This tutorial explains how to create a bokeh underwater light bubbles effect using Photoshop. This will include blending colours using hue and saturation and creating a really cool custom brush.


Create a new document in Photoshop with 1920x1200 pixels screen resolution . Fill the background layer with a very dark grey, not black. If you fill it with black the effect won't work. The color I used was #151515


Select the Ellipse Tool (U), and create a circle. Use black for the color, and go to Layer>Layer Style>Blending Options. Change the Fill Opacity to 50%. After that select Stroke. Use 10 pixels for the size, Inside for the Position and Black for the color.



Select the ellipse and go to Edit>Define Brush. Name your brush and that's done. Now we have a new brush.


Go to Window>Brushes (F5). The first thing to do in the Brush Engine is to select our new Brush. The size won't matter because you will change that when you use it. The Spacing, however, is very important. Chage the value to 100%. After that, select the Shape Dynamics, then Scattering and Other dynamics. For the values use the image below.


Before we start painting our bubbles let's create a new layer and fill it with a colorful gradient. I created a new layer and used the layer styles to do that but feel free to do the way you are used to.

Layer > Layer Style>Blending Options

My gradient settings are as follows: Blend Mode is Overlay, Opacity is 100%, Style is Linear, and the Angle is 40º.

The colors I used are: Blue (#0D283E), Pink (#801258).



Let's create a new Folder in our Layer Palette. Rename the folder to Bubbles and change the Blend Mode to Color Dodge. Then create a new layer, choose white for the color and select the Brush Tool (B). Now just paint some ellipses with our custom brush. For this first layer use a big size, like 500-600px.


Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. For this first layer use 20 pixels for the Radius.


Create another layer and paint more brushes. This time however use a smaller size for the brush. After that go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur. Use 4 pixels for the Radius.


Create another layer and repeat the previous step, this time however use a much smaller brush. Apply the Gaussian Blur to this layer as well, but use only 1 pixel for the Radius.


Now just add your logo and that's it. We have a nice wallpaper. The idea of this tutorial was once again to show the power of the Brush Engine. You can try different shapes for this same effect, like hexagons for example. Also you can play a bit with the blurs to add more depth to the final design. Now it's up to you.


Optional: Logo Design

Create another layer and change the blending option like in the picture below. The code of the Blue color is: #7991f3

Layer > Layer Style > Blending Options > Outer Glow


Select the Brush tool and change the bubble color to #cce5fd

Be creative and fearless to do a complete mess with the shape, in my experience, the messier the better. I hope this tutorial helped you. If so, please let us know more about your artworks and drawings based on this tutorial on the comments. Thank you!


Download Wallpaper Pack


Download the Photoshop .psd File



  • Olive
    This is awesome. I’m well making something like this tomorrow! :D
  • Bobby
    Hey! Thanks very much for the tut, its briliant, will experiment with it a bit ! :D thanks a again
  • Danielle
    Excellent tutorial. I love the simplicity and uniqueness of this one, plus the effect can be used in a variety of ways, which is great. Thanks for sharing this tutorial, keep up the good work!
  • Jonathas Scott
    Thank you for a great wallpaper, it looks great on my laptop. I will try my hand at the tutorial and see how my one turns out lol lol. Thanks again
  • AGt
    Wooow!! Really good and easy effect. Thanks for sharing. Good Luck
  • Heatherina
    Great Tutorial! Thanks for the PSD!
  • Joan Iguban
    Simple yet effective. Awesome.
  • Sandy
    Awsome, great tutorial! Simple and beauty.
  • Andrew
    Simple and effective design. The blurred background really pulls it together.
  • Rick M.
    I’ve been looking for a tut like this so I could include this style wallpaper in my website. Thank you!
  • Clay Jackson
    Thanks for the great beautiful tutorial. you are one of a kind who have taste creativity on colors and photoshop. Thanks!
  • Novy
    this tutorial is delicious. thanks for the help and I will definitely be using this to spice up my designs.
  • kailash
    Awesome tut. I love your site
  • Gorny S. Needa
    Wow so simple yet effective. This is one that i will try, Thanks.
  • Joefrey Mahusay
    Awesome tutorial I will surely try this. Thanks.
  • wenshen
    This was excellent! I’ve been looking for this tip for a long time also. Thanks for the post.
  • Tom - New Evolution Designs
    Very nice tut. Just downloaded the file, thanks!
  • Joris
    Thanks this tutorial is really easy and helpfull. This is my outcome: backgroundu
  • admin
    @Joris: i simply love it, great work!
  • Benjamin Reid
    Erm... Do you mind crediting me for my video tutorial?
  • Zim
    It worked very well, excellent tutorial!
  • mauie
    This is a very good tutorial. Been looking everywhere for a tutorial on this kind of effect. Thank you. :)
  • Mrpant
    Great effect. I started to use this when I first read it on psdtuts.
  • amit
    Hi- for some apparent reason it does not let me select the define preset button- to enable it to be a brush? can anyone please help- ive been racking my brains over this for a long time! Thanks Amit
  • Shamima Sultana
    Nice work..keep it up
  • qammar
    Hi! this is very well explain nice tuts. our designer just created a impressive wallpaper. any one can see here Thanks for sharing, qammar feroz
  • Kushagra
    Thanks for the tutorial.. It helped me a lot in understanding the brush engine... :)
  • camila
    Great tips. I was wondering how to make the bubbles so bright... I wasn´t able to get them to shine. Irene L uses a lot of this effect on her pics... can you give me an idea how to make the bubbles brighter and more shinny? Thank you!
  • maybelle
    uhm.. i cant define the brush. it simply cant be how can i solve this? :((
  • Tudor
    i cant define the brush to...y fallow the steps but not working
  • admin
    the tutorial is very clear, however, you can download the brush form here:
  • Ulises Bolivar
  • Creative Logo Designers
    We are LogoProDesign as a Creative Logo Designer, We checked your artwork collections. Those are amazed us. Thanks for that type of good work collections. We regularly checked your website for good artwork example. Thanks David Thomas
  • keyuri
    nice good bubble i like it thanks
  • lunetmedia
    superb.. thanks a lot for sharing
  • Gail
    Your tool to share this on twitter and fb covers the tutorial. How irritating. I love sharing great tutorials when I find them, but wish you could find somewhere to put that annoying share tool!!!
  • Damion
    Thanks very much for sharing. I learnt a lot & great work...
  • prem
    i cant create a brush(define brush is not enabled) after blending the elipse..please any one help me how to define the elipse to brush pattern
  • naho
  • thoungamba
    thanks for sharing..its very useful
  • Mitchell
    Thank you very much for this great tutorial. Really easy to learn.
  • Indhira Miraflor
    I like your Works... :) keep up a good work.
  • Carlton Banks
    Nice tut. Thanks, man.
  • safrist
    THANKS.... !! thanks too for wallpaper :D