Tutorial: How to Make Cool Octopus Art With PicMonkey
PicMonkey is More Than JUST a Photo Editor
Did you know that you could use PicMonkey to make cool art?
If you've ever taken a photo to share online, then you've heard of PicMonkey, right? Someone has recommended it to you for editing your photos or overlaying text so your article headers are more "pinnable".
But that is only a tiny portion of what you can do with this pretty amazing photo editor. It also makes a great art tool. It might not be up there with Photoshop, but it is a program that anyone can afford and learn to use easily.
Today, I am going to walk you through creating that lovely octopus painting in my header photo. Because you never know when you will need the skills to create an octopus graphic for some special...squishy occasion.
And of course, you can use the tips and tricks in here for other artistic endeavors as well. So read on!
What You Need to Make Your Octopus Painting
There are only two things you need for this project:
- PicMonkey Photo Editor
- An octopus silhouette
Since I understand that not everyone has an octopus silhouette hanging around, I drew one for you to use. Just click the next image and download him to your computer.
Also, there is a free version of PicMonkey, but I use the paid version (Royale) for creating my art. You can sign up and get a free trial, but I guarantee you are going to love all the extra stuff you can access. Plus, the Royale version is ad free, which means you can edit photos and graphics like the wind. No lag!
Now, once you are all set up and can use the PicMonkey Royale features, you are ready to make some art! (Don't forget to download this guy though...)
Step 1. Open Your Canvas
When you first open PicMonkey, hover over the icon on the landing page that is marked "design". Below, it will show you several size options for a blank canvas.
The canvas will open in the main editor, and ask you to choose a background color. You want to leave it white, and hit "apply".
Right below the canvas color option, you will see "rotate". You want to open that, and flip your canvas on its side. Hit apply again, and head to step 2.
Step 2. Add Your Octopus Graphic
Look at the far left side of the menu. The butterfly icon opens up "overlays". That's what you want to do next.
Once you are in that, click the bar at the top that says "Add Your Own".
That will open up the option for you to upload your octopus. Once he is on the canvas, grab the corners of his frame, and drag them to adjust the size.
Once you are happy with the size, click the center of the overlay and drag him so that he is centered.
Now, look down at the bottom of your editor. There is a little toolbar there. The first icon is the "merge" tool. You want to click that right now, so that your graphic is glued in place, and can be colored in the next step.
Step 3. Coloring the Image
In order to get all the textures to look right later, you have to base color your image now. To do this, look at your left sidebar again.
The second icon, the one shaped like a wand, is where you will find effects. (If you've used this editor before then you probably have all the effects memorized!)
Open this section, and scroll waaaay down to you get to "Warhol".
When you click it, it will show you two paint palettes: one for the image and one for the background. Click the second one and turn it to white.
Now, open the second palette and choose a nice caramel brown. You can see the one I used highlighted by a little white box in the image. Click "apply".
Don't worry about the background yet. We will come back to that a few steps later.
Step 4. Adding Texture, Part 1.
Flat smooth images are pretty neat. But playing with the textures is what really brings drawings (and some photos!) to life.
For the first texture, go to your left sidebar and choose the second-to-last icon. It looks like a weird hashtag, but I think it represents something woven.
Now, scroll down the the section marked "Paper".
Choose the bottom middle option. Now, you have to change how it appears on your canvas. See the box marked "Blend Mode"? Click that, and choose "Overlay" from the drop down menu.
Now your texture is only on the octopus.
Lastly, set the "fade" slider to 50%.
Hit apply, and pour yourself a new cup of coffee. We've stilll got a few steps to go.
Step 5. Adding Texture, Part Two
Although the octopus already looks pretty cute with just that texture, layering on more will give him more "oomph". And a happy is octopus is one with plenty of "oomph".
You can give him some more by looking for the section texture marked "Paint".
Choose the one in the middle.
Again, make sure the blend mode is set to "overlay".
- Set the saturation to 48% (Weird number, but it felt right)
- Set the fade to 30%
This gives him some interesting character lines.
Don't forget to click "apply".
Step 6. Adding Texture Part 3
Next, go up to the "Water" textures. Resist the temptation to use them all to create a somewhat cheesy "ocean-y" feel. (Just kidding, you can play around with that for a bit, if you want.)
Okay, ready to get serious?
- Choose the bottom middle option.
- Set blend mode to "overlay"
- Adjust saturation to 68%
- Adjust fade to 65%
- Click Apply
Step 7. Adding a Background Color
Now we finally get to color in the background! There are several ways to do this, but today is your lucky day because I am going to use the EASY way. (as in, you don't have to use your mouse to do any painting.)
Go to your left menu and click the butterfly icon again. At the top of the overlay section is a box marked "geometrics"
Click on the first rectangle. Its a "stretchy" rectangle. Which is cool.
Grab the corners and stretch it so that it covers your entire canvas.
Now click where it shows the color as being black. When the palette opens up, choose a pale blue. (You can see which one I chose in the image to the right.
Set the blend mode to "darken".
Merge the layers.
8. Adding More Texture
In this step, we create a little bit of inky illusion around the octopus. Because apparently, every octopus has a leaky pen in one of his pockets.
You could technically go to the "draw" effect and do this manually one dot at a time. But I'll bet you have other things to do today. So, back to the "textures" menu.
Near the top, you'll see one marked "Space".
I know what you are thinking. A Space Octopus would be the coolest thing ever. Or the weirdest, depending on your tastes.
Don't worry. This is a neat trick.
As soon as you open "Space", it will take you right to the one you want. The first option.
Set your blend mode to "subtract". Fade it to 57%.
This part is optional, but I used the brush tool to clean up an "ink spot" that I didn't like. I included the image so you can see where I set the brush and where I erased the spot that sorta looked like a monacle.
Step 9. The Last Texture
This step simply adds a bit more visual interest to the background.
In the textures menu, look for "Smudge".
- Chose the second option in the top row.
- Set the blend mode to "hardlight"
- Fade to 60%
Next step: Eyeballs
10. Adding Eyes to Your Octopus Art
There are several ways to make eyes. You could draw on some dots, use some circles, or stick some big flowers on there.
Octopus eyes are pretty weird looking in real life, and anything goes in art. So I went to the overlay section and chose one of the mottled buttons.
TIP: Open one button overlay. Adjust the size and position it where you want the eyes to be. Then fade to 58%. Once you've done that one, right click it. A menu will drop down, and you can choose "duplicate overlay". This saves you a lot of time trying to match your second eye to the first. Just duplicate and position.
Don't forget to merge the layers when you are satisfied.
You are almost done! Just one more detail!
Step 11. Creating Bubbles
You don't have to add bubbles. But I like bubbles.
To make some of your own, go back to the geometric overlays, and choose the circle.
To create the "clear" bubbles, click the paint palette where it says "color 2". Then choose the box marked "transparent". This makes the center, well...transparent. You can then change color one to any color you like.
I used a few different shades of blue and dark gray, and faded them to different levels. You get to use your creativity here; I didn't record each bubble! Just make as many as you like, play with the colors and fade, change the sizes, and position them around your octopus.
For the solid bubbles, you can set both colors the same (such as a dark gray) and fade them. Or you can use to close shades of the same color.
Try not to overthink it. Bubbles always look good!
Once all your bubbles are in place, combine all the layers, and take a deep breath. Because...
Making bubbles: 1
Making bubbles: 2
Making bubbles: 3
You Have Finished Your Octopus Painting!
Congratulations! You survived my tutorial! If you painted along, then you should have something that looks like the image below (give or take a few bubbles.)
A painting created with PicMonkey!
- Now you have several choices.
- You can save your art just like it is.
- You can go to the "frames" section and add a cool border.
- You can overlay some text.
- You can adjust the brightness and colors in the effects or basic edits sections.
Save a copy of your finished work!
So what can you use this for? Well, you can apply what you learned here to images and graphics for a variety of projects. You can create truly unique header images for your articles or blog posts, create new graphics for your website, tweak photos, enhance your printables and more.
Thanks for reading along, and I hope you found this tutorial helpful and entertaining. If you liked it and want to see more, let me know in the comments below, and I will start piecing together another tutorial soon! In the meantime, you can check out my tutorial on how to create a butterfly painting in Picmonkey.