Stock Photo - Top view of the table graphic designerYou can create so many cool and interesting effects in Photoshop! But starting out as a beginner can be really scary because there is so much to learn. Here are five tips to help get you started and open the door to endless possibilities!

  1. Meet Your Workspace

When you first open up Photoshop it’s important to take a good look at what’s on your screen. You’ll need to know where everything is located as well as what the different icons look like for your tools and settings. Here is how the default Photoshop CC work space looks.

PSBeginners1

If you change it by mistake, and want to return to the default workspace, just go to Window > Workspace > Reset Essentials. At the top you’ve got your main toolbar. Underneath this toolbar is also the place where you’ll see additional settings you can change that are related to your tools. On the left is all of your main tools and on the right side you have panels dedicated to different features in Photoshop. You don’t have to keep the panels there, so feel free to adjust your workspace to what is comfortable for you.

  1. Get to Know Your Photoshop Tools

Now that you know where everything is, let’s check out the tools. Not all of them are visible so just remember you can shuffle through the different options by holding down on the tools with the bottom right arrows.

PSBeginners2Top Tools You’ll Use

  • Zoom/Pan/Move Tools
  • Foreground/Background Color
  • Marquee Tools
  • Pen Tool

It’s also a good idea to have a sense of which tools you’ll need for different projects. Here are the top tools you can expect to use for photo editing and illustration.

Top Tools for Photo Editing

  • Crop Tool
  • Magic Wand Tool
  • Burn/Dodge Tools
  • Stamp Tool
  • Patch Tool

Top Tools for Illustration/Digital Painting

  • Brush Tool
  • Eraser Tool
  • Pen Tool
  • Marquee Tools
  • Eyedropper Tool
  1. Memorize Keyboard Shortcuts

You can make your life a whole lot easier just by memorizing a few keyboard shortcuts. Keyboard shortcuts allow you to access a tool, setting, or particular action in Photoshop just by hitting certain keys on your keyboard.

PSBeginners3These are the most basic shortcuts you’ll need to know no matter what you’re working on in Photoshop.

Basics Shortcuts

  • Control-S to Save

 

  • Control-Z to Undo

 

  • Control-C to Copy

 

  • Control-V to Paste

 

  • Control-X to Cut

Hover your mouse over a tool to see the tool’s name and its keyboard shortcut should come up as well. Go through all of the tools and try to test yourself to see how many tools you can remember by cycling through the different shortcuts. And if you want to change the preferences of your shortcuts, just go to Edit > Keyboard Shortcuts.

  1. Play and Experiment

Now that you’ve got a sense of what you’re looking at and working with, it’s time for some fun!

PSBeginners4Open a New Document in Photoshop and begin playing with all the different tools, filters, and settings that are there in front of you. The best way to learn anything is trial and error. Don’t be too hard on yourself because all the fun is in trying new things. So if at first you don’t succeed with the Pen Tool, try again.

As you experiment you begin to build a natural understanding of which tools work well together. Experiment on your own photos or create quick sketches for future painting ideas. Once you get the hang of things, it’s time to try out a tutorial!

  1. Try a Photoshop Tutorial

The best thing you can do for yourself is always remain a student to digital art. Search for beginner tutorials online to get you started in Photoshop.(we’ve got a wide selection of tutorials here!)  As you progress, try to challenge yourself with intermediate and advanced tutorials so that you start to learn how to apply the basics to more difficult projects. You never know what kind of lessons you can learn by trying out something different.

PSBeginners5Try this photo manipulation tutorial here!

Overall, the best way to get started with learning Photoshop is to simply jump right in. Do your best to practice and memorize its tools and you’ll be an expert in no time!