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Design

Design a Shiny Bass Guitar Illustration Using Photoshop

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Difficulty:IntermediateLanguages:

In this tutorial, we're going to draw a detailed bass guitar illustration. I'll show you how to create all the shapes and connect them to make this quality bass. It's a pretty long and time-consuming tutorial, though I've streamlined the descriptions as much as possible. So let's get started!

Final Image Preview

First, take a look at the image we'll be creating. You can view the final image preview below or view a larger version here.

Video Tutorial

Our video editor Gavin Steele has created this series of video tutorials to compliment this text + image tutorial.

Guitar Video 1

Guitar Video 2

Guitar Video 3

Step 1

Create a new document with the dimensions of 940 pixels by 1970 pixels, and a resolution of 300 pixel/inch. Make a new layer, and name it "Wooden Top." Grab the Pen Tool (P) and start drawing the shape of the body. Set anchor points and stretch them by holding down left-click.

Don't worry if your shape isn't perfect, you can use the Direct Selection Tool (A) to correct the path. When you're done, right-click on path and select Make Selection. Grab the Paint Bucket Tool (G), set your Foreground Color to black and fill this selection. Do not deselect.

Step 2

Create a new document 1000 pixels by 1000 pixels, with a resolution of 300 pixels per inch. Set your Foreground Color to #b17b4c and Background Color to #eba94c. Go to Filters > Render > Fibers. Set the Variance to 18 and Strength to 32.

Now go to Filter > Liquify. Make a few swirly spots with a small brush (inside the red circles indicated below) and then stretch them to the left and right with bigger brushes. Then go to Edit > Define Pattern. You may save this document and close it.

Step 3

It's time to apply this pattern to "Wooden top" layer. Go to the Layers Palette, right-click on the "Wooden top" layer and use the settings shown below. To set the Patten Overlay, find your wood texture and then go to Color Overlay, select the color #784f28, and Multiply.

Step 4

Make a new layer above "Wooden top" and name it "Shadowed body." Grab the Brush Tool (B), make it a big soft brush and set the Foreground Color to black. Then just paint inside the selection, around the body edges. Hit Command + D to deselect the selection.

Step 5

Now make a new layer above, name it "Body lights." Then go to the Paths Palette, click on the Work Path icon to recall the last path. Switch back to the Layers Palette. Set the Foreground Color to white, then select the Brush Tool (B) and make the Brush Diameter around 3-4 pixels with a Hardness of 100% (the brush size depends on how big your body is).

Grab the Pen Tool (P), right-click and select Stroke Path, and leave Simulate Pressure unchecked. Now select the Eraser Tool (E) with a nice, big, soft brush and erase some parts to make the stroke look glossy.

Step 6

Now it's time to make the fretboard. Create a new layer above and name it "Fretboard." Press Command + R to view rulers. Drag guide lines and position them to make the neck's corners. Grab the Pen Tool (P), connect the corners together, then right-click and select "Make Selection." Now grab the Paint Bucket Tool (G), set the Foreground Color to white, and fill this selection, then Deselect (Command + D).

Go to the Layers Palette, right-click on the "Fretboard" layer, select Blending Options. Then follow the settings shown below. Note: the wood scale depends on how big your fretboard is, try to find your own settings for the best results. Also, if the fretboard wood looks too dark in your image, you can lower the opacity of the Color Overlay to compensate.

Step 7

Let's create a little line connecting our fretboard with the body. Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw a curvy line. Set your Foreground Color to white, select the Brush Tool (B), then set the Brush Diameter to 1px, and a Hardness of 100%. Right-click and select Stroke Path, check Brush and leave Simulate Pressure unchecked. Then erase some parts with the Eraser Tool (E) using a big soft brush.

Now it's not a necessary action, but I thought it will give a little more wooden, rosewood look. So, what I did was create a new layer, and add some darker spots to the fretboard using a big, very soft black brush. To make sure the brush goes not outside the fretboard, I went to the Layers Palette and hit Command + left-click on "Fretboard" layer, before brushing.

Step 8

As you still have a selection of the "Fretboard" layer loaded, make a new layer and name it "Fretboard shadow." Select the Move Tool (V), then hit the down arrow on the keyboard a few times. Grab the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M), and by holding Alt remove some parts of the top selection. Select black as your Foreground Color and drag the Foreground to Transparent gradient using the Gradient Tool (G). You can do this also with the Paint Bucket Tool (G). Then lower this layer opacity just a touch.

Step 9

Copy and Paste (Command+J) the "Fretboard shadow" layer, and place it by the right side of the fretboard. Name it "Fretboard shadow side" layer. Now carefully, this shouldn't be dropped to the body, try not to make this go outside the fretboard. It's added to make the board stand out a little. Next, select the "Fretboard shadow" layer again, then go to Edit > Transform > Distort (or Skew) and stretch it a bit to the right.

Step 10

If you can't find a right place to position the "Fretboard shadow copy" layer, grab the Eraser Tool (E) with a big, soft brush and just erase some parts, which look bad or were dropped out of the fretboard.

Step 11

Ok, it's time to make some pickups. We're gonna make one pickup and copy it two times. Drag five guide lines, as shown below (start with the middle line, that should go through the fretboard center, then you can drag the rest of the lines). Choose a nice place below the fretboard (not too far).

Grab the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U), and in the top menu bar set the Radius to 10. Draw a rounded square, right-click and select "Make Selection". Create a new layer group above, name it "Pickup 1." Inside it make a new layer and name it "Pickup." Grab the Paint Bucked Tool (G) and fill this selection with the color #171d1e.

Note: To keep the groups in the correct order you can review the last step (44) and go back. I put a final groups view of the Layer Palette, to add clarity. Take a look at it whenever you need.

Step 12

  • First, create a new layer, name it "Depth," and place it under the "Pickup" layer. Hold Command-click on the "Pickup" layer thumbnail to load its selection. Then go and fill this selection with black.
  • Position it 2 pixels down and 2 pixels right by selecting the Move Tool (V) and hitting the keyboard arrows.
  • Go to Filter > Gaussian Blur, and set the Radius to 1,6 and add it to the "Depth" layer.
  • Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise, and set the Amount to 0,81%, select Uniform, and check Monochromatic.
  • Go to the Layers Palette, select the "Pickup" layer, right-click, select Blending Options, Stroke, and add a 1 pixel black stroke.

Note: Remember, we are still working in the "Pickup 1" group.

Step 13

Now go to the Layers Palette, hold Command-click on the "Pickup" layer thumbnail to load its selection. Go to Select > Modify > Contract. Type 4 pixels. As you see, the selection was resized, and it's now 4 pixels smaller. We're now able to paint only inside the selection. So select the "Pickup" layer, grab the Burn Tool (O) with a small diameter and very low Exposure (around 30%). Darken the top right corner.

Now make a new layer above the "Pickup" layer, name it "Shadows and lights." Go to Select > Modify > Expand. Type 4 again. Next, use the Brush Tool (B) with a very low Flow. Paint with white on the top, and with black on the bottom.

Switch to the Dodge Tool (O) and paint on the left side of the "Pickup" layer. Note: Use mostly Highlights option while Burning or Dodging. Also, always try to keep your brushing very soft.

Step 14

Ok, now it's basically the same thing as with the fretboard shadow. Make a pickup shadow the same way (Step 9). Load the "Pickup" layer selection (hold Command-click on the layer's thumbnail), then grab the Rectangular Marquee Tool (M) and by holding Alt remove some parts of top selection. After this, make a new layer, name it "Pickup shadow," and fill selection with black color. You can either use the Gradient Tool (G) or Paint Bucket Tool (G) for this.

Drag this shadow under the pickup. It really doesn't matter where you gonna place this layer, it just needs to be inside the "Pickup 1" group.

When you're done, make a copy of the "Pickup 1" group (in the Layers Palette select the "Pickup 1" group and drag it to the New Layer icon). Name this copy "Pickup 2" and you can erase some lights from the top of it, as shown below. In the pictures, I moved the selection just a little bit down to make you see better what's going on. You don't need to do this.

Step 15

Make another copy of the "Pickup 1" group (by dragging it to the New Layer icon), name it "Pickup 3." Go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal and then Edit > Free Transform, stretch in the sides (to fit first and last guide lines). Position this pickup a little more to the bottom.

Set your Foreground Color to white. Set the size of the Master Diameter of the Brush Tool (B) to 3px, Hardness to 100%, and Flow to 100%. Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw a path on the left top corner. Right-click and select the "Stroke Path" option (leave Simulate Pressure unchecked). Grab the Eraser Tool (E), set the Flow and Hardness very low and erase some rough edges to make it look like a light.

Note: I was watching those pickups, you can go back and do the same operation in "Pickup 1" and "Pickup 2" groups. This light will make them look more natural.

Step 16

It's time to make some screws. You can make them above the pickup groups. So go to the top of the Layers Palette and make a new group there. Name it "Pickup screws." Create a new layer inside this group and name it "Screw."

Grab the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M), then hold shift and make a very small circle. Select the Paint Bucket Tool (G) and fill the selection with light grey. Go to the Layers Palette, select the "Screw" layer Blending Options by right-clicking. Apply a 1 pixel black Stroke. Then grab the Brush Tool (B) and slowly paint where the red arrows point (see images below). Make your brush soft, with a very low Flow, and small Diameter.

When you finish, hit Command + D to deselect. Duplicate (Command + J) this layer five times and place a screw on each side of all pickups.

Step 17

Now make five vertical guide lines going through the center of the bass guitar. Also, make two horizontal guide lines under our last pickup (all shown below). It will be a place for the bridge.

Make new layers, name it "Line 1." Grab the Brush Tool (B), set the Master Diameter around 1px, Hardness to 100%, and change the Foreground Color to #171d1e. Grab the Pen Tool (P), draw a straight vertical line on the first vertical guide line from the right. Then right-click, select Stroke Path, and leave Simulate Pressure unchecked.

Now go to the Layers Palette, Command-click on the "Line 1" layer thumbnail (it will load the selection). Use the Brush Tool (B) with a very low Flow and Hardness. Select a white color and paint somewhere around the middle of this green line, then Deselect (Command + D).

Step 18

Now go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise, use the settings shown below. Next, set your Foreground color to black, make a new layer named "B_round 1," place it below the "Line 1" layer in the Layers Palette." Now create a rounded square with the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U), also use the settings shown below.

Step 19

Next, make a new layer, name it "Light." Change your Foreground Color to white, for the Brush Tool (B) use these settings: Master Diameter 1px and Hardness 100%. Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw a path around the top left corner. Right-click, select Stroke Path and leave the Simulate Pressure unchecked. Use the Eraser Tool (E) and erase some rough edges. Then follow the images below, by copying layers and rotating them using Edit > Free Transform.

Step 20

Create a new layer above all (in this group), name it "Silver line." Make sure you still have a white color selected. Then go to Brush Tool (B), leave the Hardness set to 100%, but change the Master Diameter to 2px or 3px. Grab the Pen Tool (P) again and draw a short horizontal line, and stroke it the same way as in previous step.

Use the Eraser Tool (E) and erase some parts from the center of this line. Then go to the Layers Palette, right-click on the "Metal part" layer, select the Blending Options. Add a small shadow selecting Drop Shadow with the same settings as shown.

Now make a new layer in the bottom of this group. Name it "B_round 2." Change the Foreground Color to black and create a rounded square with the Rounded Rectangle Tool (U) as in Step 18. But this time make it thin and a little wider.

Step 21

Now merge (Command + E) all these layers inside the "Bridge" group (but before you do that, make a backup of each layer and hide them by clicking on their eye icons). Name the merged layers "Part 1" and duplicate them (Command + J) three times. Position them one after another, from right to left. Then repair the last one in the bridge (indicated with a red ellipse). For creating the last part, use the "B_round 1," "Light," "Light copy," "Line copy," and "Line 1."

Step 22

Now merge all the layers in the "Bridge" group and name it "Bridge merged." Go to the Layers Palette, hold Command and left-click on the "Bridge merged" layer thumbnail to load the selection. Make a new layer below all in this group, name it "Depth." Then fill this selection with a black color, using the Paint Bucket Tool (G). Go to Filter > Gaussian Blur, and set the Radius to 1,6.

No go to the Layers Palette, and Command-click on the "Bridge merged" layer thumbnail, and load this selection again. Make a new layer, name it "Bridge shadow." Now just create the shadow the same way as with the pickups and fretboard. Turn the "Depth" layer Opacity to 79%, and "Bridge shadow" to 51%.

Step 23

OK, it's time to make some frets. Let's take our screen to the bottom of the fretboard. Now grab the Brush Tool (B), use the settings shown below. Then use the Pen Tool (P), make a straight horizontal line on the fretboard. Select a white brush, make a new group named "Frets." Then create two new layers in this group, name them "Frontline" and "Backline."

Now carefully make those two lines as the second image shows, and merge them into one layer - name it "Fret." Duplicate (Command + J) this layer, name it "Fret shadow" and go to its Blending Options in the Layers Palette. Select Color Overlay with a black color. Then apply a Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and drag and position this layer below the "Fret" layer, make it look like a fret shadow.

Step 24

Merge (Command + E) the "Fret" and "Fret shadow" layers. Name this layer "Fret" again. Now we need to have twenty-four frets. So use Command + J to duplicate this layer (or you can also try to hold Alt, and drag the fret, then release mouse and Alt).

Start with small spaces, then make them bigger with every new fret. After making all the frets, go to the top of the fretboard, make two frets, and merge one near another (it's a bigger plastic piece, which doesn't count as a fret). Place it exactly on the top of the fretboard. Now merge (Command + E) all the frets, and this plastic piece into one layer, name it "Frets."

When you're done, go to Layers Palette, find the "Fretboard" layer. Hold Command, left-click on the "Fretboard" layer thumbnail to load its selection. Then select "Frets," go to Select > Inverse. Now hit delete and Deselect (Command + D). Note: If you have problems with positioning frets, try to use the Move Tool (V) and move those frets by pressing arrows on the keyboard. It will allow you to move those frets pixel by pixel.

Step 25

As you can see, we got rid of these outside edges, and this is starting to look very nice. Now we will take care of the headstock. So make four guide lines (two vertical and two horizontal). Grab the Pen Tool (P) and start drawing the path (same way as in Step 1 with the body). Try to make your shape look like an arrow. To correct the path use the Direct Selection Tool (A).

Right-click and select Make Selection. Create a new group, name it "Headstock." Inside it make a new layer and name it "Headstock shape." Fill it with a black color and turn off this layer. We won't be using this layer, only its selection.

Step 26

Make a new layer in this group, name it "Outer wood." Now, assuming you still have a selection of "Headstock shape" layer visible, go to Select > Modify > Contract, and type 10 pixels. Then hit Command + Shift + I to inverse the selection. Grab the Brush Tool (B), choose a very soft, big white brush and paint around the headstock. We're doing this to keep some variety of depth.

After this, recall the selection of the "Headstock shape" (Command-click on the layer thumbnail). Then hit Command + Shift + I, and press Delete on the keyboard.

Step 27

Go to the Layers Palette, right-click on the "Outer wood" layer and pick Blending Options. Then select Pattern Overlay, pick our wood texture (you can leave Scale on 100%). Also, select Color Overlay, set Opacity to 90%, color to #784f28, and Blend Mode to Multiply.

Make a new layer (above all layers in this group) and name it "Lights." Grab the Brush Tool (B), set the brush to white, with a 3px Diameter, 100% Hardness, and 100% Flow. Use the Pen Tool to draw a line by the left edge, then right-click and select Stroke Path.

Step 28

Select the "Outer wood" layer. Grab the Eraser Tool (E) and set the brush settings to: Diameter 70px, Hardness 90%, and Flow 100%. Then erase some parts where the red circles indicate (in the first picture). Now switch to the "Lights" layer again. Change the Eraser Tool (E) back to the previous soft settings.

Grab the Pen Tool (P) and make some lights on the "Lights" layer, the same way as in previous step (as for brush Diameter, use 3-4px big, Hardness 100%, and set Flow to 100%). Meanwhile make soft edges by erasing with Eraser Tool (E). Note: Remember to put those lights exactly on the inner dark edges, do not drop it to the wood.

Step 29

Now make a new layer, name it "Wood light." Recall the selection of "Headstock shape" layer (Command-click on the layer thumbnail). Grab the Brush Tool (B), then make it very soft with low flow, and use a white color. Paint a big dot on the left side. Next, go to Select > Modify > Contract, and type 10 pixels, then hit Delete on keyboard.

Step 30

OK, great! Let's make some tuners now. Create a new group, name it "Tuners" (place it below the "Headstock" group). Grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw a triangular shaped path. Right-click and select make a Selection. Create a new layer named "Tuner shape." Fill this selection with the color #171d1e. Grab the Brush Tool (B) with a soft black brush selected, and make some shadow inside this selection (as it's shown below).

Step 31

Then make a new layer above all in this group. Name it "Tuner light", then go to Select > Modify > Contract, and type 5 pixels. Grab the Brush Tool (B) with very a soft white brush and low diameter. Then paint in the top corner.

Now instead of recalling the selection, you can go to Select > Modify > Expand, and type 5 pixels again, and it will bring your selection to the previous size. After this, hit Command + Shift + I to inverse the selection, and press Delete on the keyboard. Next grab the Eraser Tool (E) with very soft settings and erase some rough edges of this light to make it blend in. You can also select the "Tuner" layer, go back to the Burn Tool (O) and just make a few dots below this light (last image below).

Step 32

Now merge all layers in the "Tuners" group, name this layer "Tuner". Duplicate it (Command + J) three times, and position those tuners one after another on headstock (erase some disturbing parts if necessary).

Then go to the "Headstock" group. Make a new layer above all (in this group). Name it "Bottom light." Grab the Brush Tool (B), make a Diameter of 150px, and lower the Flow somewhere around 30-40%. Change your color to #b17b4c. Next, go to Layers Palette and Command-click on the "Headstock shape" layer thumbnail to load selection.

Make sure you still have your "Bottom light" layer selected, and paint inside this selection. Create one big soft dot (like it's shown below). Then switch to a white color (hit D on keyboard to set your colors to default, and choose white as your Foreground Color). Make another dot, but just a little smaller, then Deselect (Command+ D).

Step 33

In this step, we'll take care of strings. Since it's a bass, it has only four strings, and they are bigger than regular, guitar ones. First string from the left is the fattest one, then they go thiner to the right.

OK, make four vertical guide lines, to know where the strings start. Then open a new document with a size 5 pixels by 2 pixels, and a Resolution of 300 pixels per inch. Name it "string pattern." Grab the Pencil Tool (B) or Brush Tool (B) with Block option selected, and use the same colors shown below. After this go to Edit > Define Pattern, then close this document.

Step 34

In this step, the image below is barely visible (it was too big to show it zoomed in), so I'll tell you exactly what to do now. Grab the Brush Tool (B), and set Hardness, Flow, and Opacity to 100%. Also set the Master Diameter to 4px and the brush color doesn't matter now (because we will apply a pattern) so pick whatever color you like. Grab the Pen Tool (P), draw a line from the bridge to headstock. Your path should go through the red circles indicated below.

Next, go to the Layers Palette, create a new group above all, and name it "Strings." Make a new layer, name it "String 1." Right-click on the "String 1" layer and select Blending Options. Now pick a Pattern Overlay and find your string pattern.

Step 35

OK, create all strings the same way. Make sure you have the brush set as follows (before applying the path stroke and counting from left):

  • 1st string - brush 4px
  • 2nd string - brush 3px
  • 3rd string - brush 3px
  • 4th string - brush 2px

Check if each string ends straight towards the center of their tuners. Once your strings starts to look good at the headstock, let's take care of bottom. Zoom closer to the bridge, and using the Eraser Tool (E) make them blend in.

Step 36

Now let's make the string shadows. Duplicate (Command + J) the "String 1" layer two times, drag those copies under the "String 1" layer. Name them "String fretboard shadow" and "String body shadow." Go to Layers Palette, Blending Options, and apply the settings shown below, for both these shadow layers.

The names of these layers tell you exactly what to do now. Select the "String fretboard shadow" layer, grab the Eraser Tool (E) and erase the parts shown in the red circles (second image). You need to get rid of the shadow parts that don't belong to the fretboard (and pickups). Next, select the Move Tool (V), and hit the right arrow two times on the keyboard to position this shadow a little to the right.

After this, select the "String body shadow," and this is the shadow dropped to the body. So move it several pixels to the right (third image), grab the Eraser Tool (E), and get rid off of the shadow parts which belong to the fretboard and pickups.

Make all the strings shadows this way (but do not copy, create them one by one, because every string looks different). And lower each Opacity around 40-50%.

Step 37

Next, create a new group above all groups, and name it "Tone pots." Make a layer inside it, and name it "Tone pot shape." Grab the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M) and create a circle, fill it with a black color using the Paint Bucket Tool (G). Then change your Foreground color to white with 1px, 100% Hardness, and 100% Flow).

Make a new layer, name it "Lines," and just create one short line using the Pen Tool (P), then right-click and Stroke Path. Duplicate it (Command + D) four times. Merge those four "Lines" layers. Name it "Lines merged," and then make two duplicates of this layer. Go to Edit > Free Transform, and play with the rotations to make the lines fit the circle.

Step 38

Now make a new layer above all in this group, and name it "Tone pot top 1." Grab an Elliptical Marquee Tool (M), draw a circle selection in the empty center spot. Fill this selection with a white color (do not deselect this selection). Then create another layer, name it "Tone pot top 2." Go to Select > Modify > Expand, type 2 pixels. Fill this selection with white as well.

Recall the selection of "Tone pot top 1," then Command-click on the layer thumbnail. Next, hit Command + Shift + I to inverse the selection. Now select the "Tone pot top 2" layer, grab the Brush Tool (B), use the color #171d1e, and paint softly on the top edge.

Step 39

Remember to keep all brushing very soft around 20-30% of Flow. Switch to the "Tone pot top 1" layer. Inverse the selection again (Command + Shift + I). Next using a dark green (#171d1e) to a light grey color and the Burn Tool (O), make your top highlights look like below.

Also, put some light gray on the bottom edges of the "Tone pot top 2" layer. Next, we'll add some light to this tone pot. Make a new layer above all in this group. Name it "Tone pot light 1." Grab the Brush Tool (B), settings: Diameter 2px, Hardness 100%, Flow 100%, and color white.

Next pick the Pen Tool (P) and make a curve in the circle center, right-click and select Stroke Path (leave the Simulate Pressure option unchecked). Go to the Layers Palette, and for Blending Options select Color Overlay with the settings shown below.

After this, make a new layer, name it "Tone pot light 2" and repeat adding this light again. But this time instead of brushing a white color, select #b5dee5 and stroke the path the same way. So this line will be brighter than "Tone pot light 1," so erase the center of the "Tone pot light 2" and position it on the "Tone pot light 1" (second picture below).

Step 40

Go to the Layers Palette, and for the Blending Options apply the settings shown below to "Tone pot shape" layer. For Outer Glow use an Opacity 43%, black color, and Size of 5. Merge all tone pot layers, and make three duplicates (Command + J) of it. Position them one near another (resize if necessary).

Step 41

Create a new group above all groups. Name it "Bidding," and then we'll make some pearl dots. Create a new layer in this group and name it "Dot," go to the Layers Palette, and for Blending Options apply the settings shown below (dot is filled with standard Photoshop texture). Then using Command + J to duplicate this dot, and fill the frets numbered: 3, 5, 7, 9, , 15, 17, 19, and 21 with one dot, then 12 and 24 with two dots.

Step 42

Next, go back to the "Headstock" group. Make a new layer above all in this group, name it "Tuners shadows." Now grab the Brush Tool (B), set your brush to black and make it very soft. Then just paint where the red circles indicate. If you still have that brush selected, you can do a small blending with some headstock edges (second image). But it's not necessary.

Go back to the "Strings" group, make a new layer above all layers in this group. Name it "String end." Select the Brush Tool (B), with settings: Diameter 3px, Hardness 100%, Flow 100%, and for the brush select a light grey (somewhere around #757575).

Pick the Ellipse Tool (U), make a circle, then right-click and select Stroke Path, leave the option Simulate Pressure unchecked, and press OK. Then go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise, and use the settings shown below. Duplicate (Command + J) this layer three times, and place it in the end of each string.

Step 43

Find a brighter place in your image, this is because we'll be making black shapes now and they won't be visible on a black background. So as you see, I chose the top of the fretboard.

Go to the "Strings" group, and make a new layer above all the layers in this group. Name it "Dot." Grab the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M), make small circles, set our Foreground color to black, and fill this selection. Make a new layer names "Line." Grab the Pen Tool (P) and make a short vertical line, right-click and select Stroke Path (assuming you didn't change the brush settings from previous step).

Recall the selection of the "Dot" layer by Command-clicking on the layer thumbnail. Grab the Brush Tool (B), turn your Hardness all the way down to 0%. Change the color to white and do a little brushing in the left corner (second image).

Now create a new layer and name it "Ellipse/" Grab the Elliptical Marquee Tool (M), make a small ellipse and fill it with black. Don't deselect this selection. Switch your Foreground color to white again and paint in the left bottom edge of this ellipse. Then merge (Command + E)the "Dot," "Line," and "Ellipse" Layers. Name this layer "Hook," duplicate it (Command + J) three times, and put one on each string end.

Step 44

Here is a final view of my layers palette, which is a helpful reference to keep your design on track as you worked through this tutorial.

Conclusion

If you want to add a reflection to the final image, make a backup of the whole project. Then you can apply Layer > Flatten Image. Make a duplicate (Command + J), rotate it upside down (Edit > Transform > Flip Vertical), set it's Blending Mode to Screen, and lower the Opacity. Position this exactly underneath your bass guitar, and we're done!

If you want your work to have higher quality, then the most important thing you need is patience. Work hard on every detail, and always try to maintain proportions. You can view the final image below or view a larger version here.

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