The chalkboard trend is nothing new, but when I set out to make this graphic, I figured it was a great opportunity to write a tutorial. My method doesn't produce the most mind-blowing, realistic portrayal of handwritten chalk on a blackboard, but I think it suffices for recreational use.
To follow along, you’ll need:
Open your chalkboard file in Photoshop and crop it to the desired dimensions.
In Illustrator, design your illustration/lettering. Once it's is ready, select the entire frame and copy (Command + C).
TIP :: To make this design, I used Charcuterie Frames, Block, Filigree, Ornaments, and Catch Words. I drew the lettuce, beet, and carrot with the pen tool.
Paste the frame into your Photoshop file by hitting Command + V. Note that this is now a Vector Smart Object on its own layer. Re-size and move as needed by using Command + T.
In your Layers panel, click on fx and choose Pattern Overlay. (Be sure the Vector Smart Object layer is selected when you do this.)
Next, choose a white, crackled pattern. I used "Homemade Paper" under the pre-loaded Grayscale Paper collection, but you can choose whatever looks most like chalk. Keep the opacity at 100%, then click OK.
This step is a matter of personal taste, but I like some contrast between the black of the board and the white of the chalk. With the Vector Smart Object layer still selected, click on fx again and this time choose Outer Glow. Here are the settings I used:
- Blend Mode: Normal
- Opacity: 30%
- Noise: 0%
- Color: #000000 (black)
- Technique: Softer
- Spread: 0%
- Size: 16px
Play around with the settings to get an effect you like, then click OK.
Change the opacity of the Vector Smart Object layer to 90% (or wherever you're comfy).
Right-click on the same layer and choose Rasterize Layer. (Don't do this if you want to keep that illustration a vector. Instead, make a copy of the layer, and only rasterize one of them. Hide the other.)
Now for some imperfections! Choose the Smudge tool, adjusting the size and strength to your liking.
Click and drag (quickly) to create "smudges" - as if you accidentally rested your hand on the board and wiped off chalk. Repeat as desired.
Optional Step :: If this isn't looking realistic enough for you, try using the Brush tool to apply a grungy texture in black. (New layer > select the Brush tool > identify the brush you want to use > size it to something slightly larger than your canvas, making sure your foreground color is black > click to apply.) Adjust the opacity of this layer until the chalk is "just white enough." For me, this was 50%.
At the end, you'll have something like this:
If you're wondering what all the veggies are about, come back tomorrow and check out our farm-inspired color palette series!