Someone had asked about creating a watermark in Photoshop over at Ree’s in the comments section of this post and I mentioned that I could help with that if anyone wanted me to. Jackie came here and asked in my comments section if I would be doing a tutorial on that here and who am I to refuse? After all, it is blizzarding outside and acting much too much like winter right now and therefore there is nothing else for a girl to do but to oblige.

So to start, in Photoshop open a picture of which you are the sole owner and proprietor. Like for instance, this picture of moi. I asked The Pastor if he thought I looked sultry in this picture and he said, “More sullen than sultry.” Okay then.

Sultry Nan

The first thing you you are going to do is to look down to the right in your layers pallete and select the little square with the corner folded over. That is the “new layer” icon.

New Layer

See what happens? A new blank layer appears and calls your name and tells you to do wild and crazy things to it. Or not so wild and crazy things as the case may be.

New Layer 1

Then you are going to go up and open your brushes pallete. If your brushes pallete is not visible, go up to the horizontal menu bar at the top of your screen and select window, then click on brushes so that a check mark appears. It may put the brushes pallete out in the middle of your screen like a lonely little island. If you want to make it a part of a continent over on the right just drag it and drop it where you want it to hang out next to your actions and characters and such.

Now, in order to select a copyright brush you have to have loaded a copyright brush into your brushes pallete. You can either download a set of copyright brushes from the internet or you can create your own (I could create a whole post about this but why do it when others already have? :^D Go here for a good tutorial on making a personalized copyright brush.) If you have a copyright brush loaded into your brushes pallete, go and select it.

choose brush

Then put your cursor over the image you want to copyright and right click. This nifty little box will come up and ask you what you want the Master Diameter to be. You can either use the slider or you can type in the number of pixels across you want it to be if you are all mathematical like that. I very very specifically chose 411 px because anything else would have ruined my picture completely. Okay, so I just used the slider until the little hovering shadow of the brush looked to be about the right size.

brush diameter

Then, here’s where it gets super duper hard. You click.

Yes. You click where you want the brush to land. If you land it in the wrong place simply hit control (or command) Z and it will undo and you can click again where you actually want it. Or you can select the move tool (the arrow) and just drag it where you want it to be.

And then it looks like this. A large hideous copyright sign over your nice pretty picture.

stamp it

But that’s okay because you know how to make the picture show through again don’t you. You don’t? Oh.

Okay, you will then go over to your layers pallete again and you will look down at the bottom for the icon that says fx. That’s not a button that will fix (without the i) all of your problems. It’s short for Effects. Click it.

click fx

A little menu will pop up and you will select the word stroke. (Don’t worry, your head will not explode and you will not feel fluids rushing to your brain. Nor will Fabio suddenly appear and start carressing your hair.) It will then bring up this box entitled Layer Style (which is, incidentally, not about how to look sexy while wearing several frumpy layers of clothes in the winter.) You will then click on the little box next to the word color and a color selector will appear. You will choose white. You will then select the size of the stroke outline. (Is it just me or does it sound like I’m trying to hypnotize you?) I don’t like it to be very thick so I chose 2 px.

layer style

At this point you can actually go and put check marks in any of the little effects listed on the left that you might want your copyright symbol to have. Want it to have an ethereal glow? Check the Outer Glow box, hit the words Outer Glow, fiddle with all of the sliders until you like it… you could then go and check off Bevel and Emboss and play with the sliders inside that window until you like what you see. Layer Styles are so much fun to do and undo like a person with OCD turning off and on the light switch until they are sure it is really off.

Once you’ve done all that (or just the stroke bit), hit Okay.

Now go back on up to that layer on which you have stamped that larger than life letter C with a circle around it. Just above it you will see two little windows labeled Opacity and Fill. By the way, If I ever have twins – a boy and a girl – I think I will name them Opacity and Phil in honor of Photoshop. Okay? Now that we have located Opacity and Fill change the opacity to something like 4% and fill to 0%.

Opacity 4%

fill 0%

Depending on the darkness of your picture you may have to make the opacity lighter or darker. Fiddle with it until it’s right for your image. You want it to be seen but you don’t want it taking too much away from the picture (even though I know sometimes I get hasty and don’t really pay close enough attention to this detail myself.)

Now you have a nice subtle watermark over your picture. Flatten the image and…


Hopefully I didn’t leave out any super duper important pieces of information. Let me know if you have any questions. And if I know the answers I’ll gladly give them but if I don’t, I’ll run away and hide and won’t come out until you stop looking for me.

6 thoughts on “Creating a Watermark on your Photo in Photoshop

  1. Thank you. This is great!!!

    I love that comm>Z I used it many times last night.

    We shall see if my pea brain can follow along.
    Still haven’t figured out the wonderful montage tutorial from flickr yesterday.
    My brain can only hold so much new stuff at a time.


  2. No problem Miz Booshay! :^D I think your grasp of Photoshop, despite the steep learning curve, has shown that you have something more than a pea brain!! LOL

  3. Thank you! I was just trying to figure this out last week. You are a great resource. I even showed my photoshopping-genius-of-a-pastor-husband your boy’s pictures and he thought they were very well-done, too. Blessings!

  4. Thanks Nan, this is something I’ve been meaning to learn for forever but just hadn’t had enough time with alert brain cells to figure out. I’m guessing it’s going to be a bit different in Elements but not so much that I can’t figure it out.

    Queen of My Domain’s last blog post..Beware the Dead Battery

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