Designing a Book Cover in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I will show you how to construct this noir book cover using Photoshop.

You will need a copy of Photoshop version 9 or higher. I recommend that you save often so you don't lose everything.

For simplicity's sake, I will approach each step as if you are new to photoshop.

Open your Photoshop and you will see a row of pull-down menus across the top. Choose “File" and select “New.”

Another menu will pop up. Insert the size of the book cover you're creating (front cover only.) For this one, I chose 6 inches by 9 inches with a resolution of at least 300 DPI.

The first challenge is to get a gun shape on the page. You may draw from a picture of a gun in a catalog or from the real thing. I chose to go online and find a sales picture of a gun I wanted to use. If you want yours to be more identifiable then chose one that everyone knows like a .38mm Police Special. This one fits my story because the mystery residence ends up being a base for spies with crazy gadgets like silent air-powered guns shooting deadly darts.

You can either draw it on paper, use your Wacom tablet, or do a mouse drawing. I chose to do a mouse drawing. Here you see the outline of the gun. I was drawing from sight so I started with only the outline.

Create a marque either with the Magnetic Lasso or your Wand and with the paint bucket fill in your middle value for the gun.

If the color is distracting turn off that layer and continue working with the sketch you scanned. I continued to free draw with my mouse. It was faster. Fill in the areas you outline with your Magnetic Lasso. The oval was created with the Oval Marquee Tool.

Outline the lighter shadows with the Magnetic Lasso and 5. fill them in with the color you have chosen for what I call shadow 2 in my drawing class. You can change your color choice by clicking on the colored square in the lower left-hand corner and select from a menu.

Make a larger oval shape on a separate layer. It should be the shadow 2 color.