Night Before Christmas : Photoshop Tutorial And WallPaper

As I saw everybody enjoyed previous Christmas related tutorial, I decided to keep it that way and now I am offering You the next Photoshop task. Tutorial creation took me about 4 hours, so You could do this in 30min or an hour. I wish You good luck and please provide us with Your outcomes! We will use many different and useful techniques here so read everything carefully and ask if You don’t understand something.

And now I wish You good luck – and keep Your Christmas spirit going!

We will create something like this, click on the image to see full preview:


Step 1: Document Creation And Sky

Create a new document, I wanted this image to use later as wallpaper, so I used 1920×1200 resolution, 72 dpi.

Fill background with radial gradient (press G to activate gradient menu) with colors #1773e3 and #0b3972:



Step 2: Star Creation

Although we will create night effect, we need again to create some stars.

Now create new layer ( CTRL+SHIFT+N), right above the background, fill it with black ( choose black and ALT+DELETE to fill).

Go to Filter–>Add Noise and add settings like on picture below (amount 20-30):


To get lesser amount of white noise, go to Image–>Adjustments–>Brightness/Contrast:


Change Blending style to Color Dodge:


Step 3 : Ground creation

Press CTRL+SHIFT+N to create new layer ( look at screenshot at my layers palette so it’s the same like mine).

Then select rectangular marque tool (press M) and do selection like this:


Let’s use linear gradient to create 3D look with colors #000b17 and #0b3972:


Ok, now we have background:


Step 4: Adding Detailed Star

Create a new layer and grab soft  brush (B), change foreground color to white ( press D to reset colors and X to switch foreground/background).


Draw big stars in various sizes on the sky and use right/left brackets [ ], to change brush size  :


Step 4: Adding Moon

What is Christmas night without moon? Let’s create one!

Create a new layer, select from custom shape tool – “Crescent moon”, if You don’t have shapes like me, do this bonus step:


Add moon in sky, where You want, also add white outer glow to the moon.



Step 5: Hills And Downs

In the fifth step we will add some hills and downs, but I won’t repeat this step, techniques is the same as in my previous tutorial – Beautiful Christmas Vision Tutorial And Wallpaper, start from the step 2 there.


Also look at my layer order:


Step 6: Adding Trees

Now let’s create some trees to make look our scene more interesting.

Add some guidelines to create more precise results, create new layer, then grab pen tool and try to do something like this:

(You can get guidelines, by pressing CTRL+R to get rulers. Just click and pull from rulers to get them).


Now CTRL+Click on path, and fill it with any color pressing ALT+DELETE ( foreground color):

If You don’t see Your path palette – go Windows–>Path.


Now on the tree layer, add blending options–>gradient overlay with colors – #1b2d02 and #477407:


Duplicate layer 2 times (press CTRL+ Upper Arrow) and upper layer transform perspective a little bit:


Ok, now holding SHIFT select all three layers and group them pressing  CTRL+G. You can also smudge trees to add texture, but I won’t do that this time.

With all three layers still selected, resize trees to much smaller size  – CTRL+T and holding shift resize.

We will use these trees in background, so we need many trees. Just press on the group with CTRL+Upper Arrow to create more duplicates and position trees like in the picture below:


Add as much trees as You think is necessary.


Step 7: Horizontal Shadow

Let’s add shadow on trees – create a new layer, select rectangular tool with black color:


Go Filter–>Gaussian blur and blur it 100px radius. Change blending mode to overlay and reduce opacity to 64%.


Step 8: Adding Global Colors and Shadows

Create a new layer on the top of all layers and add some colorful radial gradient, change blending mode to overlay.


Adding Shadows:

Let’s add some more shadows – use Elliptical marque tool and feather 100px. Create a selection and then press CTRL+SHIFT+I to invert selection and fill it with black ( ALT+DELETE). Change blending mode opacity to 75%.


Okay, we are already finished, I added just a few more effects:

1. I added those swirly lines at the moon, with pen tool –> stroke path.. –> simulate pressure.

2. Also I added two trees on the front side in the same way as I added background trees, I just didn’t want to go through whole process again.


Hope You enjoyed this tutorial as much as I did!

Download *.psd file

Download wallpaper in 1920×1200 resolution

Dainis Graveris

Dainis is 25 years young man, who struggled for 3 years while studying in design academy and working for local design agency, because of ignorant teachers and agency boss. He couldn't believe this is all life could offer to him! And then he discovered true Internet possibilities, he was lucky to find his passion early in life and take advantage of this beautiful Information (Internet) Age! Now he is committed to help others succeed, to help others take charge of their life and follow their passion! His goal is to open Your eyes and help unveil Your true potential!

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  1. Sal says

    Cool tutorial. Great for beginners like me to improve on photoshop. Thanks and regards!

  2. Dan says

    Thanks for this – I’ve been looking for inspiration for the background in a project I’ve recently been working on and this fits the bill perfectly – much appreciated :)

    Dan +1

  3. Kelly K,. says

    Je crois qu’il ya beaucoup plus d’efforts nécessaires pour rendre l’évolution mais je me sens si bien à trouver quelque chose d’aussi inspirant que cela. Je crois qu’il ya tellement de choses à apprendre pour que nou

  4. Dom says

    Things seem easy as a pie when it comes to tutorials. Will definitely give a try but also save on my computer so that I can refer later!
    Thanks for the great tips!

  5. says

    i didn’t get the last one, that you draw using pen tool…

    Normally i stuck with pen tools always,
    In That stoke path which one we choose, if brush means give the accurate size for better results…

    Thanks anyway great work by Dainis Graveris …. :)

    :D LawrencE :D

  6. Andrew says

    Awsome tutorial, I realy found it usefull, realy learned some nice ways to use some tools. One question dough, how did you make those swirly lines I can’t seem to get the proper brush, blend combination. my lines look so dull. I would realy appreciate it if you could send me via email the answer or at least the psd file, can’t seem to downloadit, you ran out of badwidth.
    Thanks again for the tutorial

  7. Mark deB says

    Your talent and your works are all so very, very inspiring. I am a pipe-organist, but I have ALWAYS had this craving to draw…create.I’ve also been an aspiring & AVID landscape photographer for 20 years….but did not have the proper tools until the computer age brought us so many powerful tools and programs allowing us to blend, weave, layer all forms of media. I found your site through Google and the Digital Blasphemy art-link. Now I MUST put music to the one RAR archive of 25 designs that just took my breath away. THANK YOU for ZAPPING me into a FABULOUS Spirit of Christmas. Be Well and may the many Blessings of the One who created that spark of genius + creative talent within you, continue to inspire your awesome works with blessings and with unimaginable success and happiness! Feliz Navidad from New Mexico USA

  8. Ricks says

    Excellent tutorial! keep up the good work!

    Rickss last blog post : WordPress 2.7 has officially been released

  9. says

    @Johnon thanks again :) I should use just a little darker colors, to create more serious look. My mistake..yes..soon magical night will come…oh..silly me..:)

    @Tom thanks for passing by..and that’s great – because it is simple! :)

  10. says

    Nice tut Dainis :D There is a magical feel to it.
    Counting down to another 16 days…

    Johnson Kohs last blog post : 22 Self Portraits of Great Artists

  11. says

    amazing tutorial! Great use of detail and images to get the information out there.

    Very creative too, bookmarking!

    Kaylas last blog post : Web design tips: The basics of color on the web