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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Adobe Photoshop

How to Make a Rainbow Oil Effect in Photoshop

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Read Time:4 minsLanguages:
Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

Do you want to learn how to make a rainbow effect in Photoshop? Today, I will show you how to create an oil spill Photoshop effect using standard tools. Let's go!

Looking for a collection of high-quality oil spill rainbow textures? Check out this amazing set of 10 backgrounds with colors inspired by the psychedelic art of the 1970s!

Abstract Psychedelic BackgroundsAbstract Psychedelic BackgroundsAbstract Psychedelic Backgrounds

What You Will Learn in This Oil Rainbow Effect Photoshop Tutorial

  • How to create an oil spill effect in Photoshop using the Liquify Tool
  • How to add a rainbow background with an oil spill color preset
  • How to use your rainbow backgrounds in Photoshop artwork

Oil Spill Photoshop Effect Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this oil spill effect Photoshop tutorial:

1. How to Make a Rainbow Oil Spill With the Liquify Tool

Step 1

Let's start creating our oil spill rainbow background by setting up a document with a size of 3000 by 2000 px.

creating a new documentcreating a new documentcreating a new document

Step 2

Go to File > Place and put the boiling water photo inside your document. You can use almost any other photo/image for this oil rainbow effect Photoshop tutorial.

placing the image inside the documentplacing the image inside the documentplacing the image inside the document

Step 3

Press Shift-Control-X (or go to Filter > Liquify), and then select the Forward Warp Tool with the following settings:

  • Size: 700
  • Density: 50
  • Pressure: 100
  • Pin Edges: On
setting up the forward warp toolsetting up the forward warp toolsetting up the forward warp tool

Step 4

Start using the Forward Warp Tool on your picture until you get a result similar to the image below:

using liquify forward warp tool on imageusing liquify forward warp tool on imageusing liquify forward warp tool on image

Step 5

And for the final step of this section of our tutorial on how to do an oil spill effect in Photoshop, we'll use the Twirl Clockwise Tool from the same Liquify panel. Use the following settings:

  • Size: 800
  • Pressure: 100
  • Density: 50
  • Rate: 50
  • Pin Edges: On
using liquify clockwise warp tool on imageusing liquify clockwise warp tool on imageusing liquify clockwise warp tool on image

Step 6

Mix the background with the Twirl Clockwise Tool until you get something similar to this one:

using Twirl Clockwise Tool on the imageusing Twirl Clockwise Tool on the imageusing Twirl Clockwise Tool on the image

2. How to Add a Rainbow in Photoshop With a Gradient Map

Step 1

Now, let's see how to add a rainbow in Photoshop. We'll be creating an oil spill color filter. Hit Create New Fill or Adjustment Layer and select Gradient Map.

creating a gradient map layercreating a gradient map layercreating a gradient map layer

Step 2

Press Reverse and then use the following color codes on your Gradient Strip.

  • #31db88
  • #0bcef2
  • #486cfa
  • #7044e9
  • #eb36c3
  • #fa6732
  • #e9b325
  • #dbc743
  • #c1dd7f
  • #56dcb2
  • #4ae7e9
  • #3ad2f4

Place them as shown in the picture below:

Creating gradient overlayCreating gradient overlayCreating gradient overlay

Here's the result of our tutorial on how to do an oil spill effect in Photoshop:

rainbow oil spill effect main previewrainbow oil spill effect main previewrainbow oil spill effect main preview

3. How to Use Your Rainbow Background in Photoshop

This section of the tutorial is optional. Here I would like to show you how you can use your background. I found this beautiful Creative Gradient Poster Template on Envato Elements.

Creative Gradient Poster TemplateCreative Gradient Poster TemplateCreative Gradient Poster Template

Let's open it in Photoshop and replace the image on our background. Put your image above the Lava BG Gradient layer and then Right Click > Create a Clipping Mask.

creating a clipping maskcreating a clipping maskcreating a clipping mask

This is how our oil spill effect Photoshop flyer will look:

rainbow oil splll background preview on flyerrainbow oil splll background preview on flyerrainbow oil splll background preview on flyer

Awesome Work, This Rainbow Oil Effect Tutorial Is Over

Today, you've learned how to make a rainbow oil spill effect in Adobe Photoshop with the Liquify Tool and a gradient map overlay. I hope you enjoyed the tutorial and you're now ready to create awesome artworks, backgrounds, and wallpapers!

rainbow oil spill effect final previewrainbow oil spill effect final previewrainbow oil spill effect final preview
Set up your oil spill rainbow flyer on a cool mockup like this one!

You may be wondering where you can get this cool poster mockup. The answer is: on Placeit! Here you can find a great collection of different mockups and templates for almost any purpose: from T-shirt and poster mockups to Twitch banner templates.

5 Top Oil Spill Photoshop Backgrounds and Textures

Abstract Psychedelic Backgrounds (JPG)

If you a fan of psychedelic colors, check out this amazing package of ten hi-res JPEG backgrounds! It's suitable for creating posters, flyers, or any digital design elements.

Abstract Psychedelic BackgroundsAbstract Psychedelic BackgroundsAbstract Psychedelic Backgrounds

Acid Textures (JPG, PNG)

This pack contains ten unique multi-colored textures in a really high resolution (5000x3333 px). These textures can be used for making flyers, Instagram stories, wallpapers, or even vinyl album covers. Don't forget to try the gradient map we created on these textures to get a rainbow look!

Acid TexturesAcid TexturesAcid Textures

Abstract Liquid Faded Textures (JPG)

Looking for a big package of liquid textures? Try this set of 25 hi-res backgrounds! These abstract textures are a perfect choice for creating CD covers and web backgrounds.

Abstract Faded Liquid TexturesAbstract Faded Liquid TexturesAbstract Faded Liquid Textures

Iridescent Chrome Background (JPG)

Want something metallic? Try this bundle of ten iridescent chrome backgrounds! It's an amazing resource for any of your design needs, from poster design to wallpaper!

Iridescent Chrome BackgroundIridescent Chrome BackgroundIridescent Chrome Background

Fluid Art Backgrounds (JPG)

Need a background for your next presentation? Check out this set of abstract fluid textures with soft colors! All the backgrounds are hi-res JPEG files with a 4582x3054 px resolution.

Fluid Art BackgroundsFluid Art BackgroundsFluid Art Backgrounds

Now that you know how to make a rainbow oil effect in Photoshop, you probably want to learn some more Photoshop tips and tricks. Check out these awesome tutorials:

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