Make a Sketchy Wallpaper for this Christmas

This tutorial will show how we can create a sketchy wallpaper for Christmas this year! We shall cover watercoloring, pencil sketching and some simple lighting effects. It will be good if you are working with a pen and tablet.

Preview of Final Image

The texts and images are copyrighted to 10Steps.SG and their respective owners. You CANNOT copy the whole tutorial, either in English or translate to another language.

Create a document of size 800×600 pixels. Make a new layer and create a gradient like what I did below. The colors used are, #02314F – #48C0ED – #001847 (from top to bottom).

Select the Brush tool and open up its Presets Brushes. Load the Wet Media Brushes and click on Append. Pick on the Watercolor Fat Tip.

Select the Gradient layer you made earlier and create a Layer Mask on it. Fill the mask with black and set the foreground color to white. Increase the Brush Size to 120px and Opacity to 60%. On the mask, paint several random horizontal strokes as shown below. Rename this layer as Sky.

Make a new layer above the Sky layer and name it as Snow Border. Using the same brush as the previous step, set the foreground color to white and Opacity to 100%. This time paint around the bottom area of the document. You can also touch up on the left and right borders.

Create a Levels Adjustments layer and set the values to 11, 0.5, 255.

Create a new layer above the Snow Border and name it as Slope. Reduce the Brush Size to 4px and Opacity to 100%. Sketch a slope like what I have done below. There is no hard rules on how to do the sketching, but will be much easier if you are using a pen tablet.

Create two slopes roughly the same size and place them side by side.

Create a new layer above the Slope and name it as Huts. Increase the Brush Size to 50px and Opacity to 50%. Briefly dot the areas on the slopes that you want the huts to be.

Then set the Brush Size to 4px and Opacity to 100%. Sketch a few huts like what I have done.

Create a new layer and name it as Snow. Using the same Brush settings, paint a few dots around to document.

Create a new layer and name it as Glitter. Draw a cross using the Pencil tool and fade the 4 corners with the Eraser.

Rotate the glitter to 45 degrees and duplicate several of it around the document.

Create a new layer and name it as Lens. Draw a large white circle and using the Eraser tool, fade the circle from its center point.

Duplicate several of this Lens layer and position them randomly over the document.

Create a new layer and name it as Santa Claus. Using the Brush tool with Size 4px and Opacity 100%, draw a brief outline of a Santa Claus.

Create a new layer below the outline and paint the white areas. Move your pen or mouse in circular motion so as to make the sketchy effect.

Repeat the same for the red areas.

Let us fill in the skin areas.

Follow by adding in the glasses.

Then we paint in some highlights and shadows.

Now select the Brush tool and pick on the preset Star 14 pixels brush. Open up the Brush Palette and key in the following settings.

Lastly, create a new layer and write your Christmas wishes to complete the design. Apply Outer Glow to the texts for a better result. That is all! Hope you enjoy the tutorial. Thanks for reading.

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65 Comments | Write a Comment

  1. Serious Andy says:

    tnx for a good article

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don’t want to be rude and I really like the result, but other than a handful of brush settings all you told us to do was to sketch this and that. The tutorial is good, but I doubt anyone could achieve the final result as not all of us have enough talent to sketch something of such a great accuracy.

    • Johnson Koh says:

      Indeed. It took me quite awhile to achieve what you saw. But I believe everyone can create a style of their own. Not really have to be identical to my personal preferences. This is the fun of designing isn’t it 😀

  3. i would have to make more christmas cards becuase next month is december already ,,;

  4. christmas time is coming again and i would be sending christmas cards to many of my friends”`.

  5. very nice tutorial! If you want some XMas-Tutorials more, don’t miss

  6. lid says:

    that’s cool brother.. ^^

  7. asd says:

    Nice tutorial! Thanks.

  8. PSDDude says:

    I love it! It is unique it has style ! 10 from me!

  9. Elena says:

    Замечательный урок!)

  10. Brian Jones says:

    Great tutorial – thank you

  11. aries says:

    great job…

  12. xxwy says:

    thanks,this Tutorial is gooder

  13. Respect, very nice tutorial! If you want some XMas-Tutorials more, don’t miss Photoshop – Winter-Tutorials

  14. Dom says:

    When I saw the title of your post, I didn’t think I would really see a step-by-step tutorial! Thought you would just add one or two graphics just to help. Wow! I’m amazed! Not only did you a great job but highly useful to me as I’m a PS idiot and definitely save your page on my computer so that I can refer later!
    Thanks and have a very merry Christmas!

  15. UNNI KRISH says:


  16. Guadalupe says:

    My recent purchase of a gift card for a grandchild’s birthday was calculated to be quick, easy, and practical. Since we are a family of readers, the Gift Card fit all my expectations and needs! Thank you for being so reliable (and predictable!)

  17. kyoks says:

    Классный урок по рисованию! 🙂 Ð’ принципе работать здесь нужно только кистями 😉

  18. wow..You explain so well in just easy steps..thanx a lot. Happy Christmas..

  19. dGjess says:

    nice :D..never fail to make us wow :D..mer xmas

  20. bellering says:

    Let it snow let it snow let it snow 😀 Thanks and merry xmas to u too!

  21. merry X-max 😀 Nice wallpaper btw 🙂

  22. You got a really useful blog. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Take care, Nicholas Brandy ~ tinypocketpeople

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