The Incredible Editable Easter Egg!
It is that time of year and Easter is just around the corner. A few great resources are out there that might prove useful if you need to create a quick card or want to create a few pretty Easter eggs for the holiday. It turns out I am showing you three ways to make really colorful eggs using brushes, vectors, and/or custom shapes.
This image uses both free vector and brush downloads to get this effect. The four egg grouping on the right inside of the frame comes from a really nice set of Vector Easter Eggs from Vectorilla Illustrations – use the file named 1.eps (the vector format which puts eggs on a transparent layer). Please review the use rights and other nice items on this site. Just select with the Rectangular Marquee Tool or Lasso Tool the egg or egg grouping and copy it to its own layer. Copy this layer again and run my favorite plug in Kill White that I added to Adobe Pixel Bender – this gets rid of the white shadow look under the egg(s) and leaves nice illustration lines. Highlight the layer underneath and click on the “Lock transparent pixels” icon at top of Layer Panel so you do not have to be as careful with your painting. Paint in colors – I used the Round Blunt Stiff Brush in bright colors. When finished painting, I reduced the top illustration lines down to 62% opacity. Text can be added to the egg(s) – this font is Matisse (it may be on your computer already if you use Microsoft products). Create a layer composite (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) and move this layer into a New Document. (I used the standard tutorial card settings of 1280 by 1029 pixels but set the resolution at 240 for printing.) Create a background by adding a New Layer on top of the white background layer. Paint a ground and sky with the Dry Brush Tip Light Flow brush from the default CS5 brush set. The purple egg on the right of the insert image is created using some beautiful Egg Brushes by Melsbrushes. See Step 5 in the tutorial below for more details on how to do this. Do check out his copyright info and look at his other brushes – very nice quality. The Easter Bunny font by Dieter Steffmann can be downloaded here. A soft yellow Outer Glow Layer Style was added to put yellow around the letters. A new layer was added above the eggs to paint in a little green grass over the bottom edges of the eggs so they look like they are in the grass. The final touch was the Easter frame from OnOne PhotoFrames.
For the rabbit card I tried an Adobe Tutorial’s technique called “Easter Cards.” – they spent a long time making the eggs but there are faster ways of accomplishing this as shown in the first example. If you want to learn how to make some very pretty effects on the Easter Eggs, continue with their tutorial. My template card may be downloaded without doing the following steps by clicking here. (This is for your use only – please do not redistribute and please credit the sites below if you use in another publication.) To create my card, here are the steps to use (this example also uses vectors and brushes for the eggs):
1. First decide on an image to add to your card – the rabbits were from three different images that I added together using layer masks and adjusting the colors with a Selective Color Adjustment Layer. A Nik Color Efex Pro filter called User Defined Bi-Color using a dark blue color for the top and gold for the bottom was added to make the image more vibrant. Points were placed on each of the rabbits so their actual fur color was not altered. These rabbits with the huge ears are from the beautiful Old Village of Ayaymku in Belarus.
2. Create a New Document – I used the same settings as stated above as in the first image.
3. Duplicate the background layer and with the Gradient Tool, select a pleasing gradient – this one started with a lighter to darker yellow radial gradient. Next a texture called Watercolor 22 by SadMonkeyDesign (check out his site – he has many free beautiful watercolor textures) was added. Create a New Layer to paint a little more texture on the background using the Grunge Paint Brushes by Melsbrushes – the texture brush and texture2 brush with two colors of green.
4. Copy image into your card. To just create a template, use the Rectangular Marquee Tool to create a rectangle the size of your standard image and CTRL+J to place it on its own layer. This layer will serve as a placeholder to indicate where to add in the image. A dotted frame was created easily by duplicating either placeholder layer, or image (CTRL+click on the image thumbnail to select it and filling with with white). Go to the Brush Panel and select the Hard Edge Round Brush at 15 pixels and 118% spacing. Select a bright color and click in one corner of the white rectangular, then go to the corner and SHIFT+Click again – a line of dots will appear. If the spacing is off, adjust in the Brush Panel to fit. Add to all edges to create simple framing. Next go to Adobe Pixel Bender and select Kill White – only the colored dots appear. These can now be transformed to adjust to image.
5. To make the front egg, create a New Layer. Use Sample Brush 3 from Egg Brushes from Melsbrushes, which is your basic egg, and make one brush stroke with a bright color. Next select a new color and a new brush – in this case Sample Brush 4 and Sample Brush 8 were added on top of the original egg stroke. It produced this beautiful yellow, pink and green egg in no time all! Many different eggs can be made and what a time-saver! Next I took the settings from the tutorial for the Inner Shadow Layer Style. Use an angle of -63, Distance of 35 pixels and Size of 55 pixels. This gave a nice shadow and edge to the egg. Free Transform (CTRL+T) to adjust and line up your egg.
6. To create the two eggs in back, the vector technique was used. From the fancy eggs sheet file called 4.eps from Vector Illustrations – the Vector Easter Eggs, just do the same steps as in the first image – use Rectangular Marquee Tool or Lasso Tool to select the egg you want to use, and CTRL+J to put it on its own layer. Select the small white (shadow) area under the eggs using the Quick Selection Tool and Backspace to delete it, or just use the Eraser Tool if you want. Next drag your new egg layer from the vector document underneath the Step 5 egg (by highlighting the layer in the card where the new egg should be placed in the Layers Panel, the dragged layer will go above it). Free Transform (CTRL+T) the egg to make it the same size as the other egg and rotate. Do this step again for the third egg. These eggs look great but may not look so good if blown up to a large size. Copy down the Inner Shadow Layer Style from the Step 5 egg – SHIFT+click the fx icon on the far right of the layer and drag it down to copy. Another really easy way to get a great result quick!
7. Add a little grass with the default Photoshop brush called Grass 134 by painting under the eggs to give them something to rest on.
8. The same technique was used to create the eggs in the background as in Steps 5 and 6. This time use the groupings of eggs on the 4.eps sheet. When placed on their own layer, add a Hue/Sat Adjustment Layer to create a soft solid color for the background images. Merge the two layers to create a one color layer and drag above the painted texture layer. Do this as many times as you want to add eggs – be sure they are on separate layers so you can move them and transform them to fit your image.
9. Add some Easter text. These cute little bunnies are a free font called Bizzy Bunny by Beeline.
10. The last step was to add some kind of frame. This one contains a nice frame from OnOne PhotoFrames. I love this plug in – almost always use them on every image. Easy to use and many, many choices.
Hope I did not lose you here – it really is not that hard to do. I found it totally fascinating making the eggs with the brushes – how easy to do and yet they are so unique with all the color and brush combinations that can be used.
As an aside, there are some pretty basic Easter template cards by Rock the Shot – three can be downloaded for free from their Facebook page if you want to send pictures of the kids to family. I am not going to show them here but check them out.
This last image was just total fun – had to create more eggs! (This one uses all three techniques – brushes, custom shapes and/or vectors for its eggs.) I wanted to get that delicious feel of chocolate eggs in this image too so I resurrected the scanned filmstrip that I posted two blogs ago to make this effect. (For more information on filmstrips, see my blogs on Filmstrip Fun and More Filmstrip Fun – How Can This Be.) I created a New Document and brought in my filmstrip (delete the white areas on the layer by going to the Kill White plug in as referenced above). Now you can start making eggs and bringing them into the document – Free Transform (CTRL+T) to make them fit.
- EGG One – Was created using some Egg Custom Shapes by the psd-Dude . Using these shapes is very easy and they give a beautiful look to the eggs. Create a New Layer above the Background layer and select the Custom Shape Tool. In the Shape pop-out on the Options Bar, load the new egg custom shapes. Find a pleasing color and use the solid colored egg to start. Next a Gradient Overlay Layer Style was added first – I created one that went from pink to bright yellow. Add an Inner Glow set to Opacity 100% and Size 13 pixels, and Inner Shadow set to Angle (-90), Distance 26, and Size 81 pixels. These settings were taken from a very nice tutorial that shows how to actually create the custom egg shape at the psd-Dude site and is called “Drawing an Easter Egg in Photoshop“. Create a New Layer above your basic shape and select a different Foreground color. To add a different shape on top of your first shape – drag a new shape out and to make it fit, hold SHIFT to maintain the aspect ratio and use the SPACEBAR to adjust egg shape on top of the first shape. Turn off the background layer and merge the shape layers. This layer can now be dragged into the filmstrip document.
- EGG Two – This beautiful bunny egg was downloaded from the Dry Icons site – it is in a vector format and can be downloaded here. Please look at their licensing information before using. This is another really nice site to visit. Just used a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer to change color to purple, then selected the bunny with the Quick Selection Tool and copied him to his own layer. Added yellow to the bunny and created a composite on top (CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+E) to put it all on one layer. Now drag into the filmstrip and adjust.
- EGG Three – I call this my Vintage Egg. It was created by selecting a basic egg from Vectorilla file eps.3 and then adding a Watercolor texture to the egg. Just bring in a texture you like and clip it to the egg (Layer – Clipping Layer Mask). it shows up on the egg only. Next I added an Easter Eggs from Pehaa brush using Egg 1 in dark blue. Then I duplicated this layer and erased out the circling lines and left the round lines. Now add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Level and clip it to this layer as shown above. Make the Hue a different color and adjust the Saturation and Lightness to get the color you want. Do a Layer Composite on top. Use the Quick Selection Tool to select the white background and BACKSPACE to delete. Drag this layer into your Filmstrip image.
- EGG Four – This egg was just like Egg One. Just used a solid color instead of an Gradient Overlay Layer Style on original egg shape and used a different decoration shape on top.
- EGG Five – This egg was created just like Egg Three without a texture. A Layer Style was added for a little definition: Dark to Light yellow Gradient Overlay; an Inner Glow set to Opacity 100% and Size 13 pixels; and an Inner Shadow set to Angle (-90), Distance 26, and Size 81 pixels. (Same settings as in Egg One’s Layer Style.)
Some ground and sky texture was added to the eggs in the filmstrip using the Melsbrushes’ Grunge Paint Brushes (as before) – texture and texture2 brushes. Add a layer to put grass for the eggs to sit on. Put all the layers in a group except the background layer and call it Filmstrip. Right click on layer and select Duplicate Group from menu, and name Reflection Group. With a CTRL+E, merge the group into a single layer. Can now Transform (CTRL+T) and Flip Vertical. Add a Gradient Map Adjustment Layer clipped to this layer using White as Foreground and Black as Background colors. Create a New Layer set to Multiply blend mode above the Adjustment Layer (and also clipped to the Group Layer) and select a dark red color (7e2805) to get the Chocolate color for the eggs. I used an opacity of 74% for the layer. Create a background sky and brown ground just above the Background Layer using another favorite brush of mine, Cloud Brushes by Rubina119-Brush No. 8. The vintage bunny image at the end of the filmstrip is a brush from Bunny Love Brushes by charmedbyjessica – Hatted Bunny brush – scroll down to bottom of list for this one. There are many wonderful Easter brushes at this site. The first download contains the type brush for the sky from Ruthenia and can be downloaded here. Create a layer composite on top and add a frame – I used another one from OnOne PhotoFrame.
That is finally it! Wow – should have been two posts as I did not realize how many cool resources were out there for Easter. Hope you find some of these sites useful and enjoy creating some fun eggs for the holiday! Until next time, Enjoy!