How to: apply a watercolor effect to your photos

Photography can be as artistic as any other discipline, such as painting. However sometimes we feel like we could transform our best shots into actual paintings, made with real brushes on a canvas. So either you hire a painter to copy your pictures or you simply follow these easy steps to convert your photos into a watercolor painting with Photoshop.

apply a watercolor effec to your photos

1. Open up your picture, create three copies of the background layer with Ctrl+J and hide the last two ones.

apply a watercolor effec to your photos

2. Now we’re going to apply an effect on the only visible copy. Go to Filter > Artistic > Cutout and apply the values you see on the screenshot (Number of levels 4, Edge simplicity 4 and Edge fidelity 2). Then click on OK.

apply a watercolor effec to your photos

3. Change the layer’s blending mode to Luminosity.

apply a watercolor effec to your photos

4. Select the next layer and make it visible. Go to Filter > Artistic > Dry Brush and set the Brush size, Brush detail and Texture to the following values:

apply a watercolor effec to your photos

5. Click on OK and change that layer’s blending mode to Screen.

apply a watercolor effec to your photos

6. Finally select the last layer and make it visible as well. Go to Filters > Noise > Median and apply a radius of 12 pixels. Click on OK.

apply a watercolor effec to your photos

7. Change this last layer’s blending mode to Soft Light and your watercolor is done!

apply a watercolor effec to your photos

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