How To Create a Watercolor Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

How's it going everyone, this is Chris from Spoon Graphics back with another video tutorial for Adobe Photoshop Today I'm going to show you a cocktail of Photoshop filters that produce a pretty cool watercolour style effect

One of the best features of this effect is it uses a Smart Object to allow the styling to be added to live text, this means you can go back and edit the wording and fine tune the settings to alter the result First we need a document to work in, I'm using 1500x1000px at 300ppi Lay out your text in the centre of the canvas The font choice doesn't really matter because you'll be able to update it later and the effect will automatically be applied to the new artwork Right click on your text layer and select Convert To Smart Object

Double click the Smart Object's layer thumbnail to edit its contents The Smart Object is trimmed to the size of the text, so go to Image > Canvas Size and enlarge it to match the main 1500×1000 document Double click the text layer and add an Inner Glow effect Use the settings Normal, 100% opacity, white, then set the Size to around 20px This inner glow will act as a kind of mask to fade out the edges of the text in the main document

Go to File > Save, then close this Smart Object PSB file to return back to the main artwork Double click the layer, then at the bottom of the Layer Style options, hold the ALT key while dragging the highlights slider of the Blend If setting all the way over to the left Holding the Alt key will split the handle in two to fade out the white more smoothly We're now ready to mix up a cocktail of filters to produce the watercolour effect Begin by going to Filter > Render > Difference Clouds Next, go to Filter > Filter Gallery, Under the Artistic category, select Sponge

Edit the settings to 5, 1 and 15 Click the New icon at the bottom of the Filter Gallery window to layer up another effect This time choose Cutout Move the cutout effect's sliders to maximum, minimum and minimum Click OK on these effects to apply them

Go to Filter > Filter Gallery again, but make sure you don't choose the Filter Gallery option that's right at the top of the menu, otherwise it will just reapply the same effects This time we want to delete that Cutout layer, then apply a Watercolour effect in place of Sponge Change the watercolour settings to max brush detail, 5 shadow intensity, which is the middle of the slider, then minimum texture OK these settings, then in the Layers panel, double click the small slider icon to edit the blending options of this latest Filter Gallery effect Reduce the opacity to 20%

Add another Filter Gallery effect This time choose Grain from the Texture category with the options 44 and 33 Layer up another effect Choose Stamp from under the Sketch section Change the settings to 8 and 3

Alter the blending options of this Filter Gallery effect in the Layers panel too Change the blending mode to Overlay and reduce the opacity to 15% Under the Filter menu, choose Noise and Add Noise Configure the settings to 5% with the Gaussian and Monochromatic options checked Go to Filter > Distort and Ripple, then set it to 20% with the Large size preset

To add some colour to the effect, double click the main layer to add a Color Overlay layer style Set the mode to Screen then choose any colour To finish off the effect, paste in a paper texture as a background I'll link the free image I'm using in the description area Copy, close the document, then paste it above the background layer

Use the shortcut CMD+T to Transform in order to scale it to size The great thing about this effect is it retains the live text You can edit the wording by double clicking the Smart Object Here you can change the type content, size and wording Save the file and return to the main document to see the effect is updated with the new text

The colour can also be changed by updating the Color Overlay layer style Applying filters to a Smart Object means you can change any of the settings Double click the Difference Clouds to apply an alternative texture If the watercolour texture is too washed out and is making some of the finer elements of the text disappear, try reducing the opacity of the Difference Clouds effect to around 80% You can also edit the size of the Inner Glow within the Smart Object to affect the size of the transparent portions

This effect doesn't just work on text, you can also paste in a logo graphic or solid colour illustration into the Smart Object Apply the same Inner Glow and save the file to see the watercolor effect applied to all kinds of artwork So I hope you find this effect useful within your projects If you enjoyed the video or learned anything new, a thumbs up would be really appreciated Stick around for all my upcoming tutorials by hitting the subscribe button

Grab my free bundle of design resources over at my Spoon Graphics website, otherwise thank you very much for watching, and I'll see you in the next one!

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