Watercolor Illustrated Alphabet in Photoshop | Francesca Guasconi | Skillshare

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Watercolor Illustrated Alphabet in Photoshop

teacher avatar Francesca Guasconi, textile & surface pattern designer

Watch this class and thousands more

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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.



    • 2.



    • 3.

      Anatomy of a brush


    • 4.



    • 5.



    • 6.

      Pattern making


    • 7.

      Illustrated Letters: A


    • 8.

      Illustrated Letters: Q


    • 9.

      Illustrated Letters: B


    • 10.

      Illustrated Letters: S


    • 11.

      Illustrated Letters: monochromatic


    • 12.

      Outro & project


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About This Class

In this class you are going to learn how to create some whimsical and loose florals with watercolors and how to turn them into a pattern for illustrating amazing alphabet in no time!

Illustrating an alphabet can be pretty daunting and time consuming, so I want to teach you a quick and easy way to create a beautiful alphabet without illustrating each letter individually, but by painting some florals, turning them into a pattern using Photoshop and finally applying it to an existing font. The possibilities with this techniques become endless and you will be amazed by the simplicity of the process I promise!

For this class, you don't need to have any drawing experience, but some knowledge of Photoshop is necessary (don't worry though I'll provide all the infos necessaries in the lessons and a Cheat sheet with all the short cuts and extra tips for Photoshop in the Your Project section of the class)

If you don't have Photoshop you can try it for a 7-days-free-trial here

Meet Your Teacher

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Francesca Guasconi

textile & surface pattern designer


Hi! I'm Francesca, an Italian textile and surface designer who lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.

I've worked for several years as product manager for a worldwide known fabric company and now I want to build my own brand creating stationary and scrapbooking products based on my drawings.

I have recently opened a small shop on BigCartel if you want to check it out.

I also have a passion for scrapbooking & papercraft and i share it through my Youtube channel and my Instagram account.

See full profile

Level: Intermediate

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1. Intro : have you ever wanted to learn how you can create an amazing alphabet set without having to illustrate each letter individually? Hi, I'm Francesca and Italian textile and surface butts and designer, and today I want to show you how you can create an illustrated ultimate set without having to illustrate all the letters individually. But by using just. If you brush very cheap water colors, you can create some visit for and then a make a button out of them and apply to all of your letters. So the process going to be super easy, super fast compared to the traditional way of illustrating them and the possibilities of using your alphabet. It's endless cause once you have the pattern, you can apply toe several type or funds or type type of face, and you can also use your alphabet for selling them toe. Productive them to create a fancy science with them. Anything that you can think off contains an alphabet, especially illustrated Mom, you can make it with this guy type off offer, so let's get started 2. Materials: first thing materials. So for this class, we're going to use some paper, specifically watercolor paper, 300 GSM. I'm using any three side splitting into. So basically, you just need the need for sites and in terms, off colors and Russia's you're going to need some watercolors. And for this project, it's much more important to have wood quality brushes rather than watercolor. So I'm using very cheap. What are colors from any craft store, and the brushes I'm using are the lower corner, the wrong rushes, insights to foreign 10 and a flat brush side street. If you don't have fence Russia's, it doesn't matter. Used Russia that you have. But for these projects, since we're doing a lot off exercising with our brushes, it's much more important to have good quality of Russia's rather than watercolors. Other materials you're going to need are just a paper tower or a tower and some water plus winning some important tools. So I'm going to use a scanner mine in the canon lied 220. But you can, of course, take some picture with your smartphone is going to work anyway. The important thing is to do very good pictures. If you don't, if you cannot scan it and then you're going to need for a shop. So if you have for the shop you already set up, otherwise you can go on the for the shop website. You are going to find the adobe websites. Of course, they're going to find the link in the about section off the class and you can download a seven day trial that it's certainly free to just see if it works for you if it's something that you can, uh, enjoy working with. 3. Anatomy of a brush: before diving into the drawing part, I would spend some words on the brushes, so I brush. It's made by three main parts and handle a feral and ahead. The handle is, of course, where you hold the brush and it could be made by different materials like wood or plastic. Then we have the federal that it's the most of the time. It's made by metal, and it has a part of the school cream that helps to hold it through the andal. And then we have the head. The head is, of course, made of bristles. The results can be natural, so like from animals, for example, squiggles or synthetic ones. And there are three parts that compose the head. Actually, so we have a hell. But it's the part that is closer to the federal. Then we have it so that these words we can call the final tip and then we have the belly. But it's the central part. I wanted to explain these few things, so when we are going to use, but I'm going to use some terms during the drawing and illustration process, you will know what I'm talking about. So now it's time, so get to work 4. Drawing: in this class is not required to have great drawing or painting skills on going to guide you through some simple exercise to create whimsical and lose florals and leaves just by making simple marks with your brushes, let's start easy to make these leaves. I use a two sides brush, and I use the entire head. So after drawing the stem, I put this old just on the edge of the stamp. Then apply some pressure until the bell. It's laying almost flat and the heat touch the paper to make consistent leaves. Be sure to work in the same way on both sides of the stem by having the toe pointing toward the same every time. In addition to branches and flowers, make also some spare leaves and petals. They will be super useful to feel some spaces in the pattern. Same technique here with the same brush. But this time I drag the brush drawing occur on 1/2 off the leaf so the mark results trunk E. On the other off. I'm applying less pressure, so the Marx is senior This way, our leaf look more interesting and less flat. The trick here is always the same, changing the pressure and the angle of your brush. You can obtain a wide range of shapes. We decide stand brush. You can obtain super thin lines if you hold it vertical on the paper and use just the very last bristles on the toe to draw. Apply the less pressure you can and be fluid. When you draw, it seems we are going to skin and assemble the elements. It doesn't matter if you make some steaks here, and there just starts a new branch if you don't want. If you don't like the brush strokes. But also keep in mind that the goal here is to have wind school and lose florals. Not so not a botanical perfect flowers or even a flower that doesn't actually exist. It's more than right and will be on Lee. Get extra character to your pattern. I'm switching the brush for the sites for around one. The technique is the scene, but this time we're We're pointing that toe outside, and all the petals will have these nice pointed be consistent with the direction of the brushstrokes. So if you decide that the marks are pointing outside, do all of them in the same way you can rotate the paper if it will help you to do the marks easily. The tried different flower shapes placing the petals, clothes or away from each other. This one almost looked like a violet. Keep also doing some spare pedals and a couple here and there with the sites to round brush . Let's try a different exercise. Draw using just the two of the brush, a roundish shape than feel it with the color. Let's try a different flower shape with five petals in around this drop shape. I'm using a pretty wide range of colors because I want the colorful alphabet, but you can narrow down your palate and use even just one caller. The final results will be great anyway. Now let's try with a flat brush again. We are using the full head of the brush with it, so pointing outwards and the hell on at the center of our flower. As you can see, the effect is very different with a flat brush, and there are a lot of type of Russia's. You can try another funny one, for example. He's a fan brush. Now I want to try a fuller flowers, so I make my marks using a four sites brush. It beats overlapping at the center of the flower by placing just three marks, almost totally overlapping. At the bottom, you can picture a blossom or a flower seeing by side. You can repeat the same process by spreading out the tour so you can have a wider flower using the sites to brush. I repeat a similar process through the orange multi petals flower, but this time I drug. It beats the brush, lifting it up and reducing the pressure. The pressure to obtain a more thin and pointy kind of petals by the week, rotating the paper. He's easier. Rather than changing your hands angles, the movement is basically breast drug. Release the pressure meat. Now let's try to do the same with a site six brush to maximize the effect. If you drug applying a little pressure first, then more pressure, and finally you reduce the pressure again. You will obtain a new shape off petals or leaves. Let's keep variety sites off flowers and leaves. Remember that we will have the option to change them later in for the shop as well. But having different sites from the beginning is more fun and well help you to having new ideas for the parts Early out. I also draw dispersed them just in case. Now I'm repeating the process off breast drug release to create, if a leaf so the mark is longer here. This time I'm using a four sites brushing. As you can see, the brushstrokes can be thick and chunky, even if you use a medium to small size brush jacks. Just experiment with the brush you with Russians you have. Even with just one brush. You can obtain a huge amount of different marks and rush trucks by changing the pressure, the angles and your intuition. You can also add a thinner line to make a leaf look like sees from inside or in perspective to obtain a thicker mark. You can also draw a second line next to each other This way. Also the color. We've had an extra elements off. Death was their colors are transparent, so if you overlap, the beat to brush strokes will have a darker color where the brush strokes overlaps some kind of effect in a different scholar and changing the length of the brushstrokes, and we have a different type of leaf. Another option is toe. Create very basic shapes like drops or also using just the tool, and then fill the mean something the best affect. Your brush must be in a good shape. That means that all the bristles are gathered and you don't have any afraid hair. Otherwise, you will have uneven edges, especially in the press drug release exercise. Now let's try to make a very loose roast kind of flower with sites for brush. To do that, I just wrote some random sees, starting by the center of the flower and keeping at them here and there until the effect is pleasing to your eyes. For me, this one is super cute. Let's repeat the process in a different color. Using a rotating movement with with very little pressure applied, you can create a roundish flower. You can also decide to try some kind off simplified rules bots. As you see, I don't over control my brush. I do quick and light movements and keep the side small. I'm holding the brush pretty vertical with minimum pressure applied. I've used the same rush for our big rows and for the small ones and the bots. Everything depends just by the pressure you apply. I keep adding a few petals in yellow and the news more rules to have more variety in colors and shapes. You don't need a firm hand here. A wobbly movement will work better off course. You can also create some branches any more traditional way, but still losing win win win school just by drawings. A lot is likely curved speculum lines and feeling them in same thing for some spare leaves to build them quickly, you can use the entire head are trying enough pressure to feel it without going over. The edge is somewhat spaces here and there, in the feeling part of belief. It's a nice touch that lighter, they look the look of it. Let's add a few more petals, leaf in red and the seat we can scan it or taking picture and important on our computer to start the parts of making process 5. Cleaning: After importing the file, I can start cleaning it. Just one thing to be able to use your elements even in big cites projects as adjust you to scan them in high resolution. I usually scan them at 1200 pixels. First of all, double click on the loch near the background level. Name impressed. Okay, so you can modify this layer, then select the white background using the magic wand and check that the continues option is stick. Then I expand the selection off two pixels and using the Liza tools I add to the selection All the remaining bits and pieces here and there. Spend this election. You go on, select, modify and expand. Then you can decide the number off extra pixels to include in. Remember to don't overdo here. Otherwise you will lost. Also some pixel on the edges of the elements. Select the bits and pieces around with the Lazo is a little time consuming, but it will guarantee you a better results. I often used keyboard shortcuts, and you can find a cheat sheet with the ones that I use the most in the about section of the class. Okay, - when every unwanted mark is selected and used the backspace on the keyboard to raise the selection. The bigger define ease in terms of sites and or resolution, the longer it will take. Don't worry, then I use a common plus D to de select this election or go on the selection tab and click the select, then click See to activate crop tool so you can get rid off any unnecessary background. If you have a rash you set up, you can click unclear or manually arrays the values as I'm doing, so you can decide to the side off the paper free. When you are happy with the selection, click return to the keyboard. Now to check that our empty space. It's really keen. I create a new anti layer by clicking on the layer icon on the bottom off the layers panel and place it under our elements level. Then click G on keyboard to use the paint bucket tool and click on the top square at the bottom of the two spinal and select a degree. I use their create because I can see better all the drops and dots, both in light colors and in dark colors better than with about a black background with a red stewed, I get rid off any small mistakes in Yemen's level. I also clean and refine some smudges in elements, - then using the paint Michael Tool and change the background color toe white toe work on the matter. Finally, I used the laser tools to select each element individually and create a new layer for it to do so. I select an element, then click Common Ex took out and common V to pace into new layer. Every time I d select the option on the layers panel toe I them before proceeding This way , you can only see the elements you still have to spray. Having them on separate layers will speed up the pattern making process. This flower has something I don't like, so I select just one petal and with common plus c Common plus city. I copy on Lee. The selected part of attaining a new petal comity activated the transform, too, so I can rotate it and placed where then I raise the petal, since it wasn't very nice and repeat the same process on another person. Finally, I said, like the two new layers and the one with all the elements and emerged them together by using Commons. Now I can separate the correct flour and create a newly really, I keep repeating the cuts and peace process for the remaining elements. Okay, when a fish, I thought all the layers visible again and using the move tool that it's cooled by the on the keyboard. I space them on the paper again. I arranged them for kind and dimension, but it's just my personal preference. Now we can start to work on the actual button. 6. Pattern making: The first thing to do is to create a new file. I use the custom sites off 10,000 pixel by 14,000 pixels that surround the DP. I just my personal preference and going back to our elements file. I select one element. These still branch and I duplicated the layer selecting as this nation. Then you file using common G. I started duplicating needs a few times at this stage. The placement. It's pretty random. We just need to have a rough idea about how many copy of the same elements we need. Try to space them without perfectly aligned them vertically or horizontally reach more natural and less reading. I usually prefer to start by placing the bigger elements or the most repeated ones, like the Thiel brunch, because at are the ones that catches the eyes the most. So I try to please them first. That's way I now go with the pink Rose, then in duplicate the Violet. These three are my main focus for now, so I started to rotate and move them to obtain a nicely out here. The reasons. A universal week to do it. It's just a matter of with looking Lee out, even though I like to apply a few rules off button composition like animal rules a pattern we look more veniste but still losing interesting and not region issue repeats and elements and uneven number of times. His does in unusual route, since I'm going to use this button for I'm not making it as a seamless pattern because it's more time and time consuming and it's not necessary for the alpha. But of course, if you want, you can make it seamless. I like this branch, but I want to change the color to make it different from this year. One were of the place to do that. I selected by quick on the layer Aiken on the Layer panel while keeping common press. This is the first way to select every element in nearly here. We have just these branch. When the element is selected, click on the health black off white round icon on the bottom off the Layers panel and select the U. N. Situation option by killing Get. When you have a selection, you create a muscular earlier and a change. The U. N. Situation lightness and the lightness until are happy with the new collar on Lee on these elements and not on the entire level. I had the mask layer duplicate the regional layer and then selecting both. Then you copy and the must image that must be ticked as visible again first emerged them. Now I have the new branch layer in a different color, plus my regional one. I duplicated anyone in the parts and filed I again duplicated and rotated to fit in space is needed and keep repeating the same process all over again by selecting a layer in the elements file duplicated in the parts and file, Duplicate the elements a few times and placing them around. The tips that I can give you for having a nicely out are balance the color by spacing them a using a nice range of colors. Since our elements are so colorful here, you spare elements like leaves and petals to feel some spaces and gaps between bigger Florence, rotate them to convey a more interesting look and skill some elements if you think they will fit better in a bigger or smaller sides. As you can see, I decided to create some clusters with the main flower and some lives around. But by changing the type of flowers and the direction of the branches and leaves, you can have a nice variety off many bouquet that looks super nice. You can use this purse them, plus some spare leaves to create a new branch. After placing them in Pleasant Way, just merge all together to create a new layer that you can duplicate and use as a new set of elements to place. Starting with the biggest elements and proceeding to the smallest will help you to obtain a balanced and pleasant look and also saving a lot of time. Because it's always easier toe. Add small elements to fill gaps rather than to have to move several elements to find a good space for a big ones. I altered a beat the light orange flower by replacing a petal, and I used the clowns them toe common plus s, to fix the water color texture of the flower. Since I'm not making a seamless potter, I feel decides off the paper without caring about the opposite side, as you have to do for a seamless bottom. Here, our mingle is just to fill the entire paper nicely in quizzically and once use the most of the elements but not ancestor. You have to use them all. We made quite a few of them, so we can choose later which one actually looks better. Make sure to have the outer select level option off. The move to with selected is on the option panel on the top left side of the workspace. This way, every time you click on an element on the paper is automatically selected without having to find it in the layers panel that it's now pretty full of layers to or through. I keep adding, duplicating, moving and rotating elements. As you can see, the colors are nicely spaced and the pattern is really rich and diversified. There are no one color or one side's densities area, so the pattern look well balanced. Since the pattern is meant to feel letters, we need that the most of the ground is covered in order to look nice. Also, if you use a serif phones, especially on the tiny strokes off the phone, when you are happy with the pattern saving to apply for all our letters, we don't need all the layers here. So in addition to the layered file, I'm also saving a PNG files that I obtained by duplicating the entire file. Then I select all the layers except the background, emerge them together. I hide the white background and saved the PNG with our one layer pattern and transparent background. So now let's move to the final and actually superfast part elected making process. The biggest part of the job is done. Now we have just apply to the letters. 7. Illustrated Letters: A: Let's start with the letter E opening a file. Same sites, a resolution on the floor parts and one for me, 10,000 by 14,000 pixels at 300 DPI. I then choose your phones. I'll try with the trying click key on the keyboard, deactivated the text tool. Now write eight and said the sites at 1286 speaks of that is the maximum allowed to be sure to reduce the sites of the text area in order to just contain the letter, so it really it will be easier to under the enlargement. Now press the tick on the option panel to finish to a large our letter. We can click common the key on keyboard and use the transform tool to scale it. Keep the shift button press while scale so it will keep the same proportions was the size. He's the one you like. Click on the for the move tool and place to guides on top and bottom off the letters. These will help you to create all the hectoring the same sides. Click on the layer Preview in the layers panel keeping common pressed to select the letter shape. Go on the PNG file off our floral pattern. Click common A to select, all uncommon. See to copy, then go back to the letter file. Go in, edit part based special and click on paste into. Now we have a layer mask. With the pattern, you can move the partner inside the mask to find the placement you prefer. When you are happy, you can click between the layer preview and the mosque to link them together. So if you want, you can move the entire letter, Barton included. I don't need to move it so I don't like them to change the color. BAGRAM You can go on the letter level and change the color of the phone. I really like these charcoal gray, so relieving Aziz and we're done as a promise is super easy and fast. Now you can repeat the same process for all the letters off the alphabet or for numbers, symbols and so on. In the following lessons, I'll show you some different alphabet FX we can obtain with our partners 8. Illustrated Letters: Q: before moving to new FX. I want to show you how to manage bulkier letters in triumph. They could the Q as a very long T and feel. It can be tricky to speed up the process. I usually start from an existing letter file, so I have the guy to indicate me the right sides. I see the new file as que in the PSD former. Then I discard the Ailey letters layers. The first step aren't the scene with the text tool right Q. At 1296 pixels, then scale it up until it fits the guides. As you can see the left, it is too weak for our paper, so I change the sites of it off the campus itself so that go on image commerce sites. I double the width of the campus and choose the option to are the excess space on the right of the existing campus sees the background level is blocked, the extra combat transparent. To fill with the white, unlock the level, then use the paint back in tool that you can activate pressing G on your keyboards and calories. Then I look it again now we can add the partner, as I did with a I select the letter. Then I go on the part in PNG file, Select all copy and in the Q file I placed into the Q A year. As you can see this time, the layer mask is not big enough to cover the tail. I select the Q earlier gain and press into a game. I move the second muscular years to cover the tail. Our part that is not seamless. So we have a not nice effect. When they departed buttons meat to fix it, I just move each button until I find and whole elements on with buttons. After death, I look each bottle to its layers masks, and then I select mostly years in the letter panel, and I link them together using ricin icon on the bottom of the panels. So now I can move both, as if we're just one of the year. You can use the streak for any bulky letters or think about that is too weak to be field with the partisan, but that you want to remain consistent with the pattern sites of all the other letters on the set. Now let's trying some more fun options to use our pattern for a different off effects 9. Illustrated Letters: B: another cool funds effect. You can create its word and outline and leave the background white. Let's see how the first steps are the same with the text tool. Right? Be at 101,296 pixels, then skated up until it fits in the guides. Then select the B. Go into the PNG floor apartment file, select all copy and paste into the beef. Now double click on the beat text layer in the layer panel and select stroke. For this project, I like an eight pixel stroke inside and into the color of the letter too wide. We need some fixing. If you zoom in, you notice that the pattern is above the stroke and it's not nice, since our paper background is white in our pattern. In a PNG with transparent background, the quickest solution is move the bit extra layer above the pattern mask layer and reduce the feel from 100% to 0. Now the stroke is on top off the pattern and our luxury Super cute. Let's see how we can make elector with the current background and a stroke on a different fund 10. Illustrated Letters: S: as usual, I repeal effort steps here. I don't need to use the guides for trying on Alpha. Since I want to try a different phone they wanted shoes is called Elena. I write my letter and s then a scale it in the side to prefer now let based into the letter the partner. As in the previous lessons, I want the pink rose in the center position. So I moved the party inside the layer mosque to obtain the traffic that I want here. I use common J to duplicate the text layer. Then I moved the clone one above the leader of the party. Earlier in the layer opponent, as I did for letter B, I bring the ceiling from 100% to 0%. Then I double click on the layer and and And I had the stroke again. Eight pixels black and inside To change the letter background color. I simply changed the color from the character panel. You can choose whatever color your life here. I think these cold light pink looks nice and it seeks different funds. Any friends background? Ah, change the overlook. Even if the pattern is still the same these version off our illustrated Alfa is more girly , maybe childish and cuter than the original one. But we use the very same pattern. And isn't it amazing? Finally, whether we try a monochromatic look. 11. Illustrated Letters: monochromatic: Let's write a different font again. Babas is a very nice one. The part that emplacement process is the same shown in the other lessons. But this time I use a J peg with a white background just to show you onto these possibilities. After placing the partner in event in a nicely out, I select the rear mosque in and decide to turn our partner into monochrome it. Click on the health black off white Aiken and select you in situations. Now take colorized option in the properties panel. As you can see, our pattern is now in shades of womanly. You can choose the colliery prefer by playing around with the hue, saturation and likeness controls. You can obtain so many different color with just this simple trick. I want to add the stroke, just defining media outlines of the letter. And that's it. Another variation of our use treated Alpha is done 12. Outro & project: and we're done. Our classroom is almost over. I really hope that you enjoy this process as much as I did as project for this class. I'd love if you create your also using a pattern like mine or a completely different one, you can create just a few letters to form words or an entire alphabet. I also would like that you apply your creation on a product like month A bag. It's our or anything you like, as I did in the examples here. They're just woke up so you can just meeting with for the shop. These will help you realize how many amazing application exceeds to use your Newhall for I'd love to see your project in the project section of the class and use discussion section to ask me any information you may need. I'll be super happy to answer you If you want, you can follow me. No one knew class. It's available and I thank you so so much for watching and I hope to see you soon. Bye.