Photo in “Watercolor” Runs Deep
We have this idiom that says “still water runs deep” which means those men with few words are often the more interesting people. To present your work in 3D or rendered pictures is quite impressive. Presenting however in watercolor rendering gives more depth and personal touch to the appearance of the image. It becomes softer and more interesting just like what the idiom says. In this Photoshop tutorial, you shall learn how to transform or generate a watercolor effect to a photo in order to give it a more artistic touch.
Finished image of Watercolor Effect Tutorial
OPEN File. Click FILTER, select ARTISTIC from the dropdown, then click WATERCOLOR.
From filter tool, select WATERCOLOR from previews then edit specifications. I used BRUSH DETAIL of 10 to make the strokes more intricate. You can lighten the SHADOW INTENSITY by changing its value to 0. Change the TEXTURE to value of 1.
This will be the outcome from the previous editing processes. Right click BACKGROUND LAYER >DUPLICATE LAYER. For convenience, you can RENAME your duplicated or copied layer. In this case, I renamed it LAYER 1.
Select BACKGROUND LAYER, press together SHIFT and F5 to show the FILL box. In this box, you can fill the highlighted area or selected LAYER any color from the USE option (in this case I used White), then hit OK button.
RIGHT CLICK Layer 1 then select DUPLICATE LAYER from the dropdown box. Now let us work on LAYER 1 COPY (the duplicate layer) only by deactivating LAYER 1 from editing. To do this, click the box of Layer 1, removing the eye icon.
Press LETTER F from the keyboard twice to maximize your workspace, that is, the image can be moved within the entire screen. Note: to return to default hit LETTER F, 4 times. To move the image, HOLD SPACE BAR and use LEFT CLICK to drag the image across the screen. Use CTRL (-) to zoom OUT and CTRL (+) to zoom IN.
Note that we are still working on the LAYER 1 COPY which is highlighted upon selection. Now, Click the RECTANGULAR MARQUEE TOOL at the main toolbar to create the edge of the colors that we will be modifying.
To creating the bounding box of the RECTANGULAR MARQUEE TOOL, just LEFT CLICK the mouse, hold and drag then drop at the assumed end of the box. Thus, the selected region of the Marquee tool is inside the box, so RIGHT CLICK that spot then hit SELECT INVERSE in order to select the opposite area.
After selecting the SELECT INVERSE, RIGHT CLICK so a dropdown will appear. Select FEATHER to smoothen edges when deleted or overlaid with another color.
FEATHER RADIUS may vary depending on the file size. Increase the value of the RADIUS for bigger photos and vise versa. I am working on a 20 x 13 inches of a 72Pixels/Inch image, so I used 8 PIXELS FEATHER RADIUS.
So now, I hit the DELETE BUTTON and this is how it should look like. The white background should be visible at the edges. Take note that we are working on the COPY OF LAYER 1 and the layer 1 is still hidden. Click ERASER TOOL to delete areas or portions of the LAYER 1 COPY.
Upon display of ERASER TOOL options, click the ARROW DOWN icon after the brush size number. A dropdown will appear showing diameter and brush styles. At the upper right of the dropdown, right after master diameter pixel, there is another SMALL ICON ARROW POINTING RIGHT. Click the arrow to show the BRUSH PRESETS. Select MCBAD WATERCOLOR. If this preset is not available, you can download it from the net or use other brushes with the same effect.
In this tutorial, I’ve selected BRUSH 5 and made its MASTER DIAMETER 200px.
At this step, we will try to ERASE portions of the LAYER 1 COPY but in doing so, we need to have a closer look at the areas we’ll be working on. Remember, Hold CTRL then click the PLUS(+) button to zoom in and the MINUS(-) button to zoom out. Press also the LETTER F twice to move the picture freely at your monitor and press it twice to return it to its original view. Lastly, before rubbing your eraser tool at the layer you wanted to delete, adjust first the BRUSH OPACITY to 35% and its FLOW to 30%.
At this time, I’ve already finished erasing areas at the LAYER 1 COPY that I don’t want to be visible. You can adjust the opacity and the flow of the brush if the present setup is not okay with you.
Turn on the LAYER 1. Click to the blank box before the thumbnail of the layer 1 at the LAYERS BOX. See to it that either layer 1 or the copy layer is aligned. Click CLONE STAMP TOOL at the Main Toolbar. The function of the CLONE STAMP TOOL is to copy portion of the layer and place at a specified area.
Use the same BRUSH 5 and make the MASTER DIAMETER 1000px. Note that we are executing the CLONE STAMP TOOL and we are merely changing the default to our brush preset.
Active on LAYER 1, Press ALT then select the TARGET AREA on which you will have to clone or areas you wanted to copy from LAYER 1. The moment you release the ALT, it will show you the BRUSH STROKES you have chosen at the monitor. (Remember to CREATE FIRST A NEW LAYER before pressing the left click to stamp the copied area.) Create a NEW LAYER, by clicking the SQUARE ICON beside the trash can at the bottom right most of the monitor. I adjusted the OPACITY and FLOW OF the CLONE STAMP TOOL to 100% so that I’d only have to click it once.
Do STEP 22 several times. In this case, I did the step twice targeting 2 different areas, the upper left and one at the bottom right in order to align the layers to the entire image.
LAYER 3 which is the lower area of the finished photo looked quite dark, so I adjusted the OPACITY to 35%. There you go guys. we just altered a picture and made it more beautiful with Watercolor effect.