5 Finishing Touches in Photoshop


So you’ve just created an amazing work of art or sleek design. You’ve added sufficient detail, proper lighting, and all elements are well balanced. It seems like there is nothing else you can do to make it look better, but is there? YES! I personally always recommend working with a flat file after creating something. Odds are you’ll be able to enhance what you have created, and maybe even add a little something extra in. Here are 5 things you can do to your work after you think you’ve already done all you can do:


Preparing the File

To prepare the file, go to the “History” tab, Window > History, and click the icon where the red arrow is pointing to in the bottom right to “create new document from current state”. This will duplicate the document, and serve as a great safety precaution so that you don’t compromise the original .PSD file. In the duplicated document right click on any any layer & select the last option: “Flatten image”. This will merge all layers into one. Scale down the image to your desired size (optional), then right click the “background” layer & duplicate it.


1. Sharpening

This is a pretty basic effect, but will make a world of a difference once scaling down a high res print file for the web. There are many methods used to sharpen an image, but here is the one I always use. On the duplicated background layer go to “Filter > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask…”.


Apply these settings, then press “OK”.


Duplicate the layer you just sharpened, reapply the “Unsharp Mask…” filter, CMD + F, set the layer style to “Darken” & opacity to 75%.




2. Channel Blurring

This effect will add an ambient yellow glow to the white in the composition. To do this go to the Channels tab, “Window > Channels”, and select the Blue channel.


With the channel selected, go to “Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur” and apply these settings. Press “OK”, make sure you’ve selected the RGB channel again, and you’re done!




3. Gradient Screen

Start by creating a new layer, use the paint bucket tool, G,  to fill it with a solid color, then set the Fill to 0%.


Right click the layer & apply the following blending options. Press “OK” and you’re done. Feel free to play around with different colors & gradient styles.




4. Add a Vignette

This is a very simple & subtle effect that tends to be highly effective in drawing attention to the focal point when a lot of negative space is used. Start the exact same way as in the “Gradient Screen” effect.


Apply these blending options, press “OK”, and you now have a vignette around your artwork.




5. Selective Color

Selective color will allow you to make accent colors stand out more, tweak the color scheme, and even change it completely if you wish. Begin by creating a selective color adjustment layer.


Double click on the layer thumbnail, or go to “Window > Adjustments”, and apply the following settings to tweak the colors a bit.







Keep in mind that all the settings are just suggested, so feel free to play around with them as much as possible & even combine effects. Thank you for viewing, and stay tuned for more quick tips and tutorials!

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