How to Create a Romantic Valentine’s Day card

In this tutorial, you’ll learn to design a romantic Valentine’s Day card from scratch in Photoshop. Here is a simple tutorial for beginners in the spirit of Valentine’s Day which will explain how to use Pen Tool, Custom Shape and Layer Style to create a romantic card in Photoshop. Let’s get started!

Final Image Preview

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Create a new document (File>New) 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.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
For this layer click on Add a layer style icon from bottom part of the Layers panel and select Gradient Overlay:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in 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.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
We’ve got the next radial gradient on the background:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Next we’ll represent a shape on the background. Choose the Pen Tool (P), select from Options bar the Shape Layers drawing mode and draw the next shape:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Set Fill to 0% for this layer and apply Gradient Overlay by selecting Add a layer style from bottom part of the Layers panel.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in 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.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
We’ve got the next background:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Make a copy of the layer containing the shape. Then select Free Transform (Ctrl+T) command to move the copy to the right side. You can make some corrections of the anchor points using the Convert Point Tool.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Set the Fill to 0% for this layer and apply Gradient Overlay:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in 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.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
We’ve got the next abstract background for our card:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in 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.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Click and drag to draw the shape.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Click on Add a layer style icon from bottom part of the Layers panel and select Gradient Overlay:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in 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.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Also apply the Stroke:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Select Fill Type – Gradient and 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.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
We’ve got the next effect on the heart shape:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Make a copy of the layer with the heart on it and select Free Transform (Ctrl+T) command to make smaller the copy.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Set Fill to 0% for this layer and apply Gradient Overlay by selecting Add a layer style from bottom part of the Layers panel.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in 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.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
We’ve got the next effect on the heart shape:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Let’s create now a highlight on the heart. To create the highlight we’ll try to draw multiple shapes in a layer and modify the first shape using Subtract option. Select the Ellipse Tool (U), draw the first ellipse shape and then holding Alt button (or select from Options bar the Subtract From Shape Area options to remove the overlapping area from the existing ellipse shape) draw the second ellipse shape as shown:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Set Fill to 0% for this layer and apply Gradient Overlay by selecting Add a layer style from bottom part of the Layers panel

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in 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.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
We’ve got the next highlight on the heart shape:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Make a copy of the recently made layer containing the highlight and choose the Free Transform (Ctrl+T) command to turn over the copy, placing it the same way as it is indicated below:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Set Fill to 0% for this layer and apply Gradient Overlay

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in 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.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
We’ve got the second highlight on the heart shape:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Make another copy of the heart and select Free Transform (Ctrl+T) command to make the copy smaller. Select Ellipse Tool (U), press Alt button (Subtract From Shape Area) and draw the next ellipse as shown to remove the overlapping area from the existing heart shape:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Set the Fill to 0% for this layer and click on Add a layer style icon from bottom part of the Layers panel to select Gradient Overlay:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in 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.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
We’ve got the next effect on the heart shape:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Combine in a group all the layers composing the heart (press CTRL button to select the necessary layers in the Layers panel and hold on the left mouse’s button while dragging the selected layers down on Create a new group icon). Then we’ll Merge Down the group. In this case we’ll select the group and then press CTRL+E.

Make two copies of the heart’s layer. Use Free Transform (Ctrl+T) command to change their sizes and the copies’ placement as shown.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
We’ve got the next composition:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Try to represent now the rays of light, applying the Pen Tool (P). The rays’ layer we’ll situate under the hearts’ layers.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
We’ve got the next result:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Combine in a group all the layers with the rays (press CTRL button to select the corresponding layers in Layers panel and hold on the left mouse’s button to move down the selected layers on Create a new group icon).

Let’s rasterize the group now the same way described above earlier by pressing Ctrl+E. Make a copy of the last made rasterized layer and select Free Transform (Ctrl+T) command to make smaller the copy and turn it around by its axe.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Set Fill to 53% for this layer:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Make one more copy of the last made layer and select Free Transform (Ctrl+T) command to turn the copy around by its axe.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Put together in a group again all the layers composing the rays (press CTRL button to select the necessary layers and hold on the left mouse’s button to take the selected layers on Create a new group icon). Set for the group Fill to 70%.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Create a new layer and select the Hard Mechanical brush from Brush Tool (B)
Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4

Set the Foreground color to white and represent many dots of different diameter as shown:

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Click on the same layer on the bottom part of the Layers panel on Add layer mask, select the mask to make it active and choose the Soft Round brush of black color (Opacity 15%)

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Make some brushstroke to erase the dots along the document’s edges.

Design a romantic Valentine's Day card from scratch in Photoshop CS4
Finished!

View full size here.

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