This tutorial will show how to turn a usual photo into a watercolor painting, quickly and simply. Tools used: Adobe Photoshop with the Filter Forge plug-in and a photo I’ve personally taken.
Step 1. Open the Original Image
Step 2. Adjust the Hue/Saturation
Let’s improve saturation: Image > Adjustments> Hue/Saturation (Ctrl+U). This step is optional: you can skip it if your image doesn’t require correction.
Step 3. Apply a Filter Forge Filter – “Watercolor Painting”
Now we’ll apply the Watercolor Painting filter. Launch the Filter Forge plugin (Filter > Filter Forge > Filter Forge).
Open the filter web page – http://www.filterforge.com/filters/7227.html – and click the ‘Open in Filter Forge’ button.
Note: if you don’t have Filter Forge installed, download and install a free trial version using this link:
Step 4. Fine-Tuning the Filter Parameters
Now we’ve got the necessary filter and can figure out the parameters required for the modification. For the start let’s try the factory presets (on the Presets tab) – double-click a preset thumbnail. One of them is acceptable but can be fine-tuned. Click the Settings tab and start experimenting with the sliders.
Step 5. Looking for Imperfections
Undo the last action (Ctrl+Z) and start the color correction. Switch to the Quick Mask mode (Q) and use Soft Round brush to paint the areas that are meant to be preserved – everything except the water.
Step 7. Fixing the Water with Masked Levels
Step 8. Sharpening the Water
Step 9. Final Filtering