Branching Twirl Design Photoshop Tutorial

There are oodles of Photoshop tutorials on the web that show you how to replicate designs using only a few tricks or filters. This Photoshop tutorial delves into that wispy, curly plant-like design that never fails to catch the eye. If you have spent any time with the pen tool trying to replicate this design, you’ll know it’s a lot easier said than done, but a few simple tips easily reveal the secret. It may look a little simple, perhaps even girly at first, but it’s a great addition to any photoshop enthusiasts repertoire and it can be easily adapted to fit a number of themes. This great technique is yours for the taking. Click read more to read the tutorial…

Step 1:

Open up Photoshop and create a new square document. The bigger it is the more detail you’ll get and the slower your computer may run. Use your own discretion just make sure it is square.

Step 2:

All that you really need to start with is a curl to the right, and an identical curl to the left. Start by taking a thick brush and painting a single line anywhere along the bottom half of the canvas in a new layer, as shown below. If you wish you may color this with stripes or whatever. For the purposes of this tutorial, I am going to make mine three separate shades of red. After this is done, duplicate the layer with the stripe on it (layer/duplicate layer) and flip it horizontally (edit/transform/flip horizontal).


Step 3:

Press Ctrl-A to select the canvas area, then twirl one of the layers to your hearts content (filter/distort/twirl). I’d recommend not giving it too much twirl, but what the hey. Whatever twirls your curls. After this is done, select the other twirl layer and hit Ctrl-F. Flip one of the layers horizontally, and you’re good. You may now deselect the area (Ctrl-D). If all goes well it should look similar to the image shown below.

Step 4:

Now comes the time consuming part. Start by duplicating and shrinking one of the sides (Ctrl-T) and positioning it in a lower corner. It’s exact size depends on your taste. From there, branch out using a duplicate of the opposite image. The further out the parts branch, the smaller and less curly they should get (again personal opinion). As you can tell, this is going to be a bit finicky. Just remember to duplicate your original layers, keep the curls going the same way, and try to make it look as random as you can. After a while, you may have something similar to or better than the image shown below.

It shouldn’t end there though. Make it bigger better! Change the thickness of the branches, change the coloring or pattern, add some flowers, add some spikes, use it in a photo, try using curlier parts, whatever you want. I used it to make the psp background screen found below. Anyway, hope this helped and until next time, have fun!


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