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100% Photoshop: Create Stunning Artwork Without Using Any Photographs (Book Review)

By Edited Sep 16, 2016 3 2

Desk Drawer Final Image 100% Photoshop


Do you love Photoshop but wish you were just a little better at creating with it? Are you tired of having to scour the internet to find that perfect image to base your design on? 

Look no further! Freelance artist and author Steve Caplin has done it again with one of his most amazing books to date.

100% Photoshop: Create stunning artwork without using any photographs, is a MUST HAVE for your library.

Mr. Caplin walks you through step by step in each part of the book, showing you how to create every image he presents, from start to finish. Each chapter begins with a full spread, color illustration followed with step by step guidance on the full creation of each and every element.

100% Photoshop: Create stunning artwork without using any photographs will also teach you how to properly use many of the tools in Photoshop. If you have been a Photoshop user for years, you may think this would not be beneficial to you but on the other hand, if you are like me, you will find yourself, with a few "aha!" moments as you work your way through the book learning new and better ways to use the tools within Photoshop.

There is something to learn for everyone in this book whether you are a newcomer to Photoshop or a seasoned Pro.

Just think, what could YOU create, if you could create anything in Photoshop without using external images or files? The opportunities are endless! 

In this article, I am going to show you with images how easy it is to follow along with Mr. Caplin to create a desk drawer filled with items and completed 100% using only Photoshop. All of the images you are about to see were created step by step using the book  100% Photoshop: Create stunning artwork without using any photographs . 

Let's get started. First we create a simple wood grain image.

Wood Image, The Beginning Of It All

Next, using part of this wood image, we create the desk drawer and table top.

Desk Drawer Beginning Image

Pieces of the original wood image are used and turned in different ways along with some shading to create the final table top and drawer you see below.

Desk Drawer Final Image

Next we will create the iPod Nano, again, using only Photoshop.


Ipod Nano Beginning Image
Ipod Nano Midway Image











This actually started as a gray rectangle with rounded corners, below you have the final image. (The image on the screen of the iPod was taken with a camera for another project and I included it here just for illustration purposes.)

Final Image Of IPod Nano

Next we will complete the ruler. The ruler also begins as a gray rectangle with rounded corners and then we once again make use of the original wood image.

Beginning Ruler Image

Final Ruler Image

Now for the pocket watch. This image was a little more detailed and time-consuming but I thought it turned out fairly well, and it all started with a gray circle!

Pocket Watch Beginning Image
Pocket Watch Next Steps
Pocket Watch Almost There

Final Pocket Watch Image

Next we'll create the pencil, starting with gray rectangles and ellipses, changing the color and duplicating layers.

Beginning Pencil Image

Mid Stage Pencil Image

Final Pencil Image



Now we go on to create the paperclips. The paperclips begin with a simple stroked circle, cut in half and then joined.

Beginning Paperclip Image

Final Paperclip Image

Next let's create the movie theater ticket and then the rubber bands.

Movie Theater Ticket

Rubber Band Image

The rubber bands were created with a simple path and some style/shading.

Let's throw in a magnifying glass, a deck of cards and a handwritten letter.

Magnifying Glass Beginning Image

Deck of Cards Final Image

Handwritten Letter Final Image

Now let's put it all together, add some shadows and shading, a little color for the ashtray, and here is the final image, created 100% from scratch.

Desk Drawer Final Image 100% Photoshop

 If you are looking for a thoroughly enjoyable way to begin learning Photoshop or to brush up on your Photoshop skills, this is the book for you. I can honestly say that I have gotten every penny's worth of my money from this book and then some. 

Great job Steve Caplin, keep those Photoshop books coming!




100% Photoshop: Create stunning artwork without using any photographs
Amazon Price: $39.95 $16.33 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 16, 2016)


Jun 26, 2014 11:50pm
Wow that is incredible, wish you had show us how to do one. But that would not help sales of the book.rated up
Jun 27, 2014 8:24am
Thanks shar-On, I wrote this article because this has to be one of my favorite books of all time and I meant it when I said I definitely got my money's worth from it. I literally created each piece above as I wrote this article. I have been using Photoshop for a few years now but I have never really been very adept at creating anything from scratch until I got this book. Thank you for your input and I'm glad you enjoyed the article!
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