Monday, July 23

CoffeeShop "Silhouette Watercolor Art" Tutorial and Art!

If you spend time on Etsy, Pinterest, or Instagram, I am sure you have seen those beautiful watercolor silhouette prints and wish you could paint your own.

Well, today I am going to show you how to "cheat" and make them using Photoshop/PSE and free digital design elements from Pixabay. You can even customize them with text (your child's name for example) as you can see in my unicorn print above. 

Make these for gifts (frame them to be extra fancy), use them on greeting cards, or just decorate your own home with custom watercolor prints. :-) Pixabay design elements are free for commerical use, so feel free to create and sell them!

These prints aren't only for whimsical, children art; you can also create custom art for your own walls. You can click on the skull, turtle, and coffee images above if you want to download the full-sized 8x10 prints. You can also download the prints in my top ad on the bottom of this post, along with the layered, editable Photoshop/PSE files where you can customize your own unicorn and star girl prints.

There are so many free beautiful silhouette images out there. And  gorgeous paint backgrounds to add to them. If you don't like the colors on the paint textures, they are easy to change and I will show you one way I do it below in my step-by-step tutorial.

You can download all of the original design elements I used in this tutorial: Girl with Stars, Unicorn, Paint Texture 1, Paint Texture 2, Coffee Cup, Turtle, Skull,  Euphoria Script Font, and Digory Doodles Font.

And check out my page of free CoffeeShop prints I make for my blog tutorials. 

CoffeeShop "Silhouette Watercolor Art" Tutorial:

Create a new document. I usually like to print 8x10's on my home printer on watercolor paper, but you can design them larger and have them printed professional or smaller and use them on cards/small prints. In this example I am creating a 11x14 print.

Open your clipart.

NOTE: Every design element I used in this tutorial is linked on the top of this post!

I want to flip the unicorn, so I went to the top menubar and clicked Image

Then I clicked "M" to select my Move tool and clicked and dragged the unicorn on top of my blank document.

I added guides so that I would have a half-inch white border around this design. I usually also add guides in the middle so that I can center design elements. Then I Free-Transformed the unicorn to fit, leaving room for text.

Note: You can resize any clipart smaller, and most without fine detail can be resized larger without much loss of resolution. However, make sure to resize larger BEFORE adding any textures! Textures can lose resolution and look grainy if you make them bigger.

Add text.

Open your favorite paint texture (see link above).

I wanted to make this texture's color/contrast more dramatic, so I copied it and put the blending mode of the top copy in Multiple. Adjust opacity to taste.

Then I merged the top layer onto the bottom layer. You can also "flatten" the file.

It is now ready to add to my unicorn print.

Click on the paint texture and drag it on top of the unicorn.

Resize it to fit and drag it under the text and just above the unicorn.

Clip the paint texture to the unicorn layer. To do this, click to select the "Layer 2" layer (the paint texture layer in this example), and go to LayerCreate Clipping Mask on the top menubar.  Alternatively, select the paint texture and hold down the alt/option key while holding the mouse cursor between the two layers. When you see a little white box show up, click on it and the paint texture layer will be clipped to the unicorn layer below it.

Move the texture around if needed to cover the entire unicorn.

I want to add this same texture to the text. Copy the paint texture.

And drag it on top of the text layer.

Clip it to the text.

Then move it around until you love the effect.

Note: You can also simply change the text color to match the paint, but I really love the painterly effect.

Here is my finished print!

Save this file as a layered psd file and you can go back and change the text/font or the paint effect! You can download this print as an editable Photoshop/PSE file on the bottom of this post.

You can also add a Color Fill adjustment layer on the bottom and change the background color.

It is easy to change the paint colors on your designs.

Note: You can download this editable print on the bottom of this post.

Click to select the paint texture layer and add a Hue/Saturation layer.

Clip it to the paint layer.

Click to edit it and adjust the Hue, Saturation, Lightness sliders to taste.

Then make a copy of that Hue/Saturation layer and drag it on top of the other paint texture clipped to the text. Clip it on top and you are done!

I hope you enjoy this tutorial. You can grab the prints I made for this tutorial and the customizable Photoshop/PSE layered versions in the two links below.

Download the editable CoffeeShop "Silhouette Water Color Art" Kit to custom design your own art. You can also download the final unicorn and star girl prints I made for this tutorial, they are ready to print and frame!

Do you want to download my favorite CoffeeShop PSE/Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets or Design Elements in one convenient zipped file AND help support this blog? Just click here for my action pack or here for a download of some of my most popular design elements, storyboards, and textures.
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  1. These are lovely. You are so talented and generous. Thank you for sharing how to do this.

    Peabea from Peabea Scribbles

    1. Wow, thank you so much for your kind words Peabea! I loved making this tutorial and can't wait to make some of these for my own house. So much fun, right?

  2. ah Pixabay...what would we do without Pixabay and sites like it. I always appreciate your links to the specific images you've used. You found some cool pics for this tutorial.

    While I am familiar with the techniques you showed in this particular tutorial, I wasn't familiar with the watercolour print craze going on. Though I do know that watercolour in general is rather popular right now so I suppose it makes sense. Okay, I've three more of your posts to get through to catch up so I'll see you again in a few. ;)


    1. I LOVE Pixabay and Unsplash. It gives me so much more images to work with for my blog.

  3. I love these, thank you! So creative and yet simple to do - the possibilities are endless!! Curious about the watercolor paper you print them on - do you use an inkjet printer and what kind of watercolor paper do you use?

    1. I just buy the thinner watercolor paper from Hobby Lobby and cut it to size. You have to play around with the ink setting, but it is great for my inkjet!


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