, add lightness and color to get a nice retro poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4. Layered PSD file included. Let’s get started!

Final Image Preview

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Create a new document (Ctrl+N) in Adobe Photoshop CS4 with the size 800px by 1024px (RGB color mode) at a resolution of 72 pixels/inch. Create a new layer and click on Add a layer style icon from bottom part of the Layers panel and select Gradient Overlay.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Click in the color bar to open the Gradient Editor and set the color stops as shown. Click OK to close the Gradient Editor dialog box.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
We’ve got the next result:

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Find a stock photo with a model represented on it, I used this photo from deviantart. I would like to thank the author of this photo, or if you prefer, you can substitute similar image of your own.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Remove the background using your favorite tools like Pen Tool (P), Magic Wand Tool (W), Magnetic Lasso (L) or even a simple Filter>Extract and insert it on a new layer in our main document.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Desaturate the girl’s layer by selecting Image>Adjustments>Desaturate or just press CTRL+SHIFT+U.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Take now the Ellipse Tool (U) and represent three small ellipses which should be placed lower than the girl’s layer. The colors are indicated in the next image:

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Take the same tool again and represent three more circles of the same colors and place them also lower than the girl’s layer.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Take again the Ellipse Tool (U) to represent several small ellipses of different diameters and place them under the girl’s layer too:

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Using the same tool, represent two more ellipses above the girl’s head and place the layer under the girl’s one.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Create a new layer and select Soft Round brush of white color (set Opacity to 20% in the Options bar).

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Use this brush to represent a kind of lightness above the girl’s head. Place the layer also lower than the girl’s one.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Next we’ll generate the next pattern using Bgpatterns site. Download the pattern file.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Open it in Adobe Photoshop and choose Edit > Define Pattern. Enter a name for the pattern in the Pattern Name dialog box.
Get back to the girl’s document and create a new layer. Choose Edit > Fill to fill the new layer. In the Fill dialog box, for Use, choose Pattern, select recent created pattern from the pop-up panel, and click OK. Place the layer under the girl’s one.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Set Fill to 29% for this layer and change the Blending mode to Luminosity.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Click on the same layer on the bottom part of the Layers’ panel on Add layer mask icon and using the Soft Round brush of black color (set Opacity to 15% in Options bar) paint in the mask to hide the layer’s edges:

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Next we have to represent a half circle. In this case we’ll use the Ellipse Tool (U) to draw an ellipse and then press Alt button while using the Rectangle Tool (U) to cut out the ellipse. The color for it is #A7622E. Place the layer under the girl’s one.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Make a copy of the last made layer and apply Free Transform (Ctrl+T) command to change the copy’s sizes, turn it over and place it the same way as below:

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Set Fill to 0% for this layer and click Add a layer style icon from bottom part of the Layers panel to select Gradient Overlay.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Click in the color bar to open the Gradient Editor and set the color stops as shown. Click OK to close the Gradient Editor dialog box.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
We’ve got the next result.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Create a new layer and select the Soft Round brush of white color (set Opacity to 15% in Options bar).

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Use this brush to draw a kind of highlight:

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Take now the Pen Tool (P), set the drawing mode on Shape Layers in Options bar to draw the next shapes as shown and place them under the girl’s layer.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Set the Blending mode to Hard Light for each layer containing the shape.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Next we have to combine in a group all the layers composing those three shapes (press CTRL button to select the necessary layers in Layers panel and hold on the left mouse’s button while dragging the selected layers on Create a new group icon from bottom part of the Layers panel).
Make a copy of the group and select Free Transform (Ctrl+T) command to turn over the copy, placing it as below:

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Set Opacity to 60% for the group:

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Take now the Rectangle Tool (U) and draw a rectangle. Place the layer under the girl’s one.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Set Fill to 0% for this layer and click on Add a layer style icon from bottom part of the Layers panel and select Gradient Overlay.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Click in the color bar to open the Gradient Editor and set the color stops as shown. Click OK to close the Gradient Editor dialog box.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
We’ve got the next gradient on the rectangle.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Now we have to rasterize the rectangle’s layer. In this case create a new layer above the rectangle’s layer and select both layers, press finally CTRL+E to Merge Down. Using the Free Transform (Ctrl+T) command we may incline the rectangle and place it as below:

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Using the Pen Tool (P), try to represent the next shape of white color and place it under the girl’s layer.

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4
Using the same tool, try to make the next shape, but smaller than the previous one of the color #FDB8D7

How to create retro aesthetic poster in Adobe Photoshop CS4

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