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Drawing a Christmas Card

Hello guys. In this tutorial you will learn how to create your own nice and stylish Christmas card.
First create a new 1000px X 500px document.
As a background apply a nice dark red gradient.
If you don't know which colors to use, just import the picture in Photoshop and use the Color Picker Tool (I) to get them.
Now, in a new layer, using the Elipse Tool, draw in the right part of your canvas a circle.
Hold down shift to make it a perfect circle.
The color it does not matter as we will be applying some Blending Options.
So go ahead and open the Blending Optins Panel - right click on the thumbnail and select Blending Options.
Apply a 16 Opacity "Drop Shadow" filter. Leave the other settings for this as default.
Next apply a Gradient Filter.
Make sure to select "Radial" and use the settings below:

Create a new layer and make a selection as shown:

Select white as foreground color.
Go to your gradient tool options and select "Foreground to Transparent":

Now from top to bottom, holding down Shift, create your gradient.
Set the Opacity to 39% for this layer:

On the bottom of your orb, create the path shown below, using the Pen Tool:

Create a new layer and fill your path with white.
Go to Filter->Blur->Gaussian Blur, set the Radius to 5 and hit OK.
Place the shape on the very edge of your orb and set the Opacity to 25%.

For the next step, create a new layer and place it just above the background layer, below the others.
Create a rectangle just as shown. Color doesn't matter.

Apply the following settings:

For the colors used for the gradient, import the picture and use the Color Picker. It is a good exercise to use this tool.

You should have something like this:

Create another layer, and place it below the last one.
Using #ddaa1f draw this line, from somewhere behind the rectangle, up to the top of your canvas, to make it look like the orb is hanging.

Merge down all the layers, except the background. In order to do that, select them and press CTRL+E.

Duplicate the group twice, change the size and the position as shown:

For the next step, I'm gonna tell you how to define your own brush in Photoshop.

Open a new 20px X 20px document, with transparent background.
Select Custom Shape Tools, and browse through the shapes until you find the Snowflake2 shape.
Now holding down the Shift key, draw it as big as the canvas allows it. Make sure to stay within the borders of the canvas.
Go to Edit->Define Brush Preset, name it snow or whatever you want, and hit Ok.
You can close the document without saving it.
Go back to our document.
In a new layer, select the new brush - in should be placed lastly in your brush list - and use the brush allover your canvas, while increasing and
decreasing the size ([ and ] are the shortcuts).
Create different layers to set different opacities for your snowflakes.

For the last step, find a nice hand-drawing font and draw the text as shown.
I've used FlemishScriptBT , 132px size.
I don't know if it is a default Windows Font or not, but if it's not, browse it through Internet and read this tutorial to find out how to install it.

This is my result:

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Thanks for reading my blog.
Ela. xx
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