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In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a simple mailbox icon in Photoshop.
This tutorial is aimed or beginners. We are going to use simple tools like the pen tool and layer styles so it’s important to have a basic grasp of Photoshop’s key features.
This lesson will show you how to put them to work and create a practical outcome.
As always, this is the final image that we’ll be creating:
Create a new file and gather some reference images from Google.
Create a new layer, from reference image, start creating the base of the top part, pick up the pen tool (P), click and drag to create curved surface and draw the outline like screenshot below.
While using the pen tool, right click and choose Fill Path.
Choose color in fill window and choose some basic grey color.
Double click the layer in layer panel to open layer style, check gradient overlay, click on gradient to open gradient editor, on top right corner, click the gear like button to open preset types, choose Metals.
Apply settings from the screenshot below and then modify the gradient a little bit, making the second white mark a little longer by extending it using a third white marker.
Use move tool (V) while layer style is open to place the gradient as shown below.
Create a new Layer, Pick up the brush tool (B) and set it to sharp 4 pixel with grey color, then choose pen tool and draw an outline at the right end of the drawing, right click and choose stroke this time instead of fill. Choose brush in stroke option and click ok.
Double click on layer to open layer style, and set bevel and emboss from the screenshot.
Same way, stroke a line with pen tool on left side, and apply gradient overlay instead of bevel. In gradient, choose same silver metal preset. Use move tool to position it to match with lighting.
Keep things organize, create a new group in layer panel, select layers and drag and drop them on group icon to group them.
Create the shape with pen tool in new layer, and feel it with color.
Apply simple gradient overlay to match the lighting.
Like we did previously, stroke outline with pen tool with brush of 4 pixels in grey color. Apply these settings.
Set the Blending option to soft light for more shiny effect. Group these layers.
With pen tool, draw and fill shape of the base in a new layer. Keep the layers of this base below the layers we have drawn before.
Apply gradient overlay setting like before we did, change angle and scale to match like in screenshot, change position with move tool to match.
Draw and fill base circle with pen tool or Elliptical marquee tool (M), click and hold on rectangular marquee tool to open it.
Apply basic gradient overlay settings, use move tool to match the lighting.
Create similar layer below the 1st layer, and apply these settings. Use move tool to match gradient with lighting as usual. We are using same silver preset in gradient.
In a new layer, draw a line with pen tool on the edge of the circular base, stroke it with 2 pixel white brush, and apply this gradient overlay setting to match the lighting. Group these layers.
Between the groups we have created, draw the remaining part of the box with the pen tool and fill it with dark grey color. Apply gradient overlay to match the lighting. Notice that reverse box is checked, and also the right side of the gradient is darker. Use move tool for the best look.
Grab or create a letter, I have this letter graphics, hit CTRL+T to transform, or go to edit menu > Transform. Move corners to create the perspective look. Duplicate the layer by right clicking and choosing duplicate layer in layer panel.
Place them in between the top and base layers, or erase the unwanted part to make it look like it is inside the box. Apply these settings to match the lighting and shadows.
Draw the shape of base of the handle with pen tool and feel it with grey.
With pen tool, stroke the shape of edges using brush of white color with 2 pixel. Duplicate the layer, select the original bottom layer and go to menu bar, choose Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur.
On the base handle layer, apply these settings to match lighting and perspective.
Draw two shape for handle with pen tool and fill them with red color. Apply Bevel to them. Notice that we are keeping opacity of shadow low here.
With elliptical marquee tool, feel a circle with grey to create bolt, and apply this setting.
With similar method, create this joint. Draw shape, fill it with grey, apply bevel. Duplicate bolt layer and move it here.
Mailbox is now ready, but we can refine the highlights and shadow for better look. Pickup dodge tool and scratch some area you think need more light.
Click and hold on dodge tool to select burn tool, apply it where you need things darker.
You can also create a new adjustment layer from layer menu, and choose curves. Click anywhere and drag to create point, adjust it like screenshot to get some contrast between highlight and shadows. Congrats, now you have the icon!
You can view the final outcome below. I hope that you enjoyed this tutorial and would love to hear your feedback on the techniques and outcome.
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Jay Adrianna is a Freelance Writer, and has been since 2009. She is also a WordPress enthusiast and an Internet Marketer. She loves writing on a myriad of niches including freelancing, blogging, marketing, business, and many more.
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