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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How To: Add A Watercolor Effect

Hi everyone! It's Jenn, aka jk703 here for a visit! I've had a rough week already, so it is nice to be able to check out the forums, and pop into the blog here and share a fun technique!

We are going to delve into the Filters that you have in Photoshop! I know, you are probably repeating what I said when I first heard of Filters. "Fil... what - is that another tool in Photoshop?" The first one that I am going to show you is the Watercolor Effect. This is a part of the Artistic submenu in your Filters Menu.

First, here is Colin... don't mind the pic... it was taken after a bad haircut recently, lol!

OK... First things first. Open your image, and edit as you need. Save the file with a new name. This way you have the original to fall back on if there are any problems.

Next, in your layers Palette, duplicate your background image (your picture), and then turn off that layers visibility. Using the Eraser Tool, you will slowly erase the edges of your image, and with each pass, get a little closer to the main subject. Removing the image can allow for focus, as well as a cool option in the end!

Here is my Eraser's settings when I erased my picture edges.
Here is Colin, less the pesky edges. :) Below Colin, you can see my Layers palette and what yours might look like up to this point.

Up next is the fun filtering! In the top menu toolbar, you need to choose Filter > Artistic > Watercolor.
After you click on Watercolor, a big screen will pop up, and then your photo will appear -- a rather large version! I made mine smaller and started to play with the filter. First, here are just some of the filtering effects you can play with, and under each subheading are more! You have to try them all out!

On the right of the menu you can see the list of the filters that you can play with on your image. Next to that, on the right, there is a small area with different levels and options you can change. This potion will change for each filter.

So, for my example, I click on Watercolor and this is what I came up with:
It is a little hard to see, so I've added a closer view:
A nice little effect to change up your photos. That is it... nice, and simple! Remember above, I said to turn off the visibility of your original picture.... well, here is what happens when you turn it back on. I've added the picture of Colin close up again, so you might be able to really see the detail.

Take a closer look at the meeting point between the areas that I had erased and the areas that are watercolored. There is a slight blend of the original and the Watercolor Filter. Looks pretty cool! I know it is a close up, but on something a little more focused, I think this will look really cool.

Some final tips with the Watercolor Filter:
  • For the best results - erase most or or all of the background before applying the filter.
  • Lighter colored photos give a delicate feel, while darker colored photos will provide a moody after effect.
  • If you lose a lot of details, duplicate your original photo and layering the duplicate on top of the Watercolored Filter layer. After moving it above, choose the Multiply Blending mode, adjust the opacity, and this will allow you to bring those details back.
Well... that is a fun technique... I hope you liked it! If there is something that you would like to see, just leave a comment. :)

Happy Wednesday to you all!
Jenn (aka jk703/The Typative Scrapper)


  1. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [14 Apr 01:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  2. Hi Jenn,

    Another week, another THANK YOU! I really love these tuts. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise.

  3. Your welcome Connie! It's nice to know that you like them, and they are helping! :)