Hi guys! Remember how I told you that we're teaming up with Adobe Photoshop Elements this summer? Well, this is the first post from that series! I'm super excited to share Photoshop techniques with you. For my first tutorial, I decided to tackle one of the biggest reader requests we get. In this article I'll share the easy steps for adding your own handwriting to photos using Photoshop Elements, plus my own personal tips!
I use a Wacom Bamboo Connect Pen Tablet to add handwriting to my photos. A few months back I posted about it (here, without instructions) and many of you asked for additional tips and tricks! There are many different tablets you can purchase to draw in photoshop. I chose this tablet because it's budget friendly and easy to travel with. I often travel and work outside of the home. I love that I can take this little tablet with me everywhere I go. I honestly use it every single day.
NOTE: If you do not have a tablet you can still use your mouse to add handwriting. It may not be as smooth, but for smaller things like a heart or an arrow it will still work using these instructions.
1. Choose your photo + open it in Adobe Photoshop Elements. When choosing photos to add handwriting to I like to choose photos with some white space. I even take photographs (especially DIY) with this white space in mind so that I can add handwriting in Photoshop.
2. Choose your brush. Next, select the size, opacity and color. I labeled these in the screen shot above… A. Brush tool- There is also a drop down menu at the top where you can choose different brushes (seen below). B. Size- I always try at least two or three sizes after choosing a brush. I try to make my photos look like they were drawn on by pencils or markers, so I keep the sizes very small. C. Opacity- By reducing the opacity of your brush you can make your lines appear darker or see through. I often reduce the opacity when I underline words. D. Color- Choose the color you want to draw with. I normally use black of white, but you can choose any color by clicking on the square.
*Here's what the brush menu looks like. When you first start using the tablet don't be afraid to spend a lot of time testing all the different brushes. This is a huge part of the learning process and developing your own taste!
3. Zoom in and try different brushes. Choose your favorites! You can zoom in by pressing Command and + at the same time. I usually zoom in when writing to get a better view of my handwriting. When you are zoomed in you can see the differences between each brush much more clearly.
4. Try different colors for your handwriting + drawings. I mentioned this in step two, but let's take a closer look. When you click on the color icon (the black/white squares on the sidebar above) you can choose colors for your drawings. Choice of color is super important. If you choose to branch out from black and white you will want to spend some time experimenting with how the colors look on your photo.
5. Have fun + experiment! The possibilities are endless! You can also use your tablet as your mouse. Once you become comfortable with it you'll be surprised how often you want to use it. :)
I have downloaded other brushes from the internet to use, but I still use the default ones daily. They are great. Above is an example of a bunch of different brushes from the default menu. Experiment with opacity, size and color to give them the look at feel you want!
Here are 3 quick tips for adding handwriting to your photos in Adobe Photoshop Elements:
The first time you use your tablet it will feel a little awkward, similar to trying to draw with your mouse. When I purchased my first Bamboo tablet I forced myself to practice drawing and writing for several nights in a row until my designs looked like real paper/ink designs. Don't get discouraged it if takes a little while. If you practice you will feel comfortable using it very quickly!
I save nearly all of my original photos without handwriting or drawings to them. This is an important habit to keep because often handwriting can be super specific. For example, the image above worked great in our Sister Style post, but if I hadn't saved the images before adding the handwriting they would be pretty much unusable for any other purpose. The biggest reason why I save all of my original photos is because I use many photos from my blog for my family photo albums (without handwriting, of course).
Don't be afraid to mix it up! I love the way handwriting looks when juxtaposed with a nice clean font. Try mixing and matching for an even more interesting and professional look.
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you've learned something new that you can use. Please let me know in the comments if you have a request for a future Photoshop tutorial. XO. elsie
Thanks so much to Adobe Photoshop Elements for collaborating with me on this article! You can follow them here… Facebook/Twitter/YouTube/Pinterest
Great article. I always prefer Illustrator over Photoshop because it’s perfect for creating graphics that may require frequent resizing.
I love the way you use handwriting on your https://bit.ly/2KGDf08 blog posts and as a novice to photoshop
Wow, this is really cool. I love it!
Oh my God!! I’ve been looking weeks for this answer!Just started my blog and already ordered my drawing tablet! I really like how you can add an extra touch on your pictures.
Thanks so much. I’ve just discovered your blog and love it, got it in my bloglovin! 😉
Thank you for the tips!
what kind of Liquadtex? They have paints and a million different acrylic mediums to choose from. Will any kind work? I use the Super Glossy for normal collages and a a medium for my acrylic paints.
OMG, I learned another technique. I feel Photoshop empowered. Thanks Ladies!
This is so great! I also have a Wacom, and I had been trying Photoshop on the free 30 day trial and tried this out, but it’s expired now. I’m not sure whether i need to buy the full photoshop CS program or whether Elements has all you need for blog and blog design stuff? What do other people use? Don’t want to spend the money if Elements does the trick 🙂
Hi, sir. Your post is really excellent. Thank you.
Excellent, thank you. I’m going to try this today1
Thank you for the amazing tutorial. I bought the same tablet after reading this, and I love it!
I LOVE your handwriting! It’s fabulous! And I was wondering if I have to use this with the adobe photo elements or can I just use it on my iPhoto editor???
I have some thoughts , but would like to here about more,thanks for your sharing.
Beautiful! Absolutely beautiful.
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Thank you for the tips! You have inspired me to make more of an effort when posting, because those little details like this truly make a difference! Thank you!
Thanks for the tutorial – that looks so cool! I have this linked to my post on photo editing for bloggers too today!
Thank you for this post! I have now invested in a Bamboo tablet and it is great! Love the blog and all tips 🙂 Thank you!!
These photos are so impossibly beautiful. Your work just keeps getting better and better.】
Thank you so much for this tutorial. I gave my husband a Bamboo tablet for drawing and now that I have started blogging I have been trying it out to add handwriting to photos but I feel so insecure and clumsy. Now I know I need to practice more and I feel confident about what to do. Also a good reminder to save all photos without any tweaks and add ons.
I love it when you add handwriting to photos, it makes them so personal.
Hi to all, how is the whole thing, I think every one is getting more from this web page.
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I am sooooo buying this!!