Watercolor Painting Effect

In this tutorial, we’ll learn how to create a watercolor painting effect Photoshop out of any photo using a couple of filters and blending modes in adobe photoshop. A picture with strong contrast and rich colors works best with this watercolor effect. Also, this effect removes fine details from the picture, so make sure you want that before applying this painting effect.

Watercolor Painting Effect

To create a watercolor painting effect photoshop, you’ll need:

  • Adobe Photoshop

Also see,

How to Create a Smoke Text Effect in Photoshop.

How to Create a Colorful Text Effect in Photoshop.

Step 1 to create watercolor  painting effect in photoshop

Open your image in adobe Photoshop. I will be using this stock image:

Watercolor Painting

Duplicate your image and then go to Layer > Smart Objects > Convert to Smart Object to make our duplicate layer into a smart object. By doing so, the watercolor painting effect photoshop will remain fully editable so you can change the settings of the filter after you have applied it. If you are using an older version of Photoshop, you will have to skip this step.

Watercolor Painting Effect Smart Object

Now, duplicate our smart object layer twice and rename these layers to “Cutout”, “Dry Brush” and “Median” according to the filters we will apply to them.

Watercolor Painting Effect Duplicate

Step 2

Make the two layers on the top (Median and Dry Brush) invisible.

Watercolor Painting Effect Hide Layers

Now, select the Cutout layer, go to Filter > Filter Gallery, choose Cutout from the Artistic folder and use the settings shown below.

Watercolor Painting Effect Cutout

Change the Cutout layer’s blending mode to Luminosity.

Watercolor Effect Cutout Blending Mode

Watercolor Effect photoshop

Step 3

Let’s move on to the Dry Brush layer, so make it visible again.

Effect photoshop

Then, go to Filter > Filter Gallery, choose Dry Brush from the Artistic folder and use the settings shown below.

watercolor painting

Change this layer’s blending mode to Screen.

Watercolor Effect

watercolor painting Effect

Step 4

Time for the Median layer. Make it visible again so that we can start working on it.

watercolor painting

Go to Filter > Noise > Median and use the settings shown below.

watercolor painting

Finally, change the Median layer’s blending mode to Soft Light.

watercolor painting

And we’re done! The watercolor painting effect photoshop is complete!

watercolor painting