In these days it’s all about glossy stuff. Apple was first to introduce their glossy aqua style, and ever since then all designers try to follow that cool and good looking style. This tutorial will show you the simplest method of creating glossy icons, thath have circle/orb style or shape. You may also get some tips for simple image editing and logo designing at

Step 1.

Create a document of any size you want, an choose white as background color of that document. We will start with document sized 400×400 px. Create a new layer now, by pressing CTRL+Shift+N. Choose Elyptical Marquee Tool, (see image 1.) and create circle (not elypse) in center of your document. While you draw circle hold Shift to get proportional circle. Press “D” to reset foreground and background color. Now choose the Paint Bucket tool and fill the selection with black color.

Step 2.

Press Ctrl+D to deselect selection. Doubleclick on “Layer 1” in Layers palette, and choose Drop and Shadow under Styles. Enter the options as shown on image 2.

Click on OK, and while “Layer 1” is still selected press Ctrl+J to duplicate it. Double click “Layer 1 copy” and click on Gradient Overlay. (also make sure to deselect Drop shadow if it’s selected on this layer copy)… For Gradient overlay enter the settings as shown on image 3.

Step 3.

Your image should look like this above.

Hold Ctrl on your keyboard and click on “Layer 1”. The sellection will appear around the circle. Now go to menu Select -> Modify -> Contract. Under contract menu enter 4-8 pixels (experiment here, size depends on document size you created) We entered 6 pixels in this tutorial example… You will notice that selection was contracted inside for specified number of pixels. Now press Ctrl+Shift+N to create another new layer. Move that layer on top of all others if it isn’t already there. Fill that selection with whatever color you like, in this example we filled it with color #00366f.

Step 4.

Again hold Ctrl, and click on that last newly created layer (Layer 2). Again go to menu Select -> Modify -> Contract. Now enter 3 pixels in contract menu. Press Ctrl+Shift+N and create another new layer on top of all other layers. Your document should look like shown on image 5.

Choose gradient style as shown on image 6.

Now choose Gradient Tool (G), and press “D”, and then “X” to reset colors in your color palette to black and white as default. Choose options for gradient tool as shown on image 7.

Step 5.

Start applying gradient tool on selection of Layer 3 as follows: Hold Shift and drag from top of circle to middle, then repeat that in smaller steps, and do that from bottom of circle to center middle too, as shown on image 8.

Press Ctrl+T and resize that Layer 3, just enter 94% under width on top menu… as shown on image 9. Press enter, and press Ctrl+D.

Step 6.

Now choose Dodge Tool (shortcut “O”) and enter the options for tool in top pallete as shown on image 11.

Now paint on top of circle on “Layer 2” and make it more lighter. If you wish to do more smoother painting with less “effect” then lower the exposure. Oterwise if you really want to lighten up the image, then give it more exposure… After few clicks you will get something like shown on image 12. Just remember to add some logo or text to it.