advanced photoshop
Feb
6

How to create art with water stock in Photoshop, part 1

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by The Advanced Photoshop Team

Drips, drops, or pouring rain, here’s how you can use layer styles in Photoshop to create interesting and dynamic watery designs

How to create art with water stock in Photoshop, part 1

Download all the tutorial files here (links to additional stock images used are included)

Step 01

How to create art with water stock in Photoshop, part 1

Open a canvas area of 2,480 x 3,508 pixels, with a Color Mode of RGB, 300dpi and the Background Color set to Black. Create a new layer and paint some random blue lines (vary the colour, thickness and opacity of strokes). Select Filter>Blur>Motion Blur, with Angle set to 0 and Distance at 999. Then duplicate the floor layer, set to Vivid Light on the Layer Options palette and move the layer until you get a shiny effect.

Step 02

How to create art with water stock in Photoshop, part 1

Merge the layers and hit Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur to blend. Duplicate the floor layer and move it to the middle of your image. Select Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur, with Radius set to 250. Apply the Gaussian Blur filter twice to get a smooth blur and set Opacity to 50%. Duplicate this new layer again, move to the top of the layers and set to 20% Opacity. These two blurred layers are where the rain effect will get its colour.

Step 03

How to create art with water stock in Photoshop, part 1

 

You will find a link to the image we used – sourced from deviantART. Cut out the girl from the background using the Pen tool or by masking, whichever way you prefer. Take your time here, as this will save tidying it up later on. Once done, place this into your document. Make sure it is on the top layer above everything else.

Step 04

How to create art with water stock in Photoshop, part 1

Create a new layer filled with black, then make sure the toolbar colours are black for the Foreground and white for the Background. Next, select Filter>Render>Fibers, with Variance set to 10 and Strength at 64. Set the layer to Vivid Light on the Layers palette. Select Image>Adjust>Levels, then move the Midtone slider to the right to reduce the strength of fibres. Now place the rain layer below the girl, reduce the Opacity and erase any rain from the floor area.

Step 05

How to create art with water stock in Photoshop, part 1
Open the ‘elephant shape.psd’ file. Select the elephant layer and set the Fill to 0% on the Layers palette. Open Layer>Layer Style>Blending Options, and add the following six styles to your shape, as detailed in the next six steps, starting with Pattern Overlay: Blend Mode = Exclusion, Opacity = 100%, Pattern = click on the Pattern box and load ‘water_bubbles.pat’, Scale = 100%  and tick the Link with Layer box.

Step 06

How to create art with water stock in Photoshop, part 1

 

For an Inner Shadow, set everything up as: Blend Mode = Screen with a white colour, Opacity = 20%, Angle = -45˚, Distance = 20, Choke = 0 and Size = 100. Click on Contour (the grey histogram image), and the Contour Editor box will appear. Load the ‘Contour.shc’ file then in the Preset drop-down box at the top, choose ‘elephant’. Try moving, adding and deleting nodes on the graph to create other reflection effects. Save any changes, as this contour will be used again.

Step 07

How to create art with water stock in Photoshop, part 1

Add the following, this time for an Inner Glow: Blend Mode = Screen, Opacity = 20%, Noise = 0%, a solid white colour, Technique = Softer and Source = Edge. Set Choke = 0%, Size = 150px and click the arrow next Contour to select your elephant/new contour again. Tick the Anti-aliased box, setting Range to 50 and Jitter to 0.

Step 08

How to create art with water stock in Photoshop, part 1

 

For Bevel and Emboss: Set Style = Inner Bevel, Technique = Smooth, Depth = 90%, Direction = Up, Size = 144px, Soften = 9, Angle = 70˚ and Altitude = 65˚. Set the Gloss Contour to the Ring preset, Highlight mode = Screen with a white colour, Opacity = 100%, Shadow Mode = Multiply with a black colour, Opacity = 20%. For Satin: Set Blend Mode = Color Dodge with a white colour, Opacity = 15% , Angle = 45˚, Distance = 42, Size = 248, select the elephant contour and tick Anti-aliased.

Step 09

How to create art with water stock in Photoshop, part 1

For the final style, Colour Overlay, set up as follows: Set the Blend Mode = Color with a colour sampled from the floor area and Opacity = 20%. Click New Style to save and rename your style. With this saved, you can then apply it to any other shape you wish to use. Create a new transparent layer above the elephant one and then merge both together. Finally, place it into your main image and set the blending mode to Screen.

Step 10

How to create art with water stock in Photoshop, part 1

Create a new folder and change the blending mode to Vivid Light. Create a new layer inside this folder and, with a soft-edged brush at about 300px with a white colour, begin to paint in areas of light shining down upon your elephant, adding as much or as little as you like. Reduce the Opacity value of the layer to tone the lighting down. You can create new layers within this folder and add highlights to the umbrella and girl.

Step 11

How to create art with water stock in Photoshop, part 1

Next, create the water splashes. No two shapes come out looking the same, so you will have to experiment with these settings. It’s easier if you open a new document, set to A4, 300dpi, RGB and the background filled with black. Create a new layer and, with a white soft-edged brush, begin to draw a rough water splash shape. Use various opacities and thicknesses of brushes.

Step 12

How to create art with water stock in Photoshop, part 1

Once you are happy with your work so far, duplicate this layer and select Filter>Blur>Motion Blur. Blur the layer in the direction that you want your splash to be moving (using a Distance setting of around 50). Now move this blurred layer out of alignment with the previous one (once again, it is better to move the layer in the direction that you want your water splash to be moving).

Continue to part 2…