watercolor effect in Photoshop title

How To Create A Watercolor Effect in Photoshop

This week I’ve been messing around with some new brushes a created a quick tutorial on creating a watercolor effect or any paint style you can think of in Photoshop! This will create some great effects to make your images unique and interesting. It works for most pictures and images.


For this tutorial you’ll need an image. In this case I’ve used an image of me!


Start with your main image

Some watercolor brushes for Photoshop:

Free Watercolor Brushes

If you would rather make your own photoshop brushes you can check out my post on how to make your own Kickass Brushes!


Some free time and imagination!

Let’s Get Started!

Open up your working image in Photoshop. Increase the contrast on it as well as grayscale your image. For contrast you’re looking at a high contrast look (Image -> Mode -> Brightness/Contrast).


desaturate the image and create a high contrast

Then desaturate your image (Cmd/Ctrl + Shift + U). You’ll notice that once the image is desaturated the values of the contrast may need more work so go back into your Brightness/Contrast and adjust a bit more to get your ideal look.

Next you’re going to need some texture to add to your image to make it visually pleasing.


add in a texture. I am using text

For this you can get your own texture, but in this case I am going to make texture using text. Open up a new document (CMD + O) and set your new file to be about 800×800 pixels. If you are going on the text route you can use whatever font you want. For this one I am choosing a script but something easily readable called Roselyn.


apply a texture mask

Once you have something in place for some texture go into Edit -> Define Brush Preset to create a custom texture brush. Now go back into your image and add a layer mask to the image. Go ahead and make the whole layer black which will make your image disappear. You’re then going to want to go into your brushes and use your new text texture. Make sure your brush is set to white to bring back in sone of your picture.


Add Your Watercolor Effect

You’re going to need some water color brushes. I’ve included links above where you can find some great free brushes or how to make your own!


add in some splatter effect into to mask

Once you have your brushes in place it’s time to add in your water color splatters! With this method in particular you just apply what feels right to you. You can easily over do to splatters so just use the brush here and there to give the idea of splatters.


Adding some color to the image!

Now that we have the image ready in black and white it’s time to add a bit of color to the image!


add in a gradient fill

For that all we need to do is go into your Gradient Fill layer (Layer -> New Fill Layer -> Gradient) This will create a popup where you can adjust the gradient colors as well as angles and opacity. Just play around with the settings until you feel like you have the right look and hit enter!


finished watercolor effect in Photoshop

Amazing! Like I’ve said before this works for most pictures and images. Just have fun and see what great works you’ll come up with!



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