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Learn How to Use Photoshop With These 10 Free Courses and Tutorials

If you want to learn how to use Photoshop for everything from designing a movie poster to making a glitch effect, check out this roundup of recent courses and tutorials.

Posted 9 Feb 2022
Photoshop courses

You can use Photoshop for all kinds of different graphic design projects, but it has so many features that even the experts don’t always know all of them. These free Photoshop tutorials will unlock its secrets.

If you want to learn how to use Photoshop for everything from designing posters to making a realistic blood effect, check out this roundup of recent free Photoshop courses and tutorials. You’re sure to find something here to help you reach your creative goals.

1. Create a Cartoon Effect

Why not turn a photo into a cartoon? This Photoshop tutorial video shows you how it’s done. You could try this with your own photo, or have a bit of fun by making a cartoon out of your friend’s photo. Watch the free video tutorial on YouTube.

2. Make a Rainbow Gradient

A rainbow gradient is not only a beautiful effect, but also a great way to show support for the LGBTQIA community. Read this simple step-by-step tutorial to find out how to use Photoshop to create a rainbow gradient that you can apply to any photo of your choice.

rainbow gradient

3. Recreate the Matrix Movie Poster Effect

The Matrix Resurrections movie was keenly anticipated, and its cool, glitchy movie poster contributed to the buzz. This video shows you how to create the same effect in Photoshop—and if you prefer written instructions, you can find those in this tutorial.

4. Make a Galaxy Brush

Sticking with the sci-fi theme, why not learn how to create a space effect by making your own galaxy brush in Photoshop? You’ll find all the steps in this easy-to-follow tutorial.

galaxy brush in photoshop

5. Avoid Basic Digital Painting Mistakes

Digital painting may seem easier than traditional art because of all the great features Photoshop provides, but there are still plenty of mistakes you can make. In this video, Monika Zagrobelna outlines ten common beginner mistakes in digital painting. Are you making any of them? Watch the video to find out!

6. Create a Silhouette

A simple silhouette can be very effective. Check out the three examples below and notice how much information they can convey about the different characters, with so few details. If you want to make a silhouette in Photoshop, this detailed tutorial shows you exactly how to do it.

Photoshop silhouettes

7. Make a Neon and Oil Spill Rainbow Poster

Wow, I didn’t even know that neon, oil spills and rainbows could all go into the same poster design! To see how it all fits together, watch this YouTube video. Laura Keung explains the whole process from start to finish, so that you can follow along and create the same effect yourself in Photoshop. The full written instructions are here.

8. Add Light in Photoshop

One thing all Photoshop compositions have in common is that they need an effective use of light. When you add light in the right way, you can add some real drama to your images and artwork. But get it wrong, and you’ll make them look unrealistic. Read how to add light in Photoshop in this free design tutorial.

add light in photoshop

9. Make 3D Isometric Text

See how that text in the video below seems to pop right off the screen? The isometric perspective can be a great way to add a 3D effect to your designs. In this video, Jonathan Lam shows you how to convert two-dimensional text into 3D isometric text using Photoshop’s 3D Workspace.

10. Create a Seamless Water Ripple Texture

The great thing about these free Photoshop tutorials is that while you’re creating a certain effect, you’re picking up useful design skills that you can then apply to other projects. So whether you want to create a water ripple texture or not, you’ll learn a lot about making textures and seamless patterns in Photoshop in this tutorial. Get started here!

water ripple effect in photoshop

In this post, we’ve covered ten of the best free Photoshop tutorials and courses published recently, but that’s just scratching the surface of what you can find in the full Envato Tuts+ library of more than 1,250 courses and 28,000 tutorials. Here are some of the best Photoshop tutorials and courses from previous months.

Learn Some Advanced Photoshop Effects

This one-hour free Photoshop course has everything! Learn to apply some advanced photo manipulation techniques and really take your work to the next level. It’s called “Advanced Photoshop for Everyone”, so it’s definitely accessible, but there’s so much to learn here that even Photoshop experts will find something new.

Make It Rain!

Want to add rain to your photo? How about some storm-clouds and lightning? You’ll learn how it’s done in this free Photoshop tutorial over on YouTube.

Adobe Photoshop for Beginners

If you want to learn how to use Photoshop, this is the best place to start. It’s a free three-hour video course that takes you through Photoshop from start to finish. Learn everything from layers and selections to masking and retouching, all in one place!

Photoshop for Beginners course

Learn Photoshop From A to Z

This video is the next one to watch. It takes you through Photoshop from A to Z, looking at a different tool or function for each letter of the alphabet.

Design a Movie Poster

Looking for something more advanced? Try this detailed Photoshop course, which takes you through the process of designing a Hollywood-style movie poster. And, like everything else mentioned in this post, it’s completely free!

Movie Poster Design in Photoshop

Make a Watercolor Effect

OK, let’s switch gears. From the in-your-face style of heavy metal, let’s move to the soft, calming look of a watercolor still-life painting. Photoshop is so versatile that it can create all kinds of different effects. Watch the video to see how to recreate this one.

Use the Spot Healing Brush

See how the two photographs below are almost identical, except that in the one on the right, the crack in the wall has been removed and some bricks have been cleared up from the floor? That’s the magic of the Spot Healing Brush in Photoshop—it lets you remove objects easily, while leaving the background untouched. See how it works in this tutorial.

Spot healing brush example

Creative Compositing in Photoshop

One of the best things you can do in Photoshop is photo manipulation, or compositing a scene from different photos and graphics. In this free course, you get to explore lots of compositing techniques while creating a scene from a robot apocalypse.

compositing a scene in Photoshop

Design a Business Card in Photoshop

We’ve looked at some creative projects in this roundup, but what about something more practical, like a business card? You can learn how to use Photoshop to create your own business cards in this course—and the good news is, they can be pretty creative too! Read how it’s done.

Business card designs

Make an Album Cover

Look at that striking piece of album cover art! If you want to know how to use Photoshop to create something like that, then check out the free tutorial and get all the steps!

Resize Images en Masse

Resizing a single image in Photoshop is straightforward. But what if you have dozens of images to resize, or even hundreds? Save yourself a lot of time by reading this tutorial or watching the video below. You’ll discover how to create your own simple Photoshop action to resize multiple images with a single click.

Create an Elegant Japanese Brush Font in Photoshop

Check out this YouTube video, which takes you through the process of designing your own brush font in that iconic Japanese text style. It’s proven popular with the YouTube audience, and there’s also a written version of the tutorial if you prefer to follow along that way.

Create a Light Leak Effect

Back in the days of film photography, a light leak was a dreaded mistake. Now it’s a much sought-after digital effect to give your images a warm, nostalgic, retro look. Learn how to create it in this tutorial, or simply watch the video below.

Make an Image Sparkle

With the techniques you’ll learn in this tutorial, you’ll be able to add a magical sparkle to any photo. You’ll see the steps involved in producing the effect in the image below in Photoshop, and then you’ll see how to use a simple Photoshop action to apply the effect to any image of your choosing. Read the tutorial.

Sparkle effect in Photoshop

Create Your Own Smartphone Mockup

Envato recently launched a new partnership with Placeit, which makes it easy to create photo-realistic mockups with no design skills at all. But if you want to create a mockup the old-school way, with smart objects and smart filters in Photoshop, then read this tutorial for the full lowdown on how to do it.

smartphone mockup

Brush Up on Photoshop Brushes

I included this course not just for its pun potential, but also because it’s a really useful guide to getting the most out of Photoshop brushes. If you do any kind of art, design or other creative work in Photoshop, you need to watch this video. Oh, did I mention it’s a free course? That’s another good reason to watch it.

Create a Shatter Effect in Photoshop

A shatter effect is a powerful visual metaphor that you can use in a range of designs to illustrate progress, change, or breaking through boundaries. This tutorial shows you how to create the effect easily in Photoshop, starting with a stock image and creating a special “shatter brush” to let you apply the effect, before making all the necessary adjustments so that it looks realistic. Get the full instructions here.

Shatter effect in Photoshop

Create a Surreal Portrait in Photoshop

Some designs are so striking that you just think, “Wow, I could never create that.” Well, I do, anyway. But this tutorial breaks the whole process down into easily manageable steps. If you’ve got a copy of Photoshop and some time available, you can work your way through this and create a stunning photo manipulation with a stitching effect. Get the full set of instructions.

Surreal portrait in Photoshop

Master Photo Manipulation Techniques

The great thing about photo manipulation is that if, like me, you can’t draw to save your life, you can still create some amazing scenes like the one below, just by merging photos together and applying some effects. There’s a bit more to it than that, of course, but this tutorial breaks it all down into easy steps. So why not learn photo manipulation today?

Photo manipulation of Egyptian goddess

And There’s More…

This post has highlighted the best free Photoshop tutorials and courses that Tuts+ has published recently, but you’ll find a lot more in the full archives going back over ten years. With Tuts+, you can learn how to use Photoshop, as well as mastering photography, video, graphic design, web design, and more. Search the full Tuts+ library to find exactly what you need.


Get a Photoshop lesson from YouTubers PiXimperfect, Benny Productions, Nemanja Sekulic and Imad Awan with our video on Photoshop compositing.

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