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Merry Christmas tree design

In this tutorial, you will learn how to use custom shapes and Pen Tool in Photoshop CS3 to create Christmas illustration with stars in a few simple steps. Read on to learn more.

Final Image Preview

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Start working by creating a new document (Ctrl+N) in Adobe Photoshop CS3 with the size 1280px by 1024px (RGB color mode) at a resolution of 72 pixels/inch. Use the Paint Bucket Tool (G) to fill with black color the new background layer.
Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Take now the Rectangle Tool (U) and draw a rectangle on the whole canvas. Click on Add a layer style icon from bottom part of the Layers panel and select Gradient Overlay.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3
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.
Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3
We’ve got the next background:
Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Duplicate this layer and change the Opacity to 0% for copy.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Go to Layer Style and change the Gradient Overlay settings as shown.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3
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.
Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3
We’ve got the next result:
Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Now take the Ellipse Tool (U) and draw the next ellipse, set Opacity to 0% for this layer.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Click on Add a layer style icon from bottom part of the Layers panel and select Gradient Overlay.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3
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.
Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

It’s the result you must get on this stage:

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Select now the Pen Tool (P) and try to represent the contours of a fir tree, like on the next picture:

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Select the Custom Shape Tool (U) in the Tools bar, in the Options bar click the Shape to open the selection menu. Find 5 Point Star at the bottom of the menu, and then double-click a shape thumbnail to select it.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Fill the whole fir tree’s inside space with selected shape, changing also their sizes using Free Transform (Ctrl+T) command.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

One star should be situated on the fir tree’s top, click on Add a layer style icon from bottom part of the Layers panel and select Outer Glow.
Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

This is the result you should get now:

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Next we’ll select three types of snowflakes from Custom Shape Tool (U) like those from below:

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Draw and place the snowflakes in an arbitrary way on our canvas, we may change their Opacity value on the Layers panel: Fill: 10%, 20%, 40%.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Choose again the Custom Shape Tool (U) in the Tools bar, in the Options bar click the Shape to open the selection menu. Find Registration Target 2 at the bottom of the menu, and then double-click a shape thumbnail to select it.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Draw and place this shape under the layer containing the top star, the same way situated below: Fill – 0% on this layer:

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

Click on Add a layer style icon from bottom part of the Layers panel and select Gradient Overlay.

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3
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.
Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3
We’ve got the next result:

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3
Choose the Pen Tool (P), set the drawing mode on Shape Layers in Options bar and draw the next shape as shown on the fir tree, choosing the next colors:

Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3
We’ve got the next result:
Merry Christmas tree design in Photoshop CS3

The final result!

View full size here.

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