Learn Photo Editor Tutorials

How to Turn a Photo Into a Watercolor Painting

By Whitney | Photo Editor Tutorials

Although watercolor paint is an ancient medium, you’re bound to see it in a variety of places today – in wall art, on greeting card designs, as accents for logos and branding, and more. If you love the look but don’t have the time or energy to paint what you’re thinking of, why not turn your favorite photos into watercolor paintings with the help of BeFunky? With several styles of customizable watercolor filters to choose from, you’re bound to get the look you’re going for – all in a single click!  

In addition to being incredibly easy to use, these Watercolor effects are completely unique to BeFunky and powered by artificial intelligence to make the results amazing. They look great on a variety of photos and subjects, so grab a few of your favorite photos and follow the tutorial below to learn everything you need to know. Be warned though: once you start turning your photos into watercolor paintings, you’re not going to want to stop.

How to Convert Photos to Watercolor Paintings  

BeFunky’s Watercolor effects are located in the Photo Editor, so head there now and follow the steps below to create your next masterpiece:

Step 1: Head to the Artsy Tab

Click here to head straight to the Watercolor section of the Artsy tab. From there, you'll be prompted to upload or drag a photo from your desktop. You can also upload a photo from your BeFunky account, Facebook, and more. Or, you can use the Search Stock Images button to search over a million free stock photos to use.

However, if you're coming from elsewhere in the app, you'll find our Watercolor effects at the bottom of the Artsy category.


Step 2: Choose a Watercolor Effect

Each time you click on the different Watercolor effects, you’re able to preview what that effect looks like right on your photo. Browse our assortment of effects and feel free to use the slider to increase or decrease the amount as you go along. 


Step 3: Customize the Effect

Once you find the effect you want to use (we decided that Watercolor 2 was the perfect look for this photo), you can customize the effect even further by clicking on the Settings menu – which is the icon on the far-left of the effect.

From here, use Adjust tab to customize the amount, hue, or add a color blend. For a more realistic look, you can click Preserve Original Colors to maintain the original color palette.

preserve colors

Next, if you want to apply the watercolor effect to certain areas of your photo, simply click on the Select tab. From here, you'll find several options for quick and easy ways to isolate your effect. Below, we removed the watercolor effect from the sky to demonstrate how a multimedia look can enhance your image! However, we're going to go full watercolor for this example.

Once you're done customizing, click Apply to save those changes.

select menu watercolor

Step 5: Save Your Watercolor Picture

When you’re ready to save your image, click the Save button at the top of the Photo Editor. You’ll be presented with several options for saving photos – to your computer, BeFunky account, Facebook, and more. 

Save your Photo to Watercolor design

Photo to Watercolor: Before and After

This photo-to-painting scene looks as whimsical and picturesque as a watercolor painting. Perfect for framing and using as wall art, adding to your graphic design project, or impressing your friends on social media! 

photo to watercolor after
Photo to Watercolor before image



We bet you’re feeling extra creative now that you’re able to turn photos into watercolor with ease! Be sure to check out all of the Artsy effects to try even more styles of art and keep that creativity flowing. 

Photo to Watercolor Inspiration

Wondering what kind of photos look best with BeFunky’s Watercolor effects? The answer is so many kinds. Here are some of our favorite looks to inspire you:

Add Whimsy to Floral Photos

Floral watercolor art is so classic. Whether you’re using photos from your own garden or BeFunky’s extensive stock image library, flowers make the perfect subject for these watercolor filters. Here, they’re paired with our Watercolor 1 effect. 

Photo to Watercolor inspiration after
Photo to Watercolor inspiration floral



Create Aesthetic Portrait Photos

Who doesn’t love an artsy portrait? It’s so easy to turn your portrait photography into a watercolor work of art with BeFunky’s Watercolor effects. We’ve used the Watercolor 1 effect to get this colorful look. 

Photo to Watercolor inspiration portrait after
Photo to Watercolor inspiration portrait before



Enhance Landscapes

Landscape photos are perfect for framing as wall art, and adding a watercolor effect makes them look even more sophisticated without costing you a fortune. For this beauty, we used the Watercolor DLX effect, located in the Digital Art section of the Artsy tab. 

Photo to Watercolor inspiration landscape after
Photo to Watercolor inspiration landscape before



Create Pet Art

Ever wanted to make a painting of your pet? Well, now you can do it without having to make your pet pose while you break out the art supplies (impossible). Simply upload a photo of your pet and add your favorite watercolor filter with a click. This cat is looking all the more amazing with the addition of Watercolor 4

Photo to Watercolor inspiration pet photography after
Photo to Watercolor inspiration pet photography before



Create a Watercolor Painting, Sans Water

Ready to get started with these amazing Watercolor effects by BeFunky? Check out our full suite of Watercolor effects!

Go From Photo to Art in One Click

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