We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
2,862 Tutorials

How to create watercolour effects

Digital painting in Adobe Photoshop Elements and Illustrator

Watercolour is one of the most popular forms of painting - mistakes can be easily corrected and you needn't be particularly precise in your strokes. This somewhat impressionistic medium is ideal for a first foray into digital painting.

Accentuate the edges: As the image was pasted as a solid piece it will have squared-off edges that spoil the effect. To make the hair flow naturally, draw around the edges with the pencil tool with the fill and stroke boxes set to white and begin to layer around the texture. Remember, it doesn't have to be perfect.

Accentuate the edges

Brush away edges: With the fill and stroke boxes still set to white, select the brush tool and begin to work around the edges. This can be used to soften the edges and improve the perception of the hair flowing. Try using different colours and different perspectives.

Brush away edges

Last brush: Select a brush of your choice and raise the point size to around 9 or 10pt. We've used a brush from the Artist palette. Begin to layer the likeness of a coat or feathered boa around the neck and place a few dabs in the hair as well. When you've finished, save your work.

Last brush

Final checks: Double-check your settings. You may want to increase the diffuse setting or experiment with other filters. When you're satisfied, either collapse your layers or rasterise the image in Photoshop. Save your work. The image should be printed at 300dpi in order to reproduce sufficient detail.

Final checks

IDG UK Sites

Apple promises developers better stability, performance for Swift

IDG UK Sites

5 things we hate about MWC: What it's like to be a journalist at a technology trade show

IDG UK Sites

Interview: Lauren Currie aims to help design students bridge skills gap

IDG UK Sites

12in Retina MacBook Air release date rumours: new MacBook Air to have fingerprint ID, could launch...