“How do you add handwriting to photos?”

1 how do you add handwriting to photos?People often ask how I add handwriting to my photos here on the blog. Some people even assume that this is a handwriting font! Nope… this is my real handwriting drawn with a digital tablet. I love using a tablet because it’s super quick and convenient and I get to practice handwriting in a brand new way. Here’s a little bit about what I use and why…

2 bamboo tabletI use the Wacom Bamboo Connect Pen Tablet (CTL470) with Photoshop CS5 to add handwriting to my photos. There are tons of different versions of both Wacom tablets and photoshop out there to fit different budgets. Mine is smaller because I carry it with me in my computer bag most days.

3 bamboo tabletLearning to draw on the tablet takes a little bit of practice. When I first started using a tablet I found it unnatural, but after just two or three nights of practice it felt totally normal… just like drawing on paper (but easier to erase!). One of the tricks I’ve found is to zoom in and out often, that helps me a lot. Now I feel just as comfortable drawing digitally as I do with pen and paper.

Well, I hope that helps! I also use the Mobile Sketchbook App for the iPad + iPhone to draw on my photos when I’m traveling. Have a lovely weekend! Elsie

Photoshop for bloggersInterested in learning more Photoshop tricks? Check out our e-course!

PS… here’s something I made the other night while missing my sweetie!

A couple
  • Hello, hello! I used to actively follow your blog a long time ago and it was this post that educated me some more about graphic tablets… Thanks to you, I did finally buy one in 2015 – the same one, I believe (after having started saving for it in 2013 + having read your post somewhere in 2011/12) and I could not have made a better decision… I am an illustrator based in Bombay (Mumbai) and yeah! I was going through my bookmarks on this computer and stumbled upon this. I removed the bookmark and it did not feel right to do so without saying something to you guys. I hope you are both well! I should read some of your posts, it has been so long, Elsie and Emma! 🙂

  • Love your handwriting! And thanks for sharing. I will be purchasing my tablet soon, but for now i have the app on my ipad! I look forward to more posts like this.

  • Wow I totally thought that was a font! You have amazing handwriting!

  • Very cool! I have played around with one of these a few times at school (I’m taking graphic design courses), but never with any consistency. I’ve love to own my own tablet and get really comfortable with it. You make it look so easy!

  • I’ve used a Wacom tablet at work for several years. I got my Bambo, for home use, like a month ago & I LOVE IT!

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  • L O V E your handwriting! Didn’t you can post your handwriting alphabet to practise? 😉 Want to write like you!!

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  • I love the personalized effect of the hand-writing!! I never thought to do it on the computer… I’m feeling a shopping spree coming on.

  • Oh, I had no idea that was how it’s done! I think my husband has all the elements for me to do this! Thanks a lot for sharing! ;D

    Hope you’ve started the week off with a huge smile!

  • I just love love love this idea. Thanks for sharing! I would like to use it on my Mac with iPhoto. Is that possible? Or would I need Photoshop?
    Cheers !!
    Lynne xx

  • this doesn’t really help because it doesn’t say how you actually do it. just that you do it.

  • I’ve just digged out my boyfriend’s tablet 🙂 could you maybe reccomend any good brushes to use with it??

  • I use a Wacom and PS CS5 as well. My Wacom is several years old though (I think I bought it in ’05?) and is the Intuos3 6×8 model. Not the most portable! Do you find that the Bamboo had enough drawing room? I’d love to have something I could take with me!


  • Will you share the pen you use? I’ve only been able to find the one with the fat tip and I’d really like something smaller. Thanks!

  • This is such a fabulous post! As an educated graphic designer, this is something I have taken for granted for such a long time. Handwriting (and I’m talking real handwriting) creates a real personal touch and quality to photographs and blogs.

    I currently use the Wacom Cintiq, worth about $1500.00, as I do a lot of sketching and rendering, however you can get some fabulous tablets for great prices (heck, try ebay!).

    Another fabulous post!

  • Thanks for the tip about the mobile sketchbook app. Would you ever consider doing a post about your favorite iPhone apps? It would be great to see all your recommendations, especially those related to blogging, photography, and art.

  • Your handwriting is gorgeous..I really thought that is was just a certain font you used. Thanks for sharing your tools!

  • Thanks for the inspriration. I’ve had my tablet since last October but haven’t really played with it. I will now add it to my spring break ‘to do’ list.

  • Thanks for this! I’ve been using Picnik fonts but I would rather use my own handwriting.

  • Wow Elsie, thank you! I just got an amazon gift card and was wondering what to spend it on! And now I know! Can’t wait to get my tablet!! xxx

  • Hey, thanks for the tips! I’d never thought to do that before but it definitely adds an even more personal touch! The gumboots message is gorgeous 😉

  • SO STINKIN’ COOL! You have fabulous handwriting, mine doesn’t look near that good regularly! But this is really neat!

  • well this is smart.. and I have a tablet! i spend an hour pouring through 5000 fonts last night trying to add a font to a photo that looked like handwriting. anybody’s handwriting! i should have realized…. but thank you for sharing this!

  • Love my bamboo.
    Was the best investment ever.
    I find , tho, that is amazing to draw… but I believe my settings don’t quite allow me to do decent hand writting (don’t find it as smooth going).

  • Q: did you make a brush?
    A: I just use default brushes that came with photoshop. there are 3 that I rotate. XO!

  • did you make a brush? it looks like a calligraphy pen, I did that & it works well!

  • I’ve been hesitating on buying a tablet but thanks to your post i’ve decided it. Congratulations on your award! Your Diy’s are great!

  • Wacom also has a pen for iPads in case people need to know. It’s a Bamboo Stylus. You can use it to handwrite or draw on iPads.

  • I’ve tried SketchBook Mobile for iPhone briefly, not yet with iPad, but my drawings look like they’re made by a five-year-old. Do you use digital pen with SketchBook aswell? Is it even possible to use digital pen on iPad/iPhone? I’m green…. 🙂

  • I have been wondering how exactly to label my photos with my own hand writing and this perfectly explains it! Thank you! I have a feeling my wallet is going to be taking a few hits in the upcoming weeks…


  • oh… my… gosh!!! I totally have a big wishful crush on this!! I want one so badly lol I think I need to splurge soon to get it!! Thnx for the tips!

  • You have really nice handwriting! Mine’s awful even on normal paper, though I’ve been using my tablet a lot lately. For those of you who can’t afford a wacom, monoprice.com has tablets for a fraction of the price (I’m not being paid at all to say that) and gimp.org is a great free image editing program (again, not being paid!). =]

  • Oh yes, SketchBook Mobile is awesome! I’ve been using it like crazy. I was thinking I’d save up for the Bamboo Tablet, but for $2, this does what I want!

  • Thank you so much for sharing this! I must say, i was one of those people pondering how you got such awesome handwriting font on your website! lol! Well, thanks again!

  • Q: Can you say the exact app you use on your ipad?
    A: It’s called “Mobile Sketchbook” I use it on the iPhone & iPad

  • Love this tip, Elsie! Can you say the exact app you use on your ipad? I’m stumped…there are soooo mannnyyyyy!!!

  • Both sweet & really useful idea… I love drawing with a graphics tablet too! Some of your photoshop (or editing program) techniques & photo balancing tips would be great too if ever you had time 🙂

  • I was given one of those tablets for my birthday yeeeears ago and I’ve only tried using it once, everything came out so wobbly… then I put it away and kinda forgot about it. I definitely need to give it another try and practice with it! I love how you write on your photos! Plus I’d like to get into digital drawing.

  • Thank you so much for your help! I use a lot of writing in my photos on my blog and this will not only look better, but save time with sizes and fonts. I think it also adds more personality if it’s your own writing instead of a pre-designed font.

    Thanks again!

    Aoife x


  • I have a Wacom tablet as well that I use for things like this, although even after using for a couple years it’s not very natural feeling to me. It’s amazing that your handwriting is so beautiful handwriting even with a tablet! I’m impressed. 😉

  • This is too funny! I asked myself that question this morning! I’ve been wanting to purchase a wacom tablet for awile now and that’s enough to seal the deal!

  • I have one of those tablets! Yup, thought you were using a font. Had no idea it was handwritten. You’ve got gorgeous/consistent handwriting!

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