watercolor photoshop

How to Make Beautiful Watercolor Brushes Photoshop Tutorial

Watercolor brushes Photoshop effect have become a popular trend for digital artists who want to make their style stand out in today’s saturation of online creatives. 

Read on and we will explain the watercolor effect Photoshop has created and how you can achieve watercolor designs digitally.

Note: To get the watercolor brush Photoshop effect, you will have to have a version of Adobe Photoshop downloaded on your PC or Mac. In this tutorial, PrettyWebz Media will be using a version on Mac, but the equivalent commands can be found online with a simple Google search for PC commands.

This tutorial was created by artists who have handpicked supplies just for you.
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How-To Watercolor Tutorial: Watercolor Brushes Photoshop Design (Adobe on Mac)

Let’s get started. . .


Step 1: Start with a texture

We’re going to start creating this custom brush with a texture. This will be a really quick step.

Set your foreground and background to black and white. Click the default icon on your lefthand toolbar and then choose from the top tabs > Filter > Render > Clouds.

You should get a cloud texture on your design. You can play with the Levels tool to work on the contrast of the clouds if you’d like. We like to have ours a little higher and brighter.

Note: It doesn’t have to look exactly like this screenshot (we realize the screenshots are a little blurry, sorry about that!)

Watercolor brushes Photoshop: levels

Step 2: Create a texture from your new layer

To do this, Click the Edit tab at the top > Define Patter. You can name it “Watercolor”.


Step 3: Making the brush

On this Layer, we will create our brush. We’re working in the “Legacy Brushes..

This is the default option on Photoshop but if you do not see it for whatever reason, you can use the brush settings on the right-hand toolbar, click the hamburger drop-down menu, and find “Import Brushes”. It should be there.

Watercolor brushes Photoshop: Toolbar settings

It’s the “Oil heavy flow” option.

Once you see the brush icon on your design, you can then start to paint. Just make a shape for now. This is just an example. 

Watercolor brushes Photoshop: brush shape
Watercolor brushes Photoshop: dark paint shape

I’ll be focusing on the edges. This particular brush has fairly rush edges. You don’t want the edge to be too smooth. Hopefully, it’ll look like it’s bleeding a bit.

Once it is created, click Edit > Define Brush Preset > and call it “watercolor base”

Now, turn that layer off.


Step 4: Edit the brush settings

We’ll add a new layer on the right-hand toolbar. This layer will only be used to test the brush.

Decrease the brush size on the right-hand toolbar and adjust the brush settings to choose “Brush Tip Shape”. Decrease spacing to 1% and “Brush Size” to 175.

Now, under “Shape Dynamics”, slide the bar all the way to 100% and your “Control” is set to “Pin Pressure”.

Watercolor brushes Photoshop: edit brush settings

Now, under the “Texture” tab of that same toolbar (on the left of the toolbar), add the texture we previously created (the clouds texture).

add the texture we previously created

Make sure all your setting follow this screen:

Watercolor brushes Photoshop: edit brush settings

After that, select the “Dual Brush” Tab and add another brush texture : the soft round brush where the cursor is below:

Watercolor brushes Photoshop: edit brush settings

Before leaving that tab, there are settings at the bottom of the toolbar you’ll want to change to match this:

Watercolor brushes Photoshop: edit brush settings

Only a few more settings to change:

Go to the “Transfer” tab, raise the opacity to around 30%.

Next, check the box under “Transfer” that says “Wet Edges”, “Build Up”, and “Smoothing”.

Watercolor brushes Photoshop: edit brush settings

Step Five: Save your new watercolor Photoshop brushes

That’s it, you now have all the settings set for your new watercolor brush Photoshop. 

Save the brush so you never have to adjust the settings again (unless you want to make a new brush!). It’s black, but you can easily change the color. 

It should look something like this: 

Watercolor brushes Photoshop: paint experiment

Alternatively, you can save it as the template brush and always make duplicates any time you want a new size or settings, that way, you can build an entire collection of Photoshop watercolor brushes!


How to Create Watercolor Brushes Photoshop Tutorial

Now that you know how to customize watercolor Photoshop brushes, the next step would be to move onto Adobe Illustrator watercolor brushes. 

Enjoy your new tool, you can do lots of cool things! If you’re looking for easy watercolor ideas or watercolor tutorials, don’t be afraid to check out our entire library of watercolor techniques and designs for easy step-by-step instructions.

This tutorial was created by artists who have handpicked supplies just for you.
Click below to shop with a 30% discount.

About the Author: Watercolor Classes

Hello, and welcome to our site. We've been passionate about watercolor for years and have learned a lot along the way. We hope our tutorials and tips will help you out on your watercolor journey. Let's make art together!

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