We all love to take photos and love to convert it to give a new look like a traditional watercolor look. It is a unique way where an artist can creatively represent his/her dream, illusion, emotions and bright feelings using water-soluble paintings. Nowadays it has become popular. People want to modify their images to watercolor image and many software or apps are available to fulfill their wish. I am going to share with you about convert photos to watercolor painting where you will find every detail and tips to give a different look to your image.

What is a Watercolor Painting?

The word “Watercolor” refers to paint which is used with water-soluble, complex carbohydrates as a binder. In the 16th and 18th century, watercolor binders were sugar or hide glues. But from the 19th century, it changed to natural gum arabic with glycerine or honey as essences to improve plasticity and solubility of the binder, and with other chemicals added to improve product shelf life.

Watercolor painting is a different process than normal painting where pigment is used with water to give a new look to the painting. Watercolor painting is known for its inherent structure and quality because watercolor art is all about thin washes and transparent color. Usually, the painter paint watercolor painting on thick paper but the tooth of the surface can vary significantly. Sometimes the white of the painting surface will glare through and give itself to the luminosity of the painting.

Watercolor paint is made up of four major ingredients. A pigment, gum Arabic performed as a binder to hold the pigment in suspension strongly; additives like glycerin, ox gall, honey, and preservatives to adjust the viscosity, hiding, durability or color of the pigment and vehicle mixture; and disappearing water, as a solvent used to thin or dilute the paint for application.

Watercolor painting needs support from its painting ingredients. Important ingredients are papyrus, bark papers, plastics, vellum, leather, fabric, wood, and canvas. To avoid any type of distortion as the color is wet, papers are often made of entirely cotton or partially. Watercolors are normally shining and seem luminous as the pigments are placed down in a clean form with few fillers obscuring the pigment colors. You can add Chinese white to make watercolor filmy.

Watercolor is known with different names in different areas in the world. In East Asia, it is known as brush painting or scroll painting if the ink is added with it. In the East Asia region like Chinese, Japanese and Korean paintings it has been the main painting, sometimes in monochrome black and brown, they use inkstick or different pigments. Indian subcontinent and Ethiopia also have an eventful tradition of watercolor painting. In the 19th century, American painters use watercolor do give a finishing look in oil or engraving paintings.

Currently, two types of watercolor paint are available. Tube and Pans. Most of the paints sold today are in portable small metal tubes in specific sizes and expressed to reliability similar to toothpaste by being already mixed with a definite water component. For use, this paste has to be further mixed with water. Pan paints are small dried cakes or bars of paint which is kept in an open plastic container are usually sold in two sizes, full pans, and half pans.

To achieve the textural effects, watercolor artists apply dozens of techniques like washes, working wet on wet and wet on dry, lifting out and masking out for highlights. Finding a balance between controlling and freeing this painting medium is very important for a watercolor artist.

How to do Watercolor Painting at Photoshop?

You can take a project named convert photo to watercolor painting at Photoshop. And I am here to help you with this project to make it successful. Adobe Photoshop can produce accurate watercolor effects with a cocktail of built-in filters. Adobe Photoshop has a range of settings that will make any photograph into a handmade watercolor painting.

The outcome we’ll be creating in this tutorial mimics the aesthetics of a hand-painted picture using watercolor paints. A range of Photoshop filters will produce the bases of the effect, then the additional paper texture and deformation with watercolor Photoshop brushes add an extra level of realism to produce an undoubted effect.

Firstly, open your chosen image in Photoshop. Click Right on the background image layer. Then convert it to Small Object.

Go to the Filter Menu and choose Filter Gallery. Navigate to the Artistic Category and choose Dry Brush, brush size should be no more than 10. Also, Brush detail and Texture should be 10 and 1 respectively. Now click OK to apply the effect.

Again go to the Filter Gallery menu option. Remember, the top options should not be changed and the same effect will be reapplied. This time, select the Cutout Filter and change the setting 5 number of Levels, 4 Edge simplicity and 1 Edge Fidelity.

In the Layers Panel, lookout for a small settings icon next to the top Filter Gallery entry and click twice. Blending Option needs to be changed to Pin Light.

Go to the Filter option again. This time change the Blue option to Smart Blur. Enter the settings of 5 Radius, 100 Threshold and change the Quality to High.

Double Click on the Settings Icon and change the blending mode of the Smart Blur effect to Screen and decrease the opacity to 50%.

Go to Filter > Stylize > Find Edges. Now you need to Edit the blending option and change the blending mode to Multiply to render this layer’s background transparent. Thus, you will get the details of the find edges effect to represent pencil sketch lines.

Look out for a free paper texture like Ivory Off White Paper Texture. Simply, Copy and Paste the texture into the Photoshop document. Scale it as it needs to be sized over the canvas. Blending mode needs to be select on Multiply.

Now, add a Layer Mask to the Background layer, then use the ALT + Backspace shortcut to fill up the mask with black, which will successfully erase the full photograph. Select the Brush tool and choose one of the watercolor brushes.

Change the foreground color to white in the toolbar, then use the square bracket keys to fine-tune the size of the brush. Click around the canvas to renovate the photograph with watercolor style bleeding around the edges.

After giving a few clicks, change the brush to an alternative watercolor option and continue restoring the image with a variety of watercolor tones to avoid any repetition.

Since all the effects have been set up as part of a Smart Object, then the watercolor painting effect can be applied to an alternative photograph by editing the contents of the Smart Object layer. Double click the Smart Object layer’s thumbnail to open the.PSB file. Paste in a different image then save and close the file. Go back to the main document to find all the effects have been straightaway applied to the new picture to convert photo to watercolor painting.

Things to Know before starting Watercolor !

Watercolor painting is not an easy artwork. You need to go a long way to become an expert on watercolor painting. You need to involve a lot of techniques. A perfect start can help you to achieve your goal. There is a proverb called “Morning shows the day”. Make a clear plan, follow it properly, be patient and practice and you will reach your destination.

Buy Paper Dented for Watercolor: You will become frustrated when you find that you have to fight with your ingredients of watercolor painting. Ensure, you bought paper which is suitable for watercolor painting. Be serious about your improvement, do not go with regular papers for your painting work.

Depending on the amount of paint or water you are using, you can go with Mixed Media Sketchbook. This option is even ignorable until you become an expert or experienced in watercolor painting.

You can do a small research on the quality of the paper and price. You can choose from many options as different papers are available like a thicker, thinner, cold press, hot press, etc. If you are pretty heavy-handed with the paint, rough with the paintbrushes and papers, you can choose the thicker ones.

Before Starting the Paint, Plan colors: This is a definite option to go with. If you do not plan for the colors, there is a big chance of ruining a good drawing. Because at the start, you will remain anxious which may lead you to a bad drawing as you did not plan which color to use to make a good drawing.

Keep in mind, an effective artwork requires harmony, unity, and coherence. To do this, you should have a plan on how colors will be applied while painting.

You will get a lot of benefits while starting with a limited color palette. Do not stick with only one color, plan how you will be using your darkest mixtures and shadows. You will get more professional output if you plan and control your colors.

Pencil Sketches Should Remain Light: Watercolor paints are transparent and thin, so if you keep the pencil sketches thick, then the pencil mark will be visible through the paint. So it is advisable to keep the pencil sketch light as much as possible or at least you can erase partially after completing your initial sketch or map.

Also, keep your eyes on to remove any extra graphite. You may have unfortunately smudged on the paper while drawing using an eraser. In the end, you will find a clean output if you do so.

You can choose a water-soluble grey colored pencil also for your initial sketch. The lines will completely go after paint. This is highly recommended for an experienced skilled painter.

Protect the White Area: At the start, you will face a problem and conscious effort required to protect the white area. As previously mentioned, while doing the initial sketch you should have a plan or map out the lightest or darkest painting area.

If you are painting an image which has many details in it, make it easier for yourself by working larger. Water gives watercolors a mind of their own and you have to learn to work WITH it and not AGAINST it. Give the paint space to do its thing. “Practice Makes a man perfect”, the more you practice, the more you will be able to control how much water is needed for any given point.

You can use masking fluid, but a lot of people will decline this option as its required time and adding extra steps in your painting process. However, depending on the subject and complexity of your painting, this might be the best one. White areas will be protected in the masking fluid process and you do not need to be as careful while painting.

While Applying Paint, start as Light and Transparent as Possible: Always start with a transparent paint mixture that contains way more water than pigment. Work your way up to the darker values slowly by adding layer upon layer and allowing appropriate drying times in between. Placement is very important for the darkest values as paint mixtures with large amounts of pigment on them. Also, proper placement gives an image more depth and painting dimension.

Let the layers get dry: Do not be so impatient, you will mess up with everything if you do not let the layers get dry. In the beginning, many of us do not allow each layer to dry accurately before applying the next layer.

If you’re impatient, it is recommended to work on compositions in which you can jump around from one side to the other or simply working on two separate pieces at a time, switching between them to allow them to dry whenever needed.

Even if you do any mistake, do not stop, continue your painting. Let it dry and later, you might be able to correct it or maybe you can make it less noticeable by adding more layers. Do not overreact when you make mistakes.

Do not use more than three colors in the same mixture: It is very important to know about the color wheel as well as the outcome of mixing different colors in the same mixture.

When creating these mixtures, make sure to prepare them and test them out before actually applying them in your paintings to make sure they are what you are looking for. You do not want to ruin your work by applying a color that looks like mud.

Keep a scrap piece of watercolor paper beside you during painting to test the colors before applying them. If you do so, you will be able to understand both your color and level of transparency are what you want at the given point.

Do Not Forget to Clean Brushes: Always clean your brush before going to the next color. Make sure that pigments are completely removed from the paintbrush.

If you’re using the same paintbrush with very several colors, doing some gentle blotting on a rag after having rinsed it can usually help you identify if its clean. You don’t want to create muddiness in your paintings that will be hard to remove. Also, swivel your brushes in your water gently.

Change the Water Time to Time: Do not get too lazy to change your water from time to time. Otherwise, you will start getting different marks in your painting. Some painters use different water cup while working, you should decide how you should go. Do not wait for a long time to change the water as there’s nothing worse than ruining a great painting with something that could be avoided so easily.

Quality First: First choose the subject you would like to paint. Landscape, interior scenery, foods, etc. are different paintings from each other. Depending on the subject you have to choose watercolor sets that are great in terms of quality and price. You should go for the sets that contain colors you will be using.

It’s preferable to buy smaller sets that offer better quality, than larger ones with poor quality. Look for paint that has a strong color payoff and blends well when mixing.

Apps to do Watercolor Painting !

Nowadays you do not need to be an expert on convert photos to watercolor painting by using different photo editors. Several convert photos to the watercolor painting app are available. Anyone can convert architectural photos to watercolor painting by using these apps. These apps are available for smartphones or computers. Below is the list of some top paint apps available for Android, iOS, and windows and showing you how the process works.


Want to give a watercolor painting look to your image? Hundreds of paint-like filters are available in Pikazo and one can easily convert photos to watercolor painting crafts. Pikazo allows users to upload their photos to preset. Then, this app will try to convert photos to watercolor painting more like the one you have uploaded.

You can control some of the results using the sliders as well by Pikazo. From this app, you can easily share your converted watercolor painting with your friends and even can-do print also.

Pikazo has lots of photo features that will let you create your filters mixing in with a lot of pre-existing filters creates a larger app. Thus, more space will be covered and your device will become slow.

However, Pikazo is free software available in iOS and Android both. To unlock more features, you need to purchase the app.


Waterlougue is not like other watercolor converted tools. It focuses only to convert architectual photo to watercolor painting. While it is not extensive as other converted apps, this app does succeed that narrow focus well.

It has a total of 14 different presets. Each of them is different from each other in terms of color and pen outlines. The presets also change the consistency of the “paint”. This allows you to make those colors run together or keep shapes more distinct.

Also, this app does not allow you to control the effect, but you can adjust some light and other details. This app also does not take time to time update like other apps.

Portrait Painter:

The name says everything; Portrait Painter is the best free convert dog photo to watercolor painting for desktop. It works perfectly with people and pets. But it is not like you cannot upload and convert your landscape images to watercolor painting, you can. But maximum apps focus on landscapes and still life while Portrait Painter hones in on turning images of people into digital paintings.

Portrait Painter has several options to customize the look. You can choose to use the original colors from the image or using a brighter color palette instead.

A user can adjust the brush type as well as canvas type which can provide a delicate look in the final image.

Portrait Painter converted apps do not have to live on your smartphone or on social media. Through CanvasPop, you can order a print of your converted images which is an additional option of this app.

This app is available only in iOS, you need to pay$4 to download. Video packs are available for another $1 along with new illustration effects.


This watercolor painting app has full features to create a great watercolor image. It has one of the best tools to convert architectural photo to watercolor painting. Not only you can choose the painting style, but also you can choose the canvas in this app that will give a tremendous texture look to your image. Like other painting apps, it does not lock the color palette. An additional benefit is, you can add your signature to the image. The printing option is available, you just need to send the converted image to CanvasPop. Video styles are also an option as well.

Brushstroke is a paid app that costs about $4. Adding video styles and additional illustration styles also come with further in-app purchases.

But that one-time purchase isn’t as expensive as subscription apps in the long-run.

The Brushstroke app is iOS only, so Android users will have to look elsewhere.


It is mostly known as mobile Photoshop. You will have access to filters and sliders, you can merge your images as well as paint on effects.

If you want only a specific area of your image to look like a watercolor painting, you can do it by using this app as it is an advanced photo editor. The effect gallery has a lot of different options to turn your image to an impressive watercolor image.

PicsArt is more than a one-trick pony. If you don’t want to go the painting route, the app has other editing options. That means fewer apps clogging up your home screen when one app can do the job of a few. On the flip-side, that means the app takes up more space on your phone. PicsArt is one of the biggest apps on this list.

PicsArt is a free accessible app for both iOS and Android. But you can have a subscription one also to get more exclusive content.


It is one of the most popular and full-featured to convert photos to watercolor painting crafts. It is fully free to both iOS and Android. For full access to all the features, you do have to use a paid subscription for about $5 a month or $20 for a year.

Prisma now has more than 300 painting styles to apply to images. These are often based on a well-known artist’s styles like Picasso, Munch, and Salvador Dali.

Besides applying the filter, the app also allows users to adjust the results. There’s a set of sliders for photo editing. There are adjustments such as exposure, contrast, and sharpness.


Photo editor apps are not limited to smartphones only, Photor is an online photo editor where you do not need to download the software to convert architectual photo to watercolor painting. The software’s GoArt tool turns photos into paintings in several different styles.

You may find the conversion process slow as it an online software, do check your internet connection also during processing.

But the program is free to use. And it also includes a good selection of artistic styles (some of them paid, but a majority free). Fotor’s image editor is accessible online.


Created specifically for professionals, Concepts is an advanced sketching and design app. It features infinite canvas and organic brushes, fluid and responsive vector drawing engine, and intuitive precision tools, all tailored for a natural-feeling drawing experience. Whether you’re an architect, product designer, illustrator or visual thinker, you can explore, iterate and share your designs anywhere you go.

Concepts are compatible with iOS 11 and later, and supports the iPad Pro (2018) and second-generation Apple Pencil. Double-tap tool switching is supported, plus you can customize how the double-tap manifests itself.

Comic Draw:

While some painting and drawing apps cover a broad range of abilities and creative disciplines, Comic Draw is single-minded in its purpose. Comic artists are its target, and in those terms, it is a highly effective tool. The app features a tool that enables you to layout the panels on your page, guides to help you keep a perfect perspective and layers to enable you to build your drawings.

You’ll also find a digital sketchpad for experimenting with your concepts, and an inking and coloring interface to help you finish your design with various brushes. Comic Draw provides a lettering suite made up of different typefaces, balloons and design tools to add the all-important words, and you can add as many pages as you want to make everything from a comic strip to a full-length book.


Promising a desktop-class standard of editing, Graphic has been touted as the iOS answer to Adobe Illustrator. As well as containing all of the drawing tools you need to create amazing art and detailed technical drawings, Graphic now comes with variable-width brush strokes and pressure-sensitive drawing support for the Apple Pencil.

Developed by Indeed, this easy-to-use drawing app for iPad is compatible with both Mac and iPhone versions via iCloud and Dropbox, enabling you to save your masterpieces on the go for straightforward editing across devices later down the line.

Changing an image into digital art is a fun way to jazz up an otherwise boring photo. The process can make a statement, create shareable images, or even decorate your walls.

How to Make a Photo Look Like a Watercolor Painting?

Yet there is a lot of that can turn your photo to watercolor painting, but they’re working processes are all similar to each other.

After installing the app, you need to upload your desired image. The quality of the image plays a big role in the result. Images that are more contrasting colors perform best. Even soft-focus images can also look good converted into paintings.

Apps work best for different images. Some are best for landscapes or still life; some are best for portraits.

In a few apps, you can change the painting effect. Once you’re finished, you can export the painted image for sharing or printing.

The apps also differ in the number and quality of painting styles. Some also add painting styles to videos too.

The process to turn photos into paintings may be simple, but what app you choose is depends on you. You can choose apps or software from above.

How to Make a Watercolor Painting?

You will find the post as a long post and the steps may seem complicated, BUT I promise you it’s a very easy process.  Simply follow each step and you’ll see what I mean.  You’ll find that it becomes easier and faster with repeated use.

Believe it or not, this watercolor-look image was created using an app. There are watercolor effect apps available for both iphone and android users.


Open the Waterlogue app on your iPhone, click on the camera icon on the lower left.  You will be taken to a screen that gives you the option of choosing a picture from your Photo Library or of taking a new photo with your phone.


For this example, I clicked on the camera icon to take a photo of the exterior of my home.


There are multiple watercolor effects that you can apply to your photo.  Four will show on the main screen, but you can swipe sideways to see more.  I almost always use the Vibrant effect.  Simply click on the effect that you want to use and watch the magic happen!  The photo will transform into a “watercolor” right before your very eyes.


I have the settings on my phone set so that every picture I take with my iphone automatically uploads to icloud.  Using www.icloud.com makes it super easy to move your photos from your phone to your computer.  If you don’t have your phone set to automatically do this, you can choose to send the photos to icloud individually by clicking on the upload icon on the lower right, just above the Waterlogue effect choices.

Once in icloud, click on the photo that you want to save to your computer and click on the cloud-shaped download icon in the upper right-hand corner to save to your computer.