Freebies, Tutorials

Creating a Grunge Autumn Themed Calendar for September

September 3, 2010 • By

In this tutorial, we’ll be creating an Autumn themed Calendar for this month of September. The style here is dark and grungy and the final result is appropriately titled the ‘The Fall.’ This being the season of falling leaves from trees. The techniques used to attain the final image are the application of Blend modes, the use of grunge brushes

Step 1

First off, open a new document Ctrl+N, and set its document size to 1280 x 768 px and the resolution to 140 dpi. The wood texture below was from Drag wood texture into your working document window.

Step 2

Press Ctrl+U for the Hue/Saturation Dialog box and then reduce the Saturation to -42. This is to fade the wood’s colour a little. We don’t intend to make the colours of our composition too vibrant.

The result:

Step 3

Go to Filter> Render> Lighting Effects and set the Lightening parameters below:

The Lighting Effects result:

Step 4

Now to paint over the lightened wood texture with a grunge specific brush. Download a set of grunge brushes by ART-D. Select the ‘BB Grunge_9’ brush from the Brushes Palette and increase its size to 1166 px and the brush colour that is, the foreground colour to #1f1710.

Step 5

Create a new layer and paint just once over the wood image.

Step 6

Change the layer’s Blend mode to Soft Light.

Step 7

Create a new Curves Adjustment Layer by clicking on the fourth icon from the left on the Layers Palette or go to Layers> New Adjustment Layer> Curves. Drag the midpoint of the straight line downwards to reduce the brightness of the image slightly.

We have now a dark wood surface that appears to be whittling away. Name this layer ‘grunge.’

This is the arrangement of the layers on the Layers Palette so far.

Step 8

Set the Foreground colour to #322c28 and from the Tools Panel, select the Rectangle Tool (U) and on its Options bar, select the ‘Fill Pixels’ icon.The square to be
drawn would be automatically filled with colour.

Step 9

Double-click on the ‘block’ layer for a Layer Style and select the Drop Shadow style. Set its parameters as shown below:

The Inner Shadow Layer Style adjustments:

Step 10

Create a new layer and with the Brush Tool (B) selected, right-click to choose a new grunge brush – ‘BB Grunge_7 ‘and ‘BB Grunge_9’ to be precised. Set the brush colour to #262321 and reduce its opacity to about 85%. Paint on the block not minding if you exceed its boundaries and then on the layer, right-click to select a ‘Clipping Mask’ to ‘fasten’ the brush painting to the block.

Step 11

Select a Soft Round brush and change its colour to #181412. Paint over the block as shown below:

Step 12

Head on to Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur and set the Blur Radius to about 45.5 pixels. *Note:when the effect has been applied, there’s no need to erase around the edges of the block where the blur might have spread. Finally, set the layer’s Blend mode to Soft Light.

Step 13

For a new layer, select the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) and draw a circle that just encompasses the lower right corner of the block. Use a White Soft Round brush with an opacity of 75% to paint within the circle. Press Ctrl+D to clear the selection.

Step 14

Apply a Gaussian Blur of a Radius of about 60%. This in effect, increases the light intensity at a point without affecting other areas of the image.

For this layer ‘light,’ reduce the blur’s opacity to 60%.

Step 15

We’ll now add text for the date by selecting the Type Horizontal Tool (T).With the Tool, drag to create a rectangular shape.

Step 16

On the Type Tool’s Options bar, choose the font type as ‘Agency FB‘; the style as ‘Bold‘; size to 24 pt and colour to black. Alternatively, these adjustments can be made on the Character Panel. Enable this if not visible already, by going to Menu bar and select Window> Character. Type in the numbers for the month of the September; hit Enter to go into the next row for another set of numbers and so on.

Step 17

For a new layer, type in the numbers “30, 31” for the numbers of the previous date and “1, 2, 3” for
the numbers of the next date (the text colour doesnt matter for now).

Step 18

To make the date correspond with the direction of light, we’ll add a Gradient to it. Double-click on the first date text layer and select a Gradient Overlay Layer Style. Edit the Gradient by changing the Color Stops to the colours show below:

Step 19

Reduce the Gradient’s Opacity to 85% and set its Angle to –72.

Step 20

Add a Drop Shadow style with the adjustments below:

Step 21

For the second date “30, 31, 1, 2 and 3”, add a Bevel and Emboss Layer style. Set its parameters as shown below:

Step 22

Still on the second date, add a Color Overlay Layer style and set its colour to #957f6fand reduce its Opacity to 85%.

The final result:

Step 23

Also type in the days of the week and on the Character Panel, set the font colour set to #181615.

Step 24

For the month and the year, type in “SEPT . 2010” and the Character Panel set the font type to “Broken Ghost” (you can download it for free at the font colour to #363535.

Below we have a font with uneven edges that tallies with grittiness of the whole composition.

The completed date for September:

Step 25

Select a Spatter brush for the brush and set its Opacity to 85% Erase a little the set of numbers last row and the last two numbers on the row before. The aim is to make the numbers appear scratched.

Autumn wouldnt be complete without leaves; these maple leaves were downloaded from

Step 26

Drag any maple leaf you fancy into the main document window and use the Magic Wand Tool (W) to extract the leaf from its background. Just click anywhere outside the leaf and hit the Delete key to clear the selection and you’re done! You may have to use the Eraser Tool to clear any hint of white left on the leaf.

Step 27

Use the Move Tool (V) to position the leaf and with the Free transform Tool (Ctrl+T), you might have to scale the leaf down.

Step 28

For the ‘Maple leaf’ layer, add a Drop Shadow Layer style:

Step 29

Follow up with an Inner Shadow style making the adjustments below:

The result below:

Step 30

Select the Brush Tool as a grunge brush and paint just once over the leaf.

Step 31

Create a Clipping Mask for the layer by right-clicking it and selecting this option. Set the layer’s Blend mode to Soft Light and reduce its opacity to 70%.

Step 32

With the Elliptical Marquee Tool, draw a circle and fill with a white colour and deselect or you could just use a Soft Round brush with the appropriate size and stamp a white brush mark over the leaf.

Step 33

Have the round white circle blurred with a Gaussian Blur and set the layer’s Blend mode to Soft Light. Also erase around the leaf to clear any paint outside it.

And this is our Calendar for September. Like I mentioned earlier, its titled “The Fall.”

By David Ella Ella