How To Fill Text With an Image In Photoshop {Text Splash}

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This Photoshop text effects tutorial is going to make a splash! I’ll admit this tutorial is a bit intense. No worries. Below I provide step-by-step instructions to learn how to master this text effect.

Plus, the Youtube video above will show you how it’s done… which was created with Photoshop beginners in mind.

Ready to master adding an image to text and creating a splash? Awesome, let’s do it!

Table of Contents

Note: the (above) video tutorial was created with Photoshop beginners in mind. The following step-by-step instructions are for more experienced users.

Step 1: Create a New Document & Add Image

create new document

Go to File > New to create a new Photoshop document. For the width, set it to 1920 and the height at 1080. Set the Background Contents to white.

For the background image, download this one and click/drag it over the Photoshop interface. This will add it as a new layer. Rename the layer Image 1.

Step 2: Create a Gradient Overlay & Style Image

create gradient overlay

For this step, we’re going to style the image with a Gradient overlay. You’ll need to add this to a new layer; Shift + Command or Ctrl + N. Name the layer Gradient.

Let’s set up the colors for our Gradient. With the Gradient Tool (G) selected, click on the tool options’ long rectangle box. This will reveal the Gradient Editor.

Select the preset that has the colors from black to white. Then update the colors as follow; for the first color, #64bac0 and the second #03424c.

To apply your gradient, start from the bottom of the canvas and drag to the top. Before releasing your mouse button, hold down the Shift key to lock it into a 90-degree angle.

Although you can’t see your image at the moment, we’ll fix that by changing the Blend Mode to Multiply.

Apply Custom Brushes

Download some free brushes made by Kyle T. For this project, you’ll want the Spatter Brushes. Once installed, located and select the “Splashy” brush.

For this effect, you’ll need to add a Layer Mask to the Image 1 layer. Once you’ve done that, you can begin painting on your canvas. Paint with black to apply the brush and with white to remove it.


If you wish to remove with white, change the Blending Mode of the brush from Multiply to Normal.

Pro Tip:

The dynamics of these pre-made brushes have been preset for specific results. For example, if you click and hold your mouse button, the brush will continually be applied. Kind of like a spray can.

Plus, the brush size, angle, and jitter will continually change as you apply the brush! You can adjust these settings in the brush settings panel.

Step 3: Add Your Text + Align

add your text

Before adding your text, select the Gradient layer, and then grab your Text Tool (T). For the font type, I recommend a big, bold, or thick font style. I’m using a free font called Alfa Slab One.

For the font size, let’s use 100pt, and I’m using #373737 for the color. In all caps, type out the word WAVES. Next, let’s center the text.

Aligning the Text

After typing out your word, hit the Escape key to deactivate the Text Tool. With your Move Tool (V), you’ll have access to all the alignment options. They can be found in the tool options.

But, before you can align them to the center of your canvas, you need to select both the text layer and the background layer. Here’s how; hold down your Command or Ctrl key and click on both layers.

Now, find the two alignment icons labeled as follows; Align horizontal center + Align vertical center.


When adding text, the new layer will be added above the selected layer. Hence, why I suggested selecting the Gradient layer first.

Step 4: Style Your Text

style your text

Now it’s time to style your text. First, grab your Waves text layer and duplicate it with Command or Ctrl + J. Rename the new text layer; Waves 2. Now, hide the first Waves layer.

Add a Stroke

Right-click on your Waves 2 layer and Rasterize the Layer. Next, right-click on the Waves 2 thumbnail and choose Select Pixels. Which selects each individual letter.

Add a new layer named Stroke. Then, go to Edit > Stroke, set the color to white and the Width to 4px. Also, make sure it’s placed on the Outside.

Add an Inner Shadow

At this point, you should still have the letters selected. To create an Inner Shadow on a separate layer, first select your Background layer. Here are the steps for creating the Inner Shadow;

  1. Inverse the Selection with Shift + Command + I
  2. Edit > Copy
  3. Edit > Paste
  4. Rename the new layer Inner Shadow
  5. Drag this new layer to the top of all other layers
  6. Double click on the Inner Shadow layer and select Drop Shadow (from the left panel)
  7. Drop Shadow settings; 75% Opacity, 120 Angle, Distance 16px, Spread 4%, and Size 9px
  8. Right-click on Inner Shadow layer and Rasterize
  9. Grab your Magic Wand Tool (W) and click on the white of the canvas
  10. The inside of the letter “A” needs to be selected too. Shift and click on the white with the letter
  11. Hit your Delete or Backspace key to remove the white
  12. Deselect with Command or Ctrl + D

Step 5: Reveal Your Image In the Text + Style

reveal your image

Almost done! It’s time to reveal the image inside of the text. Oh, and restyle the image.

Duplicate your Image 1 layer and rename Image 2. Right-click on the Layer Mask and delete it. Grab this layer and move it above the Waves 2 layer. Right-click on the layer and select “Create Clipping Mask.”

Next, increase the Opacity of the Image 2 layer to 100%.

Step 6: Create The Splashing Text Effect

create splashing text effect

Now the fun begins! Ready to make a splash with your text? Let’s do it!

First, let’s group the Inner Shadow and Stroke layers. Select both right-click on one and choose “Group from Layers.” Rename the group to Text Effects.

Next, add a Layer Mask to the grouped layer. Grab your Brush Tool (B) and choose the “Wet Splat” brush made by Kyle. Begin painting, with black, around the first letter of your word.

If you like, apply the brush along with parts of the second letter too. Now, select your Waves 2 layer and paint in and out of the first two letters. This will create a splashing effect!

Now What?

Did you enjoy this Photoshop text effects tutorial? 

I hope so! I hope you learned a lot about Photoshop, too, in the process.

But it doesn’t stop here. In fact, I’d love to see your finished text effect design. 

If you join our private Facebook group, you can share your design + get feedback. Plus, it’s a great place to grow as a Photoshop artist!

Ready to up your Photoshop skills even further? If so, discover all my premium Photoshop tutorials and or my free Photoshop tutorials.

Discover many more Photoshop text effect tutorials via this playlist that includes over 20 more designs you can master today!

Like this article? If so, please share!

A 30-year photography pro with a desire to help you achieve your creative vision! Facebook | Youtube

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