These Halloween-themed Photoshop tutorials let you create a range of horror-themed designs and artworks from the restrained and uncanny to the over-the-top and fun.

With Halloween around the corner, you're no doubt looking to tap your creative talent to produce artwork and designed in the unholy spirit of the season – whether commercial work or for your Halloween party. Here 13 of our favourite professional illustrators, designers and photographers have created tutorials that detail effects that'll help turn your most disturbing ideas into truly nightmarish visions. There are also a couple of Halloween tutorials for Illustrator – plus an inspiring guide to that mine of messed up artwork, heavy metal album covers.

Click on the images or titles to get to the tutorials.

Photoshop tutorial: Horror film poster effects

Learn how to hide your maniac behind shattered glass in this step-by-step guide by Mark Mayers.

Photoshop tutorial: Bring the wolves to your door

Dan Mumford reveals how he created this lycanthropic poster for punk band Gallows.

Photoshop tutorial: Design a highbrow horror-movie poster

Karim Fakhoury explains how to create a creepy, unsettling piece of poster art

Photoshop tutorial: Slimy text effects

Need some horrible gungy text in a jiffy. Find out how in Tabor Romak's tutorial.

Photoshop tutorial: Paint a fire sprite

Create a fiery figure from a photographic model shot.

Photoshop tutorial: Skeleton on a fixie – hell yes!

Ollie Munden details how to create a mix of horror and hipster that could be called Funny Bones: the Shoreditch Years.

Photoshop tutorial: Create a stylish modern cyborg

Fabio Sasso shows you some techniques for creating a cyborg from photographic sources in Photoshop, tapping into the movie heritage of the cyborg, but mixing it with the glossy ‘Bleach-Bypass’ look of modern sci-fi TV shows such as V and Battlestar Galactica.

Photoshop tutorial: Match colours in your nightmare scenes

Want to composite elements into your horrific visions without them sticking out like a hacked-off thumb. Terrible Tigz Rice shows you how.

Photoshop tutorial: Conjure a nightmare vision of a wolf in a boy's clothing

Mix natural and unnatural elements to produce a disturbing but melancholic piece.

Photoshop tutorial: Make a skull out of type

Unlock the power of Photoshop's Distort tool to create this enigmatic image.

Photoshop tutorial: Creepy chimeras

Chimeras – a mix-and-match approach to animal part favoured by Greeks for many mythical monsters – are great for Halloween. Here Fabio Sasso puts a new spin on Alice's Cheshire Cat.

Photoshop tutorial: Build a fairytale asylum

How Stephen Chan and Andriana Katsiki (AKA Wundercloud) created this unusual artwork.

Photoshop tutorial: X-ray effects

See your insides revealed with the quick guide to producing X-ray effects.

Halloween Illustrator tutorials

As a bonus, also check out these two Halloween-themed tutorials for Adobe Illustrator by the skull-collecting Hydro74.

Adobe Illustrator tutorial: Celebrate the Day of the Dead

Bring Mexico's Día de los Muertos to wherever you are.

Adobe Illustrator tutorial: Skulls and owls

Joshua Smith, aka maverick illustrator Hydro74, has a style that’s instantly recognisable – combining the thick, clean lines of graffiti with the iconography of tattoos and the symmetry and patterns of vector art.

Here he takes you through how he created a work based around his regular motifs of skulls and swirls mixed with that illustration icon, the owl.


If you're looking for inspiration, check out our guide to the latest generation of heavy metal artwork for album covers, posters and t-shirts, which has reinvented the genre to make rock art hip again.

* We're joking about the blood. Unless you cut yourself with a sharp pen or pencil...