1. Design & Illustration
  2. Add-Ons
  3. Photoshop Actions

How to Create an Artistic Watercolor Background Effect (With a Photoshop Action)

Scroll to top
Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

You can create awesome Photoshop watercolor backgrounds for any of your graphic design projects using a Photoshop action. And in this quick tutorial, I'll show you how to transform a simple photo with a creative watercolor background Photoshop action.

Remember to browse the incredible selection of Photoshop actions available through Envato Elements for more effects.

How to Create a Watercolor Background Effect

Open your photo into Photoshop. Here I'll be using this Boy Portrait at 2000x1304 pixels.

Boy Portrait From PixabayBoy Portrait From PixabayBoy Portrait From Pixabay
Boy Portrait

Then load this Artist Photoshop Action into the Actions palette as well as the brush set that's included.

Load the Action and BrushesLoad the Action and BrushesLoad the Action and Brushes

Create a New Layer and name it "brush." Select the Brush Tool (B) and use the brush to Fill in the areas where you'd like the effect to take place. Here I painted the boy and a little of the background. When you're ready, hit the Play button to play the action. This will give a blur background effect in Photoshop.

Fill the Brush Layer with ColorFill the Brush Layer with ColorFill the Brush Layer with Color

Earlier on, you may be prompted to make some manual adjustments. So adjust the Threshold Levels before continuing the action.

Adjust the Threshold LevelsAdjust the Threshold LevelsAdjust the Threshold Levels

Finish the watercolor effect by experimenting with Adjustment Layers in the Sketch and Watercolor folders. Hide some layers or add a beautiful brown #4a1905 and white Gradient Map for a nice color. Then use the brushes included with your action for more texture.

Add a Gradient MapAdd a Gradient MapAdd a Gradient Map

Here's the final effect. It's a great option for different forms of media like a watercolor music video.

Watercolor Background Photoshop Action Tutorial Watercolor Background Photoshop Action Tutorial Watercolor Background Photoshop Action Tutorial

Want to see this in real time? Check out the video above to see this watercolor background for Photoshop lesson at work!

5 Amazing Artistic Background Photoshop Effects From Envato Elements

1. Painting Photoshop Action (ABR, ATN, PAT)

Painting Photoshop ActionPainting Photoshop ActionPainting Photoshop Action

If you want to create stunning artistic backgrounds for your illustration, this blur background effect for Photoshop action can help. Use it to create a background effect for videos.

2. Watercolor Photoshop Action (ABR, ATN, PAT)

Watercolor Photoshop ActionWatercolor Photoshop ActionWatercolor Photoshop Action

Make your artwork pop by adding photo effects to the background. Use this Photoshop watercolor background action to enhance your art. This Photoshop action is great for creating watercolor artwork for a music video.

Scribbles Photoshop ActionScribbles Photoshop ActionScribbles Photoshop Action

This scribble action is a great idea for a video effect background. This dynamic action creates stunning scribble art with just a few clicks. If watercolor background Photoshop effects are not for you, then try this!

Glitch Photoshop ActionGlitch Photoshop ActionGlitch Photoshop Action

If you're looking for something edgier than a watercolor background for Photoshop, try this Photoshop glitch action. This can be used as a video effect background. 

Artist Photoshop ActionArtist Photoshop ActionArtist Photoshop Action

This artistic background effect will surely take your photographs and artwork to the next level. This mixture of texture and staining is great for a photo effects background.

Did you find this post useful?
Want a weekly email summary?
Subscribe below and we’ll send you a weekly email summary of all new Design & Illustration tutorials. Never miss out on learning about the next big thing.
One subscription. Unlimited Downloads.
Get unlimited downloads