Creating an Enticingly Beautiful Poster in Photoshop

In today’s digital tutorial I will be showing you how to make use of simple elements and combine them to turn it into a awesome looking poster. Everything in this tutorial is simple and easy to follow and you are guaranteed a unique outcome at the end of the day. With the unique outcome you can make use of poster printing services and get yourself a new wall decoration. Let’s not beat around the bush and get down to business so that you can find out how these movie poster inspirations can promote your business by being creative and unique.


Author: An1ken Creative
Skills: Beginner-Intermediate
Tools: Photoshop
Resources: Studio Portrait of Young Woman Eating Hair | Background Texture by Night Fate Stock | Piano Keys | Nebula Stock | Smoke on Sxc | Noise Effect Textures

Final Preview

Step 1

You will obviously have to open Photoshop and then import then create a new canvas by going to File>New (Shortcut: CTRL+N). I worked on a width of 3500×5000 pixels in this case with a DPI of 300. You are able to use any size that you are comfortable with, I just like working high resolution. Fill your background with black #000000 and now its time to setup the background. I imported the background texture created by Night Fate Stock and positioned it on the canvas. I then duplicated the texture and moved it around and filled out the entire background. I basically used (CTRL+J) or Right click on the texture layer and hit duplicate layer and then went to Edit>Free Transform (CTRL+T). This is what I have after the first step.

Step 2

Now its time to import your stock photo that you will be using. Erase the background of the image and keeping the main focal. You can use your eraser tool or pen tool, it doesn’t have to be perfect in this instance. Once you have your background removed you should have something like this.

As you can see it isn’t a perfect extraction, but it will work perfectly with the smokey effect. Duplicate the stock image layer and hide the copied layer which will obviously be the top one. Now with your bottom stock layer selected, go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and set the radius between 35-40, its up to you. Now make your copied layer that you hid previously visible again and you will see a slight blurred edge on your stock photo. Your blurred image will look like this before you make the top layer visible again.

Step 3

Now its time to work on the background again behind the stock image. Select the texture layer that you previously setup and create a new layer right above it by going to Layer>New>Layer or (CTRL+ALT+N). Now grab a biggish soft brush with Black #000000 as your color and set the brush opacity to 70% and darken the background of the canvas. You can just brush over the entire canvas or you can add your personal touch if you like. Once you are done with the darkening of the canvas go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Gradient Map. Make sure the gradient map is the default Black to White gradient and hit OK. Set the Blending mode to Multiply. Sure this isn’t really looking attractive at the moment, but that will soon change. You should have something like this now.

Step 4

Now its time to insert the Piano keys behind the stock image of the girl. Import the stock to your canvas and make sure it is below the stock image of the girl and above the gradient map that you created in the previous step. Position it how you would like it and set the blending mode to Overlay. In my case I positioned it behind the girl so that it creates a nice depth and pulls your attention to the background too. This is what you should have right now.

Step 5

Now we are going to be inserting some nebula stocks into the background to create some atmosphere. Moonchilde-Stock has some pretty awesome Nebula stocks that are available for use in your projects. I inserted the nebula stock of my choice below the stock image of the girl and above the piano keys layer created in the previous step. I duplicated the layer and made sure that the entire canvas was filled with the nebula stock. Once I had all my nebula duplicates placed where I needed them, I selected all the nebula layers and merged them together by going to Layer>Merge Layers or (CTRL+E). I then set the merged nebula layer blending mode to Linear Dodge. This is what I have so far.

Step 6

Let’s make use of another nebula, in this case I made use of the Cosma Stock by Moonchilde-stock. I inserted it into the canvas and made sure that it was below the stock image of the girl and positioned it to where I liked it. I then set the blending mode to Linear Dodge and enabled a layer mask. I selected the layer and went to layer>Layer mask>Reveal All. I then selected my brush tool with a black soft brush and erased the parts that I didn’t like. This is what I ended up with.

Step 7

Now we will be adding some smoke effects to the composition. You have to download Smoke from Sxc and insert it into your canvas, position it on the left hand side behind the stock image and set the blending mode to Linear Dodge. Now duplicate the smoke layer and flip it horizontally by going to Edit> Transform>Flip Horizontal and move it to the right hand side of the canvas. You have freedom to position it as you want, but this is what I have.

Step 8

Time to add some color and depth to the piece now. Create a new layer on top all the layers and this includes the stock image layer as well. Fill the layer with black #000000 and set the blending mode to Color Dodge. Now make use of the blue and orange to add some small color alterations to the piece. The blue is #01374b and the orange is #503405 and the dark yellowish color is #5a5026. This is what it should look like with the blending mode set on normal.

Now make sure the blending mode is set to color and the opacity is set to 47% and you should have something like this.

Step 9

Now I duplicated the first nebula layer and moved the duplication to the top and positioned it over the face of the girl in the stock image. I removed the parts that I didn’t want to display in the piece and made sure the blending mode was set to Linear Dodge. Without the blending mode set, you should have something like this below.

As you can see I have darkened the parts of the nebula that I didn’t want to display. Here you can see the preview of the blending mode enabled and set to Linear Dodge.

Step 10

Let’s add some adjustments to the piece. Let’s start out by going to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Brightness/Contrast. Set the brightness to -21 and the Contrast to +80 and hit OK. Now go back to Layer>New Fill Layer>Gradient. Make use of the Purple to Orange gradient which has color codes of #290a59 and #ff7c00 and make sure the style is Linear and the Angle is 90 degrees and hit OK. Set the Blending mode to Overlay and the Opacity to 30%.

Now go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Photo Filter and choose the Warming Filter(85) and hit OK. You should have something like this below.

Step 11

Create a new layer and select a soft brush with a orange color #db4002. Now set the blending mode to Color and the Opacity to 89%. I used this to touch up some spots on the piece that was lacking orange color. Now go to Layer>New Adjustment Layer>Brightness/Contrast and set the contrast to -17 and hit OK. Now create a new layer and go to Image>Apply Image. Now with the applied image layer selected go to Filter>Other>High Pass and set the radius to 8 and hit Ok. Now set the blending mode of the layer to Overlay and the Opacity to 57%. This is what you should have.

Step 12

Now the final step is where we add the noise layer to add some characteristic to our final image. I made use of the Noise Effect Textures from Wegraphics and added a noise texture on top of the image and changed the blending mode to Linear Dodge and the opacity to 23% and we are finally done. Hope you enjoyed the tutorial.


This tutorial showed you how to combine simple elements and make someone beautiful out of it. Hope to see you in the next tutorial. Get some inspiration in poster design and learn new things with this quick photoshop tutorial.

Jacques is an Entrepreneur and Founder of the An1ken Group. He recently launched a daily vlog on Youtube — JacquesvhTV. He started Creativeoverflow in 2009 as a hub for creatives. Connect with him: - @Jacquesvh - Facebook - Instagram - Pinterest