Beginning Photoshop

These are the steps we will follow in class to begin work with Photoshop:

You have been given a handout showing the Photoshop toolbar. Use that to find the correct tool or to understand the parts of Color Palette and Layers Palette.

Select New File from the Menu. In the New File Dialogue Box select pixels instead of inches. Set the new file at 400 pixels width by 300 pixels height, 72 pixels per inch. (Standard onscreen is 72 ppi.)

  • Click on the Foreground Color and you open the Color Palette. The default Foreground Color is black, so the Hexadecimal at the bottom of the Color Palette is #000000. Change that color to #CC00FF (you’ll get Galileo Purple).
  • Select the Paintbrush in the Toolbar. Instructor will show the Options Palette. You can adjust options for any different tool or function in Photoshop.
  • In Options Palette for Paintbrush move the slider to around 100. (You don’t have to be precise.)
  • Now use the Paintbrush to paint the Background Layer of your file.
    • Yes, there are other ways to paint in the background, we’ll get to those soon.



  • Select New Layer from the bottom of the Layers Palette. Rename the new layer “circle.”
  • Select the Rectangular Marquee Tool from the Toolbar. Hold down your mouse over the icon and you’ll see other choices. Switch to Elliptical Marquee (look at the icon next to the word “Elliptical,” it’s a round shape).
  • Now hold down Shift Key as you use the Marquee Tool to draw a circle. Make sure you have “circle” layer selected.
  • Switch Foreground Color and Background Color. Now click on the new Foreground Color (if it’s white, the Hexadecimal will read “#FFFFFF”). Change the Hexadecimal to #FFCC33 (Galileo Gold).
  • Now use the Paintbrush to paint the circle Gold. Notice that the Paintbrush doesn’t go outside the area that is SELECTED. Marching Ants encircle the area that is selected.
  • To Deselect the Marching Ants, click on Command-D or Apple-D.


  • You’ve just learned to create a new layer; now you will create another layer; rename the layer; change the Marquee Tool; hold down Shift to keep the Marquee Tool in proportion; paint in the shape; and deselect the area. You’ll repeat these steps on your own.
  • Insert a New Layer. Rename it “square.”
  • Use the Marquee Tool to create a square shape on the layer “square.”
  • Choose Medium Gray (#999999) to paint in the square shape.
  • If you finish quickly, please stand up and look around. See which classmates are struggling with Photoshop and help them. (I promise, this will make the class better for all students.)
  • Instructor will demonstrate the importance of different layers. How you can move something on one layer or change which layer is in front. (What’s on Top is in Front.)
  • Everyone should select their “circle” layer. From Menu Bar select Edit > Transform > Scale.
  • There will be 8 handles around the circle image: 4 handles at the corners; 4 handles at the sides.
  • To change the size of the circle you will only click on one of the corner handles and hold down Shift as you change size.
  • When you’re done select the Move Tool from Toolbar. Click on “Apply Transformation.”
  • Now select the “square” layer. From the Menu Bar select Edit > Transform > Rotate.
  • Don’t Rotate by hand. Look over the Options Palette for Edit > Transform. There is an Angle Icon with the number 0 next to it.
  • If you want to change the square to a diamond, what number would you enter next to the Angle Icon?
  • Once you change the square to a diamond, select the Move Tool and “Apply Transformation.”
  • Select the Type Tool and type in the word “GALILEO.” It automatically creates a New Layer.
  • Now select Typeface: Impact; Size: 90pt; Color: White. (Notice these options are similar to options for text in MS Word.)
  • Instructor will show you two ways to Duplicate Layer. Make two new copies of Galileo Layer.
  • Instructor will demonstrate Layer Styles. Take some time and apply Layer Styles to your three different Galileo Layers. Don’t use more than 2 Layer Styles on a Layer (one inside, one outside).
  • Do an Image Search for a Lion. Make sure you get the large image and not the thumbnail. Save two Lion images to your desktop.
  • Hold down Control when you open the Lion image. Then select Open With… Photoshop CC. (Otherwise the image will open in Preview).
  • Drag the Lion image into your Photoshop file. If the image is too large, first select Image > Image Size. From the Dialogue Box that pops up change size to 50%.
  • If you want your Lion image smaller, use Edit > Transform > Scale. (Follow the same steps as 17-21.)
  • When you have the Lion image as you’d like it, make 10 copies.
  • Instructor will demonstrate a variety of Filters. Note that some Filters use your selected Foreground & Background colors.
  • Now apply a different filter to each layer of Lion. After you’ve applied a Filter, rename the layer so you know which Filter you used. You can use the same Filter twice if you change the settings so that they look significantly different. Keep track of which Filters you like best.