Graphic Design Tutorial: Create Watercolor Painting Effects in Photoshop

In this tutorial, you will learn how to create amazing painting effects. I will explain everything in detail that so many people can make it, even those who have just opened Photoshop for the first time.

The effect used is what I will show you in making this tutorial. If you want to make a more effective effect, use just one click and in just a few minutes.

What do you need

To recreate the design above, you need the following resources:

Stock Image

1. Get Started

First, open the photo you want to work on. To open your photo, go to File> Open, select your photo, and click Open. Now, before starting, just check a few things:

Your photo must be in RGB Color mode, 8 Bits / Channel. To check this, go to Image> Mode.
For best results, your photo size must be 2000–4000 px wide/high. To check it, go to Image> Image Size.
Your photo must be the Background layer. If not, go to Layer> New> Background from Layer.
Checking image size and mode

2. How to Make a Brush

Step 1

In this section, we will make the five watercolor brushes we need. You can download the texture from the attachment and follow the process, or you can go to the Ivan tutorial to learn how to make your own watercolor textures, or you can download TechnicalArt 2 Photoshop Action and get more than 60 high-quality watercolors and brush resolutions (in case this you can skip this whole section).

Step 2

If you have followed the first choice and downloaded the texture, then open the first texture scan in Photoshop. Go to Edit> Define Brush to define this texture as a brush, and name it Temp_Brush_1.

Step 3

Opening both scan textures, go to Edit> Define Brush to define this texture as a brush, and name it.

Step 4

Now open the third texture scan, go to Edit> Define Brush to define this texture as a brush, and name.

Step 5

Now open the fourth texture scan, go to Edit> Define Brush to define this texture as a brush, and

Step 6

Now open the last texture scan, go to Edit> Define Brush to define this texture as a brush, and name

Step 7

Now that we have set the brush, we need to adjust the settings and then set them again as new brushes. Press B on your keyboard, right-click on the canvas, select brush Temp_Brush_1, and press Enter. Then go to Window> Brush and, in the Brush window, use the settings below:

Step 8

To define this brush with the new settings as a new brush, click the top right icon in the lower right corner of the Brush panel, and name it Watercolor_Brush_1.

Step 9

Now press B on your keyboard, right-click on the canvas, select the Temp_Brush 2 brush, and press Enter. Then go to Window> Brush and Brush window using the settings below:

Step 10

To determine this brush with the new settings as a new brush, click the top right icon in the lower right corner of the Brush panel, and the name Watercolor_Brush_2.

Step 11

Now press B on your keyboard, right-click on the canvas, select the Temp_Brush_3 brush, and press Enter. Then go to Window> Brush and Brush window using the settings below:

Step 12

To define this brush with the new settings as a new brush, click the top right icon in the lower right corner of the Brush panel, and name it Watercolor_Brush_3.

Step 13

Now press B on your keyboard, right-click on the canvas, select the Temp_Brush_4 brush, and press Enter. Then go to Window> Brush and Brush window using the settings below:

Step 14

To define this brush with the new settings as a new brush, click the top right icon in the lower right corner of the Brush panel, and name it Watercolor_Brush_4.

Step 15

Now press B on your keyboard, right-click on the canvas, select the Temp_Brush_5 brush, and press Enter. Then go to Window> Brush and Brush window using the settings below:

Step 16

To determine this brush with the new settings as a new brush, click the top right icon in the lower right corner of the Brush panel, and name Watercolor_Brush_5.

3. How to make a background

Step 1

In this section, we will make a background. Go to Layer> New Fill Layer> Solid Color make a new layer fill the solid color, Background color name, and choose color # e5e5e5.

Step 2

Now right-click on this layer, select Blending Options, check Gradient Overlay, and use the settings below:

4. How to Sketch

Step 1

In this step, we will sketch. Select the Background layer and press Control-J on your keyboard to duplicate it. Then, drag this layer to the top of the layer in the Layers panel.

Step 2

Now press Control-Shift-U on your keyboard to desaturate this layer. Then, go to Filter> Filter Gallery> Stylize> Glowing Edges and set Edge Width to 1, Brightness to 20, and Smoothness to 15.

Step 3

Press Control-I on your keyboard to reverse this layer. Then, go to Filter> Sharpen> Unsharp Mask and set the value to 500%, Radius to 1 px, and Threshold to level 0.

Step 4

Change the Blending Mode of this layer to Multiply and set the Opacity to 47%. Then, name this layer Sketch.

5. How to Make Watercolor Paintings

Step 1

In this section, we will make watercolor paintings. Go to Layer> New> Layer to create a new layer and name it Temp_1.

Step 2

Now set the Foreground color to # 000000, select the Brush Tool (B), and choose brush Watercolor_Brush_1. Then, adjust the brush diameter you want, and brush as shown.

Step 3

Control-click on this layer’s thumbnail to make a selection of this layer. Then, hide this layer, select the Background layer, and press Control-J on your keyboard to make the new layer use options. After that, drag this new layer just below the Temp_1 layer in the layers panel.

Step 4

Now change the Opacity of this layer 56% and name it WP_1.

Step 5

Go to Layer> New> Layer to create a new layer and name it Temp_2.

Step 6

Now set the foreground color to # 000000, choose the Brush Tool (B), and select the Watercolor_Brush_2 brush. Then, adjust the brush diameter you want, and brush it as shown below:

Step 7

Control-click on this layer’s thumbnail to make this layer selection. Then, hide this layer, select the Background layer, and press Control-J on your keyboard to make the new layer use options. After that, drag this new layer just below the WP_1 layer in the Layers panel.

Step 8

Now change this layer’s Opacity to 40% and name it WP_2.

Step 9

Select the WP_1 layer, open Layer> New> Layer to create a new layer, and name it Temp_3.

Step 10

Now set the foreground color to # 000000, choose the Brush Tool (B), and choose the Watercolor_Brush_3 brush. Then, adjust the brush diameter you want, and brush it as shown below:

Step 11

Control-click on this layer’s thumbnail to make a selection of this layer. Then, hide this layer, select the Background layer and press Control-J on your keyboard to make the new layer use options. After that, drag this new layer just below the WP_2 layer in the Layers panel.

Step 12

Now change this layer’s Opacity to 62% and name it WP_3.

Step 13

Select the WP_1 layer, go to Layer> New> Layer to create a new layer, and name it Temp_4.

Step 14

Now set the foreground color to # 000000, choose the Brush Tool (B), and select the Watercolor_Brush_4 brush. Then, adjust the brush diameter you want, and brush it as shown below:

Step 15

Control-click on this layer’s thumbnail to make this layer selection. Then, hide this layer, select the Background layer, and press Control-J on your keyboard to make the new layer use options. After that, drag this new layer just below the WP_3 layer in the Layers panel.

Step 16

Now name this layer WP_4.

Step 17

Select the WP_1 layer, go to Layer> New> Layer to create a new layer, and name it Temp_5.

Step 18

Now set the foreground color to # 000000, choose the Brush Tool (B), and choose the Watercolor_Brush_5 brush. Then, adjust the brush diameter you want, and brush it as shown below:

Step 19

Control-click on this layer’s thumbnail to make a selection of this layer. Then, hide this layer, select the Background layer, and press Control-J on your keyboard to make the new layer use options. After that, drag this new layer just below the WP_4 layer in the Layers panel.

Step 20

Now name this layer WP_5.

Step 21

Select the Temp_1 layer and Shift-click on the Temp_5 layer to choose between all layers. Then, right-click on one of the selected layers and select Delete Layers.

Step 22

Now select the WP_1 layer, go to Filter> Filter Gallery> Artistic> Watercolor, and set Brush Detail to 14, Shadow Intensity to

You succeeded!

Congratulations, you have succeeded! Here are our final results:

Final result
If you want to make even more advanced watercolor effects than shown below, only use one click and in just a few minutes, please check my TechnicalArt 2 Photoshop Action.

The work works so you only brush your photos with color and just play with the work. The action will do everything for you, giving you fully layered and customizable results. There are also more than 60 high-grade water paint brushes included with actions that you can use to build designs further. This action will also make four textures (watercolor, canvas, paper, and halftone) and 25 presets that you can choose from.

The action comes with a detailed video tutorial that shows how to use actions and adjust results to maximize effects.

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