photoshop creative

Paint colourful type effects

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
February 14, 2018

Use the Brush Tool to conjure magical type effects, with bright colours and paint splatters a-plenty

1. Organise your palette

Start by filling your background with #1d0e31, and brush some strokes onto the page. We chose yellow (#d8f003), orange (#ff5716), pink (#f51460), green (#1afe00) and cyan (#17ffcd).

2. Enter template

We’re going to use the brush to create the text, but before we do so, use the Type Tool to create some text as a guide. Reduce the opacity to 20%, ready to brush over.

3. Draw the text

Grab a hard brush, with a size of 125px; reduce the Spacing to 1% with the Brush Settings, and draw over the guide text in one of your chosen colours. Let the feel of your handwriting show through, rather than tracing the font.

4. Experiment with colour

Cmd/Ctrl-click on the layer’s preview window to select the text. Choose another colour in your swatch and brush it over a letter, before grabbing the Mixer Brush. Use the Mixer Brush to blend the shades together for a painterly effect.

5. Round it out

Add different colours to different letters using the same technique, and create a new Screen layer, 15% opacity. Clip to the coloured layer (Alt/Opt-click) and brush white highlights. Do the same with a Multiply layer set to 25% opacity.

6. Build up the colour

Add even more colour to your letters with a smaller brush, and use a smaller Mixer Brush to blend everything together for a more chaotic feel to your text. Make sure you have your text layer selected, so that the paint doesn’t spill over the sides.

7. Add a shine

With a 20px, hard, white brush, create a new layer and add shine around the edges of the letters. This can be done by adding a dot, followed by a line, for an almost cartoony effect.

8. Create droplets

Select a hard brush and Alt/Opt-click to eye-drop a colour on one of the letters. Make a paint droplet with your brush; you can Shift-drag the brush to create a perfectly straight line if you wish to make a longer droplet.

9. Give it some realism

Using the shine technique in step 7, give a little more realism to your droplet. While you’re doing this, brush a darker shade along one side of the droplet to help give it a little more shape.

10. Pile up the paint

Now that you have droplets of paint, create little dollops below them by brushing a few blobs of colour. Again, use lighter and darker shades to add depth to the effect.

11. Warp the paint

For thick paint hanging down off layers, you may wish to add a little more realism. When paint genuinely does this, it looks thinner in the middle. Mimic this by selecting the paint, Ctrl/Cmd+T to transform and warp to create this effect (Elements users can use Liquify for this).

12. Splat some more paint

For more detail in the background, add splatters. Clip gradient masks to these splatters to align them with the same colour scheme.

13. Blur the composition

Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/Opt+Shift+E to create a stamp layer of the project so far. Go to Filter>Blur>Field Blur to create a dense blur of the layers, hit Mask, then Invert (Cmd/ Ctrl+I) and set to Screen. With a big, soft, low-opacity white brush, mask in the blur over the letters’ shine.

14. Adjust further

Add a white-to-black gradient over the entire project, and then set the layer to 10% opacity, Soft Light. Create another stamp layer and go to Filter>Other>High Pass. Set to 4px, then click OK; set this layer to Overlay to sharpen the project as a whole.

15. Make some noise

Set black and white in your swatches (D) and go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise; choose Monochromatic, 400% and click OK. Set to Colour Dodge, 15%, then Ctrl/right-click and choose Blending Options. Use the Blend If option, as seen, to refine the noise over the image.