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Paint Type with Color in Adobe Photoshop Elements

Changing the color of text in Photoshop Elements is as easy as highlighting it and selecting a color from the Color Picker. But what if you want to do something a little less conventional, such as apply random brush strokes of paint across the type, as was done in the top image shown in this figure?

It’s really easier than it looks. Again, as with applying filters to text, the only criterion is that the type has to be simplified first. After that’s done, select a color, grab the Brush tool with settings of your choice, and paint.

In the example, the Granite Flow brush was used, found in the Special Effect Brushes presets. Diameters of 39, 15, and 6 pixels were used and just swiped the type a few times.

Bring your type to life with color (top) or a gradient (bottom).
Bring your type to life with color (top) or a gradient (bottom).

If you want the color or gradient to be confined to the type area, select the text by either Ctrl-clicking (Cmd-clicking on a Mac) the layer containing the text or locking the layer’s transparency on the Layers panel.

You can also apply a gradient to your type. Here are the steps to follow after simplifying your type:

  1. Select the Gradient tool from the Tools panel.

  2. In the Tool Options, click the down-pointing arrow next to the Gradient Picker to access the Gradient Picker panel.

  3. Choose your desired gradient.

  4. Position your gradient cursor on the text where you want your gradient to start; drag to where you want your gradient to end.

    Don’t like the results? Drag again until you get the look you want. You can drag at any angle and to any length, even outside your type. In the bottom image, the copper gradient was used and just dragged from the top of the letters to the bottom. The transparent pixels on the layer were also locked to confine the gradient to just the type area.

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