Step-by-step: Two ways to cre­ate a wa­ter­colour ef­fect

ImagineFX - - Imagine Nation Artist Q&A -

1 For the Zoe Piel method, use a built-in Pho­to­shop paper tex­ture to Fill the Layer Group mask (high­light mask, Edit>Fill>Pat­tern/Cus­tom Pat­tern), or even paste a greyscale scan of real paper into the Al­pha chan­nel of the Layer Mask. Then ad­just the Lev­els of the Group Mask. No­tice that my Scanned Pen­cils layer is out­side the Wa­ter­colour Layer Group. 3 For the post-pro­duc­tion method, I take my mas­ter art layer, du­pli­cate it and run the Pho­to­shop Wa­ter­colour fil­ter. I set the brush to its max­i­mum size and all other set­tings to zero. Next I se­lect the Re­duce Noise Strength to six, Sharpen De­tails to 100 and all other set­tings zero. I du­pli­cate that layer and blur it be­tween two and six pix­els to sim­u­late pig­ment bleed. 2 When us­ing the Smudge tool as a Blen­der, a sim­ple Round soft brush works fine, but Zoe rec­om­mends turn­ing on Scat­ter­ing in Brush Set­tings, and drop­ping the Hard­ness set­ting to zero. This pre­vents the cre­ation of a smeary ef­fect and re­sults in more real­is­tic blend­ing of your colours. Spend a lit­tle time ad­just­ing the set­tings to find a com­bi­na­tion you like. 4 The fil­tered layer is then set to Screen at 100 per cent, the Blurred Fil­tered layer that’s un­der this is set to Mul­ti­ply at 100 per cent, with the mas­ter art at the bot­tom at about 50 per cent Opac­ity. At the very top is my paper tex­ture which is set to Over­lay or Soft Light. I some­times add a sec­ond tex­ture set to Mul­ti­ply. Ad­just the layer Opac­i­ties to suit.

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