Behind the Scenes: Creating Stylized Autumn Typography in Photoshop

Today, I want to share with you the process I used to create my Autumn Typography piece. This project is over 500 MB, took over 14 hours to complete (mainly experimenting with different techniques), and contains over 400 individual layers. The final result can be seen in the image below.

autumn 01

Speed Art Video

The Process

Concept Sketches

The concept started with a few sketches. I roughed out the general composition and detailed a few elements. I knew the lettering would be created with the help of Photoshop’s 3D features so I didn’t spend too much time creating a detailed sketch of the overall piece. I fully anticipated this being a very fluid process.

autumn 01

Scene Set Up

I scanned the sketches and brought them into Photoshop. I extracted the bucket sketch and positioned it in a new scene. I also added a gradient background to start.

autumn 02


The next step was to work on the lettering. The font is a modified version of Century Gothic—edited using Illustrator. I then brought each letter back into Photoshop and converted them into separate 3D objects. I worked out their relationships in the scene.

autumn 03

Refining the Sketch

Now that the lettering was worked out, I could finish the sketch directly in Photoshop. I used some additional elements from my scanned sketches to fill out the scene. Using a Wacom Tablet (I highly recommend investing in one), I drew over the sketch to refine each element.

autumn 04

Creating Shape Layers

The next step required converting all elements into shape layers. I started with the letters, converting the face and sides into individual shape layers. At this point, I also gave each letter a separate color to better visualize the lettering.

autumn 05

I continued creating shapes for the bucket, stalks, pumpkins, and gourds.

autumn 06

Rather than working on the leaves from the main sketch, I used the more detailed sketch to create the leaf shapes.

autumn 07

Refining the Scene

I then placed the leaves in the scene with the rest of the elements. At this point, I also added the remaining elements, such as the twigs and acorns.

autumn 08

Detail Work

Next, I went through scene to add shading and highlights to each element.

autumn 09


The next, and longest step was to go through and add textures to each element. I used real-world textures to help texture my scene. For example, I found an interesting aged-metal texture that I used on many of the pumpkins and gourds. I also found a charred-wood texture which worked well for the acorn caps.

autumn 10

Touch Ups

Lastly, I went back through the scene and added my final touch ups, such as additional shadows, shading and highlights, and atmospheric effects.

autumn 11

The Final Image

autumn final

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>