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Master Advanced Drawing in Photoshop by Creating an Old Alarm Clock From Scratch

Master Advanced Drawing in Photoshop by Creating an Old Alarm Clock From Scratch

Drawing in Photoshop can be a scary learning curve to start with. Beyond the basic shape tools there are a host of more complex features that can make the difference between an intermediate and an advanced user.

Today we’re going to explore some of these features and learn how to create a realistic alarm clock vector. This will be an entirely non-destructive process, that results in a clean, scalable vector outcome. Simply put, you’ll follow the workflow of a true professional and learn how to use Photoshop’s advanced drawing tools the right way.

Each step is carefully explained, so you should be able to follow along with ease.

Let’s get started!

Final Image

As always, this is the final image that we’ll be creating:

Step 1

Open Photoshop and hit Control + N to create a new document. Enter all the data shown in the following image and click OK. Enable the Grid (View > Show > Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap To > Grid). For starters you will need a grid every 5px. Simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices and focus on the Grid section. Enter 5 in the Gridline Every box and 1 in the Subdivision box. Also, set the grid color at #a7a7a7. Once you set all these properties click OK. Don’t get discouraged by all that grid. It will ease your work later. You should also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes.

Step 2

Set the foreground color at #4b4b4b, pick the Ellipse Tool and create a 410px circle.

Step 3

Select the vector shape made in the previous step, make sure that the Ellipse Tool is still active and focus on the top bar. Check the Subtract button then create a 350px circle as shown in the following image.

Step 4

Focus on the Layers panel and double click on the existing vector shape to open the Layer Style window. Activate the Inner Shadow, the Inner Glow, the Bevel and Emboss and the Gradient Overlay then enter the properties shown in the following images.





Step 5

Duplicate your vector shape (Control + J). Focus on the Layers panel, right click on this copy and go to Clear Layer Style. Make sure that your copy remains selected, lower its Fill to 0% and open the Layers Style window. Activate the Bevel and Emboss then enter the properties shown in the following image.


Step 6

Set the foreground color at #feffef, pick the Ellipse Tool, create a 350px circle and place it as shown in the first image. Focus on the Layers panel, open the Layer Style window for this new shape and enter the properties shown in the following image.


Step 7

Set the foreground color at #414141, pick the Ellipse Tool, create a new 350px circle and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this new shape stays selected, continue with the Ellipse Tool, check the Subtract button from the top bar and draw a 340px circle as shown in the second image.

Step 8

Set the foreground color at black, pick the Ellipse Tool, create a new 320px circle and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this new shape is selected, lower its Fill to 0% and open the Layer Style window. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.


Step 9

Pick the Ellipse Tool, create a 310px circle and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this new shape is selected, lower its Fill to 0% and open the Layer Style window. Enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.


Step 10

For the following steps you will need a grid every 1px. Simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices and enter 1 in the Gridline Every box. Set the foreground color at red and pick the Rectangle Tool. Create a two, 6 by 5px shapes and place them as shown in the following image. Next, you need to turn these two rectangles into a simple smart object. Focus on the Layers panel, select both shapes, right click on one of them and go to Convert to Smart Object.

Step 11

Duplicate the smart object made in the previous step (Control + J). Select this copy, hit Control + T and focus on the top bar. Enter "90" in the Rotate box and hit Enter.

Step 12

Reselect the smart object made in the tenth step and duplicate it (Control + J). Select this new copy, hit Control + T, enter "30" in the Rotate box and hit Enter.

Step 13

Reselect the smart object made in the tenth step and duplicate it (Control + J). Select this new copy, hit Control + T, enter "-30" in the Rotate box and hit Enter. Select all four smart object and turn them into a single smart object.

Step 14

Pick a light blue for the foreground color and grab Rectangle Tool. Create a two, 2 by 5px shapes and place them as shown in the following image. Select both rectangles and turn them into a simple smart object.

Step 15

Duplicate the smart object made in the previous step (Control + J). Select this copy, hit Control + T, enter "6" in the Rotate box and hit Enter.

Step 16

Reselect that blue smart object made in the fourteenth step and duplicate it (Control + J). Select this new copy, hit Control + T, enter "12" in the Rotate box and hit Enter.

Step 17

Duplicate the blue smart object made in the fourteenth step (Control + J). Select this new copy, hit Control + T, enter "18" in the Rotate box and hit Enter.

Step 18

Select the blue smart object made in the fourteenth step and hit Control + T. Enter "24" in the Rotate box then hit the Enter. Select all four, blue smart objects and turn them into a single smart object.

Step 19

Duplicate the smart object made in the previous step (Control + J). Select this copy, hit Control + T, enter "30" in the Rotate box and hit Enter. Select both blue smart objects and turn them into a single smart object.

Step 20

Duplicate the smart object made in the previous step (Control + J). Select this copy, hit Control + T, enter "60" in the Rotate box and hit Enter.

Step 21

Duplicate the blue smart object made in the nineteenth step (Control + J). Select this new copy, hit Control + T, enter "-60" in the Rotate box and hit Enter. Select all blue smart objects and turn them into a single smart object.

Step 22

Select the blue smart object made in the previous step along with the red smart object and turn them into a single smart object. Open the Layer Style window for this new smart object, enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK.


Step 23

Pick the Type Tool (T), set the text color at #1e1e1e and add the numbers as shown in the following image.

Step 24

Switch back to Gridline every 5px. So, go to Edit > Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices and enter 5 in the Gridline Every box. Set the foreground color at #282828, pick the Ellipse Tool, create a 30px circle and place it as shown in the first image. Open the Layer Style window for this new shape and enter the properties shown in the following images.






Step 25

Set the foreground color at #c0c1b4, pick the Ellipse Tool, create a 10px circle and place it as shown in the first image. Open the Layer Style window for this new shape and enter the properties shown in the following images. Make sure that you edit the positioning for that radial gradient used in the Gradient Overlay section. Open the Gradient Overlay window, focus on your circle and simply click and drag to modify the starting point for that radial gradient.





Step 26

Focus on the little circles made in the previous steps. Set the foreground color at #323232, pick the Rectangle Tool, create a 10 by 170px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this new vector shape stays selected and focus on the bottom side. Pick the Add Anchor Point Tool and add a new anchor point as shown in the first zoomed image. Switch to the Convert Point Tool and simply click on that new anchor point. Keep focusing on the bottom side of this rectangle and grab the Direct Selection Tool. Select the left and right anchor points and drag them 5px up. In end things should look like in the second image.

Step 27

For the following steps you will need a Gridline every 1px. So, go to Edit > Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices and enter 1 in the Gridline Every box. Set the foreground color at #c0c1b4 and pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool. Focus on the top bar, set the radius at 10px then create a 2 by 45px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Move to the Layers panel, select this thin rounded rectangle along with the dark shape made in the previous step and drag them below those two central circles. Open the Layer Style window for the thin rounded rectangle made in the beginning of the step and enter the properties shown in the following image.


Step 28

Open the Layer Style window for the dark vector shape made in the twenty-sixth step and enter the properties shown in the following images.





Step 29

Select both vector shapes made in the last three steps and group them (Control + G). Select this new group and hit Control + T. Focus on your group, hold the Alt key from your keyboard, click on the reference points (the little circle that you can find in the middle of your shapes) and drag it in the center of those little circles. Now, move to the top bar, enter "15" in the Rotate box and hit Enter. In the end your rotated group should look like in the second image.

Step 30

Set the foreground color at #323232, pick the Rectangle Tool, create a 14 by 120px shape and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this new vector shape stays selected and focus on the bottom side. Pick the Add Anchor Point Tool and add a new anchor point as shown in the zoomed image. Switch to the Convert Point Tool and simply click on that new anchor point. Grab the Direct Selection Tool, select the left and right anchor points and drag them 8px up. In end things should look like in the second image. Set the foreground color at #323232, pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create a 2 by 32px vector shape and place it as shown in the third image.

Step 31

Focus on the Layers panel, select both vector shapes made in the previous step and group them (Control + G). Select this new group and drag it below those tiny, central circles. Keep focusing on this group, open the Layer Style window for the dark vector shape and enter the properties shown in the following image.





Step 32

Keep focusing on the group made in the previous step. Open the Layer Style window for thar thin rounded rectangle and enter the properties shown in the following image.


Step 33

Select the group made in the thirty-first step, hit Control + T and rotate it -60 degrees. Make sure that you don’t forget to drag the reference point in the center of those little circles.

Step 34

Set the foreground color at black, pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create a 4 by 75px vector shape and place it as shown in the first image. Select this new shape, hit Control + T, drag that reference point in the center and rotate it 45 degrees. Open the Layer Style window for this vector shape and enter the properties shown in the following images.




Step 35

Set the foreground color at #9f0b0b, pick the Rectangle Tool, create a 164 by 2px vector shape and place it as shown in the first image. Focus on the right side of this thin rectangle, make sure that it stays selected and switch to the Rounded Rectangle Tool. Focus on the top bar, set the radius at 2px, check the Add button from the top bar then draw a 20 by 6px vector shape as shown in the second image.

Step 36

Focus on the Layers panel, select the vector shape made in the previous step and drag it below those central circles. Open the Layer Style window for this red vector shape and enter the properties shown in the following images.



Step 37

Duplicate the light yellow circle made in the sixth step (Control + J). Bring this copy to front (Shift + Control + ] ), clear the existing layer style properties and lower its Fill to 0%. Keep focusing on this copy, open the Layer Style window and enter the properties shown in the following images.




Step 38

Switch back to Gridline every 5px. So, go to Edit > Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices and enter 5 in the Gridline Every box. Set the foreground color at #ccd3d5, pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool, set the radius at 50px and create a 170 by 100px vector shape. Make sure that this new rounded rectangles is selected and go to Edit > Transform > Warp. Focus on the top bar, select Arc Upper from the Warp drop-down menu, enter 10 in the Bend box and hit Enter.

Step 39

Make sure that the vector shape made in the previous step stays selected and pick the Rectangle Tool. Check the Subtract button from the top bar and create a 180 by 55px vector shape as shown in the first image. Switch to the Ellipse Tool, make sure that the Subtract button is still active and draw a 170 by 20px vector shape as shown in the second image.

Step 40

Open the Layer Style window for the vector shape made in the previous step and enter the properties shown in the following images.



Step 41

Duplicate the vector shape edited in the previous step (Control + J). Focus on this copy and clear the current Layer Style properties. Lower its Fill to 0% then open the Layer Style window and enter the properties shown in the following image.


Step 42

Duplicate the vector shape edited in the previous step (Control + J). Focus on this copy and clear the current Layer Style properties. Lower its Fill to 0% then open the Layer Style window and enter the properties shown in the following image.


Step 43

Duplicate the vector shape edited in the previous step (Control + J). Focus on this copy and clear the current Layer Style properties. Lower its Fill to 0% then open the Layer Style window and enter the properties shown in the following image.


Step 44

Duplicate the vector shape edited in the previous step (Control + J). Focus on this copy and clear the current Layer Style properties. Lower its Fill to 0% then open the Layer Style window and enter the properties shown in the following image.


Step 45

Pick the Ellipse Tool, create a 170 by 20px vector shape and place it as shown in the first image. Open the Layer Style window for this squeezed circle and enter the properties shown in the following image.



Step 46

Pick the Rectangle Tool, create a 20 by 45px vector shape and place it as shown in the first image. Open the Layer Style window for this new rectangle and enter the properties shown in the following images.



Step 47

Duplicate the vector shape made in the previous step (Control + J). Focus on this copy and clear the current Layer Style properties. Lower its Fill to 0% then open the Layer Style panel and enter the properties shown in the following image.


Step 48

Focus on the Layers panel, hold Control and click on the squeezed circle made in the forty-sixth step. This should load a simply selection around your shape. Make sure that it stays active, select the rectangle made in the previous step and simply click on the Add layer mask button from the bottom of the Layers panel. Hit Control + D to get rid of that selection then double click on your masked rectangles. Check the "Layer Mask Hidden Effects" box and click OK.

Step 49

Hit Shift + Control + Alt + N to create a new layers, select it and make sure that it goes in the top of the Layers panel. Select this new layer, set the foreground color at white and pick the Brush Tool. Right click inside your document to open the Brush Preset picker, enter 50px for the size and 0% for the Hardness. Select the new layer made in the beginning of the step and add a simple white brush as shown in the following image.

Step 50

Focus on the Layers panel and load a selection around the vector shape made in the fortieth step. Once you get your selection, select the layer made in the previous step and hit the Add layer mask button from the bottom of the Layers panel. Select this masked layer, lower its Opacity to 75% and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.

Step 51

Pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool, create a 20 by 10px vector shape and place it as shown in the first image. Send this tiny rounded rectangle to back (Shift + Control + [ ), open the Layer Style window and enter the properties shown in the following images.



Step 52

Select all the shapes made in the last fourteen steps and turn them into a smart object. Select this new smart object and rotate it -30 degrees.

Step 53

Select the smart object made in the previous step, send it to back (Shift + Control + [ ), place it as shown in the first image then duplicate it (Control + J). Select this copy, flip it horizontally (Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal) then drag it to the right as shown in the third image.

Step 54

Create a new Layers, drag it in the top of the Layers panel and select it. Set the foreground color at black and pick the Brush Tool. Open the Brush Preset picker window and set the size at 20px. Focus on your illustration and add two simple brush lines as shown in the following image.

Step 55

Focus on the Layers panel and load a selection around the left smart object made in the fifty-third step. Hold Shift + Control then click on the other smart object made in the fifty-third step. Finally, hold Alt + Control and click on the vector shape made in the third step. In the end your selection should look like in the third image.

Step 56

Make sure that the selection made in the previous step is still active. Select layer made in the fifty-fourth step, change its Blending Mode to Soft Light then simply hit the Add layer mask button.

Step 57

For the following steps you will need a grid every 1px. Simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices and enter 1 in the Gridline Every box. Pick the Rectangle Tool, create a 6 by 22px vector shape and place it as shown in the following image. Switch to the Ellipse Tool, create a 40px circle and place it as shown below.

Step 58

Open the Layer Style window for the rectangle made in the previous step and enter the properties shown in the following images.




Step 59

Open the Layer Style window for the circle made in the fifty-seventh step and enter the properties shown in the following images.




Step 60

Switch back to Gridline every 5px. So, go to Edit > Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices and enter 5 in the Gridline Every box. Set the foreground color at blue, pick the Rectangle Tool and create a 25 by 40px vector shape. Make sure that this new rectangle stays selected and focus on the left and right sides. Pick the Add Anchor Point Tool and add two new anchor point as shown in the first image. Switch to the Convert Point Tool and simply click on these new anchor points. Grab the Direct Selection Tool, select the bottom, left anchor point and drag it 5px to the right then select the bottom, right anchor point and drag it 5px to the left. In end things should look like in the second image. Make sure that this vector shape stays selected and pick the Ellipse Tool. Check the Add button from the top bar and add a 15 by 10px vector vector shape as shown in the third image. Open the Layer Style window for this little shape, enter the properties shown in the following image and click OK. Move to the Layers panel and turn this vector shape into a smart object.

Step 61

Select the smart object made in the previous step, rotate it -30 degrees, send it to back (Shift + Control + [ ) and place it as shown in the second image. Open the Layer Style window for this little smart object and enter the properties shown in the following image.


Step 62

Duplicate the smart object edited in the previous step (Control + J). Select this copy, flip it horizontally (Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal), drag it ot the left and place it as shown in the following image. Open the Layer Style window for this copy and inverse the angle used for the Inner Shadow.


Step 63

Set the foreground color at red, pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a vector shape as show in the first image (use the grid as a reference). Focus on this new shape, replace the red with black and lower its Opacity to 15%.

Step 64

Make sure that the foreground color is set at red, pick the Pen Tool (P) and create a new vector shape as show in the first image. Select it, replace the red with black and lower its Opacity to 10%.

Step 65

Duplicate the vector shape made in the previous step (Control + J). Select this copy, raise the Opacity to 100%, turn it into a smart object and go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. Enter a 3px radius and click OK. Select the smart object made in this step along with the two vector shapes made in the last two steps and group them (Control + G). Select this new group and send it to back (Shift + Control + [ ).

Step 66

Go to the Layers panel. Hold Alt and double click on that "Background" layer from the bottom of the Layers panel. This will immediately unlock it. Open the Layer Style window for this layer, enter the properties shown in the following images click OK and you’re done.



And We’re Done!

Here is how your final result should look.

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About the Author:

I spend most of my time working in Adobe Illustrator and I have my own website that focuses on this program. So far, I published over 150 tutorials on my websites and on other vector-related websites. You can see them all on VForVectors

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1 Comment:

  1. Roofi Sardar says:

    Great tutorial! Each step elaborately explained. It really must have taken you a while to write this one.

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