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March 19th, 2009 / 10pm
Large Piece Tutorials

Arctic Monkeys Photoshop Wallpaper Tutorial

Today we will be making this awesome grunge Arctic Monkeys Wallpaper. It’s not that difficult with the right resources and stock images. Remember you are not trying to recreate the exact same wallpaper, so try to be creative and create your own type of wallpaper. Use your imagination! First you will need the Destroyed Heralty Brushes and Romantic Disaster brushes we found on the Bittbox website. We’re also going to use some splatter brushes, you can download and use these or pick your own splatter brushes. Remember you are not trying to recreate the exact same wallpaper, so try to be creative and create your own type of image. Use your imagination!

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The outcome of this tutorial:

arctic monkeys wallpaper tutorial

Or if you think the red wings are distracting, here’s a version of the Arctic Monkeys Wallpaper without the red grunge wings:

arctic monkeys wallpaper tutorial

We’ve resized the original images all troughout the tutorial as to not screw up the layout. You can click the images for a full sized version.

1. Start by opening a new canvas ( wallpaper sized prefered). We picked 1280 x 1024. Fill it with black ( #000000 )

2. Now get your stock image, below one is the one we’re using. If you want to use a different stock image but want to have the same effect, make sure you Desaturate the image first. To do this, go to Image > Adjustments > Desaturate, or press SHIFT + CTLR + U.

desaturate image adjustment

Our Arctic Monkeys stock image (Resized):

arctic monkeys stock photo

3. Place it in the middle of the canvas (Make sure you keep a backup of this layer hidden underneath the rest of your layers, this will come in handy in case you make any mistakes.)

4. We used their logo from the Arctic Monkeys website.(Remember you can use any text you like).Cut out any parts you dont need. It doesn’t matter if there is still some white space left around the text, we will fix this in the next few steps.

arctic monkeys text

5. We would like the text to be white. So make sure your text is desaturated (or simply black and white like ours) and select Image > Adjustments > Invert (or press CTRL + I):


Your text shold now look like this. Notice that we still have the black section around the text, we will fix this by simply changing the blending mode in the next step.

add arctic monkeys text

6. Select your text layer, and set its blending mode to Lighten:

layer panel

This will blend the black background:

set to lighten

7. We’re now going to blend our stock into the background. Create a new layer, and take a white splatter brush. Brush around the right of your stock with a white color:

8. Create a new layer (make a habit of creating a new layer everytime you brush, this will give you the option to modify it more easily afterwards) and select a big brush from the set we provided above. Here’s where your creativity should come in, start brushing, and erase parts that you don’t like. Keep switching the brushes to get cool effects. The following steps are all brushing to cover and blend the stock:

9. Again create a new layer and now use black brushes, brush the bottom part blend in the stock with our current canvas. Use black to hide away parts you don’t want to be displayed. Zoom into the canvas, and erase any brushing you made over the main character in the middle to make him stand out:

10. Take a black small splatter brush and brush the left side over the far left guy.

splatter brush

11. Now get a white brush and brush over the top. Try switching a lot between different brushes, so people won’t be able to identify what brush you used, but will still be able to see the brush styles.

white top brushing

12. Brush the top some more until you are satisfied. Don’t worry if you brush over our Arctic Monkeys characters, we’re going to fix this in the next step. Notice we did most of the brushing on the right side, this was intentional so we can mirror it later:

white grunge brushing

13. In case you accidentally brushed over the characters, we will now fix it. If you made a backup of your stock like we mentionned in step 3, duplicate this and move it to the top. Erase any section that you want to be more visible.

fixing arctic monkeys character

14. We’re going to make the Arctic Monkeys text stand out a little more. Make a layer underneath the text layer, and brush with a black brush under the text to make the logo more visible:

arctic monkeys text

15. We took a huge splatter brush (around size 1200) and brushed under the very first brush layer.

big splatter brush

After you’ve done it should look like the image below. Notice how it made the black and white brushing on right side of the stock a little more viewable. Here’s an animation to show the brushing:

animation arctic monkeys

16. We’re going to detail the left side of the image now. Create a new layer on top, and go to Image > Apply Image. Then, select Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontally, it shold now look like this:

horizontally flipped arctic monkeys wallpaper

17. Set this flipped layers blending mode to Lighten, and erase anything that covers the Arctic Monkeys characters and the text.

18. If there are any areas that look a little rigged, create a new layer and tap with a large brush a few times to get a better flow in the image:

19. We’re nearly done brushing our image, add your last pieces of brushing before we’re going to make the finnishing touches:

20. We’re going to sharpen our image. Create a new layer, and select Image > Apply Image, and either sharpen by going to Filter > Sharpen >Sharpen, or by doing it manually with the sharpen tool. The sharpen tool is probably the best method, as you can select which areas you’d like to sharpen and which sections to leave untouched:

sharpened image

21. Final finnishing touches, we grabbed a splatter brush which looks like paint dripping down. We tapped this in the left side of the image. This adds some variation and gets rid of the bad symmetry in the image.

22. To edit the lighting a little, we’ve added a Curves Adjustment layer (Layer > New Adjutsment Layer > Curves). Modify the settings slightly until you’re satisfied. Here’s the setting we’ve used:

curves adjustment layer

Our result at this point:

result after curves adjustment layer

Adding Wings

We’ve added wings to the frontman in the stock, you will need Grungy Wing Brushes.

23. Select a wing brush that you like, and set the color to red (or whatever color you prefer). Change the size of the brush to match the stock, and tap once to create a wing. Do not make the second wing yet, we will duplicate the first one after adding some depth into the wing:

24. Now we will shade the wing to look more realistic, a 3D look. Select the Burn or Dodge tool, and start editing your wing. Our result (more detail in the next step) :

Zoom into the wing, burn the middle part of the wing with burn tool, and set the midtones with exposure around 30%. Then grab your dodge tool which is set to highlights at 10-20% ratio and dodge the upper part of the wing and the left ends of the feathers, (all of this is done with a soft brush, change the size while doing so, dodge first with a 30 sized soft brush and the lower it to around 10 and give the tiny details

Here are some close ups of the wing

25. Select the wing layer, and right click > Duplicate Layer. Now select Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontally, and move it to the other side of the main Arctic Monkeys character:

arctic monkeys wallpaper

This brings us to our final result, we hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If you have any questions, feel free to ask these in the comments.

arctic monkeys wallpaper tutorial

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About the author

Hi, I'm Base. I've been developing and designing websites and graphics since 2004, and I love sharing my knowledge with the rest of the world!

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