First time gfx and first time in photoshop

I want to know how did you guys learn photoshop for gfx, any particular youtube channel? I know this isn’t good cause the face look pixelated and doesn’t fit and the background with the outline seem messy with no feel of depth in the image. If anyone has more comments I appreciate it. I really wanna get better but even this meh photo cost me a lot of time and research…send help!


(disclaimer i’m a concept artist so most of my points will be based on views from an artist)

Well, before you move to photoshop, you should first try to get the lighting correct on the character, because there doesn’t seem to be much lighting going around on the character. (If your not already, I would use blender for this). In fact, I would say most of the process can be done in blender with their cool lighting tools, photoshop just enhances and adds a few effects.

Some words to consider:

  • Saturation: How much “Color (RGB)” is in a color/the intensity of a color
  • Values: Shading (black and white)
  • Contrast: A combination of Saturation and Values: The higher the contrast, the more detail in color you will see. The lower the contrast, the less detail. This is shown in real life, where farther objects, such as hills in the background will have a lower contrast because of all the air molecules that disrupt color from reaching your eyes.

so first, things I see wrong with your gfx (some are explained later on)

  1. You don’t see much “depth” in your gfx because your level values/shading is off and your background does not correspond well with the character. As in, the text is kind of placed randomly with no real “effects”. Usually, a background that corresponds with the character adds epikness and is much cooler.
  2. Saturation values are not used correctly - the red text in the background clashes with the character-at a first glance people will probably see the red text first since it pops out the most
  3. There are no epik effects, like lightning particles, mist, etc. (videos at the end)

Once you have the character more polished, I recommend considering the following:

  • Composition - What do you want to pop out the most? The character? The text? Position your focus according to the golden ratio
  • Mood/Feeling - What kind of “mood” do you want the viewers to feel? Excited? Calm? Different character poses and color combinations can create different moods

In terms of composition

So first, consider what you want to “pop” out first. Highly saturated colors will always pop out, given a low saturated background. You should keep your objects of focus more saturated compared to the background. The background should have a lower saturation. Example:

  • The red text in the background has similar saturation values to your character, which is why your eyes are more or less attracted to the red. If you lower the saturation on the red then it will be less “visible” at a first glance.

Secondly, as a bonus follow up, you can follow the golden ratio, a mysterious ratio that nature uses, (I recommend searching it up since I can’t explain it that well)


Mood is a little easier than composition: You can create a certain mood by experimenting with certain colors. Cooler colors give a “cool” feeling, and warm colors the vice versa.
A kind of cheat that photoshop has is being able to change levels/hue values, which can automatically make your thumbnail/image pop out more

cool videos below

If you're going for a "realistic" approach (with a realistic environment)

Photobashing is an extremely useful skill for realistic backgrounds
Photobashing Video
Photobashing Video2

Colors and adjusting level/hue values

Levels and Curves

Cool effects


i made this at 1 am in the morning sorry if its a bit messy


Thank you for such a detailed and informative response.


LoL an advice from bacon, Wow so much details and informations. Good Job

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