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Create A Love Message On The Sand

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In this tutorial you will learn how to create a love message on the sand using basic Photoshop filters, brushes and layer styles. Create a realistic “writing on sand” effect in Photoshop!

Create A Love Message On The Sand Photoshop Tutorial

Tutorial Details

Program: Adobe Photoshop

Difficulty: Beginner

Estimated Completion Time: 20 – 30 minutes

Tutorial Assets

The following assets were used during the production of this tutorial

Sand photo


Step 1

Open your beach (sand) stock. Press Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+N to make a new layer. Hit P to active Pen Tool with setting belows:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Make a path like heart shape:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

If you’re not familiar with Pen Tool you can use heart shape from shape gallery.

Choose Paths from Layer Pallete, then double click Work Path, choose Save Paths then name it whatever you want. It’s a good way to restore your path and you can active it anytime on any layers you want.

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Step 2

Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Enter to make selection from this path then go to Edit-Stroke with color # 45382f:

Choose Filter-Noise-Add Noise:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Go to Filter-Texture-Texturizer, choose Sandtone:

Create A Love Message On The Sand Create A Love Message On The Sand

Step 3

Right click this layer, choose Blending options:

Create A Love Message On The Sand Create A Love Message On The Sand

Then change the mode to Multipy 50%.

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Name this layer as “heart shape”.

Step 4

Make a new layer, hold the Cmd/Ctrl while clicking the thumbnail of heart shape layer to load its selection:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Go to Select-Modify-Expand and set the value as 5:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Set the feather as 4 ( right click this selection, choose Feather):

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Choose Edit-Fill with color #b79986:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Go to Filter-Add Noise then apply Texturizer filter again:

Create A Love Message On The Sand Create A Love Message On The Sand

Step 5

Right click heart shape layer and load its selection again. Choose Select-Modify-Contract and set value as 3. Then set feather for it as 2.

Create A Love Message On The Sand Create A Love Message On The Sand

Click the button at the bottom of Layer Pallete to add layer mask. We have result:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Still choose layer mask thumbnail, press Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert layer mask:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Name this layer as “stroke 1″.

Step 6

Right click “stroke 1″ layer, choose Blending options:

Create A Love Message On The Sand Create A Love Message On The Sand

Duplicate this layer and lower opacity to 50%. Right click it, choose Clear Layer Style:

Create A Love Message On The Sand Create A Love Message On The Sand

Step 7

Make a new layer and place it on the top. Load selection of “stroke 1″ layer. Do the same techniques in step 4, but with feather for selection = 12. We have result after applying Noise and Texture filter:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Then choose Filter-Noise-Dust & Scratches:

Create A Love Message On The Sand Create A Love Message On The Sand

Load selection of “stroke 1″ layer again then do the same technique in step 5 but with value of Contract as 2. This is result we get:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Step 8

Come back to heart shape layer. We’re going to change layer style effect again to make it look more realistic. Right lick it, choose Blending options:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Lower opacity to Multipy 40%:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Step 9

Still on heart shape layer, hold Cmd/Ctrl+click its thumbnail to load its selection. Choose Contract value as 3:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Right click this selection, choose Layer via Copy:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

We have a new layer above heart shape layer. Name it “stroke inside”. Change opacity a bit to Multipy 30% and add layer mask with soft black brush of medium opacity ( 30-40%) to blur some sharp parts as shown below:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Step 10

We’re going to add some love texts for our picture. Make a new layer on the top. You can use handwriting font to do it but I recomend you to use your fingers with brush stroke.

I use soft brush with color # 45382f ( like in step 2 when making heart shape) to draw letters “I” and “U” and position them as the screenshot below shows:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Apply Noise and Texturizer with same settings like in step 2:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Call this layer as “letters”.

Step 11

Choose heart shape layer then right click it, choose Copy Layer Style:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Choose “letters” layer, right click it, choose Paste Layer Style:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Increase opacity to Multipy 60%:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Step 12

On letters layer, load its selection with contract = 2. Right click it, choose Layer via Copy, we have:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Add layer mask to blur some too visible stroke parts:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Step 13

Make a new layer and place it on the top. Load selection of letters again, apply Expand with value = 2 then stroke it with color #6c5c51:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

We have result:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Step 14

In this step we make more stroke outside letters by creating two layers and doing the same techniques done in step 5, 6, 7 for heart shape, except don’t duplicate stroke-in step 6). Here is my result:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Step 15

The picture looks too bright so I use a Levels layer to fix it. Choose Layer-New adjustment layer-Levels:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Change the Shadow and Midtone value:

Create A Love Message On The Sand Create A Love Message On The Sand

Step 16

We’re almost done! Create a new layer, set to Overlay 100% and fill with 50% gray:

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Hit O to active Burn Tool, I set value for this tool as Midtones Range and 20-30% Exposure. Use it to darken some parts of our message. You can see how I used it with Normal mode ( dark parts on screenshot):

Create A Love Message On The Sand

Final Result

Create A Love Message On The Sand

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial on creating a love message on sand in Photoshop.  Do write in with your comments and feedback using the form below.  We would love to hear from you!

Posted on February 7, 2012 in Tutorials, tagged , , , , by EntheosWeb
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13 thoughts on “Create A Love Message On The Sand

    • Thank you John, glad to hear you enjoyed the tutorial, do join us on Facebook or subscribe by email to receive the best design tutorials, resources and freebies everyday!

  1. Very nice tutorial. I have been wanting to learn how to do “Sand Writing” , and this is one of the best Photoshop tutorials I have come across. Thank you for posting it.

  2. It doesn’t work to me, I use PS CS5 lite but the problem isn’t in the version of the software.
    After you make selection from path in Step 2, do you deselect befor add Noise filter?
    I try both and if I don’t deselect filters work inside selection, if I deselect, instead, they change the plain image.
    Can you please tell me how to work? :p

  3. Hey, this was a good tutorial, but maybe you should try and make a video showing this more, the steps are a little bit too much. You should try to keep it at a minimum, and sum up everything. You could have just said that after we got done making the heart, we can apply the same settings with the “I” and the “U” :) But good tutorial, glad you spent your time doing it! I’m sure you helped a lot others.

  4. I used this tutorial for my progect in my AICE design class but i outlined a person and made his outline in the sand pushing the water but as he pushed the water his hands disolved away!

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