Dry-Ink: Smart Texturing In Photoshop | Jamie Bartlett | Skillshare

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Course Trailer


    • 2.

      Get Inspired!


    • 3.

      Before You Begin


    • 4.

      The Dry-Ink Texture


    • 5.

      Reusing the Effect


    • 6.

      Background Texture


    • 7.



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About This Class

Learn how to build this completely customizable smart texture effect entirely within Photoshop, no outside resources needed. This effect dynamically updates based on your artwork, and is scalable to any resolution. So you'll be able to reuse and re-customize the effect quickly and easily for future projects. The secret sauce behind this method is using Photoshop's smart objects and smart filters.You'll learn everything you need to know to quickly create this dry-ink effect.

Trailer Music Credit: It's Your Birthday! (Instrumental Version) by Monk Turner + Fascinoma

Meet Your Teacher

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Jamie Bartlett

Graphic designer and left-handed letterer


Jamie Bartlett is a graphic designer and left-handed letterer working out of Denver, CO. She graduated from John Brown University with a degree in Graphic Design and now runs a shop for her hand lettered designs and fonts. Her work reflects everything she loves in life: a good cup of coffee, nerdy design terms, tandem bikes, road trips, and so much more.

Check out all Jamie's classes to learn her tricks of the trade. 

To see what she's up to now, follow her on Instagram and Dribbble.


  &... See full profile

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1. Course Trailer: Hi guys. I'm Jamie Bartlett, graphic designer and hand letter behind the pairpairs.com. In this class, I'm going to teach you how to add texture to your artwork without the use of any outside resources. Everything you need is right here in Photoshop. We'll use smart objects and smart filters to create a non-destructive, customizable, and scalable effect that you can reuse for any future projects. For the class project, we'll be creating a personalized book plate. You can use to label your books, movies, video games, or anything else you want to put your name on. Anyone can take this class. Even if you've never used Photoshop before, you'll be able to easily follow along with my instructions. Of course, I'll be here for any questions you might have. I can't wait to see what you guys create. 2. Get Inspired!: Before we get started with our design, we need to go ahead and look for some inspiration first. Some places where I like to look are Pinterest, Google images, or even Dribble. For this class project, I went ahead and made a Pinterest board, and pinned a whole bunch of different stuff to inspire me, and give me ideas for my design. You can find a link to this board on my sample project. Here are some search terms that I found helpful when looking for a book plate design inspiration. Once you're done finding your inspiration, make sure to collect it all, and post it on your class project. 3. Before You Begin: Let's talk a little bit about what works best when designing for a book plate. Keep in mind that a texture shows up better on large areas. So if you look here at this United States map, you can see that texture really well. Whereas if you went to something more like this, it has a lot of thin lines and you'll still see some texture, but it's not going to be as noticeable. For my book plate design, I did have some thin lines here on the border and some smaller text, but I did make sure to have some element that was thicker where the texture would show up a little better. Of course, you can still have texture on the thinner lines, but it'll just take a little more work to get it to show up. You can design your book plate in either Illustrator or Photoshop, whatever you feel most comfortable. But if you design in Photoshop, make sure you design at least at 300 DPI. When I designed in Photoshop, I always liked to work extra large just in case I ever decided print it bigger. Some things you want to keep in mind for the rubber stamp contest are: your design needs to be one color or have a one-color version, it must be at least 300 DPI and the stamp will be no larger than three by three inches, so make sure your design works that small. But remember, you should design it much larger. I think that's all you need to know, so go ahead and start designing your book plate and make sure you share your design process in your class project. 4. The Dry-Ink Texture: First we're going to go ahead and start by building the effect on a block of text. That way you can clearly see what's going on. Then once we're done, we'll apply it to the book plate later. So go ahead and open up Photoshop and go File, New and we'll make a document. Let's make it 300 dpi and 3,000 by 2,000 pixels. Click Okay. Then go ahead and just type out whatever you want. I'm just going to go with dry ink and then we'll make it nice and big. All right. That seems big enough. Let's just go ahead and save right away, so we don't lose anything. I'm just going to call it dry ink and save. The first thing we're going to do is convert this text to a Smart Object. Go ahead and right-click on the layer and say Convert to Smart Object. Now if I double-click on the Smart Object, it opens it into a new document so we can make changes here. Then once we save it, it updates it back in our other document. What we want to do now is make this document the same size as our original document. Let's go to Image, Canvas Size, and it was 3,000 by 2,000. Click Okay. Now it's the exact same size. For this effect to work properly, it's important that your artwork in your Smart Object is pure black. Our work is already black, but if yours isn't, you can always just add a color overlay and make it black. Now we're going to add some layer styles to it. So double-click on your layer and we're going to go ahead and add inner glow. So check Inner Glow, change your blend mode from screen to normal, and then change your opacity to 100. Then go down here and change source to center. Then click on this arrow next to Contour and we're going to go ahead and pick this one right here, this curve. I'm going to move this window out of the way a little bit, just so we can see what's going on on our text. Now I'm going to use the choke in size controls to get this glow to look the way that I need it to. Let's start with size to suggest the slider until gets much softer. Let's start with that. Then let's go to Choke. We're going to bring it in from the edge a little bit, but size is a little too much. We're going to go back. Don't worry about exact numbers. Right now as long as your Inner Glow looks something like mine, we can move on and adjust it later. Click Okay. Now we want to save it so it updates in our other document. Now I can go back to our other document and there it is. You can see that it updated. Now we need to go into the layer styles of this Smart Object in this document. Just double-click on the layer. We're going to come down to the very bottom here where it says blend if. If you click on this first black arrow here and move it to the right a little bit, you can see in our artwork that the black starts to disappear. Then if you do the white side, you can see that the whitest part of the text starts to disappear. We want the white parts of our text to be transparent. So I'm going to drag the white side pretty far over to the left here, right about there. If you hold down Option or Alt on a PC and click this arrow again, it splits there on half. We can move it back this way a little bit and it softens it up. I'm just going to go ahead and drag it all the way to the right. All right. Now go ahead and click Okay. I'm going to go ahead and turn off the background and zoom in so you can see how this is actually transparent. It's basically creating a layer mask based on the brightness value of the layer contents. This is going to allow us control how this effect is applied to our layer. I'm going to turn the background back on and zoom back out and save. Now we need to group this Smart Object. So at the layer selected, I'll press Apple G to group the smart object. We're going to add a fill layer by coming down to here and going to Solid Color. We'll just make this whatever color we want to do. We'll just keep it red and it's a little bright. Let's try that. Then we need to bring it outside of the group. Now we want to make this layer a clipping mask of the group. If you hold down Option or Alt on a PC and hover right between the layers, you'll see a little arrow up here and just click there and there you go. Now the only part of the red colorful layer that's showing up is what's in the group. You can always double-click the color here and go back in and adjust it to any color you want to customize your art. If I turn off the background really quick, you can see that the transparency is still preserved. All right. Now we're ready to add the effects. The first effect we're going to apply is ripple. So start by making sure you have your artwork layer selected. Then we're going to go up here to Filter and then find distort and ripple. Now we're using this to add a little bit of imperfection to the edges. We want it to be pretty subtle though. We'll leave it at size large and let's just try like 14. Click Okay, see how that looks. let's zoom in a little bit. That might be a little too much. Normally, I would have to undo and reapply this effect. But we made this a Smart Object. So we get smart filters, which makes the effect non-destructive. All we have to do is find ripple on the layers palette, double-click and we can go back in and edit it. Let's go ahead and try 10. That looks pretty good. The next effect we're going to add is difference clouds. So go back up to Filter, Render and Difference Clouds. I'm going to show you really quick what this effect does on its own. So I'm going to add the difference clouds to a new layer. You can see how it makes everything cloudy. It has some whites, grays, blacks. This is going to help randomize the effect a little bit on our artwork. I don't need this layer, so I'm just going to delete it. Next we need to come to these little arrows here next to difference clouds. Double-click on it, and this gives us Blending Options for that specific effect. We're going to set ours to multiply. Click Okay. Now it might look like we got rid of the effect, but it's actually working just how we want it to. Now for an extra level of control, I'm going to add a levels adjustment, but adding a layers adjustment as a smart filter does require CC 2015. So if you have a creative cloud subscription, just make sure you're updated. If you don't have the latest version of Photoshop, that's okay. It's just an extra level of control, but you'll still be able to make the adjustments you need without it. If you don't have the latest version, just go ahead and skip this step. Now we're going to add a levels control under Image, Adjustment, Levels. Go ahead and grab the middle one and we're going to add some contrast. As I do this, you can see that it's showing through more and I can click Okay. Eventually, we're going to want to adjust our inner glow so that more transparency shows through, but we'll take care of that later. Now let's keep going and go back up to Filter Gallery. You can see a lot more of what's going on here because the blend if property isn't showing up. Now we're going to go ahead and add grain first, which is under Texture. Then we're going to stack another effect on top of that. Come down to here, and we're going to add another effect. But we're going to change it to torn edges. Go to Sketch and find torn edges. Now we just play around with the sliders until we get the effect that we want. For torn edges, let's just type in some numbers, 22, 14 and 12. Now because of these two effects are stacked on top of each other, they effect each other. Let's go back to grain and play around with that a little bit. As you can see, if I turn up the intensity, it gets more textured. The contrast slider brings out some more detail too. So once you get this to about where you want it, you can click Okay. That was the last step I'm building the effect, but now we can go back and make some adjustments on how it shows up. The first thing I want to adjust is the Inner Glow. We need to go back into our Smart Object. So double-click. Let's play around with that. I want those black gap around the outside to be smaller. So I'll turn the choke down a little bit and turn down on the size as well. Let's try that. Click Okay and save, so it updates in the other document. You can see it already added more texture. Now I want to go ahead and add some more contrast. Now I'm going to do this by adjusting the levels control I setup. But if you didn't add the levels, you can still go in and make adjustments to your effect in the Filter Gallery. Playing around with the effects that we've already added in the Filter Gallery will basically do the same thing. These levels just allows me to make adjustments more quickly. We're going to go back over here to Levels. Levels is affecting everything below it. So basically pretty much just the difference clouds. We want to add some more contrast to those. We're going to double-click on Levels, and then this will probably pop up and it's just Photoshop warning you that all the effects above it aren't going to show up while you're editing this. That's just annoying, so I'm just going to say Don't Show Again. Then we have our levels. I'm going to just drag the white one over. We have a white's really coming in now. Let's try about there. Another cool thing with the difference clouds is you can randomize them anytime you want. If you double-click on difference clouds, it randomizes it. I'll zoom out so you can see all the letters. If I turn off the difference clouds, you can see that it would look like this because this is what the Inner Glow is producing. But adding the difference clouds set to multiply adds a variance to the Inner Glow and just helps to randomize the effect. We're getting these really solid white areas, which I don't really like. We're going to go back into Filter Galleries and adjust the grain. Make sure you have the grain selected. I'm going to turn up the intensity and down the contrast to break it up a little bit. Let's try that and see if we like it. That's getting better. Now I can randomize it a couple more times with the difference clouds to see what I get. Now this is a perfectly acceptable effect. It's a little more subtle and isn't applied overall, which might be what you're going for. This is where you just play around and get what you like. If you don't want such a random placement of the texture, you can always turn off the levels and the difference clouds, and then start adjusting the Inner Glow more. But I like the randomness of it. I'm going to go ahead and add a little more texture overall. I'm going to go back into Levels and move the black output levels up a little bit. That just brightens everything. Click Okay and see how it add a little bit more in other places. I think that's pretty good, I like that. I'll go ahead and save it. Now that our textures built, we can put whatever we want inside the Smart Object and the effect will be reapplied dynamically in this document. 5. Reusing the Effect: Now that the effect is built, I'm going to go ahead and swap out the text for my bookplate design. I have it here in Illustrator, so I'm just going to copy, and then go back to Photoshop, and go into my Smart Object and paste it. Make sure that you're pasting it as a Smart Object. Click "Okay". I'll go ahead and resize it so it fits there, right about there. Now, I want to transfer the inner glow to my artwork. I'm just going to drag all the effects up. Now the difference between this text and the artwork I just put in, is that the text is nice, thick, even lines all the way around, where my artwork has thin lines as the [inaudible] , all different sizes. We need to ingest the inner glow to fit this artwork. I'm going to turn off my dry ink layer so we can see and go into the inner glow on my artwork. I'm going to go ahead and just focus on the big letter B in the middle. Play around with the Choke and Size, and get it right about there and click "Okay". Then we're going to go ahead and save it so it updates in our other document. As you can see, there it is. As always, you can play around with the difference clouds, double-click on it, see other little results. I think I like that one. I think that's great for the B, but as you can see, there's not really any texture showing up anywhere else. That's because these lines are too thin for that inner glow. Let's go back into the Smart Object. We actually need to separate the B from the rest of the artwork so each part can have its own inner glow. What I'm going to do is go to New Smart Object via Copy so that it duplicates the Smart Object. I'm going to go into the first one and get rid of the B. Then save it so it updates in Photoshop. If I turn off the original layer, you can see that the B is gone, so now they're separated. Now, I'm going to duplicate this layer again and then go into it and delete everything but the B. I'll select the B in Inverse, leaving just the B, Save, and go back to Photoshop. As you can see, it automatically centers everything and my B wasn't exactly centered. All I need to do is adjust it based on the original. I'm going to change the Opacity a little bit. Let's zoom in. That looks good. Now we can hide the original, zoom back out so we can see it, and then start adjusting the Inner Glow on the smaller lines. Let's rename these layers so we can keep track of them. Go ahead and rename this one B, and the other one Bookplate. Let's go into the Inner Glow of the Bookplate and adjust that. We're going to need to bring down the size quite a bit. That looks pretty good. Let's see what it looks like. Go ahead and make sure you save, and then go back into our original document. On some places, it looked really good like on the outline, but on the text, it's a little too much and it starts to become hard to read. So we need to make another copy and separate the outline from the text so we can customize it even more. Let's go back into our Smart Object, and then we need to duplicate the Bookplate, and we're going to go ahead and rename this one Text just so we don't lose track of what we're doing. We need to go into the Smart Object of the Bookplate and get rid of all the text and leave the outline, and then click "Save," and we can close this, and close all the other ones, too. Then we need to go into the Smart Object of the text and delete the outline. Save, and then close. Then we need to turn on the reference again so we can adjust everything since it automatically centers it. Let's zoom in to get a better look. I think that's good. I'm going to turn off the reference. Now, we need to adjust the Inner Glow for the text layer. Let's try that and see what that looks like. As you can see, the 2010, some of the smaller type still doesn't have any texture on it. But in reality of rubber stamp, there's going to be areas that has solid color, so I'm fine with it just being as it is. But if you wanted to add texture to it, you would just need to make its own layer again and adjust the Inner Glow. I'm really liking how this is looking, but there's a few spots on the smaller text that I just think it has too much texture. But I don't want to adjust the difference cloud because I'd like it everywhere else. Here's a little trick if you want to get into the fine details and adjust some of the texture. Now, we're going to group everything, so select all the layers in group, and we're going to make a black, solid color fill on top of the group, and do a clipping mask like we did before, which was Option or Alt on a PC, and then click right between the two, and then click on the mask and invert it, which is Apple I, or Control I on a PC. Now you can paint white on this layer mass to black out any of the texture that you don't want. Zoom in so you can see really good, and then go to brushes. I like to use a textured brush, so I'm going to go ahead and pick. Let's try this one. Make sure you have the foreground color white over here. Then just start painting a little bit, taking some of the texture out where you don't want it. Let's break it up a little bit. This is non-destructive, so if you ever want to go back and paint more texture in, you just switch the foreground color to black, and go back in and paint like that. Let's save it and see what it looks like. I like that already. I don't like that A, so I'm going to go back in and fix that A and save. That's our Bookplate. Remember, we can change this artwork to any color we want. If we didn't want it red, we can change it to black, we can change it to nice a teal color, anything you want. For now, I'm just going to change mine to black. Just make sure to save. 6. Background Texture: Now we have a good texture on our artwork. But just for fun, we're going to go ahead and add some texture to the background. Go ahead and make a new layer right above the background layer, and fill it with black. If your background layer is set to black, all you have to do is click Command Delete, and it fills it with black, and we'll go ahead and rename this to BG texture for background texture. Now we're going to convert it to a smaller object. Right-click on it and say convert to smaller object. Let's go back to the Filter Gallery. The filter gallery automatically brings up the last effects that you had when you were here. We're going to go ahead and change the torn edges to Stamp, but we're going to leave the Grain. Then we're going to go back to the Grain, and change the Grain type to Sprinkles. I'm going to turn the intensity of the Grain way up for now, and then let's mess around with this Stamp settings. I'm just going to adjust the smoothness, so I'll make a selection of the number and just use the up and down arrows so it's just one at a time. That's getting rid of a lot of the small ones which I want just a few of the bigger ones because I still want this to be a subtle texture, not too much. I think this looks pretty good. Let's click "OK" and see how it looks. Now we need to add an invert, so we'll go up here to Image, Adjustments, and Invert. As you can see, we have a nice texture going on, but that's still a little too much texture for me. We'll go back into the Filter Gallery, I'm going to zoom out a little bit so I can see what this looks like. Let's try and smoothen this up to get rid of even more, I like that, and there you go, some random subtle texture added. You can always add a layer mask to the background texture, and pin out any of the texture you don't want, just like we did for the texture on the book plate. If I didn't want this one right here close to the edge, I get just paint it out, do a little detail work if you want. Let's change the background color. I'm going to go ahead and duplicate this layer and drag it down just below the background texture layer. Don't worry about this weird stuff going on, we'll come back to that, so go ahead and double-click on the black square which is the color, and choose whatever color you want, I'm going to do a light blue color. Now we can't see the colored background because the texture layer is actually a solid white layer with a texture plot. We need to go into the texture layer and adjust the Blend If, and we need to bring down the white so that just the black texture shows through, and there we go. Now I can move this background texture into the same group as our artworks so that it's colored the same. We're going to go ahead and put them on the bottom, so it's in the background, and now I can change the color. Let's just change it to white. Now your texture is the same color as your book plate, and there you have it guys. Make sure to save it, and I can reuse this effect on anything you want. 7. Thanks!: Guys, that's it. Thanks for taking my class, I hope you had fun and that you found it helpful. If you had any trouble with anything or have any questions, be sure to leave a comment and then ask me anything discussion. Otherwise, be sure to post your final book play in your class project. If you share it on Instagram, make sure to tag me @apairofpears. If you like this class, I love it if you love me all of you. I'll see you next time.