Create a watercolor effect in Photoshop

Do you want to create a beautiful picture with watercolor without any complicated manipulations? With Photoshop, you can turn any photo into a stunning watercolor painting in just a few simple steps! In this tutorial, you will learn how using your blend modes and gallery filters to turn your photos into artistic paintings! So let’s get started!

The final result:

Note: The author used paid materials. In the archive you will find an alternative version of the images to perform the lesson.

Step 1

Open the original image with Venice in Photoshop. For the best effect, try to pick photos with landscape or architecture. They are best suited to convey the traditional style of watercolor. Duplicate the Venice layer (Ctrl + J).

Step 2. Apply Imitation Filter (Artistic)

Being on a duplicate layer, go Filter – Filter Gallery – Imitation – Sponge (Filter> Filter Gallery> Artistic> Sponge). Install Brush size (Brush Size) 1, Contrast (Definition) 4 and Softening (Smoothness) 3.

After applying the filter, the result should be as in the screenshot below.

Step 3. Final Effects

Now copy / paste the Watercolors texture onto our working paper. Using tool Free transformation (Free Transform (Ctrl + T)), apply scaling to the watercolor texture to the size of the working canvas. Place the watercolor texture below the duplicate of the Venice layer.

Step 4

Let’s create a watercolor effect! Change the blending mode for duplicate layer with Venice to Hard light (Hard Light).

Next, change the blending mode for the layer with the watercolor texture to Glow (Luminosity). Make sure that the blend mode for the original layer with Venice is set to Normal (normal).

And that is all! Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Good luck, do not hesitate to lay out their work! See you again!

The final result:

Job translator:


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