Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts

In this tutorial, you’ll see how to create an abstract Valentine background, using a simple shape from Custom Shapes Tool and crosshatch brush from Brush Tool. So let’s start!

Final Image Preview

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Create a new document (Ctrl+N) in Adobe Photoshop with the size 1920px by 1200px (RGB color mode) at a resolution of 72 pixels/inch. Using the Rectangle Tool (U), let’s represent a big rectangle reserved for background we want to have.

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

For this layer click on Add a layer style icon from bottom part of the Layers panel and select Gradient Overlay:

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts 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.

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

We’ve got the next background:

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

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

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Click and drag to draw the shape.

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts 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 Stroke:

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

We’ve got the next heart shape:

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

The heart’s layer needs to be rasterized. In this case we need to create a new layer; Select both layers in Layers panel by pressing CTRL button and then press CTRL+E to Merge Down. On the rasterized layer we’ll apply the next filter: Filter>Blur>Motion blur

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

We’ve got the next effect on the heart shape

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Next we need to warp this layer, select Free Transform command by pressing Ctrl+T, click the Switch Between Free Transform And Warp Modes button in the Options bar

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

use the control points to distort the shape the same way as it is shown below:

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Set the Blending mode for this layer to Hard Mix

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Make a copy of the last made layer with the heart on it and select Free Transform (Ctrl+T) command to enlarge the copy, placing it to the left side, applying also Filter>Blur>Gaussian blur

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Set Fill to 25% for this layer

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Make a copy of the very first layer containing the heart and apply on it Filter>Blur>Gaussian blur. Set Fill to 100% for this layer.

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Create a new layer and choose a Soft Round brush from Brush Tool (B)

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Represent a spot of the color #E30002 (Set the brush Opacity to 40% in Options bar)

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

On the next new layer we’ll apply the Soft Round brush of white color (Opacity 60%)

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

to represent a kind of luminescence.

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Set the Blending mode to Linear Dodge for this layer

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

On the next new layer we’ll select the Crosshatch brush from Assorted brushes set
Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4
to represent many stars of different diameter.

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Set the Blending mode to Pin Light for this layer. Also click on Add a layer style icon from bottom part of the Layers panel and select Outer Glow:

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

We’ve got the next glow effect on the stars

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Make a copy of the recently created layer with the stars (remove on the layer’s copy the Outer Glow style by dragging the Effects bar to the Delete icon in the Layers panel)

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Set Fill to 49% and the Blending mode to Pin Light for this layer.

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Create a new layer and use the Crosshatch brush and white color

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

to represent more stars.

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Now we’ll represent the highlights on the heart shape. Create a new layer and select the Hard Mechanical brush and white color

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Using Hard Mechanical brush, mark the highlights’ placement.

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Select now the Smudge Tool (R) on the marked zones to blur out the white lines, finishing the highlights’ representation.

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Getting best result is possible if combining together in a group all the layers composing the background, the hearts with the stars and highlights (press CTRL to select the necessary layers and then 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 last made group and rasterize the copy (select the group and press CTRL+E to Merge Down). Select for the rasterized layer the next filter: Filter>Render>Lens Flare

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

We’ve got the next Lens Flare effect

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

Set the Blending mode to Soft Light for this layer

Create an abstract Valentine background with hearts in Adobe Photoshop CS4

The final result!

View full size here.

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