Hi there! CT Member Kacy here with a tutorial on turning a photo into a watercolor painting. In this layout, I’m using the painting as the background for a scrapbook page.
First, open the photo you want to work with and use the Color Picker tool to select a prominent background color in the photo you are working with as the foreground color. The background color in the Color Picker should be white. I’ve selected the blue of the sky in the background of this photo as the foreground color.
Next, create a new document in Photoshop that is 3600 X 3600 pixels (use File, New from the top menu). Use the Gradient tool to fill the background layer with a radial gradient – re-do the gradient as many times as you like until it looks “right”.
Next, add the photo you want to work with into a new layer in the 3600 x 3600 pixel document. Resize the photo to your liking – my document now looks like this:
Using the Magic Wand tool, and making sure you are on your photo layer, you will select the background areas of the photo and delete them. The eraser tool and the Undo command are also your friends here!
From the top menu, select Filter, and Filter Gallery… A new window will pop up – this allows you to play with the various default filters available in Photoshop and preview the changes before you apply them. For the buildings, I used the Palette Knife filter with a stroke size of 13, a stroke detail of 1, and a softness of 0. Click OK to apply your filter.
I then applied another filter from the Filter Gallery to adjust the photo some more – this time I used the dry brush filter with the following settings:
The photo was still looking rather dark, so I made a copy of the photo layer, set the blending mode to Screen, and tinkered with the fill percentage until the photo looked the way I wanted it to.
My layout now looks like this:
Next, I added a new layer, picked a color from the default swatches, painted randomly on top of the buildings, and then set the layer blending mode to Overlay – here is the before and after for three different painted overlay layers (first on Normal blending mode for each paint layer, then on Overlay blending mode for each paint layer):
Don’t forget to adjust the fill or the opacity of each layer until the paint and the photo layers look good.
I added some journaling, and elements and art bits from the I Adore You kit, and my layout is complete.