Learn Basic Photo Editing

The Easiest Way to Go From Photo to Art

By Isabelle | Basic Photo Editing Effects Showcase Photo Editor Tutorials

What if we told you that you can transform your photography into beautiful works of art, whether you’ve got an artistic bone in your body or not? With BeFunky’s Artsy effects, you can do it all in a single click! From watercolor and oil paintings to detailed sketches, cartoons, pop art, and more, you can let your inner artist shine with the click of your mouse. All it takes is a great photo and the magic of our Artsy effects. 

cartoonizer by BeFunky
joshua tree



This is one of those cases where it doesn’t just sound too good to be true—it is true. We here at BeFunky have been developing our Artsy effects for over a decade, building each entirely from scratch to work like pure magic. Our library is ever-expanding, and now have a wide array of Artsy effects to help you transform your photos into art. Here are some of the brilliant things you can do with them:

Go From Photo to Cartoon

The Cartoonizer was the very first Artsy effect created here at BeFunky, and it has stood the test of time. It remains our most popular effect to date! We now have an entire category full of different Cartoonizer effects, and each one will help you turn everyday photos into cartoons in seconds.

photo to cartoon effects by BeFunky
photo to art effects by befunky



Whether you’re going for a gritty black-and-white graphic novel or a colorful comic strip, the Cartoonizer effects are for you.

Create Geometric Art

Geometric art is a great way to make your photo look bigger and bolder. There’s nothing traditional about these effects, making sure 

Poly Art

Poly art, also known as low poly art or polygon art, is a fairly new style of art that accompanied the emergence of computer graphics. “Low polygon” means the image has fewer planes, thus simplifying the image into a beautiful geometric design. 

poly art after
poly art before



With our deluxe Poly Art brushes, you can transform your detailed photograph into a simpler piece of art that focuses on color, shape, and light. It’s sure to stand out in a crowd. 


Mosaics are popular today, but they’re actually an ancient style of art. Creating a mosaic involves laying down small pieces of stone, glass, or tile to create a larger image. This is usually a time-consuming process, but with BeFunky’s Mosaic effects, it doesn’t have to be. 

mosaic after
mosaic before



Just click on the effect you’d like to use and you’ve got a beautiful piece of mosaic artwork. Play around with the setting sliders to achieve a perfect stained glass look. 

Mimic Popular Painting Styles

There are dozens of styles of painting, from realistic oils to splattered impressionism, so we’ve developed Artsy effects to suit whatever style you could want. There are entire categories of photo to painting effects available in our Artsy tab, and here are some of our very favorites:

Oil Painting

Did you know that oil paintings can take weeks to complete because of how slowly the paint dries? Yet with BeFunky’s Oil Painting effect, achieving the same look only takes seconds. 

The vibrant colors and detailed brushstrokes will make your friends wonder when you learned to paint. Plus, you did it all without any of the time-consuming messiness. DaVinci would be jealous!

photo to painting effects in BeFunky
golden gate bridge



From the brushstroke detail to the pops of color, the Oil Painting effects will make it look like you actually picked up a paintbrush.  


If soothing watercolors are more your style, you’ll love the way our Watercolor effects bring out the details of your photos and morph them into a masterpiece, all in a single click.

photo to watercolor painting filter by BeFunky



There's a whole world of Watercolor effects in our Artsy tab, each of which will highlight a different color spectrum, so you can get a variety of watercolor looks and techniques without ever picking up a brush. 


In the art world, underpainting is a technique used to lay the foundation for an artist’s masterpiece, usually by outlining or painting a base layer in a monochromatic color. They then layer more colors on top of the underpainting to create a subject. BeFunky’s Underpainting effects work in a similar way, defining the colors in your photo and add a paint-like texture to give the appearance of more depth.

photo to art effects underpainting by BeFunky



These Underpainting effects add visual dimension to your photos by making them look as though they have an underpainted base. Play around with the settings to see what makes your painting pop. 


Impressionist painters like Renoir and Monet composed their paintings of fast, bold brushstrokes and palette knife swipes to create their art. If you look at an impressionist painting up close afar, you might not be able to tell what you’re looking at. But if you step back, you’ll see that each brushstroke works to form one detailed scene.

photo to impressionist painting effects by BeFunky



Even if you wouldn’t know where to begin when it comes to composing a real-life piece of impressionist art, you can mimic the look with our Impressionist effects. Each effect in this category will break up your image into colorful brushstrokes to look like you painted it all along.


Similar to impressionism, pointillism is a method of painting that uses small individual brushstrokes rather than blending. Zoom in and you’ll see small dots or tiny brushstrokes of color. Zoom out and you’ll see the whole image come together. 

pointillism after
pointillism before



There are several different Pointillism effects available, each with its own unique style: beautiful vertical brushstrokes, subtle points of paint, and more. Each uses a different set of colors and tones, so try all of them to discover your favorite effect!


Gouache is a versatile medium that has been a favorite of painters for centuries. Used with minimal water it mimics the bold strokes of acrylics; use much more and it takes on the soft effect of watercolors. Our Gouache effects fall somewhere in between.

Photo to Gouache after image
Photo to Gouache before image



The gently swirling brushstrokes and stunning blend of colors are sure to elevate your image. Pick from several Gouache effects to achieve the balance of colors you’re looking for. 


Pastel is a medium that blurs the line between painting and drawing. A pastel stick can be used for sketching underneath a painting, or it can be used to capture the painting itself. Pre-21st century, it was notoriously hard to preserve pastels. Luckily, not only have we gotten better at preserving them, you can now make your own pastel drawing with our Pastel effects. 

pastel after
pastel before



Pastels are easily blended, so the Pastel effect gives your images a soft and dreamy feel. And, unlike real pastels, it won’t smudge! 

Get 2D With Drawing Effects

Unlike paintings, drawings tend toward hard lines and minimal color, which makes them perfect for capturing high contrast subjects. The Artsy tab is home to some beautiful, hand-drawn effects that can help bring out the best in your photos. 


Instead of spending hours creating a detailed sketch of a scene, why not take a photo let our Sketcher effects do all the hard work for you? These effects are so smart, they’ll sense the edges and important details of your images and transform them into sketched renditions in seconds.

photo to sketch effects by BeFunky
colliseum in rome



With these effects, you’re not just limited to a black and white color palette—you have total control over the color of the sketch lines and the background color of your 2D work of art.

Pen Art

Remember doodling in your school notebook with a ballpoint pen? The Pen Art effect is reminiscent of those days, but now the art you create can be impressively detailed. Choose between a simpler crosshatched sketch or a drawing with vibrant blue shading.

pen after
pen before



No eraser? No problem. There’s no chance of making a mistake with our simple Pen Art effect. 


Ink is a tricky medium to work with, unless you have access to our Inkify effect. Bold, black brushstrokes intensify the light and shadows of your image. Stark lines give emphasis to your subject’s silhouette. In this example, Inkify is used to make a stamp-like image.  

ink after
ink before



As with our Sketcher effects, you’re not limited to black and white. Some Inkify effects also provide vibrant splashes of color, and there are some that add beautiful textures to your finished piece.

Enhance Photos With Digital Art

The most recent addition to our Artsy effects are the Deluxe Edition Digital Art Effects. Here you can find remastered editions of our most popular effects, including Cartoonizer, Watercolor, and Oil Painting, as well as some brand new effects that will make your photos look like vibrant Pop Art, brilliant Ink Washes, moody Graphic Novel pages, and more. 

how to turn photos to cartoon in beFunky



We spare no details when it comes to our Artsy effects, giving you the ability to customize each one to your heart’s content and unleash your inner artist. You won’t find anything as customizable or easy-to-use on the web, and we’re sure the Artsy tab in our online Photo Editor is going to become a familiar favorite (if it’s not already). We’ll show you how to go from photo to art in a single click, then use the Settings menu (every effect has one!) to get a completely custom look.

How to Go From Photo to Art With BeFunky

To go from photo to art, all you have to do is head to our Photo Editor. Click this link

Step 1: Choose a Photo

Upload your image by clicking the Open tab at the top of the Editor. Or, you can drop and drop it directly to the canvas. You can also upload and organize images by utilizing the Image Manager tab.

Upload your photo

Step 2: Navitage to the Artsy Effects

Click on the Artsy tab in the menu on the left—it’s the icon with the paintbrush and palette—and get ready to have some fun! You’ll notice that there are many different categories of Artsy effects to choose from, and each category is home to a variety of effects.

find artsy

Step 3: Adjust and Apply Your Effect

Spend some time opening the categories and clicking on the different effects to see what kind of look you want. When you find the perfect Artsy effect, you can use the slider to increase or decrease the amount. If you love it as-is, click the checkmark to apply it. Here, we’re using Gouache 3. 

Adjust effect

To customize your Artsy effect, click the Settings icon to see your options. Each Artsy effect will have its own menu for you to make adjustments with. In this particular case, the Settings menu for Gouache 3 lets us adjust the amount, smoothness, and brush size of the effect using the corresponding sliders.

adjust effect with sliders

You can also click on the Erase tab to erase the effect from areas you want to leave unedited. Apply the effect selectively to areas of your image as you see fit. This means you can cartoonize your main subject, make only certain details of your image look painted, and more! After adjusting the brush size, brush hardness, and brush strength, click and drag with your mouse to remove the effect selectively. Or, click Keep to apply the effect selectively.

erase areas of effects

After you've made all the customizations you want and you're ready to apply the effect, click Apply. From here, you can save your photo or continue layering as many effects as you want! The sky is the limit.

Step 4: Save Your Work of Art

When you’re finished with your masterpiece, click the Save button at the top of the Photo Editor to save your artwork to your chosen destination. Then, all that’s left to do is share your beautiful art on social media or print it out on some fancy paper. It makes for some great DIY home decor!

save your photo

Artsy Effects Final Result

These Artsy effects are the fastest and easiest way to turn photos into art that makes it look like you actually know a thing or two about art. Just look at how beautiful this gouache rendition of our photo turned out:  

photo to art after
photo to art before



Whatever artistic look you’re going for, BeFunky has an Artsy effect to make it happen. Whether you want to go from photo to cartoon, painting, sketch, or something beyond, we've got everything you need. Get started by visiting our Photo Editor.

Photo to Art Inspiration

There are boundless sources of inspiration for artistic and painted photos, but here are some suggestions if you’re wondering how to best take advantage of our Artsy effects.

Still Lifes

Bowls of fruit and bouquets of flowers are classic painting subjects for a reason. They look stunning when painted in the right light with the right technique. And with our Artsy effects, you can set up your scene and be done with your painting in just a few minutes. 

oil painting after

Landscapes & Cityscapes

Throughout history, humans have always made an effort to record the world that surrounds them. Capture the spirit of plein air (outdoor) paintings by using our Impressionist effects to elevate your landscape photography. Use our Mosaic effects to turn your city shot into a work of stained glass. 

mosaic landscape


When you think of an artistic portrait, you may immediately jump to images of stern oil paintings or softly rendered pastels. However, there are other ways to create unique portraits with our Artsy effects. Check out this portrait that uses the Cartoonizer. 

cartoonizer portrait

Go From Photo to Art in One Click

Photo Editing. Simplified