Watercolor background Photoshop - Skin Investigation

Watercolor background Photoshop

Photoshop Watercolor Painting Effect

A photo of a Dutch windmill and flowers.Written by Steve Patterson. In this Photoshop effects tutorial, we’re going to learn how to easily make a photo look more like a watercolor painting. This photo effect works best on images where maintaining rich colors and strong contrast is more important than keeping any fine details, since you’ll be losing a lot of detail with this effect.

Creating the effect is as simple as duplicating some layers, applying a few filters, and using a few different layer blend modes, and the whole thing takes only a couple of minutes from start to finish. Any recent version of Photoshop will work just fine. However, Photoshop CS6 users should check out the fully updated Photoshop CS6 version of our Watercolor Painting Effect tutorial.

Here’s the image I’ll be using for this tutorial:

The original photo.

And here’s how it will look after applying our watercolor painting effect:

The final watercolor painting effect.

The image after applying the watercolor painting effect.Let’s get started!

Step 1: Duplicate The Background Layer Three Times

With the image newly opened in Photoshop, if we look in our Layers palette, we can see that we currently have one layer, the Background layer, which contains our image:

The Layers palette in Photoshop showing the image on the Background layer.

We need to create three copies of the Background layer, so use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+J (Win) / Command+J (Mac) three times to duplicate the Background layer three times. If we look again in our Layers palette, we can see that we now have four layers, with the original Background layer on the bottom and three copies above it:

The Layers palette in Photoshop showing the original Background layer.Press “Ctrl+J” (Win) / “Command+J” (Mac) three times to duplicate the Background layer three times.

Step 2: Turn Off The Top Two Layers

On the far left of each layer in the Layers palette, you’ll see a small eyeball icon. This is the Layer Visibility icon, and it determines whether or not the layer is currently visible in the Photoshop document. When the eyeball icon is visible, it means the layer itself is visible. Click on the icon for the top two layers in the Layers palette to temporarily hide them from view inside the document. When you click on the icon, it disappears, letting you know that the layer is no longer visible:

Hide the top two layers in the document by clicking on their Layer Visibility (eyeball) icons. The icons disappear when clicked on.

Step 3: Select “Layer 1″

With the top two layers temporarily hidden from view, click on “Layer 1″ in the Layers palette to select it. You’ll know which layer is selected because the currently selected layer is highlighted in blue:

Step 4: Apply The “Cutout” Filter

The first thing we’re going to do is simplify our image, and we can do that using Photoshop’s “Cutout” filter. With “Layer 1″ selected, go up to the Filter menu at the top of the screen, choose Artistic, and then choose Cutout.

Photoshop's Layers palette now showing the Background layer plus three copies above it. Photoshop's 'Cutout' filter options. Changing the blend mode of 'Layer 1' from 'Normal' to 'Luminosity'. The image in Photoshop after changing the blend mode of 'Layer 1' to 'Luminosity'.

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Watercolor animation?

I have this really cool watercolor animation idea but i've never done any kind of animation in my life and I don't know where to start. Should I just make my watercolor drawings and take picture one by one? That just sounds like it would take forever. Any advice? possibly know of a place, video, website or something that could help me?

A water color animation would be pretty cool, but yes, it would take a lot of time and work. Taking pictures one by one is pretty much what animation is. However, you may be able to reuse backgrounds and put the characters (or whatever it is you're animating) on top of the background without having to paint it each time with the right programs, or by photoshopping. Depending on how complex your idea is, stringing the pictures together could be pretty simple. GIF Builder is free if you don't plan to have sound. Quicktime Pro is fairly cheap and a simple way to put sound and images…

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