Use our free texture pack to add depth to your images easily in Photoshop Elements

Watch video: How to add texture in Photoshop Elements 

Sometimes your images need a little extra punch to make them really stand out, and textures are a brilliant way of doing precisely that! Texture files can be stored on your computer, added to your images to give them additional depth, or even add multiple textures to build up the effect. They’re great fun to play around with and also a brilliant way to learn more about Layers and Layer Masks in Photoshop. 

We’re using the budget-friendly Photoshop Elements 2020 for this tutorial, but the steps are the same if you’d like to try it out in Photoshop CC too. PhotoPlus magazine is supplying you with 15 textures that you can download here (look for the Texture Pack folder, inside the Elements folder). These are full-color files but, if you don’t want the colors of your original image to be affected, you can turn the texture image to mono by pressing Ctrl / Cmd + U. Read on to see how you can leave an impression with textures…

• 100 Photoshop tips

01 Load up your free textures

(Image credit: Future)

Open up your free textures in Resources > Elements and pick one you like, then open it into Photoshop Elements in the Expert mode. Then open up another shot that you want to add the texture to.

02 Add the texture to your pic and resize

(Image credit: Future)

Hit Ctrl / Cmd + A to select the texture, Ctrl / Cmd + C to copy it, and then in your other image press Ctrl / Cmd + V to paste it in. Hit Ctrl / Cmd + T to use Free Transform mode and pull the corners to resize it.

03 Blend the texture in

(Image credit: Future)

Go to the Layers panel (Window > Layers) and change the blending mode from Normal to one of the options in the list to blend it in. Overlay, Soft Light, Hard Light and Screen usually work well.

04 Mask off the effect

(Image credit: Future)

Click the Layer Mask icon in the Layers panel and use a soft black Brush Tool to paint over areas that you don’t want the texture layer to affect, such as the model’s face in our picture.

05 Adjust the contrast

(Image credit: Future)

Click on the Add New Adjustment Layer > Levels in the layers panel, then right-click on this layer and choose Create Clipping Mask. Now you can tweak the contrast of just the texture using the levels panel.

06 Build up the effect

(Image credit: Future)

Now it’s time to build up the effect, so open up another texture and repeat the previous steps to blend it in and add even more texture. Be sure to try out different blending modes to get different results.

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Dan Mold
Deputy Editor

Deputy Editor on PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine, Dan also brings his technical wizardry and editing skills to Digital Camera World. He has been writing about all aspects of photography for over 10 years, having previously served as technical writer and technical editor for Practical Photography magazine, as well as Photoshop editor on Digital Photo

Dan is an Adobe-certified Photoshop guru, making him officially a beast at post-processing – so he’s the perfect person to share tips and tricks both in-camera and in post. Able to shoot all genres, Dan provides news, techniques and tutorials on everything from portraits and landscapes to macro and wildlife, helping photographers get the most out of their cameras, lenses, filters, lighting, tripods, and, of course, editing software.