35 Basic Tutorials to Get You Started with Photoshop

Jan 5 2009 by Jacob Gube | 56 Comments

Adobe Photoshop is a very powerful and versatile image editing/graphics creation application that is the industry standard in its category. Though Photoshop’s interface is intuitive enough for an absolute beginner to learn basic image editing tasks such as cropping and resizing, to be able to fully master and utilize all of its tools takes a considerable amount of time.

If you’re interested in honing your Photoshop skills to create spectacular compositions, this is for you. In this article, you’ll find 35 basic Photoshop tutorials for getting started with Photoshop.

General tutorials

1. Getting Started with Photoshop

Getting Started with Photoshop

If you’ve never had any experience with Photoshop, this tutorial from SitePoint will get you up to speed with Photoshop’s basic features.

2. Adobe Photoshop Interface Tutorial

Adobe Photoshop Interface Tutorial - screen shot.

This tutorial outlines Photoshop CS2′s interface. Even if you use an earlier or later version of Photoshop, this tutorial is still helpful in familiarizing yourself with how Photoshop – in general – is laid out.

3. You Suck at Photoshop (series)

You Suck at Photoshop - screen shot.

This wildly popular and humorous screencast on Photoshop techniques by (probably) fictional character Donnie Hoyle is an excellent Photoshop series to follow if you like laughing and learning at the same time!

4. Photoshop’s Toolbox

Photoshop’s Toolbox - screen shot.

This tutorial goes over the anatomy of Photoshop’s Toolbox.

Photoshop tools and features

5. Retouch and Healing Tools

Retouch and Healing Tools - screen shot.

Photoshop has a host of tools and options for retouching and correcting images. This tutorial goes over the tools at your disposal and what situations each tool excels in.

6. Photoshop’s Pen Tool: The Comprehensive Guide

Photoshop’s Pen Tool: The Comprehensive Guide - screen shot.

Photoshop’s Pen tool gives you the ability to draw objects in a vector-like fashion. This thorough tutorial even comes with a practice sheet that will help you master the concepts of working with the Pen tool.

7. Photoshop’s Painting Tools

Photoshop’s Painting Tools - screen shot.

Photoshop’s Painting tools allow you to draw and fill in objects with colors and color gradients. This tutorial showcases Photoshop’s painting capabilities.

8. Photoshop Color Replacement Tool

Photoshop Color Replacement Tool - screen shot.

Sometimes you want to replace certain colors in an image. With the Color Replacement tool – you can specify which colors you’d like to change and Photoshop will automatically replace them for you. This tutorial goes through the color replacement process and discusses all the things you need to know about the Color Replacement tool.

9. Understanding Layer Masks

Understanding Layer Masks - screen shot.

One of the fundamental skills to learn in Photoshop is the art of masking (isolating certain parts of a composition). This comprehensive tutorial goes over the Layer Masking features of Photoshop.

10. Photoshop’s Image Masking Tools

Photoshop’s Image Masking Tools - screen shot.

There are different methods of masking objects in your Photoshop composition. This tutorial goes over the basic masking tools available to you.

11. Layer Styles in Photoshop

Layer Styles in Photoshop - screen shot.

Layer Styles are the effects and options you apply to a particular layer. This tutorial discusses the concept of Layer Styles and how to utilize them in your Photoshop documents.  

12. Understanding Bevel and Emboss

Understanding Bevel and Emboss - screen shot.

Bevel and Emboss is a particular Layer Style. There are many options you can tweak and change (such as the shading and the angle of light); this tutorial goes over what each option does.

13. Understanding Drop Shadows

Understanding Bevel and Emboss - screen shot.

Drop Shadow is another Photoshop Layer Style that applies a silhouette to the objects in a layer. In this tutorial, you’ll learn about the different options and settings of the Drop Shadow Layer Style.

14. Introduction to Blending Modes

Introduction to Blending Modes - screen shot.

In this video tutorial, you’ll learn about the different Blending Modes available at your disposal.

15. Photoshop’s Filters

Photoshop’s Filters - screen shot.

Photoshop filters are simply effects applied to your image (much like the concept of using photographic lens filters). For example, the Blur filter unsharpens the focus of your images. This tutorial goes over the Filters interface in Photoshop.

16. Useful Applications for the Clone Stamp Tool

Useful Applications for the Clone Stamp Tool - screen shot.

This tutorial goes over some excellent uses of the Clone Stamp tool in Photoshop.

17. Getting to Grips with the Vanishing Point Filter

Getting to Grips with the Vanishing Point Filter - screen shot.

Master the Vanishing Point filter (a Photoshop filter that adjusts the image’s perspective) with this excellent Photoshop tutorial.

18. The Hidden Power of Photoshop Brush Tool

The Hidden Power of Photoshop Brush Tool - screen shot.

The Brush tool is a versatile drawing feature of Photoshop the mimics different art brushes and styles like water coloring, oil painting, or charcoal painting. This tutorial covers some of the best features of the Brush Tool in Photoshop.

19. "Background Eraser Tool" is the new Magic Wand

"Background Eraser Tool" is the new Magic Wand - screen shot.

This tutorial goes over the usage of the Background Eraser tool in Photoshop.

Common tasks and techniques

20. A Comprehensive Introduction to Photoshop Selection Techniques

A Comprehensive Introduction to Photoshop Selection Techniques - screen shot.

In order to become a Photoshop master, you’ll need to understand how to select different sections and objects in your composition. This guide goes over some techniques you can use to selectively isolate certain objects or groups of objects.

21. Sharpening the Details

Sharpening the Details - screen shot.

You’ll often need to sharpen photos for image correction. In this video tutorial, you’ll learn about various sharpening techniques.

22. Saving Images for the Web

Saving Images for the Web - screen shot.

One of the most powerful features of Photoshop is its ability to save compositions in a variety of web formats. This tutorial explains the different options and settings of saving images for the web.

23. Create Your Own Custom Shapes in Photoshop

Create Your Own Custom Shapes in Photoshop - screen shot.

Custom Shapes are reusable objects in Photoshop. It gets stored in a library and you can access them later on from another Photoshop document. In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to create, import, and save your own custom shapes.

24. Photoshop Smart Objects, smart but not always that smart

Photoshop Smart Objects, smart but not always that smart - screen shot.

Smart Objects are instantiated objects – that is, you can create multiple instances of a source object and make a change to an instance of that object while still keeping the original object intact. This tutorial goes over how to use Smart Objects.

Enhancing your workflow and efficiency

25. Using Pen Tablets in Photoshop

Using Pen Tablets in Photoshop - screen shot.

You can use a Pen tablet (an input device that lets you draw images directly into an image editor) over a mouse to create more accurate drawings by hand. This tutorial shows you the basic concepts behind utilizing a Pen Tablet to supplement your workflow. 

26. Automating Photoshop with Actions

Automating Photoshop with Actions - screen shot.

An Action is a sequence of Photoshop tasks that you can repeat and reuse. For example, if you find yourself constantly resizing images to 550 pixels in width and then saving them in  PNG file format, you can record a Photoshop Action that will apply these settings automatically. This excellent tutorial covers the basics of creating and using Photoshop Actions.

27. Using Palettes in Photoshop

Using Palettes in Photoshop - screen shot.

Palettes are sets of tools and options that help you organize Photoshop’s interface. In this tutorial, you’ll get a great primer on how to take advantage of using Palettes.

28. Installing and Managing Brushes & Other Presets

Installing and Managing Brushes & Other Presets - screen shot.

You can install pre-made brushes (instead of creating your own) in Photoshop as well as save important settings for future use. This tutorial will show you how to work with brushes and other Photoshop presets.

29. Layer Comps in Photoshop CS

Layer Comps in Photoshop CS - screen shot.

A Layer Comp is a version of your composition that you can switch back and forth to. Learn a little about an actual use of Layer Comps.

30. Photoshop Secret Shortcuts

Photoshop Secret Shortcuts - screen shot.

Shortcuts enable greatly increases your efficiency. In this excellent tutorial, you’ll learn about some of the lesser-known but tremendously useful Photoshop shortcuts.

31. Manage your shortcuts in Photoshop

Manage your shortcuts in Photoshop - screen shot.

If you don’t like the preset keyboard shortcuts the Photoshop comes with out of the box, this tutorial will show you how to change and manage your Photoshop shortcuts.

Learning by doing

32. Manipulate an Image with Scripting

Manipulate an Image with Scripting - screen shot.

Scripting allows you to automate and extend Photoshop’s features by authoring your own code. Learn about Photoshop Scripting with this tutorial that uses image manipulation as a working example.

33. Use Photoshop’s Filters to Make Simple Illustrations

Use Photoshop's Filters to Make Simple Illustrations - screen shot.

Learn to use Photoshop Filters to transform a photo into an illustration.

34. Custom made Seamless Texture Tutorial

Custom made Seamless Texture Tutorial - screen shot.

Learn to create seamless textures in Photoshop.

35. Simple organic shapes in Photoshop

Simple organic shapes in Photoshop - screen shot.

This tutorial goes over a technique for creating simple organic shapes using several Photoshop tools and techniques such as the Shape Tool and Gradient Masks. 

Got more?

Do you have a tutorial you think will help beginners get started with Photoshop? Please share it with us in the comments.

Related content

56 Comments

Abulafio

January 6th, 2009

Wow, great collection!

hediye

January 6th, 2009

Ooo, great list ;) Thanks for the sharing

Phil Miller

January 6th, 2009

This is a great resource in one location. I have learned a lot in the past year in Photoshop, but there is always more and having a strong grasp of the basics is so important.

Thanks!

Jacob Gube

January 6th, 2009

@Phil Miller: I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve been using Photoshop for close to 8 years, but when I finished this article – I picked up a ton of great tips even though I geared this piece towards beginners. For example, I really haven’t played with Layer Comps (because I already had a system for layer comps before the feature was introduced) or the Vanishing Point filter before; this was a very educational story to write.

nick

January 6th, 2009

Found this through Digg, really great article.

Mark

January 7th, 2009

It makes me alive and more interest about the application. Thanks

Jeff

January 7th, 2009

These tutorials are great, but where is the love for Photoshop Elements users?? Are there any similar tutorials for Elements? I have not seen much .

Scott

January 7th, 2009

Just wanted to say thanks! I just discovered this blog and it’s got a ton of useful information. Especially love the WordPress video tutorials entry. Helped me out tremendously.

thenetguruz

January 8th, 2009

Nice tutorial, one can also mention about various third party plugins and brushes available which make many task as easy as a click.

Jacob Gube

January 8th, 2009

@Jeff: I’ll have to think about an article about Photoshop Elements. Here’s my two cents: I think Elements isn’t robust enough for advanced editing, and since this post is catered more towards designers that are just starting out (or veterans needing a refresher) I really didn’t mention Elements. And this is especially true with Elements CS4 which makes it evident that Adobe is targeting the casual users for the Photoshop Elements.

@Scott: Glad you find the stuff over here useful.

@thenetguruz: That’s a good point, but I feel that using plugins and brushes may tempt people to skip the fundamentals. I see the same thing happening with JavaScript frameworks/libraries: because they make writing JS easy, people skip learning fundamental JS. But if you take the time to learn the basics, you’ll run into less trouble because you understand how things work.

Ice Zero

January 10th, 2009

Wow, great collection! Thanks. Very-very-very good!

flashy007

January 13th, 2009

I simply love photoshop and the tutorials are a great start.

Beliefrules

January 14th, 2009

WOW … I was ‘surfing’ a new YouTube ‘type’ called Stumbleupon and look what I ACCIDENTALLY ‘stumbled upon’!!

I’ve been lookin and lookin and lookin … hours of searches to find anything re Photoshop for the absolute BEGINNER!! I can’t than you enough and now .. only PRAY this wonderful tut remains herein for a ‘while’!

I’m about to go in for my 3rd spinal fusion and thus, will not be able to make use of using my very FIRST ‘baby steps’ in PSP for about 9-12 months … EEK!!

PLEASE KEEP THIS AS A “RETRIEVABLE LINK” for us ‘newbies’ and ‘wanna bes’ …

God Bless and THANK YOU!!!

ILikeCharlie

January 14th, 2009

gotta love the newbie tutorials thank u ; )

arlene corwin

January 19th, 2009

It’s in my favorites now. Just hope I have the talent and the perseverance to learn it. It’s so terribly appealing. See you in a year or so with some kind of result.

Timothy

January 21st, 2009

Great list. Thanks

Geoserv

January 28th, 2009

These will definitely come in handy, thanks for compiling.

Amy

January 30th, 2009

THE BEST LIST YET!!!!! DEFINITELY A FAV!!

Scarf*oo

March 5th, 2009

Cool post. Will send it over to my friends always bugging me about how to do this and how to do that in ps :)

Mike

May 5th, 2009

Wow, thanks for the really helpful tips. These were awesome!

gilbert

June 10th, 2009

Wow, these are nice collection!awesome!
GODBLESS!thanks the tutorial tips!

joel israel

June 24th, 2009

I love it…..Its great for beginners like ME..Cheers!

Phaoloo

July 6th, 2009

They are basic stuff for beginner to get acquainted with Photoshop. Cool, I love them.

Sudhir

July 27th, 2009

Wow !!
I just started learning Photoshop, and this is what, I was looking for…

Very helpful indeed.

Thanks

ramesh

November 10th, 2009

wow………Its great for beginners
thanks

papouche

December 18th, 2009

Thank u soooooo VERY much for teaching ppl like me on how to be better at PS much KUDOS

Ellie

January 2nd, 2010

Thanks – this is an awesome guide and it has helped me a lot! I started using photoshop a few weeks ago and I was getting very confused so this was what I was looking for – all the other guides are for people who already know how to use photoshop but this one is for begginers just like me!! :) Thanks!

Solana

January 5th, 2010

The background eraser is pretty cool, I must say!

Hediye

January 30th, 2010

really good stuff Thank you

nev

March 15th, 2010

WOW VERY NICE :)

makara

March 22nd, 2010

hi all
Would you commend me how to design well in photoshop Cs3

vetweb

March 26th, 2010

Great!!
This is the real complete guide for beginner!!
Thanks

muyi

May 26th, 2010

this is great. just what i was looking for

Rajat

September 26th, 2010

Thanks a lot for taking the trouble to compile all this in one page. Really appreciate it.

Eric Cave Lathbridge

October 7th, 2010

I need it in a book form if it’s can be done please email me i really want it

riya

October 30th, 2010

Grate !!! thanks

Stiv

November 3rd, 2010

Thank you for sharing this treasure box! I really want to learn using the Photoshop. Thank you!

marlon

December 7th, 2010

i want to learned more.. thank you for this website.

Brad Maver

December 27th, 2010

Wow, Awesome Round up. Good practice for getting familiar with the different tools.

Florina Diacon

December 30th, 2010

I have a small baby and i am interested in all the personalized stuff i can do for her in photoshop. One friend recommended me this site and i am very thrilled of it till now. Thank you!

Jeff_Metallica

January 1st, 2011

Very useful damn good

sandeep

January 11th, 2011

masking is awesome

Professional Forever

June 3rd, 2011

Thank you very much for this basic tutorials. please continue the next tutorials to learn much more step by step.
Frankly, I am happy and still need to improve my skills.

Go ahead !

Good Luck

jude

July 1st, 2011

i like this please

Suresh

July 5th, 2011

Hi,
Thanks a lot….

I just started learning Photoshop, and this is what, I was looking for…

Very helpful indeed.

so ,please update next stape….

gezpaylas

July 8th, 2011

l learn photoshop thank u for sharings.

Richard Wesley

July 12th, 2011

Dear Poster, I couldn’t have failed to appreciate your work here after getting enriched by the information here and for painstakingly getting this collection from variety of sites. Thanks a lot.

Md. Nasim Howlader

August 16th, 2011

This tutorial is Very helpful & This collection is very important.

Thank you…..

angelohinggo

October 16th, 2011

ilove this pages

Irene Sanchez

October 16th, 2011

Thanks for this tutorial! So helpful for a beginner like me. :D

Mahmoud

October 21st, 2011

thanks

Lungi

October 29th, 2011

Thank you ! Thank you ! thank you for the tutorials. I have been battling trying to get material. Most of it its expensive and not easy to follow.

kusi ben

November 6th, 2011

i wanna knkow more so kindly send me more information about how to design picture..thank u..

jitendra

November 14th, 2011

Thanks a lot for taking the trouble to compile all this in one page. Really appreciate it.

Gaurav

June 13th, 2012

I would have never tried using Photoshop if this post wouldnt have been there. Watching ,’You suck at Photoshop’ after going through all the basic terminologies really helped. This post is a bookmark in my browser. Thanks a million!

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