Discover how the artistic handling of light and texture when combined with layers in Photoshop can bring art to life.

This tutorial covers some methods of how to texture images in Photoshop with custom brushes and layer styles, and also looks a little at light sources and composition, which will really boost your creative artwork.

As an added bonus, the final steps in the masterclass take the artwork further, with tips on how to prepare your image for reproduction as a pin badge!

The lines and the jungle background layer for the piece, which I’ve called Walkies, are provided as a hi-res jpeg for you to work with on the cover CD (or by download), so you can jump straight into the tutorial.

There are many online resources that offer royalty-free brushes to use in your creative work, and I’d recommend visiting the following sites for the great brushes I use in this tutorial: Thierry Doizon’s site ( and Thomas Scholes site (

This tutorial also requires Mac’s Remove white filter, which you can download from

Step 1
Make a new layer from the Background to put the art on its own layer, and name the layer ‘Lines’. Run Mac’s Remove White filter to eliminate the white pixels. Click ‘lock transparent pixels’ in the layers palette and make some new layers called ‘girl skin/gorilla hair’, ‘hair & trees’, ‘ribbon’, ‘clothes & skull’, ‘kneepads & vines’, ‘blends’, and ‘background’. Place them all underneath the ‘Lines’ layer.

Step 2
Fill the background layer with a neutral green/blue colour to give you the feel of the picture, and because you should never colour against a white background; it makes colours harder to read. Use the airbrush to make some variations in tone. Use a hard-edge brush to flat-fill the foreground colours on separate layers. Use the [and ]keys respectively to decrease/increase the size of your brush.