photoshop creative
Dec
23

Make art with the gradient tool

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
December 23, 2016

Use a simple fill tool to add toned colour to your pictures

final

1. Select a shape

ss-tool-focus_gradients_step-1_select-a-shape

If you simply drag a gradient onto your document, it will cover the entire page in colour. To refine where you’re dragging it, use selection tools to create a shape before applying the gradient. Here, we’ve used the Polygonal Lasso to create a sand dune; use a desert image as a reference.

2. Choose a first colour

ss-tool-focus_gradients_step-2_choose-a-first-colour

Once in the Gradient tool, you’ll have the option to select one of a few preset gradients, or create your own. Click on the bottom-left stopper; this controls the left-hand colour. A window will appear for you to pick a colour for the first half of the gradient.

3. Pick a second colour

ss-tool-focus_gradients_step-3_pick-a-second-colour

Now, click on the bottom-right stopper and select a second colour. There’s a small arrow on the bottom of the gradient preview; slide this to adjust the fade of your first colour to your second. You can add as many colours as you like.

4. Drag the gradient

ss-tool-focus_gradients_step-4_drag-the-gradient

With your gradient chosen, drag from one half of your selected area to the other. This will apply it in this chosen area; you can drag it as often as you like to perfect the exact gradient.