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Watercolor Painting in Photoshop

Creative Director and Photoshop Guru Rikard Rodin shows you how to create a watercolor painting in Photoshop—from the beginning photo composite to having a smart-object based file that will allow you to quickly turn any of your photographs or composites into a beautiful watercolor painting. The 2 hour course is filled with tips, tricks and techniques (as well as power shortcuts) that you can use for any composite or painting effect. The course also includes a watercolor painting brush set with 140 custom brushes.

Details & Requirements

Length: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

Experience Level: Beginner to Intermediate

Tags: Most Popular Specialties Rikard Rodin Photoshop Workflow

Required Software: Photoshop CC

Read these instructions to get started with the course: Read Me 1st on Training

Read these instructions for help on installing presets: Read Me 1st on Presets

Images before

Composite after




140 Custom Brushes


17m 54s

Lesson 1: Getting Started

Here we cover setting up your file, the quick selection tool, quick masks and the mask and select dialogue and how to use these to rapidly cut out elements in your photos.

11m 10s

Lesson 2: Extending the Background

Here’s how to use transforms to quickly extend a background—and how to use layer blending modes to add texture to an existing surface.

11m 45s

Lesson 3: Adding the Umbrella

Here we show how to mask with paths, adjusting masks with effects and adding color to an object realistically with layer blending techniques.

11m 29s

Lesson 4: Compositing the Umbrella

In this lesson we add a different handle to the umbrella and give the teddy bear a new arm—then we combine all three seamlessly.

16m 15s

Lesson 5: Sky Replacement & Reflections

Learn how to replace a sky (a technique you can use in any composite) and how to create realistic reflections on a non-flat surface using the displace tool, motion blurs and smart object masks.

11m 32s

Lesson 6: Creating the Painting Part I

Here the fun begins! Using smart objects and the Filter Gallery, we turn our composite into a realistic watercolor painting.

9m 44s

Lesson 7: Creating the Painting Part II

After creating the painting, we use masks and custom brushes to create the painted on canvas watercolor effect.

13m 43s

Lesson 8: Adding Drips and Splatter

To sell the painting, we add drips, splatter, running water and scratches to the painting with custom brushes, smart objects and masks.

17m 55s

Lesson 9: The Final Touches

In this lesson we cover color grading techniques, file organization, using the high pass filter and other tools to give the painting the final touches that make it really sing.

4m 16s

Lesson 10: The Power of Smart Objects

In this bonus lesson, you’ll learn how to use the watercolor photoshop file you’ve created to rapidly turn any photo into a watercolor painting using the power of smart objects.

Source Files

All source files for the course.

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