Through the use of brushes and various combinations of often pastel and neutral colors, creating that digital watercolor style in Photoshop can be a fun and rewarding experience. If you’re interested in creating this technique, try following along with one of the many tutorials listed below. To help you gather resources, I’ve also included 15 of some of the best Photoshop watercolor brush sets available, located just below the tutorial roundup. Enjoy!
Photoshop Watercolor Tutorials
In an effort to only bring you the best watercolor tutorials available, I spent quite a bit of time hunting down the collection below. Most of these tutorials will require the use of Photoshop brushes to execute the technique and offer links to the ones used. If you want to change things up a bit and use a different brush, make sure and check out the roundup of PS brush sets below this collection of tutorials.
“Last year I wrote a Photoshop tutorial for PSDTUTS showing how to create a very nice design using watercolor brushes. It was inspired by the work of guys such as Bruno Fujii, Margot Mace, Raphaël of My Dead Pony and Stina Person. This time I will create another effect but it will be using Masks and Watercolor brushesl; it’s inspired by another great digital artist, the master Scott Hansen the mind behind ISO 50 and also some images from the daily inspiration.” - Fabio Sasso
Not only have watercolor brush strokes become a popular trend in modern web design, but so have advanced layers of transparency (or what is called, translucence). The new Envato design has received a lot of kudos for using this effect, and this tutorial will show you how to create a similar effect, while combining it with other popular web trends.
Follow along with this tutorial using Photoshop brushes and images to create a watercolor inspired Chinese painting featuring a Tiger. There are only 8 steps from beginning to end and all links to images and brushes are included.
There are plenty of ways to create a Watercolor Effect in Photoshop. Some are very cheesy and you can easily tell that a simple filter has been used. In this tutorial, we will be using Layer Masking. It is one of the most fascinating and powerful Photoshop method, to use layer masks in your designs.
“When I first saw the Viget Inspire Blog, I was very impressed. The background just grabs and pulls the reader right in. After studying it for a while, I still couldn’t determine if it was made from an actual painting or if it was all created from scratch in Photoshop. Regardless of how it was created, it makes for a great looking design. In this tutorial, I will you show you my own technique for creating this type of background.”
In this tutorial, you’ll be taken through, step by step, the creation of some custom brushes, and application of them to a stock image to create a matte dispersion effect. You’ll learn how to create and save brushes, utilize complementary colors, and manipulate stock images for a visually stunning final result.
Watercolor in graphic design has become very trendy the last couple of years, many websites and incredible designers are using this style and taking it to another level. Even knowing the technique is important in this kind of design, is more about creativity and experimentation. You will learn how to use the Art History Brush and combine it with watercolor custom brushes to create a nice background header image and more. Check out the screencast for the tutorial as well.
Follow along in this Photoshop tutorial as you learn how to create a watercolor text effect with a watercolor paper background. You’ll learn about a few of the the Brushes palette options and how they can help achieve a realistic watercolor result
“Some time ago I wrote an article on my blog listing some fashion-style illustrations from really amazing designers such as Bruno Fujii, Margot Mace, Raphaël of My Dead Pony, Stina Person, and others. The coolest thing in their design work is their use of watercolor effects. So in this tutorial I will show a quick way to simulate that effect using only Photoshop and some brushes.” – Fabio Sasso
Use of watercolor in website can really lighten up your design. In this tutorial you’ll learn how to combine textures in your layout to create a beautiful watercolor layout. You will see how integrating the element of painting in your webpage can make your layout very artistic and creative.
This tutorial will walk you through how to create a grungy floating island, complete with a watercolor textured background. The tutorial focuses heavily on how layer blending modes can be combined to great effect.
In this tutorial, you’ll learn how to mix vector elements and watercolor effects with text to create a stunning design. It’s a quick process that depends heavily on good choices of images and colors.
In this Photoshop tutorial you’ll 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.
This is a two-part tutorial on how to create an artistic and un-typical CSS list menu as seen on Web Designer Wall. In the first part (this article), you will learn how to design a watercolor effect menu in Photoshop. Then in next tutorial, you will learn how to slice the menu and code in CSS.
Watercolor is one of those effects that can be difficult to replicate digitally, but with a little practice and experimentation you’ll find it to be rather fun. This tutorial will be based around creating a really cool watercolor effect, but this technique works just as well when creating paintings in Photoshop.
Photoshop Watercolor Brushes
So you’ve seen the tutorials and maybe completed one or two. Now it’s time to make your own digital watercolor creations. To help you get started with some resources, here is a collection of 15 Photoshop watercolor brush packs.
A pack of 20 watercolor brushes at a resolution of 1000px wide. You may not use these brushes commercially without the authors permission.
A collection of 26 high resolution watercolor brushes at a resolution between 1480px – 2500px. You can find set 2 here.
A collection of 20 high resolution water color Photoshop brushes at a resolution of 2500px. This is set 2 of the collection. Set 1 can be found here.
A huge pack of 83 watercolor brushes with a resolution of 700px – 1200px. Compatible with PS7 and up.
18 Photoshop watercolor brushes made to imitate watercolor droplets and brushstrokes, globs of paint, ink drops, acrylic brushstrokes and various other artistic media.
A combination of 25 Photoshop watercolor brushes compatible with PS 7 and up.
This collection includes 9 watercolor Photoshop bushes created in CS3. The PSD file is included for those who have earlier versions.
Complete set of 32 high resolution Photoshop splatter brushes. Created with artist-quality watercolor paint on cold press watercolor paper.
A large collection of high resolution watercolor brushes ranging from 900px – 2000px in resolution.
Realistic collection of 10 Photoshop watercolor brushes.
Large collection of 40 watercolor Photoshop brushes ready to download.
5 watercolor brushes for Photoshop created in CS4.
Brushes range in size from 400px – 1000px and were originally painted on paper using poster paint.
A collection of 14 brushes in an extremely high resolution ranging from 1597px – 2500px. PSD source files included.
A set of 4 high resolution watercolor brush sets (22 for premium members) each characterized by lots of beautiful details including shades, contrasts and enhanced edges.