Calling all hands-on learners! We have a tutorial made just for you. See that pretty mood board down below? We’re gonna show you how to create one of your own, and in the process, you’ll discover some of our most useful, workflow-improving features.
So round up a few images (and if you don’t have any, we know a couple stock photo sites that can help you out), then head to PicMonkey.com to get started on your grand learning adventure. And if you don’t have access to the latest and greatest PicMonkey yet, get yourself on over to the waitlist.
Create a canvas
When you visit PicMonkey.com and sign into your account, you’ll notice all kinds of options on your homepage. Your previous projects display at the top, and you can also choose to start with a template or a blank canvas.
For this tutorial, we’ll start with a blank canvas. Choose one from the Start from blank section of the homepage, or click Create and then Blank canvas to see all of the blank canvas sizes or create your own. We used a custom 1500 x 1500 pixel canvas, but you can choose whatever size you like—our resizing and cropping tools make changing dimensions and sizing for social a breeze.
Add images and graphics
Now it’s time to put some stuff on that beauteous blank canvas! To add your own images like we did for this design, click the Overlays tab (the geometric shapes icon on the left) and then click Add your own. Choose an image from your Hub or your computer, and it will open as an overlay—that means you can crop, erase, add drop shadow or inner shadow, adjust the blend mode, and more using the Overlay palette that pops up when you add an image or overlay. You can also apply edits, effects, and textures (in the Edits, Effects, and Textures tabs) to an overlay.
You can also crop and resize images and overlays after you’ve placed them on the canvas. Click the Erase tab on the Overlay palette, and then the Crop icon. You’ll see crop and resizing options—click the one you want and adjust your image on the canvas.
Pro tip: Say you’ve applied the perfect combo of effects and edits to one of your images, and then you realize that—drat!—it’s the wrong image. Use the Replace button on the Overlay palette, and every edit you made to the first image will be applied to the new one automatically.
Add more awesomeness
Now that you’ve got the hang of adding stuff to your canvas, keep at it! You can add more of your own images, put our collection of overlays to work, and head to the text tab to add some words.
Access and re-order with the Layers palette
When you have a few images and/or text boxes on your canvas, notice that they appear on the Layers palette. You can use this palette to quickly access and reorder every part of your design—try using the arrows on the Layers palette to bring your images to the front of your design, send others to the back, etc.
Work with your colors
Our color selection tools are super useful when you’re creating designs. To see for yourself, head to the Overlays tab and find the circle under General > Geometric. Now click the black circle on the Overlay palette to see all of the color-changing options. You can:
- Click the paint palette icon to see preset color combos.
- Click the color wheel icon to input the hex value of any color you want, choose a color using the spectrum box and color bar, or use the eyedropper.
For this design, we’ll pull colors from the images on the canvas. Click the eyedropper on the Overlay palette, then click the area of your image with the color you want. That’s it—instant color matching!
To get a line of color circles, as seen in this design, adjust your colorified circle to a size you like, then click the three dots next to the first circle in the Layers palette and choose Duplicate layer (or you can get really spiffy with keyboard shortcuts). Now choose a different color for your new circle overlay, and repeat.
Get goin’ with grouping
Get to your end result faster by grouping your design elements. When you combine images, text boxes, graphics—whatever you want—into a group, you can apply the same edits, effects, and textures to the entire group, and move those elements as one unit.
To give grouping a try with the color circles you just made, move them into a line. Hold the Shift key and click the circles in the Layers palette, then click the Group button on the palette that says Multiple layers. Now you can move all of your circles at once, add effects to all of them (head to Effects on the Group palette to hit ’em with a little drop shadow), size them up or down, and make any other edits to the entire group at once. If you decide you wanna break up the band and work with an element individually, click Ungroup.
Let’s do this thing! Get PicMonkey to make wow-worthy images, right now.
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