Published on February 17, 2023

Gradient spirograph from circle

In this blog I will show you how to create a gradient spirograph with the ellipse tool in Adobe Photoshop.

Rather watch the video with instructions? Scroll down to the end of this page or click here to watch the video.

Step 1: Create file and shape

Create a new file. My file is 1080×1080 pixels (resolution 150), but you can also use a different size. Also pick a background color while creating the new file. I make the background black.

Then navigate to ‘View > Guides > New guide layout‘. Create 2 columns and 2 rows.

New guide layout

Then select the ellipse tool. Use the following settings:

  • Select ‘shape’
  • Fill: No color
  • Stroke: White (unless your background is white, then select a different color).
  • Stroke width: 2px. If your file has a different size, you might have to use a different amount. It just needs to be a thin line, but not too thin.

Now create a circle. Press and hold SHIFT while making the circle to make it symmetrical.

Create circle

Select the move tool and press CTRL+T to activate free transform. Place the circle in the middle and move it up until the bottom of the circle touches the horizontal guideline.

You can then move the top middle point to change the size of the circle. Just make sure the circle stays in the middle and that the bottom touches the guideline.

Move circle

When you’re done, click on the ✓ icon (or press ENTER).

Step 2: Create spirograph

Press CTRL+J to duplicate the shape layer. Then press CTRL+T again to activate free transform.

Select ‘toggle reference point‘ and place the reference point in the middle (where the guidelines intersect).

After you did that, rotate the shape with 10°. Then click on the ✓ icon to save the changes.

Rotate circle

Press CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+T ro repeat the last action (rotating the circle) in a new layer. You’ll see new circles appear if you do this.

Keep pressing CTRL+ALT+SHIFT+T until the spirograph is complete. You’ll end up with a lot of new layers.

Create spirograph

You can remove the guidelines now (‘View > Guides > Clear guides’ or press CTRL+;).

Select all the shape layers. Right click on one of the selected layers and select ‘Rasterize layers‘.

Right click on one of the selected layers again and this time select ‘Merge layers‘. You have one layer with the spirograph now (the ‘Ellipse 1 copy 35’ layer, in my case).

Merge layers

Step 3: Add gradient overlay

Select the layer with the spirograph. Then click on the fx icon below your layers and select ‘gradient overlay‘.

Click on the gradient to adjust the colors. You can use one of the presets, or you can create your own gradient. I’ve created my own gradient. You can find the settings I used in the image below.

I prefer the radial or diamond style for this spirograph, but feel free to use different settings!

Gradient overlay

When you’re done, click OK. If you want to adjust the gradient overlay, double click on the ‘gradient overlay’ layer.

And that’s how you create this gradient spirograph with the ellipse tool in Adobe Photoshop!

Gradient spirograph

I now showed you one method to create a gradient spirograph, but there’s another method that you can use! I’ll explain how to do that in this blog.

Learn more about Photoshop

Want to learn more about editing in Adobe Photoshop? Check out my other blogs or take a look at my YouTube channel

Follow me on Facebook to stay updated about new blogs and tutorials! You can find the YouTube video with instructions below.

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Create a gradient spirograph in Photoshop

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