advanced photoshop

Tips Feature Preview: 15 Top Tips for Professional Designers

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Magazine previews, by Adam Smith

Professional artists and designers share their essential tips to help you take your artwork to the next level

Use gradient shape effectively

Ari Weinkle /

Ari Weinkle is an artist and designer who has been working in the industry for six years, during which time he has worked for clients such as Adobe and Shutterstock.

He created this geometric artwork, The Alternative Of Two, using Photoshop’s Shape tools and Gradient options. “Gradient shapes are a key part of my workflow.

“In this artwork, they add another layer of depth. To see this effect in action, begin by creating a triangle using the Polygon tool and changing the number of sides to three in the settings. From there, set the Fill to a two-colour gradient at a 90-degree angle.

“Duplicate your triangle by pressing Cmd/Ctrl+J. Next, position the new layer to the right of your base layer. Use the Direct Selection tool to grab the top point of the shape and drag it over to the left so that it is at the same point as the previous shape layer.

“Then, grab the point at the bottom-right and drag it so that it is above the left corner, creating a faux 3D pyramid. Finally, change the angle of the gradient to 130 degrees under the Fill options. Using this technique with different types of shapes can create incredibly varied results. Alternatively, you can combine different colour gradients to create a more surreal effect.”

Use Shadows/Highlights to blend stock

Mario Sanchez Nevado /

Mario Sánchez Nevado created this colourful composite as an advertising poster for artistic collective Hysterical Minds’ ( exhibition at the Parallax Art Fair, London 2012.

“When I build photomanipulations, I need several stock photographs from many different sources, such as stock image websites or my own photography.

“The quality, lighting and other specifications tend to be quite different from each other, so my main goal is to homogenise them and make them look as if they were taken in the same shoot.

“My preferred method for this is to use Shadows/Highlights, which you can find in the Image>Adjustments menu. It allows you to correct over and underexposed areas of the photos, lightening or darkening pixels according to the overall luminance of the picture.

“This is very useful for creating a consistent light spectrum across the different stock files. Depending on their original lighting conditions (intensity, direction, harshness etc), you can use settings to achieve similar lighting [across all of the photographs].”

Read more in Advanced Photoshop 112, now on sale at and

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  • Rene

    I never thought that it was all just a great Photoshop. Indeed Ari Weinkle is a great artist, I adore Ari so much because he is now one of my inspiration. – YORHealth