Ten Worst Photoshop Mistakes Beginners make

Have you just started working on photoshop, Learning the ropes, and enjoying the process? But do you know there are little things you are doing right now that will cost you later? There are mistakes that we make a habit of doing at the beginning of our careers nor, do we later care to rectify them because we are used to them and too lazy. Even though we can get our work done with these mistakes, they take a lot of our time and energy in the end. It is better if we change them now and make a habit of doing these things to save our time and energy.

Here we have listed down the ten most common photoshop mistakes beginners make.

1. Not using photoshop layers tool.

The main feature of photoshop, which made it different and ahead of its competitors, was the layers tool. It took photoshop to new heights. And there’s a reason why layers hs the power to make or break your work. The first thing you should do is learn to use layers correctly. What most people do is do all the work in a single layer or not make enough layers. You only realize it when you try to re-edit or changes something, which becomes quite difficult when all of your work is dine in one or two layers.

2. Not naming the layers

Another mistake is not naming the layers, which look unnecessary and kind of blah thing. But it will save you a lot of time when you go back to edit the picture the next day and do not have to on/off each layer to see what it contains.

3. Doing everything in Photoshop

Another mistake is doing all of our work on Photoshop but doing vector-based work on a raster-based software is not exactly the right thing. I am not saying that you cannot do it on Photoshop or it is wrong. But it might take a lot of time, and the quality may suffer. As it is not specifically made for that kind of work. Beginners can always start with one software i.e., Photoshop, and then later learn other softwares too. Photoshop is great for image editing, manipulation, matte painting, and you can do other things too. But if you are doing a graphical illustration, it is better to do it in Illustrator or other vector-based software. You should know when to use what software. There are tons of softwares that are made for a specific purpose, and using them will make your work easier and less time-consuming.

4. Not using shortcut keys

I also made the mistake of not using shortcut keys in the beginning. It is best to start learning and using them from the beginning and getting used to them rather than learning them later in your career when you already have a set workflow. Adding them to your workflow saves your time significantly. Do not try to learn and use all the shortcut keys at once. 

5. Not saving regularly

There are many mistakes in this list that even experienced designers have made, but not saving work is done by newbies only. We all have been there, not saving the work in progress and regretting it when the application hangs or the light goes out/off. It happens with everyone in the beginning, and after that, we learn to save every 5 minutes because nobody wants to lose the same work twice just because we did not press ctrl+s /cfmd+s in between our work.

6. No customization

After working on Photoshop for some time, you know what tools you need the most. To avoid using valuable time, customize your workspace. So that you do not have to look /go through the menus/ panels that you know you are going to use a lot. The first thing after developing your workstyle, customize it! These little things make you quick and save time.

7. Not saving in PSD format.

Always save your work in both PSD and jpeg format once you have completed it. I have many images of when I just started using Photoshop, which I want to re-edit but sadly cannot because I never saved them in PSD format. So many times, we realize that we can edit our old pictures better because now we know a new tool or technique, but to do that, we need the PSD format. PSD format saves the image with all the layers, which makes it easier to edit. 

8. Too much editing

We have all done this, too much editing and filters. When we are learning, we want to try and use every tool that we have learned. In our haste to make it look perfect, we apply every feature and tool Photoshop offers. Most of the time, we do not even notice we have overdone it until we show it to someone else or see it the next day. After working hours on Photoshop, sometimes it becomes a little difficult to see we are overdoing it. What you can do is, once you have completed your work, save it. And open it the next day or maybe an hour or two later and tone down anything which looks over the top.

9. Working on Adjustment layers directly

This is somewhat similar to not using layers correctly and working on the base layer. Another mistake we make is, we do not use an adjustment layer. This layer allows us to keep the adjustments done and the image separate from each other. Thus, helping us in changing anything later. Another similar mistake is not using smart filters. Smart filters were first introduced in the cs3 version. It allows us to apply photoshop filters non-destructively that you can later remove, adjust or hide, unlike filters that permanently alter the pixels of the image.

10. Using default CMYK / RGB mode and working in 72 dpi

In the beginning, we do not pay attention to the settings. Usually, RGB is used for digital work and CMYK for printing. Be careful about them when you’ve to print the work because the colors can look different when printed in RGB. Another mistake is using 72dpi, which is okay for the web but for printing, keep it at 300dpi.

Settings cannot be changed after work, so be careful and make these changes before starting your work.

11. Not being patient

So many beginners get excited when they see beautiful digital paintings or photo manipulation images online. But when they try to make it and it does not come out the same they get frustrated. Remember, the images you see have been done by artists who have years of experience. It takes time to learn any skill. Be patient with yourself, and do not compare yourself with others. Everyone’s journey and learning speed are different.


These are some of the mistakes that you can avoid as a beginner. Photoshop has a lot of tools and features and comes up with new things every year. These tips will help you enjoy the process and have fun with it. Do not forget to check out digital painting tips for beginners here – http://crazy-graphics.in/digital-painting-tips-for-beginners/

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