Stylized watercolor portrait

Recently, I began experimenting with the technique of quickly creating a watercolor portrait, after several trial and error, I finally achieved a good effect.

In this tutorial, I will show you how using Photoshop to get an interesting watercolor portrait with stylized text.


Let’s start!

Step 1 – Create a Texture

Open in Photoshop portrait on which you will work. I will use the free image provided by Stock.xchng, which is in the archive.
In order to get the desired end result, first of all, it is necessary to increase the contrast of the original image.

Start by using the keyboard shortcut. Ctrl + Shift + U – This will quickly discolor the photo. Or you can use the command set Image – Correction – Discolor (Image – Adjust – Desaturate), which will give us the same effect.

Next we will add a correction. Levels (Levels), directly to enhance the contrast of the photo. Switch to Image – Correction – Levels (Image – Adjust – Levels). Settings are shown in the screenshot.

To create the main texture I used a brush with solid text created from a beautiful font, it seems to me that the letters with curls look advantageous in this case. You can choose any other font.

After you have installed the font, create a new document with the size of 700×700 pixels. In it, add a new layer on top of the background and fill the document space with black text (tool Horizontal text ( Horizontal Type Tool)).

Now go to Editing – Define a brush (Edit – Define Brush Preset), in order to create a brush from a text image.
Then go back to the document with the portrait and add a vector mask (layer mask) to the contrast layer with the girl.

Fill the vector mask with black. When you make this photo with a girl “disappear.” Activate the tool Brush (Brush Tool), and then from the set of brushes, select the new text brush you created. Set the foreground color to white. Work on the layer mask with this brush showing the model’s face. Experiment with the brush opacity for best results.

Step 2 – add a watercolor effect

Create a new layer on top of the previous ones. Install the watercolor brushes suggested in the source materials. Activate the tool Brush (Brush Tool); black colour. From the new set of brushes choose the one you like (it is better to use different strokes). By changing the brush opacity, add a spray of paint. Be guided by your own taste, place the spray as you like. Do not overdo it – the main focus should be on the face of the model.

Step 3 – add color

To add color, we will use a correction layer. Gradient fill (Gradient Fill Adjustment Layer), which must be added on top of all previous layers. Correction layer blend mode set Overlap (Overlay). For the gradient, choose any color that matches your mood.
Below you see the settings I used for the Gradient Fill Adjustment Layer.

The great advantage of this watercolor portrait technique is that it can be applied to almost any photo. In the image below, you see another portrait that I took using the same steps.

I hope that this lesson was simple and informative for you! Experiment at your pleasure!

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