Diagonal MULTI-COLOURED Lines – For a tiled background.

Ok you see lot’s of tutorials for diagonal lines but this tutorial will show you how to make rainbows or any other multi-coloured diagonal line. It’s very simple to do if you already know how to make diagonal lines. I intended to use this technique for one of my layouts, raindrop, but it was a bit too busy. Then I remembered I meant to write a tutorial on it so here goes.


Written for: Photoshop CS2 but will work in lower versions and also in Paintshop but screenshots may differ
Level: Beginner to intermediate
Time Frame: Less than 30 mins
Tools Used:

  • Polygonal Lasso tool
  • Paint bucket (foreground)
  • Paint Bucket (Pattern)
  • Pen Tool (Optional)

Step 1

Open a new photoshop file, name it diagonalbg and make it 100 x 100 px


Step 2

Set your guides: Edit >> Preferences  >> Guides, Grids and slices.

Set your grid to the specifications shown.

Grid Line Every: 10px
subdivisions 1


If it helps to change the grid colour do so now. Click the coloured square and change the grid colour to one you’re not using in your rainbow.

If grids are not already showing in your PS: View >> Show >> Grid

Zoom in on your grid to around 300-400%

You will have a ten by ten grid.


Step 3

Select the Polygonal Selection Tool. Start your point 2 grid lines in from the top. Hold down the shift key and touch down at the bottom left of square two. join to point 7, back up to top 7 and join to start point. All points are marked in red.

Do not release shift.


Now join the remaining point marked with red in the same way.

Fill with the Paint Bucket Foreground tool.

Advanced: If you plan to make a few of these or you prefer. Use the pen tool instead of the select tool. In this way you can change each “slice” independently and it makes for a nice crisp edge.

Step 4

Now to create a stripe, remember this: The top edge of a column must match the bottom and a rows side must match each other too!
See the way row 8 matches on both sides?

Use the same technique as Step 3


Advanced: Again, if you plan to make a few of these or you prefer. Use the pen tool instead of the select tool. In this way you can change each “slice” independently and it makes for a nice crisp edge.

You can save this file and if you make each individual slice using the pen tool you can Just paste styles to change each one..

Advanced: Over laying a reversed image gives an interesting affect when you change the opacity of the top layer.

Ctrl A to select all. Ctrl + Shift + C To copy all. Ctrl + V Paste back into your work. Drag layer to top.

Set Opacity to 55 percent and open the blending options. Change “Blend Mode” to “overlay”.


Step 5

To make thinner slices use a smaller grid to increase slice size increase canvas size by an even amount. Always keep the diagonals at 45 degree angles!

Play about with it an create a never ending array of patterns.

Step 6

To test your pattern in a tiled state. Choose: Edit >> Define Pattern…
Save under a suitable name.

Then Select the paint bucket tool (G) and instead of foreground use pattern. Choose the pattern you just made and fill a blank document. If you’ve done it correctly it will tile beautifully.


Categories: How To's
This post was written by , posted on July 23, 2009 Thursday at 2:32 pm

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