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I ended up to a website that had nice looking cartoonish tree:

enter image description here

I'm looking a way to create something similar looking with Photoshop CS6.

What do I need to do to achieve such a curvy texture?

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While it's possible to do so in Photoshop, the tools Illustrator is better suited for this kind of task. Plus, working with vectors will allow you to so manipulate and scale your elements however you want with loss of any quality. – Krazer Apr 6 '13 at 20:08

In Photoshop CS6, you could try with the following (pardon my final result, it's done in a rush, but I hope you get the idea!):

enter image description here

  • Start by drawing a rectangular square shape with the Rectangular Tool, and fill it with a dark color (in this case #573a28).

  • Using the Pen Tool and in a new layer, draw some irregular shapes, the veins of the tree. In the third and fourth blocks you can see I actually only drew two of these shapes and repeated them with some rotation and size changes. You can duplicate them or redraw them, depending on your time and dedication. As mentioned in the other answers, you can actually use a real photo. Just put it behind your new layer with some opacity, and draw over them.

  • To make it look like your example, I applied some shadow to the veins using Blending Options > Drop Shadow. In my case it looks quite terrible, and I probably wouldn't use it. I'd use some highlights and shadows instead, redrawing some details in the sides of the veins (or you can repeat veins, but just in a lighter color).

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Illustrator or fireworks would be better to do so. Illustrator allows you to create amazing vector designs and has many effects for them. You should take a tutorial on how to make wooden texture, download one or try to replicate it yourself.

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Like Krazer has said it's possible in either Photoshop or Illustrator but personally I'd start of in Photoshop, working in illustrator on initial designs can be very slow & vector work can often stiffen things up.

Play with the paint tools, take some elements out of a reference photo with the colour range tool & create a quick collage & then go in with the vectors.

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