How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

In this tutorial, we will create realistic watercolor brushes for Photoshop from scanned paper using watercolor strokes and washes.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch
I created aCreative Masking Kitwith more than 100 brusheswith the same method for myGraphicRiverportfolio.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Tutorial Assets

You will need the following in order to complete this tutorial:

  • a sheet of
    watercolor paper
  • any medium-sized
    brush
  • a small jar with
    water
  • any set
    ofwatercolor paints
  • a scanner that
    has the ability to scan A4-sizepaper

1.How to Create the Strokes on Watercolor
Paper

Step 1

Prepare your brush, paper, and paints, and then pour the water into the jar.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 2

Put a small amount of water on the paper with your brush.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 3

Start adding paint to the water on the paper using the edge of your brush.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 4

Continue to add paint until your stroke looks like the picture below.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 5

Now let’s create a second watercolor stroke. Draw a long stroke with one horizontal movement.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 6

To create the last one, use sharp movements by holding the brush by the tip.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 7

Now we need to wait a while for it all to dry.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

2.How to Scan the Paper

Step 1

We need to prepare the scanner glassto avoid stains or unwanted elements on your brushes. You can use a wet wipe to clean the glass.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 2

Once you have cleaned the scanner glass, put your paper inside the scanner.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 3

Set the following settings in your scanner preferences:A4 paper size, 300 dpi. Then start scanning. The color of our scanned paper can be different from the color of our strokes, but it is much more important for us to preserve the structure.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

3.How to Create the Strokes on Watercolor
Paper

Step 1

UseControl-Nto create a new document and use thefollowing settings:1500 x 1000 px; 300 dpi.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 2

Go toFile>Placeand put your scanned paper inside the document.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 3

Resize your scanned paper to the borders of the document, so one of the brushes will be placed in the center, and clickEnter.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 4

Select your layer and use theShift-Control-Alt-Bkey combination and set the following settings:Reds: 40%; Yellows: 60%; Greens: 40%; Cyans: -25%; Blues: -25%; Magentas: 80%.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 5

Go toImage>Adjustments>Brightness/Contrastand use the following settings:Brightness: 35; Contrast: 25.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 6

Right-clickon the layer and then selectDuplicate Layer.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 7

Create two more duplicates of your layer usingRight-click>Duplicate.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 8

Make all scan layers asInvisible except the first.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 9

Select your first layer, go toSelect > Color Range,and click on the white area on your image. ClickOK.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 10

Now the white background of your image is selected. Delete it using theDeletebutton.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 11

Then click on any part of your document toDeselect thepreviousselection and select your stroke using theLasso Tool.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 12

Go toEdit > Define Brush Preset, select any name you want to use for your brush, and hit theOKbutton.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 13

Our first brush is almost ready to use. SelectBrush Instrumentand then select your watercolor stoke. After that, hit theBrush Settingsicon.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 14

Put ticksonShape Dynamics, Color Dynamics,andTransfer.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 15

Go to theShape Dynamicspanel and setSize Jitterto90%andAngle Jitterto50%.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 16

Go to theTransferpanel and setOpacity Jitterto25%.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Now our brush will create realistic looking washes:

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 17

Now we need to cut the second stroke from the background as we did before, and after that go toEdit > Define Brush Presetand createWatercolor Brush 02.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 18

Open the brush settings and go toDual Brushandthenselect your first brush. SetModetoMultiply;Sizeto450 px;Spacingto72%.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

This way, we can combine the brushes and add grunge scrapes to our brush texture.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 19

Now we need to cut the second stroke from the background as we did before, and after that go toEdit > Define Brush Presetand createWatercolor Brush 03.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Step 20

Open the brush settings and go toShape Dynamics,and setSize Jitterto100%andAngle Jitterto75%.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

With these brush settings, we can create ink splashes.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

Awesome Work, You’re Now Done!

Using these methods, we can create different types of watercolor brushes for Photoshop using a scanner, watercolor paper, and paints.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch

I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial! Feel free to contact me for any help with the tutorial. You can also check myCreative Masking Kitin my portfolio onGraphicRiver.

How to Create a Realistic Watercolor Photoshop Brushes From Scratch