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How to Create a Quick Soft Pastel Text Effect in Adobe Photoshop

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

This tutorial will show you a super easy and quick way of creating a soft pastel text effect, using gradient colors and brushes. Let's get started!

This text effect was inspired by Carly Rae Jepsen's "Cut To The Feeling" single cover art, and the many Layer Styles available on GraphicRiver.

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial:

1. How to Create Background and Text Layers

Step 1

Create a new 1000 x 1000 px document, click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon at the bottom of the Layers panel, and choose Gradient.

Choose two contrasting or complementary colors to use for the gradient, and add a transition color between them to create the gradient fill.

The Colors used here are #85ecd9 to the left, #c5c8bb in the middle, and #ee94b2 to the right.

Change the Angle to -60 and click OK.

Gradient Fill

Step 2

Create the text in All Caps using the font Montserrat Extra Bold, and set the Color to the one you used for the right side of the gradient fill.

Change the Size to 135 pt and the Tracking to 200, and if you're using multiple lines of text, change the Leading to 225.

Create the Text

2. How to Add Cloud Brushes

Step 1

Set the Foreground Color to the color you used for the left side of the gradient fill, and pick the Brush Tool.

Create a new layer below the text layer, and use any cloud brush tips you like to add a couple of clouds behind the text.

You can adjust the Opacity value of the brush tip in the Options bar, and change the layer's Opacity value to get a result you like.

Add Clouds Behind the Text

Step 2

Create new layers to add more clouds instead of adding all the brushes on the same layer. This will help you have more control over the outcome.

Add More Cloud Layers

Step 3

Create a new layer on top of the text layer, and add more cloud brushes on top of the text. Use as many layers as needed to add the clouds.

Add Clouds on Top of the Text

Step 4

You can select any cloud layer, and click the Add layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel to mask it.

Then, you can select the mask's thumbnail, set the Foreground Color to Black, and use the cloud brush tips, or a normal soft round tip, to remove any areas you want to get rid of.

Add Layer Masks

Step 5

Create a new layer directly on top of the text layer, right-click it, and choose Create Clipping Mask.

Use the cloud brushes to color the last letter of each line.

Color the Last Letters

Step 6

Create a new layer on top of all layers, name it Birds, set the Foreground Color to #1e2126, and use the Geese Brushes tips to add some birds near the text.

Add the Birds

3. How to Add Noise

Step 1

Create a new layer on top of all layers, name it Noise, and go to Edit > Fill.

Change the Contents to 50% Gray and click OK.

Create the Noise Layer

Step 2

Right-click the Noise layer and choose Convert to Smart Object, and change its Blend Mode to Soft Light.

Convert to Smart Object

Step 3

Go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise, change the Amount to 7, and check the Uniform option under Distribution.

Add Noise

Awesome Work, You're Done!

In this tutorial, we used some colors to create a gradient-filled background and add in the text and cloud brushes, and then finished off the effect with a geese brush and a noise texture overlay.

Please feel free to leave your comments, suggestions, and outcomes below.

Final Result
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