With a bold and vibrant approach, Luke Choice’s smudge scripts give a hand drawn aesthetic to his colorful designs. In this short tutorial, see how Choice creates his scripts in Adobe Photoshop.

Luke Choice is the Australian designer behind Velvet Spectrum based in Astoria, Oregon where he and his wife Morgan work in typography, 3D design, and animation. 

Step 1: Choose a source

Open one colorful image and one blank document in Photoshop.

Left side shows colorful spheres; the right side shows a blank white square indicating a blank document in Adobe Photoshop

Step 2: Get ready to paint

Choice selected the Smudge tool and set the brush type to one with texture – Oil Pastel Large (Brushes > Settings > Legacy Brushes > Default Brushes from the Options bar). He set the Smudge tool Strength to the mid-90s and chose Sample All Layers.

Smudge tool settings displayed in Options bar at the top of the colorful image with the spheres

Step 3: Brush new script

To paint the letters, Choice added a new layer to the colorful image. Then, he drew the first letter, making sure to brush through as many colors as possible.

The letter C is on a new layer above the colorful image; the hand lettering looks like a brush stroke with colors from the image

Step 4: Place the letter

Once he drew the letter, Choice used the Move tool to drag the letter layer to the new document. To view both documents at once, Choice selected Window > Arrange > Tile All Vertically.

Left: Colorful image with spheres shows Move tool up top; right: newly drawn C is placed in blank Photoshop document

Step 5: Repeat and finish

Back in the image source, Choice hid the first letter layer and created a new layer. Then he repeated the process to create the remaining letters and move each one to its own layer in the new document. To complete the composition, he added a Solid Color adjustment layer as the bottom layer.

Hand lettering with brushed look spell Create on pink background, each letter is on its own layer

Add a touch of paint

Use a colorful image to design a paint brush effect without getting your hands dirty.

Hand lettering composition displayed on a pink bag on a model’s shoulder

Note: Project files included with this tutorial are for practice purposes only.

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