Have every post delivered to your inbox and get access to hundreds of useful design freebies.
Here is the final image that we’ll be creating in this tutorial:
Open up a new document (600X700px) and create a new layer called ‘brown background’. Select your entire canvas (option+a) and fill it with 2B1104 (dark brown).
Select black as your foreground color and white as your background color. Then create a new layer called ‘main clouds’ and go to filter>render>clouds. Then set this layer’s blend mode to ‘multiply’ and reduce it’s opacity to 65%.
Now select a photo of a phone. Cut out the photo using the pen tool, lasso tool or magic wand tool. I chose to use the magic wand as my image was surrounded by an entirely white background which made this tool work effectively. Once you have done this paste your phone into your canvas. This should automatically be pasted into the center of your canvas. Keep the phone horizontally centrally, but move it to be a little nearer the bottom of your canvas than the top. Also be sure to name this layer ‘phone’.
Now create a new layer beneath your phone layer called ‘light radial gradient’. Select your radial gradient and select a gradient ranging from 683C16 (light brown) to transparent. Then drag outwards from the center of the bottom of your phone to the edge of your canvas.
Create a new layer above this radial gradient layer, but below your phone layer called ‘smaller clouds’. Again, be sure to set your foreground color to black and your background color to white. Then go to filter>render>clouds.
Then go to layer>add layer mask>reveal all. Select a radial gradient ranging from 0% opacity black to 100% opacity black. Then drag out from the center of the bottom of your phone (just like you did to create your previous light radial gradient).
Reduce this clouds layer’s opacity to 25% and change it’s blend mode to ‘color dodge’.
Now paste in an image of some cracked earth. Position it centrally behind the base of your phone. Call this layer ‘cracks’.
Then go to edit>transform>perspective, and drag in the top corners of your image to create the illusion of perspective.
Now go to edit>transform>scale and reduce the height of this image. To reduce the height, whilst keeping the cracks image vertically central, simply holding ‘alt’ as you drag in the free transform box.
Now use a large eraser brush set to around 25% opacity, and erase the edges of your cracks image, so that it blends smoothly into your brown background. You should end up with a circular image of cracks.
Then set this layer’s blend mode to ‘multiply’.
We want to make the cracks a little more intense. To do this go to image>adjustments>levels and apply the settings shown below. This should really bring out the shadows/highlights of your image.
Now paste in an image of a plant, resting in a mound of dirt. I cut out this image using the magic wand tool, as it’s original background was plain white.
You’ll notice in the first image that the magic wand tool left a faint white outline around my plant, despite me choosing the correct tolerance settings. To fix this I simply used a medium sized eraser brush to gently erase these harsh edges.
Resize this plant and fit it at the base of your phone. Repeat this technique with a couple more plants, also positioning them around the base of your phone.
Now go to image>adjustments>levels and apply the level settings shown below to each of your plant images. This will make them more intense, and also blend better with your earthy background.
Now use a small eraser brush at around 20% opacity to carefully erase the bottoms of your dirt mounds on each plant image layer. You want to try and subtly blend each dirt mound into the cracked earth background beneath them.
Now select a mediums sized black paintbrush, 10% opacity, blend mode: color burn. Burn the inner sides of your dirt mountains, giving them more depth. Then change your brush color to white, and your blend mode to ‘color dodge’. Lighten the opposite sides of your dirt mounds by painting in highlights.
Paste in some leafs onto the top corner of your phone, and position them so that they appear to be growing over the top of your phone. To emphasis this idea of depth, apply a drop shadow (settings below). This will really create the impression of these leafs being above your phone, casting a shadow on it.
Now add some more plants and flowers onto your phone. I wanted each of these to have the same drop shadow as the leafs at the top of my phone, so I simply right clicked on my original leaf layer in my layers palette and clicked ‘copy layer style’. Then for each of my new plant/flower layers I right clicked on them and clicked ‘paste layer style’ to apply the exact same drop shadow.
Create a new layer just above your phone layer called ‘screen reflection’. Use your circular marquee selection tool to create an oval selection going across part of your phone screen. Then use a white-transparent linear gradient to create a gradient fading across part of your screen.
Then use your magic wand tool to select the black phone screen on your phone image. With this selection active, return to your ‘screen reflection’ layer and go to layer>apply layer mask>reveal selection. This will mask off the areas of your circular gradient that aren’t over your phone screen.
Finally reduce your ‘screen reflection’ layer’s opacity to around 10%.
Now create a new layer beneath your phone and plant layers, but above your current background layers called ‘background circle 1′. Create a large circular selection and fill it with a transparent to white linear gradient. Then reduce this layer’s opacity to 45% and change it’s blend mode to ‘overlay’.
Now repeat this technique, adding several more background circles. I reduced the opacity of a couple of these circles slightly, in order to create a more random effect.
Now create a new layer called ‘light line 1′. Make sure that you create this layer above your phone layer. Select your pen tool, and create a weaving path that weaves around your phone and plant images.
Now select a 1px, white, hard paintbrush. Select your pen tool, and right click on your path line. Then click ‘stroke path’, making sure that the ‘simulate pressure’ box is checked. This should stroke your path line with a 1px white line.
Now use your lasso tool to select and delete some parts of your ‘light line’, so that the line appears to be going behind your phone at certain points. Then right click on this line layer and in blending options apply an outer glow (settings shown below).
Now use a medium sized eraser brush at a low opacity to gently erase the top of your light line, fading it gradually into your brown background.
Now add another light line. Copy the outer glow layer style from the first light line layer, but change this outer glow to pink. Then move some of your plant layers to give the impression of the light line going in front of them.
Paste in an image of a fly (I cut this image out from it’s original background using the pen tool). Then resize the fly using edit>transform>scale. Duplicate the fly and rotate it slightly to give a more random effect. Repeat this several times until you have several flies floating around the top of your phone.
I also resized some of my flies, making them smaller in order to give the illusion of perspective.
I merge all of my fly layers together, by selecting the top layer and clicking option+e. To make my merged fly layer more intense I go to image>adjustments>levels and apply the settings shown below:
Now apply an outer glow blending option to your fly layer (settings below).
Duplicate your fly layer, and then select the original bottom layer of the two. Select your ‘smudge tool’, and set it’s strength to 50%. Then smudge these original flies, giving the impression of movement. Then reduce this layer’s opacity to 30%, and reduce the top ‘flies’ layer’s opacity to 80%.
Something that has been bothering me is that there is no shadow cast by the phone on the cracked earth. To fix this, I select my cracked earth layer, and using a medium sized, soft, black paintbrush (set to ‘burn’ mode), brush over the area just below the phone.
Now create a new top layer called ‘text box’. Create a rectangular selection spanning all the way across your canvas, positioning under your phone image. Fill it with a linear gradient, ranging from transparent, to black, to transparent (see below). Make sure that your gradient is 25% opacity.
To finish things off I added some simple text (font: Museo).
Tom is the founder of PSDFAN. He loves writing tutorials, learning more about design and interacting with the community. On a more interesting note he can also play guitar hero drunk with his teeth.
Do you know the basic tools in Photoshop but feel that your work is still looking average? Join our creative community at FanExtra and get the direction you need to take your work to the next level.