Recently a design friend posted a picture he had added a Photoshop (watercolor) filter to. These days you can spot that mile away. Nothing organic about it. Not the natural look and feel that a real watercolor illustration would present. The key is to achieve that organic feel. Can you create a faux watercolor effect.
Yes, but it takes a little work, and a lot of experimenting. So, do I use filters in Photoshop? Yes, but never just a pure click of the button. Here are some recent samples of photos I’ve turned into watercolor illustrations.
This is not a photoshop step-by-step tutorial. It is more of a photoshop technique hint. This is because everybody’s results should be their own.
I basically find watercolor high resolution images or make my own watercolor backgrounds and scan. There is a nice collection of images at Sad Monkey Design Blog. Another tool is to find a collection of watercolor brushes to add to your photoshop. A good source for photoshop watercolor brushes is at Smashing Hub.
Now have fun. I start by duplicating the original image and using the dreaded canned filters. Try Poster Edges. The key is to layer variations in with water color images. Okay, maybe this isn’t much help. But if enough people comment I’ll outline my process.