Shallow Water Tutorial

opening jpg

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    All the content on this Shallow Water Tutorial site is protected by International Copyright laws. If photos or graphics were created by anyone other than Susie, it will be noted and the copyright will remain with the creator. Please respect these copyrights. Any similarity to any other tutorial is coincidental. You may download my tutorials for personal use. You may share them within a group, if you write and ask my permission first. The image you create from this tutorial is yours to do with as you please.

    This tutorial was written in version 9. It is assumed you have knowledge and skills with layers. There are no filters or plugins used, just the flood fill, the air brush and the smudge brush. This is a two part tutorial, with this first section showing how to make water in a shallow pond or creek and the second part showing how to make the water for the ocean, sea or a deep lake.

    I want to give credit for my inspiration for writing this tutorial to my friend Kathie. Thank you, Kathie.

    Open a transparent image, 300 x 300. Flood fill the image with #4ca5b8. Then set the foreground to #c2f0f8 and the Background to #3f8897. Activate the air brush with the following settings.

air brush settings

Save as a pspimage in folder of your choice.

    Add a new raster layer, name it LIGHT BLUE. Lightly spray several horizontal lines across the image. The lines don't have to be straight, nor do they have to go completely across the image, as they will be the ripples and waves formed by the current in the water.

light blue spray


    We will be adding more lines a bit later, so don't worry if you don't have enough lines yet. When you think you might have what you want, activate the Smudge Brush, with the settings in the screen shot.

smudge brush settings

    Move the brush over the lines to smudge and blend the lines. They should look similar to the screen shot.

smudged lite blue lines


    Click on the little arrow on the materials palette (color palette) to switch the colors between the foreground and the background. The light blue shade is now the background.

color palette

    On the same raster layer, lightly spray the darker blue across the image as in the screen shot. Use the same settings for the air brush as before. Again, your lines don't have to be straight.

dark blue spray


    Once you have the dark blue lines on, use the smudge brush again, with the same settings as before.

smudged dark blue lines

    You can stop now and just do the final blending or you can add some more lines and smudge them, alternating between the dark and the light. I added several more lines of each shade for my final image.


    Once you have all the lines on and smudged to the way you want the image to appear, activate your smudge brush, and change the size to 10. Change the opacity to 42. Go over all the areas you had previously smudged to smooth out the little vertical lines that the smudge brush created. If you zoom the image to 200%, you can see them more clearly.

    When you have all the areas smoothed, the image will be finished! I merged my layers and exported it as a tube, and then I did the seamless tiling, and saved it in my patterns for future use.

opening jpg

    Here is an example of how you can use this water image. I hope you enjoyed doing this little tutorial. Thank you for trying it.

fishing kitty

    If you would like to make the deeper appearing water, just click on the following link.

Blue or Deep Water Tutorial

    This tutorial was created April 18, 2007.

      Please feel free to contact me if you have any comments or questions. Send email to susie