Create an elegant text from a sketch in Photoshop

If you have ever tried to create text using the traditional light painting technique on a photograph, then you probably know how difficult it is to create such a text that can be easily read. In this tutorial, I will show you how you can create a similar effect without a camera and a tripod. So let’s get started!

Final result

1. Create a sketch for our composition.

Step 1

Open Photoshop. Create a new document. When creating a project from scratch, a great idea would be to create a work of large sizes. Thus, the image in A2 format can be framed in any other desired format. We will create a borderless illustration for the A2 format, and later frame it into the A3 format. Therefore, create a new document with the following dimensions: W: 42.5cm, H: 59.4cm, 300 dpi, CMYK.

We need a heart shape, so draw a heart.

Step 2

Use guide lines to draw text with the tablet. Pay attention to the sketch in the screenshot and below. If you prefer to draw the same thing on paper, then you can do it on paper, and then just scan the text.

Step 3

In this single step, I will switch to Illustrator. I am most comfortable to draw letters in this program, although it can be done in Photoshop. Once you have circled the letters, copy the text (Ctrl + C).

2. Add Lines

Step 1

We return to Photoshop, and then paste the text as the outline (Ctrl + V) and in the dialog box that appears, select the option Circuit (Path).

Step 2

Choose a tool Brush (Brush Tool (B), set a soft round brush, brush size 10 px. Next, select the tool Pen (Pen Tool (P), right-click on the contour and in the menu that appears, select the option Run stroke contour(Stroke Path). Next, in the window that appears, make sure that in the window Simulate pressure (Simulate Pressure) did not tick. Click ‘OK’.

Step 3

Next, go Filter – Blur – Motion Blur (Filter> Blur> Motion Blur). In the settings of this filter, set Angle (angle) at 60 degrees, and Bias (Distance) at 20. Press ‘OK’.

Step 4

Reduce the opacity of the layer to about 50%, and then duplicate it. Add a layer mask, let’s go Layer- Layer Mask – Show All (Layer> Layer Mask> Reveal All). Using a big soft black brush, start painting over the text.

Step 5

Choose a tool Pen (Pen Tool), in the settings of this tool, set the mode to Contours (Path). Circle the first curl of text.

Step 6

Just do the same thing you did before, stroke the outline with a 10 px brush. You need to circle each contour of the line individually to keep it realistic. Vary the brush diameter between 5, 10 and 15 px, as well as vary the opacity of the brush.

Step 7

Next, you need to process the ends of the line using a layer mask and a black brush.

Step 8

Use original lines only as a guide. Next, add thicknesses to the letters, while maintaining the classic look of the font by thinning the top and bottom, as well as thickening the middle part.

Step 9

As you add more lines, try thickening the left side of each letter. This will keep the spacing between letters.

Step 10

Try to shade each end of the line, otherwise the light effect will not look realistic.

Step 11

Circle all the letters of the text to get the result, as in the screenshot below.

3. Add Color

Step 1

Next, we add color to our picture. Create a new adjustment layer. Gradient map (Gradient Map) on top of all layers, let’s go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Gradient Map (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Gradient Map). Set the gradient colors: # 000000; # 54000c; # d69f0a; # fffee9.

Step 2

This adjustment layer should always be on top of all layers. So we’re done with the lines, it’s time to add a glow. Repeat the contour creation process, but this time, use a very large brush (100–200 px) with the option turned on. Simulate pressure (Pressure Simulation). For the stroke color, use 50% gray (# 8c8c8c). Change the blending mode for the layer with the stroke to Lightening (Screen).

Step 3

Add a glow to all letters, enhanced by strokes and lines.

Step 4

Next, we will add more thick lines, using also the option Simulate pressure (Pressure Simulation) and white color. Draw lines of varying thickness (25–75 px).

Step 5

Add more soft white lines over the letters.

4. Add light highlights to letters.

Step 1

Download the highlight from the link at the beginning of this lesson. Add a highlight to our working paper. Turn the flare so that the rays are at a 90 degree angle. Change the blending mode for the layer with the glare on Lightening (Screen).

Step 2

Duplicate the flare layer, then double the size of the duplicate. Rotate the duplicate layer 45 degrees.

Step 3

Next, go Filter – Blur – Gaussian Blur (Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur), apply a blur radius, approximately 30 px, to soften the second highlight.

Step 4

Duplicate a highlight (both layers) by placing duplicate highlights in more attractive points of the text.

Step 5

Now, repeat the previous steps to create the same effect for the bottom of the text.

Step 6

Draw additional lines at specific locations, repeating the lines and curves of the original contour. The color is white, including varying degrees of line opacity.

5. Add Bokeh

Step 1

Open the bokeh texture, move this texture to our working paper. Change the blending mode for this Bokeh texture layer to Lightening (Screen).

Step 2

To the layer with the Bokeh texture, add a layer mask and with the help of a black brush, hide separate sections of the texture in the middle part of the image. Make sure that the remaining bokeh light effects are not damaged by the brush.

6. Enhancing Light Effects

Step 1

To add a bit of contrast to the light effects, to the bokeh texture, add an adjustment layer. Gradient map (Gradient Map) as a clipping mask. The gradient color is black and white. Change the blending mode for this adjustment layer to Overlap (Overlay).

Step 2

Duplicate the bokeh texture. Apply duplicate textures on different parts of the image. Try to complement the big points with small bokeh points.

Step 3

Apply the bokeh texture to the main light points of the text. Just do not overdo it, try to make the image not look heavy.

Step 4

Next, we combine the light effects with a standard brush that we customize. Set the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 5

Enable the option Form Dynamics (Shape Dynamics). In option Scattering (Scattering), set the value Scattering (Scatter) 550.

Step 6

Enable the option Other dynamics (Other Dynamics). Set the settings that are shown in the screenshot below.

Step 7

Using a customized brush, add very small fragments of bokeh along the letters.

Step 8

Repeat the process.

7. Add Noise

Step 1

Next, we will add a little noise effect without affecting the color shades and lighting effects. Create a new layer below the adjustment layer. Gradient map (Gradient Map). In the color picker, choose a color tone of 50% gray. Fill with a gray shade new layer. Our image will turn brown. the gray fill layer is below the adjustment layer Gradient map (Gradient Map).

Step 2

Next, go Filter – Noise – Add Noise (Filter> Noise> Add Noise). Set the maximum degree of noise.

Step 3

Next, go Filter – Blur – Blur by Gauss(Filter> Blur> Gaussian Blur). Set a blur radius of 0.8 px.

Step 4

Now, change the blending mode for the gray fill layer to Bright light (Vivid Light), and also reduce the layer opacity to 5%.

Step 5

And as a final correction, we go Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Photo Filter (Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Photo Filter). Choose a red tint.

And we have completed the lesson! Great job!

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

Final result

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