Abstract Wallpaper in Photoshop (Pixelmator and Figma also)

I like to change the wallpaper on my devices. Phones, tablets and laptops. I also love abstract and kind of simple wallpapers, usually with some mix of gradient and color effects. For this tutorial I will show you how to create a super simple composition using gradients, brushes, and blending modes. It’s a lot of fun and the best part is that you can do it using Photoshop, Pixelmator, Figma, or any tool that supports Linear Burn and Color Dodge blending modes. The instructions here are in Photoshop but some of the changes were made with the same process in Pixelmator.

step 1

Create a new document then use the gradient tool to convert the layer to a . fill with linear gradient From light pink to light blue like in the image below.

step 2

Create a new layer and fill it with white.

step 3

Create a new folder and move the white layer inside it. Rename the new folder to “Linear Burn” – then change it to Blending Mode for Linear Burn, You will see that the whiteness will become transparent. That means it worked 🙂

step 4

Create a new layer inside the “Linear Burn” folder. again with Brush Tool (B) And with a very soft brush black for color paint a circle in the center of the screen. you will immediately notice that linear burn The color is working because of the way it makes an interesting mix.

Step 5

Add another layer inside the folder. Now increase the brush size and decrease the transparency of the brush. Paint the second circle a little below the previous one.

Step 6

Repeat the process. However, this time use red for the color and move this layer under the other two black brush circles. This will darken the pink.

Step 6

Now let’s add a little contrast. Add another layer outside the “Linear Burn” folder. at the root level. Fill this layer with black. Immediately after that create a new folder and move this black filled layer inside it. Change the folder name to “Color Dodge” Blending Mode for Color Dodge – This time the black will disappear.

Step 7

With the Brush tool, choose white for the color and experiment with a few brush strokes to see the effect. In the image below I added a simple brush circle to the left, almost in the center. Note that this created a strong contrast.


Add another layer inside “Color Dodge” and still white but with different brush opacity, paint over parts of the screen to create highlights.

In short, blend modes help the brush blend with the BG in a more realistic way. Linear Burn makes things darker, Color Dodge creates more highlights and light effects. You can play with different colors and additional distortions but the idea is the same. It’s up to you now, have fun.

Note: You can create lava lamp style animations by moving the brush around. It’s quite astonishing.


full size wallpaper

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download source file

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