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.
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.
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.
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
Magic Wand Tool
Top Tools for Illustration/Digital Painting
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!