How to Create an Artistic Watercolor Background Effect (With a Photoshop Action)

Welcome to our Photoshop in 60 Seconds series, in which you can learn a Photoshop skill, feature, or technique in just a minute!

How to Create an Artistic Watercolor Background Effect (With a Photoshop Action)

How to Create an Artistic Watercolor Background Effect (With a Photoshop Action)

Photoshop in 60 Seconds

You can create awesome backgrounds for any of your graphic design projects using a Photoshop Action. And in this quick video below, I’ll show you how to transform a simple photo with a creative watercolor action.

Browse the incredible selection of Photoshop Actions available through GraphicRiver and ThemeKeeper Elements for more effects.

How to Create a Watercolor Background Effect

Open your photo into Photoshop. Here I’ll be using this Boy Portrait at 2000×1304 pixels.

How to Create an Artistic Watercolor Background Effect (With a Photoshop Action)

Then load this Artist Photoshop Action into the Actions palette as well as the brush set that’s included.

How to Create an Artistic Watercolor Background Effect (With a Photoshop Action)

Create a New Layer and name it “brush.” Select the Brush Tool (B) and use the brush to Fill in the areas where you’d like the effect to take place. Here I painted the boy and a little of the background. When you’re ready, hit the Play button to play the action.

How to Create an Artistic Watercolor Background Effect (With a Photoshop Action)

Earlier on, you may be prompted to make some manual adjustments. So adjust the Threshold Levels before continuing the action.

How to Create an Artistic Watercolor Background Effect (With a Photoshop Action)

Finish the watercolor effect by experimenting with Adjustment Layers in the Sketch and Watercolor folders. Hide some layers or add a beautiful brown #4a1905 and white Gradient Map for a nice color. Then use the brushes included with your action for more texture.

How to Create an Artistic Watercolor Background Effect (With a Photoshop Action)

Here’s the final effect.

How to Create an Artistic Watercolor Background Effect (With a Photoshop Action)

Want to see this in real time? Check out the video above to see this lesson at work!

A Bit More Detail

Learn more from our Photoshop experts. Check out the following tutorials below:

  • How to Create an Artistic Watercolor Background Effect (With a Photoshop Action)
    Photoshop Actions
    How to Create Artistic Backgrounds From Photos With These 3 Photoshop Actions
    Melody Nieves
  • How to Create an Artistic Watercolor Background Effect (With a Photoshop Action)
    Adobe Photoshop
    How to Apply a Halftone Effect to Your Images With a Photoshop Action
    Melody Nieves
  • How to Create an Artistic Watercolor Background Effect (With a Photoshop Action)
    Photoshop Actions
    How to Create a Quick and Dirty Sketch From a Photograph With a Photoshop Action
    Melody Nieves
  • How to Create an Artistic Watercolor Background Effect (With a Photoshop Action)
    Adobe Photoshop
    How to Create an Architectural Drawing From a Photo
    Melody Nieves

60 Seconds?!

This is part of a series of quick video tutorials on ThemeKeeper Tuts+ in which we introduce a range of subjects, all in 60 seconds—just enough to whet your appetite. Let us know in the comments what you thought of this video and what else you’d like to see explained in 60 seconds!