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  2. Photo Effects

How to Create a Graffiti Effect in Adobe Photoshop

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:LongLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

Learn how to make graffiti art from your photos in Adobe Photoshop, using filters and adjustments.

Follow along with us over on our Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel:

You can find great graffiti actions and effects for Photoshop from Envato Elements.

Make Your Own Graffiti Picture Photoshop Action
Street Art Photoshop Action is one of the graffiti effects available on Envato Elements.

Looking for a graffiti font to complement your design? Check out our recommended graffiti fonts:

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial on how to make your own graffiti picture:

1. How to Create the Brick Wall Background

The first step to make your own graffiti picture is to create an 850 x 630 px New Document. You can, of course, use another size for your PSD file, but you have to proportionally adjust all the sizes used in this tutorial. 

Add the Brick Wall on a New Layer. Resize the image if needed, according to your canvas size.

How to Create Graffiti in Photoshop Tutorial Brick Wall Texture

2. How to Add the Graffiti Art

Step 1

In a New Layer, add the Graffiti Wall texture. Resize the image if needed, according to your canvas size.

How to Create Graffiti in Photoshop Tutorial Graffiti Wall Texture

Step 2

Click the second icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a Layer Mask to the Graffiti Wall layer.

How to Make Graffiti on Computer Tutorial Add Layer Mask in Photoshop

Set the Foreground Color to #000000 and pick the Brush Tool. Use the Grunge Brush to paint inside the mask to hide some of the graffiti effect and to reveal the brick wall.

How to Make Graffiti on Computer Tutorial Paint Inside the Layer Mask in Photoshop

3. How to Create the Graffiti Portrait Effect

Step 1

Add the Man Portrait on a New Layer. Use the Magic Wand Tool to select the background of this image. Set the Tolerance to 10 and check Contiguous. Keep the Shift key pressed to make multiple selections. Press Delete to remove the selected background.

How to Make Graffiti on Computer Tutorial Remove Background in Photoshop

Press Control-D to deselect. 

Step 2

Press Control-J to Duplicate the Man Portrait layer twice, and call the new layers Man Portrait 1 and Man Portrait 2. Hide the two newly created layers. Clicking the eye icon next to any layer on the Layers panel will hide/show the layer.

How to Make Graffiti on Computer Tutorial Duplicate Layers in Photoshop

Step 3

Return to the Man Portrait layer and add a Stroke layer style of 4 px, Position center, Color #000000.

How to Create Graffiti in Photoshop Tutorial Add Stroke Layer Style

Step 4

Go to Filter > Artistic > Cutout and choose the Number of Levels 8, Edge Simplicity 0, and Edge Fidelity 3.

How to Create Graffiti in Photoshop Tutorial Filter Artistic Cutout Photoshop Filter

How to Create Graffiti in Photoshop Tutorial Cutout Filter in Photoshop

Step 5

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Posterize and set the Levels to 5. Click on the third button from the left to add this adjustment as a Clipping Mask for the layer below.

How to Do Graffiti Art Photoshop Tutorial Posterize Adjustment in Photoshop

Step 6

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Brightness/Contrast and set the Brightness to 117 and the Contrast to -50. Click on the third button from the left to add this adjustment as a Clipping Mask for the layer below.

How to Do Graffiti Art Photoshop Tutorial Brightness and Contrast Adjustment in Photoshop

Step 7

Go to Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation and set the Hue to 129 and the Saturation to 100. Click on the third button from the left to add this adjustment as a Clipping Mask for the layer below.

How to Do Graffiti Art Photoshop Tutorial Hue and Saturation Adjustment in Photoshop

Pick the Brush Tool and use the Grunge Brush to paint inside the Hue/Saturation Mask using the color #000000 to reveal the original color below.

How to Do Graffiti Art Photoshop Tutorial Paint Inside the Layer Mask

Step 8

Create a New Layer. Copy and paste the Graffiti Wall image on this layer. Right-click on the layer and choose Create Clipping Mask

How to Do Graffiti Art Photoshop Tutorial Create Clipping Mask in Photoshop

Change the Blend Mode of the Graffiti Effect layer to Lighter Color.

How to Do Graffiti Art Photoshop Tutorial Blend Mode Lighter Color in Photoshop

Click the second icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to add a Layer Mask to the Graffiti Effect layer. Pick the Brush Tool and use the Grunge Brush to paint inside the Layer Mask using the color #000000 to hide some details.

Make Your Own Graffiti Picture Tutorial Paint Inside the Layer Mask in Photoshop

Step 9

Click on the eye icon next to the Man Portrait 1 layer to show the layer. Set the Foreground Color to #000000 and the Background Color to #ffffff.

Make Your Own Graffiti Picture Tutorial Show Layer in Photoshop

Step 10

Go to Filter > Sketch > Photocopy and set the Detail to 3 and the Darkness to 50

Make Your Own Graffiti Picture Tutorial Photocopy Filter in Photoshop

Step 11

Go to Filter > Artistic > Cutout and set the Number of Levels to 3, Edge Simplicity to 3, and Edge Fidelity to 3

Make Your Own Graffiti Picture Tutorial Cutout Filter in Photoshop

Step 12

Go to Image > Adjustments > Levels and set the Input Levels.

Make Your Own Graffiti Picture Tutorial Levels Adjustment in Photoshop

Step 13

Set the Blend Mode of the Man Portrait 1 to Multiply.

Make Your Own Graffiti Picture Tutorial Multiply Blend Mode in Photoshop

If you want, you can repeat the same process but with different settings for the Man Portrait 2 layer, but this step is optional.

4. How to Create the Brick Effect

Step 1

Press Shift-Control-N to create a New Layer above all the other layers. 

Press Shift-Control-Alt-E to Merge all the visible layers. Call this layer Brick Effect

Make Your Own Graffiti Picture Tutorial Merge All Visible Layers in Photoshop

Step 2

Add a Layer Mask to the Brick Effect layer.

Make Your Own Graffiti Picture Tutorial Add Layer Mask in Photoshop

Step 3

Go to Image > Trim and trim the canvas based on transparent pixels.

Make Your Own Graffiti Picture Tutorial Trim Canvas in Photoshop

Step 4

Go to the Brick Wall layer and make a selection using the Rectangular Marquee Tool. Press Control-C to make a Copy of the selection.

How to Make Graffiti on Computer Tutorial Copy Selection in Photoshop

Step 5

Go back to the Brick Effect layer and, on the Channels tab, click on the eye icon next to the Brick Effect Mask to make it visible. Press Control-V to Paste the selection in this mask.

How to Make Graffiti on Computer Tutorial Work with Channels in Photoshop

Step 6

Return to the Layers tab and press Control-D to Deselect. Also click on the Brick Effect Layer Thumbnail.

How to Make Graffiti on Computer Tutorial Use Image as Layer Mask in Photoshop

Step 7

Open the Layer Style Window of the Brick Effect layer and add a Bevel and Emboss

How to Make Graffiti on Computer Tutorial Bevel and Emboss in Photoshop

Congratulations! You're Done!

In this tutorial, you've learned how to create a graffiti effect in Photoshop from scratch using brushes and textures. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial.

And check out the final result below!

Graffiti Wall Photo Effect Photoshop Tutorial

More Awesome Graffiti Effects From Envato Elements

Looking for street art effects or graffiti actions for Photoshop? Envato Elements has a few options that might pique your interest. If you don't know how to do graffiti art from scratch, we've found some of the service's best effects below. 

1. Spray Art Photoshop Graffiti Action (ABR, ATN, PAT)

Spray Art Photoshop Action

Spray Art is a one-click Photoshop action for graffiti effects. Start with a photo, and apply this look for quality results. The effect is applied in layers, allowing you to stay in control of the final product. If you've wondered how to make graffiti on a computer, this action is your answer.

2. 101 Spot & Blob Spray Photoshop Stamp Brushes (ABR)

Spot and Blob Graffiti Effects

The details of graffiti effects are what will make your creative project stand out. This brush pack has over 100 unique spot and blob sprays. These work for any graffiti Photoshop project you're working on. The high quality makes these a must-have in your asset library.

3. Street Art Photoshop Graffiti Action (ABR, ATN, PAT)

Street Art Graffiti Pattern Photoshop Action

Look familiar? Featured above, this graffiti pattern for Photoshop adds a cool street style to your work. This bundle of graffiti effects includes 11 tags, five wall styles, and ten color FX. 

4. 69 Stroke Spray Photoshop Stamp Brushes (ABR)

Stroke Spray Graffiti Pattern Photoshop Stamp Brushes

Here's another pack of spray brushes to make graffiti patterns in Photoshop. While the first bundle featured on this list was for spots and blobs, this pack is for strokes. The 69 included brushes offer photorealistic graffiti effects. Use them in your personal or client projects if you don't know how to draw graffiti in Photoshop.

5. Graffiti Text Effects - 10 PSD - vol 2 (ASL, PSD, PDF)

Graffiti Text Effects - 10 PSD - vol 2

We round out our list with these cool graffiti text effects. The included files are incredibly easy to use. Just drop your design into the Smart Object layer and you're done. The files are fully editable, and the help document makes creating with this item even easier.

Conclusion

Want to learn more graffiti effects? Check out the following articles:

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