Drawing a Mosque on a Starry Sky Scene in Photoshop

By Dr Diablo | Adobe Photoshop | Beginner

This tutorial will teach you how to draw a very simple mosque. We are going to make our design glossy using Noise, Gradients, and the selection tools. This tutorial will be divided into three sections: creating the starry background, creating the crescent moon, and finally creating the mosque's body. Here is an example of the end result that we are going to create.

Drawing a Mosque in Photoshop

Creating the Starry Background

Start off the project by creating a new document with the dimensions of 640x1005px and a resolution of 72, fill the entire canvas with the color #000000 by going through Edit>Fill (Shift+5). We are going to add the random stars by adding noise all over the stage. To do this, go through Filter>Noise>Add Noise and set the Amount to 10%, the Distribution to Gaussian, and tick Monochromatic.

Repeat the filter application step once again, you can do that easily by simply pressing Ctrl+F on your keyboard to re-apply the last used filter. We will now adjust the brightness of our starry background, go through Image>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrast and apply the settings illustrated below.

This concludes our first stage, you can view a sample of how my background turned out by clicking on the thumbnail below. Your piece might not look exactly like mine as the Noise filter is completely random.

Starry Background

Creating the Crescent Moon

We are going to create the famous Ramadhan moon at this stage, here is an example of how it should look like by the end of this step.

Start off by setting the foreground to #333333 and the background to #FFFFFF.

Use the Elliptical Marquee Tool to draw a circle on a brand new layer, you will have to hold Shift while drawing to make your circle perfect.

This part is a little bit harder, you will need to subtract another circle that you are going to draw from our first circle to create the crescent shape. Use the same selection tool to draw a smaller circle within the first one, hold the Alt button on your keyboard to subtract the new selection.

Fill the selection with the color #FFFFFF.

Create a new layer and nudge the selection to the right 6 times and then to the top 6 times as well. Apply a linear gradient across the selection from the left lower corner to the upper right corner so that your moon looks similar to the image below.

Access the layers panel and then hold Ctrl while clicking on the layer of the white moon. Go through Select>Inverse and then select the gradient moon layer and press Delete to clear off the extra edges.

We are going to add the white glow around the moon to make it stand out. To do this, merge the two moon layers by clicking on the gradient moon layer and then press Ctrl+E on your keyboard to merge the layers down. Now assign these blending options to our layer.

Your moon should now look similar to the image below.

Create a layer above the layer of the background, grab the gradient tool and set the foreground color to white and then set the gradient mode to gradient to transparency.

Apply the gradient vertically from the top to the bottom of the canvas to get something similar to the result illustrated below.

Moon and Stars

Creating the Mosque

Creating the various parts that make up the shape of our mosque are all made using one technique, which we have already used to create the gradient filled background. I will go through the technique once and then apply it to the different shapes that will make up the mosque at the end.

We will practice doing this effect using a circle shape first.

Once you have one on your stage, grab the gradient tool and set it to the white to transparent mode. Select the circle by holding Ctrl and clicking on the layer's icon. Create a new layer and apply the gradient vertically going from top to the bottom of the circle.

While editing the same layer, press Ctrl+T to transform the layer, hold down Alt+Shift and scale the circle down a bit so that an outline appears around it

Duplicate the gradient layer by going through Layer>Duplicate Layer, proceed and press Ctrl+T again and now scale it down again, but this time even more. When you are done, nudge it upwards until it reaches the top of the original object, check out the image below for an example.

You can always be creative with the technique, practice to be able to use it with all sorts of shapes.

I have used the following two shapes as the basic outline for our mosque, draw them one at a time and then apply the technique we used above to colour them as illustrated in the images below.

Mosque outline Mosque colored]

Okay, add two circles on the top of the center of both shapes and then colour them in the same way you used before. Now on the top of the circle add a moon, you can use the one you made earlier and then just scale it down to fit the mosque.

The final element to add to our mosque is an elliptical shape around the mosque's main dome. Grab the Elliptical Shape Tool and create a selection area similar to the one illustrated in the image below.

Always make sure that both sides of the selection that are extending outside the shape match. Create another selection while holding Alt to subtract it from the earlier one. This one should be in a similar shape, but just 5 nudges below. Make sure that the second selection does not go beyond the outlines of the first.

That should do it, fill the selection with whatever bright colour you choose, I picked #FF6000, now our dome is complete, you can repeat this step to create a coloured strip around the minaret.


This concludes our tutorial, I hope that you learnt something new from this tutorial, feel free to email me on abaddon_zero@hotmail.com for any comments or questions. You can alternatively post at the Oman3D Forum.

- End of Tutorial