Photoshop: Cloud Icon

If you caught my last tutorial, you know that Nathaniel from and I have teamed up to bring you a series of tutorials inspired by A site where you can download completely free PSD files for you to use in your projects.


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In today’s tutorial, we’re going to be creating a similar cloud icon to the one you see below, which again, can be downloaded, for free, at!

Of course, the first thing that we need to do, is map out the cloud. To start, we’ll create the base of the cloud. This is done with a Rounded Rectangle, which you can find in your Tools Bar. We want to set the Radius at a nice large number to give us perfectly round corners. 200 pixels should work fine. When that’s set, drag out the rectangle as wide as you want the cloud to be.

Now that the base is complete, let’s add the smaller circles. Switching over to the Ellipse Tool, make sure that the Add to shape area option is active on your Options Bar. Draw out your first ellipse, which will be the smaller of the two, on the left side of the cloud. If you want to move the ellipse around as you’re creating it, hold down your Spacebar.

When the first ellipse is created, draw out the second one on the right side. This will be the bigger of the two. Make sure to hold your Shift key to ensure you create a perfect circle.

Now before we tackle Layer Styles, let’s add some depth to this shape. In your Layers Panel, duplicate the current cloud shape by either dragging it to the New Layer icon at the bottom, or by using your Command/Ctrl + J shortcut.

Once the layer has been duplicated, double-click on the color box beside the bottom cloud and darken it’s color slightly. This will help us tell the two apart. When the color has been changed, move the back shape down by about 10 pixels. This can be quickly done by holding down your Shift key, and pressing the down arrow on your keyboard.

Perfect, it’s time for Layer Styles! Let’s start with the top cloud. You can find them all below.

Gradient Colors: Left: #012543. Right: #1a64b1.

When these Layer Styles have been added, you should have something similar to this:

Let’s move on to the shape in the back, which is giving our cloud some depth. This shape will only have two Layer Styles. A Gradient Overlay, and a Stroke.

The gradient will use four stops. Clicking right below the gradient bar will add a new color stop. Place one at 55%, and one at 65%. If you’re having trouble placing them at the right location, you can manually enter it at the bottom.

The two colors on the left, and the color on the far right are going to be identical: #002850. As for the last stop, this is going to act as the highlight to help give a rounded look to the corner. Make sure to use a lighter value for this one: #003669. If you created a larger or smaller cloud, you may need to adjust the positioning of the stops, but that should give you a rounded look to the shape in the back.

Gradient Colors: Left: Red. Middle: Yellow. Right: Blue.

Once the Layer Styles have been added, you may want to slightly scale the back shape horizontally, to add to the curve effect. Enter Free Transform mode using your Command/Ctrl + T shortcut, then with your Alt/Option key held down, drag either of the side nodes inwards. Press Return/Enter once you’ve completed the transformation.

At this point, the main design is complete. If you want to add a shadow and a reflection, continue on!

Creating a new layer below both cloud shapes, grab your Elliptical Marquee Tool, and drag out a very thin oval below the shapes, making sure it’s slightly longer than the base of the cloud.

When the Marquee has been created, fill it with black. If black is your foreground color, which you can achieve by pressing the D key on your keyboard, Option+Delete or Alt+Backspace will fill the selection with black.

To move away from the shadow’s sharp edges, let’s blur it a bit. Head up to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. 7 pixels should work well.

Turn down the Opacity to around 40% to finish the shadow.

Next, let’s add a reflection! In your Layers Panel, select both cloud layers. This can be done by clicking on one of them, then with your Command/Ctrl key held down, click on the second.

When they are both selected, we want to duplicate them, and move them down. Hold down your Alt/Option key, as well as Shift, and drag down. You should now have a duplicate of your cloud.

Because we’re not going to be modifying any of the Layer Styles, I’d say it’s safe to merge these two layers together. I don’t often recommend merging, but in this case, I’ll let it slide. Command/Ctrl + E to merge the selected layers. Now we need to flip it! Head up to the Edit menu, down to Transform, then Flip Vertical. Place it right below the top cloud once it’s been flipped.

Now just like we did with the shadow, let’s blur the reflection slightly. Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur. This time, a value of 2 pixels should work well. Once it’s been blurred, turn the Opacity down to 30% and add a Layer Mask. This will help us fade out the reflection.

Once the Layer Mask has been added, grab your Gradient Tool and make sure that white is your foreground color, and black is your background color. On your Options Bar, choose a Linear Foreground to Background gradient.

Now drag out a gradient from around the top of your reflection, to about a quarter the way down.

And that should do it. What you choose to put inside the cloud is up to your imagination!