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Photoshop Elements 11 tutorial
How to make "Taking-a-Shower" illustration using Photoshop Elements 11
Buy:  be sure to choose version that matches operating system
Photoshop elements software disc at Amazon
Photoshop Elements at Amazon
Photoshop Elements Books at Amazon
Photoshop tutorial
Take a shower
To use this page, read both the written words on right side, and the written words on each image

Final Image shows on left


Caption for image is: Take showers instead of bath.

Purpose was webpage illustration showing you can save hot water by taking shower instead of bath.
See webpage application



Take a shower scan
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Original artwork scanned into .jpg file format.

Sharpie on white print paper.
Smooth paper is good for marker.
Size about 4" x 6"

Image based on unused wheel-chair shower in my house with a large, flat tile floor and high window on back wall.
Outline of man was made first. Shower head was added and then water spray followed by the drain. Then the pipe and shower handles were added to create defined edge to the space.
Musical notes were added next. The man was filled in with marker. And then tile lines were drawn to position the man on the floor and establish size of shower stall.

Problems with image:
1) Exposed private parts. Comedic web image does not require private parts.
Thought about including private parts as done in earlier painting titled 911
2) Musical notes crowded together.
3) Uncertain about the hair, but figured it would be solved in photoshop.

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3) Use lasso tool and cut/paste to move extra note
Tools are located on left side of workspace.
Hover mouse over tools to identify tool.
Each tool can have more than 1 function, for example lasso tool can be lasso or magnetic lasso or polygon lasso.
Use lasso to select around the extra note above man's head. If lasso is not correct, then go to Select > and click Desect or use Ctrl+D shortcut
Lasso must make complete line around object back to original start point > and then it becomes a line of 'marcjhing ants'.
Go to Edit > Cut to remove extra note. To reverse operation: Go to Edit > Undo
To paste the note back into a new layer, go to Edit > Paste and note is automatically added to a new layer that appears in layers palett located on right side of screen.
The note is now on a separate layer and can be moved or edited as needed.
Each layer can be adjusted separate from all other layers.
Remember: Photoshop is just a series of cut and paste, and manipulation of objects on each layer
1) Load artwork into photoshop
Drag and drop image on photoshop icon.
Original layer is called the background layer.

2) Layers:
Before editing, make a duplicate layer so you are not working on the original. Go to Layer > drop down menu > duplicate layer.

To see layers onscreen: Go to Window > drop down menu > checkmark Layers - or use F11 keuboard shortcut

Only one layer at a time can be edited. Click on layer so it is highlighted in blue. This is active layer.
My image shows multiple layers located on right side of workspace.
You can make as many layers as you want.

Each image in this turorial is a scrren grab that was pasted into photoshop, and then words were added to tell the story.
Press 'print screen' on upper right corner of keyboard.
Open photoshop > use keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl+N to create blank photoshop layer that is already sized to fit the screen grab > Ctrl+V to paste screen grab image into photoshop
Or alternative method: Press print screen key on keyboard > go to File > New > Image from clipboard

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4) Move note.
Tools are located on left side of workspace.
Hover mouse over tools to identify tool.

If marching ants from lasso tool are still visible on screen, the go to Select > click Deselect

Choose move tool.
Click move tool onto the note that is on separate layer.
This will activate the layer.
Move mouse slightly outside the selected object until a curved arrow appears. Click mouse again.
Hold mouse down outside the object and rotate mouse to rotate the note.
Put mouse on object, hold mouse down, and drag note into position.

Why did we do this step?
The original drawing had too many notes crowded together.
Putting extra note in final position actually stablized the left side of illustration.

For example if your eye starts on left corner of image, the eye travels upward where it catches arc formed by 4 musical notes, and then eye is carried back into the illustration again.

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Be careful / Merge-layers is not same as Merge-visible-layers
Each gives different options for using layers.

Merge layers will combine the selected layers into one layer.
Merge visible layers will merge all layers together.
If you make a mistake, simply go to Edit > Select Undo

Make as many layers as you want > go to Layer at top > select New > or use keyboard shortcuts, and shortcut icons located at top of layers bin (see shortcuts just above the black arrow)

It is important to use layers so you can move things around on the workspace, and experiment with different effects without altering original backgrpund layer.

Here I want to merge the note with original background layer so illustration was complete.

5) Merge layers
Select layers to ne merged: in this case we want to merge note with man in shower.
Click layer to activate layer and it highlights blue in layers palett
Select 1 layer, then Hold down  shift key and select other layer.
Both layers are highlighted in blue.
Right-click mouse > drop down menu > select merge layers (not merge visible)

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Darken the image without affecting the white color.

Go to Enhance for various options, including changing colors and intensity of each layer.

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Magic eraser is handy tool for removing solid background colors.
The 'checkerboard' denotes transparent layer.

Magic eraser tool was critically important for making this image. Black and white illustrations are easy to manipulate in this manner.

Once the white is gone, I can add background color to layers under the illustration layer.

If you have image with multiple colored backgrounds, it is still possible to use the magic eraser. Make duplicate layer > Go to enhance > convert layer to black-and-white > or Go to brightness&contrast or levels and see if you can convert the background to one solid color > then use magic eraser to remove background > then hold down Ctrl key and click on layer to select contents (click on the layer and not the blue space next to layer) > activate original layer by clicking layer > Go to edit > Copy > then paste.

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Floor color:

The floor color took two attempts.
Actual tile color in my house is yellowish-beige, but it came out dull.
I wanted simple bright color even though bright yellow tile floor is unusual in 2011.

Art usually exaggerates reality.

Gauguin and other great artists would move objects and add colors to enhance scenes they painted.
Illustrations by nature can be more expressive than reality. Otherwise any bad photo will do. Except that good advertisements never use poor representations.

My work is intended to grab attention, just like advertising.
So exaggeration is preferred.

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Blue wall color:

Blue was added using same technique as above.

Exaggerated blue served three purposes:
1) Blue and yellow create immediate exciting contrast, 2) Blue color was needed to illustrate water 3) Once blue was added to wall, there was no need to color water spraying out of the faucet.
For example, if the wall was brown, you would have to add blue water spraying out of the faucet. And then the story is harder to tell.

As I learned from beginning art school: Use the simplist way to tell the story. Simple makes the difference between art and memorable art, although nobody will argue this is memorable ... except you would always remember that you saw it before if you ever saw it again.

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Window and back wall

Notice layer order.
You can drag layers up or down using mouse.
Or use keyboard shortcuts, Go to Layers > Arrange

Back wall color is greyish blue.
Colors become more grey as they receed. So the greyish color stops illustration from moving off the page.
If bright color was added behind the man, then that color would overpower the illustration.

The window was added to bring light into the space.
Once the window was in place, it was no longer necessary to fill in the shower head.
Real-world back-lighting makes shower head nearly invisible as it reflects each surrounding color. This effect works because the shower head is overly large.
Illustration is shorthand realism.

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Make soap bubbles

Soap bubbles were needed to cover private parts and create air and space inside the shower.
I tried using stock photos of soap bubbles, but the backgrounds were too heavy.

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Make duplicate layers of soap bubbles

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Make groups of bubble layers

Layer icon: Drag and drop layer into layer icon at top of layer bin and it creates duplicate layer.
Click on the layer icon and it creates new transparent layer.

Moving layers as a group:
Several layers can be highlighted and then moved as if they are one layer.
This is essential for many tasks.
Here it is handy for making groups of bubbles

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Rotate and resize groups of layers


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Gradient layer brings illustration to life

Gradients are important for photoshop
Black gradient was chosen to contrast with the white window and white soap bubbles.

Gradients can be rotated and simplified
See photoshop tutorial on gradients


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