Photoshop: Snow Text

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza, or nothing at all, there’s a good chance you’ll be making some sort of winter decoration this year! And what says “Winter” better than snow!? Let’s add some snow to the Candy Cane text which we created not too long ago.

Snow Covered Text in Photoshop


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For this process, we’re going to be creating a custom brush, then painting on a layer with a few Layer Styles. Let’s start with the brush.

In your Tools Bar, grab your Brush Tool. Don’t worry too much about the initial brush, as we’re going to be customizing it to fit this project. If your Brush Panel is not visible on the right side of your workspace, which it probably won’t be, head up to the Window menu, then down to Brush.

This Panel will allow us to customize every aspect of our brush in order to get the result we’re looking for. Let’s start in the Brush Tip Shape section.

In terms of the Size of the brush, it really depends on the area you’re going to be working with. I chose to start at 40px, which can easily be adjusted later on. At the bottom, we only want to change the Hardness and Spacing. Set the Hardness at 60% and the spacing all the way to the left. 1% is as low as you can go.

Hopping into the Shape Dynamics section, the only setting that we want adjusted is the Size Jitter. Bring that all the way to 100%. This will help create ‘clumps’ of snow throughout the design. Everything else should be set to “Off” or 0%.

And last, let’s add a Texture to our brush. As you might guess, this will help add fluffiness to the edges of our brush. In the dropdown list of pattern, find and select the “Clouds” pattern.

If, by chance, you don’t see that pattern available, click on the arrow at the top right corner of this window, select Patterns, then choose Append to add those patterns to the current list.

Once you have the pattern selected, turn the scale up to 200%, set the Mode to Linear Burn and the depth to 70%.

Now it’s time to brush in our snow. Create a new layer in your Layer’s Panel, then starting with the 40px brush, rough in the larger clumps around the top of the text, then using your square bracket keys, you can increase or decrease the size of the brush. The left square bracket will decrease the brush, and the right bracket will increase it. It might be a good idea to incrementally decrease the brush as you’re snow is coming to a stop.

At this point, our snow’s shape is in place, but it doesn’t really look like snow. We need to add some Layer Styles to give it some depth. Let’s start with a Drop Shadow to pull the snow slightly away from the text.

Next we’re going to add an Inner Shadow to give depth to the snow. The color of the shadow is up to you, but I found blue to work well. I’m going to use the value: 3065c7.

At this point, you could stop here if you’re happy with the soft, smooth snow, but I chose to add a slight Pattern Overlay to add some clump to the design. I used the Clouds pattern again.

And that should do it! Seeing that we created this snow from a Brush and Layer Styles, you can now tweak it however you like! Now if you want to have a little fun with your snow, go ahead and add a Satin, decrease the Opacity to 15%, increase the Distance and Size a touch, then change the color to yellow.