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This is the final image that we’ll be creating:
Valentine’s is all about love, although in recent years it’s also become about greeting cards! Luckily you can create your own Valentine’s card in Photoshop. Today we’ll be designing a sleek Valentine’s card to impress your loved ones.
Here is a list of images and files used in the making of this tutorial:
Open up a new document (600X660px). Then open up a second document (60X60px). In the second, smaller document select all of your canvas (option+a) and fill it with black using your paintbucket fill tool.
Then go to your custom shapes panel and select one of the music notes that looks like half a heart shape (see where I’m going with this), with 2 dots to it’s right. Create this shape in the right half of your canvas, and make it so that it exactly fits the height of your canvas, but cuts off the two dots which are outside the canvas.
Now go to layer>rasterize>layer to rasterize this custom shape. Select the shape using your marquee tool, and then copy/paste it onto a new layer. Then go to edit>transform>flip horizontal and flip the copied shape to fit next to the original, creating a heart shape.
Now select the top-middle part of each of your shapes and go to edit>transform>scale. Then drag in the center edge inwards, to fill the gap left in the previous step.
Then create a new layer and select/fill in the center of your heart outline with white using your lasso tool. Merge down all layers apart from your black background, leaving your white heart on a single layer.
Now apply a gradient overlay to your heart shape layer, making it fade between shades of dark gray.
Then go to edit>define pattern and call your pattern ‘heart pattern’.
Now return to your 600X660 document and create a new layer called ‘background’. Fill it with black, and then go to blending options and apply your ‘heart pattern’ as a pattern overlay. Reduce your pattern overlay opacity to 15% to make it more subtle.
Now create a large red heart in the center of your canvas, using the exact same techniques as you used to create the heart for your background pattern.
Now grab the free Swirls/Flowers Brush Set linked to at the top of this tutorial. Create a new layer above your heart shape layer called ‘dark red brush’ and apply various brushes from the set over your heart.
You can see from the first image below that the brushes are overlapping the heart and going into the background, which I don’t want to happen. To fix this, option click on your heart shape layer in your layer’s palette to select all data on this layer (in this case your heart shape). Then with this shape selected, go to select>inverse to invert your selection. Then return to your dark red brush strokes layer and hit delete to delete all brush strokes outside of your heart.
Now go to blending options for your heart shape layer, and apply a radial gradient, ranging from lighter red to darker red.
Now create a new top layer called hidden shapes. Use your swirls and flowers brush set to paint over your heart. Then option+click on this layer to select all of your shapes. Go to select>save selection and save this selection as ‘hidden shapes’. Then return to your heart shape layer and load this selection. Then go to layer>add layer mask>hide selection. This will hide these shapes on your heart shape layer. Load your selection again, and select your dark red shapes layer, then repeat the same steps to mask off the same selection on this layer.
Now paste in a photo of two people kissing and position it over your heart. Set your blend mode to multiply, and then use a large, soft eraser brush to erase the edges of your photo so that it fits nicely into the center of your heart. There is no need to play around with masking, as the multiply blend mode on this layer should allow the patterns over your heart to show through just fine.
Now paste in an image of a cherub statue into the center of your canvas, above your heart shape.
Next move this cherub layer beneath your original heart shape layer, and go to image>adjustments>curves. Change the curves graph to look like the second image below, and this should intensify the shadows of your cherub image.
Finally, use a large, soft eraser brush at around 10% opacity to erase away the bottom of your cherub, merging it smoothly with the main background. Then to fit the cherub with the black background better, go to image>adjustments>brightness/contrast and reduce the brightness to -30.
Now create a new layer beneath your cherub layer, but above your black background layer. Call this new layer ‘border’. Use your rectangular selection tool to create a large, gold (FFB932) colored rectangle that fits about 15px from your canvas’s edge. Then with this rectangle selected go to select>modify>contract and contract your selection by 10px. Then hit delete. You should be left with a 10px gold border for your card.
Go to blending options for the border layer and apply an inner glow effect (settings shown below). Then apply a satin blending option (settings below).
Paste in a photo of some golden wings. No photo manipulation was required, as the photo already had good contrast and color to it. Use your lasso tool to cut out the wing, and then move this to a layer beneath your heart shape. Finally go to edit>transform>rotate and rotate/resize the wing to fit to the top corner of your card.
Then duplicate this layer and go to edit>transform>flip horizontal. Move the flipped wing to the other corner of your canvas.
Now I decide that I want my cherub to have a golden tint to it. I go to the blending options for this layer and apply a color overlay. I set the overlay to a golden color (FFCC00) and set the blend mode to ‘color’.
Paste in your image of a piece of scroll parchment. We want to work this image into a complete scroll, spanning the bottom of the card.
To do this cut out your scroll using the lasso tool. Then once you have done this, duplicate your scroll layer, and flip the duplicate horizontal. Then simply match up the two halves.
Next go to edit>transform>scale and reduce the height of your parchment. Then go to image>adjustments>brightness/contrast and up the contrast to +45 in order to bring out the details and shadows of the rolled areas of parchment at each end.
Now create a new layer called ‘parchment dark’. Grab and rough brush (I chose a watercolor one), and apply dark brown (261C09) brush marks all over your scroll. Then select your scroll shape (option+click on your scrol layer in the layers palette) and go to select>inverse, then hit delete. Finally, reduce this layer’s opacity to around 15%.
Now apply a drop shadow blending option to your original parchment layer, to give the impression of depth, that it is in front of your golden border.
Now right click on your parchment layer in your layer’s palette and click ‘copy layer style’. Then right click on your wing layers and click ‘paste layer style’. The wings will receive the same drop shadow effect and will stand out more against the border.
Also add some nice looking text into the center of your parchment.
Now select your cherub layer and use your marquee tool to select the top left wing area above the cherub’s head. With your selection in place, go to edit>transform>skew, and then skew down the top corner so that it fits with the golden borderline. Repeat the same for the other side.
Now select a medium sized, soft eraser brush set to around 10% and erase away the edges of these wing areas, blending them subtly into the golden border.
Now return to your heart shape layer and copy it. Paste this onto a new layer beneath your parchment layers. Then rotate your heart to fit nicely to the side of your parchment. Right click on your original heart layer and click ‘copy layer style’. Then right click on your new, smaller heart and click ‘paste layer style’. This should paste the radial gradient overlay of your original. Then reduce this layer’s opacity to 40%, and duplicate it. Flip the duplicate horizontal and move it across to the other side of your parchment.
Now flatten your layers by going to layer>flatten image. Resize your flattened card image, and then apply a medium gray/blue gradient overlay. Also give your canvas a dark blue gradient effect.
Now duplicate this layer. Right click on the duplicate layer in your layers palette and click ‘clear layer style’. This should remove the gradient overlay effect and reveal your card design. Now go to edit>transform>skew and skew down the right side of your card. This should give the impression of a Valentine’s Day card opening.
Finally apply a drop shadow effect to your top card layer in order to give further depth, and the impression that it is casting a shadow on the inside of your card.
I really hope that you enjoyed this tutorial, and as always appreciate your comments and thoughts.
If you’re looking for more Valentine’s Day inspiration then check out these Valentines designs over at our sister site MyDesignDeals.
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.
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