This tutorial explains how to modify the settings of a simple brush and a smudge brush to create a smudged watercolor text effect easily.
The Final Result:
* the software used in this tutorial is Adobe Photoshop CS6, but you can use CS3+ versions as well.
* you might want to check the Basix Page to see some useful topics on dealing with Photoshop basics, such as loading palettes and some shortcuts.
* Crumpled white paper texture by ~melemel.
- Create a new 1152 x 864 px document and fill it with the color #dfddc4.
- Place the Crumpled white paper texture on top of the Background layer, then change its layer’s Blend Mode to Multiply and its Opacity to 50%.
- Create the text in black. You can use All Caps if you like as well. The font used is Y2K Neophyte. If you have more than one word, and/or different font sizes, create each of them in a separate layer. Also, set the Tracking value to 200 to avoid overlapping of the smudged watercolor later on.
- Make all the text layers invisible by clicking the eye icons next to them.
Open the Brush panel (Window -> Brush), choose the “Rough Round Bristle” brush, and modify its settings as below:
- Brush Tip Shape
- Shape Dynamics
- Dual Brush
- Color Dynamics
And check the “Wet Edges” and “Smoothing” boxes too. This will create the basic watercolor brush. The Size Jitter and Dual Brush values add randomness to the brush shape, while the Color Dynamics and Transfer values add color and opacity variations so that the brush has a more realistic effect.
- Right click the first text layer and choose Create Work Path. Set the Foreground color to #a6a6a6 and the Background color to #424242, and pick the Direct Selection Tool.
- Create a new layer on top of all layers, rename it to whatever text you’re working with, and change its Blend Mode to Color Burn. Then, right click the path and choose Stroke Path.
- Choose Brush from the Tool drop down menu and un-check the Simulate Pressure box.
- This will stroke the path with the watercolor brush.
Pick the Smudge Tool with a 70 px soft round brush. In the Options bar, change the Mode to Hue and the Strength to 25%.
Open the Brush panel once again and modify the smudge brush settings as shown below:
- Brush Tip Shape
- Shape Dynamics
- Right click the Path once again and choose Stroke Path. This time, choose Smudge from the Tool drop down menu, and make sure that the Simulate Pressure box is still un-checked.
- This will smudge the watercolor stroke. Hit Enter to get rid of the path.
- Create a new layer for the next line of text, and don’t forget to change its Blend Mode to Color Burn.
- If you are using a smaller text size, you’ll need smaller brush sizes as well. In this case, the watercolor brush size is set to 15 px.
- The smudge brush size is set to 40 px. You can experiment with different sizes until you like the result.
- You can as well stroke each letter with a different color. To do so, you’ll need to select that letter first, by clicking and dragging around it using the Direct Selection Tool.
- Then, choose two shades of the color you want to use, a light one for the Foreground color, and a dark one for the Background color. The ones used here are #e890b9 and #7b1b3b.
On a new layer, stroke the selected path with the watercolor and smudge brushes just like you did previously.
- Once you’re done, and before you hit Enter to get rid of the path, select the next letter, two new colors, and repeat the same steps.
Your watercolor text is now finished!