Do you dream of creating beautiful images like the ads in glossy magazines but don’t know how to get started in Photoshop? You’re not alone—type “Adobe Photoshop tutorials” into Google and over sixteen million results appear, which is why we’ve curated eight of our favorites into a quick start guide. These tips will help you work with a variety of content and file types, including photos, illustrations, and vectors.
While YouTube is an excellent resource, it’s not always easy to find Photoshop tutorials that are easy to follow. What if all you want to learn is how to use a specific tool or create a single effect without watching a full crash course on Photoshop 101?
Not to worry—we’re here to help. The hardest part of learning anything is often getting started, so consider these quick tips a nudge in the right direction.
There are a whole suite of tools in Photoshop, but here are four that you need to know to get the ball rolling. Here’s a breakdown of four essential tools to help you get started:
1. Magic Wand Tool
One of the oldest tools in Photoshop’s arsenal, the Magic Wand selects pixels based on either tone and color—instead of shape—or by detecting the edges of an object. It’s great for changing colors in an object.
2. Quick Selection Tool
The Quick Selection tool selects pixels based on color and edge detection. It also looks for similar textures, which makes it a designer favorite.
3. Lasso Tool
This is the easiest tool to use for any freehand object selection. Just click and drag around the edges of the object you want to select, then release when you’ve come full circle. Or square. Or person-shape.
4. Pen Tool
The Pen Tool can sometimes seem challenging, but it is essential if you really want to learn graphic design. Once you’ve got the hang of it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
Now that you’ve learned how to use some of the most common tools in Photoshop, it’s time to put them to work. These tutorials teach you how to make basic edits that look professional.
5. Make Buttons For Your Website
This tutorial by Richard Williams shows you how to create buttons for your website that visitors will find irresistibly clickable. While the tutorial opens with a Google search showing results for web buttons, we highly recommend choosing from royalty-free graphics.
6. Turn a Photo into a Pencil Drawing
The computer equivalent of a fun party trick, this awesome tutorial by Blue Lightning TV shows you how to take an ordinary photo and turn it into what looks like a perfect recreation of the photo as a pencil drawing. No more slaving away over carbons and paper—if you have a digital photo and three minutes, this is a skill worth learning.
7. Change Colors in a Photo
Do you have two minutes to learn how to change colors in an image? Follow along with this quick and clean tutorial and watch how pink hues can turn blue. Once upon a time, it might be called it sorcery, but that was before the quick selection tool was invented.
8. Create a Clipping Mask
Want to manipulate an image into looking like cut-out letters or the shape of another object? Look no further—this clipping masks tutorial is perfect for mastering this design trend.
If you’re as excited to practice as we are, you’re in luck! We’ve created a folder of images from our Storyblocks library perfect for trying out your Photoshop skills. Keep at it and you’ll soon be making your own tutorials for newbie designers!
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