Converting a Photograph to a Watercolor

You might not want to convert all your photos into imitation watercolors, but some look really good with this treatment.

1. Find a picture that you think might look good as a watercolor, or download the one shown in the "Try It Yourself" section from our website. It's called rhodies.jpg. To get to the website, point your web browser to, and type the book's name or ISBN.

After the main book page has loaded, click the Downloads link to get to the files. Open the downloaded file in Photoshop and make any color adjustments you think necessary. I think it could be lighter, so that's what I did. (If you've forgotten how, turn back to Hour 5, "Adjusting Color," to refresh your memory.) Remember not to let the colors get too dark before you start applying filters. Photoshop filters, in general, tend to add more black to the image.

2. Choose Watercolor from the Filter>Artistic submenu.

3. In the Watercolor filter window, shown in Figure 9.4, use the sliders to choose a combination of texture and brush detail that you like.

Set the shadow intensity to 0, unless you want a lot of black in the image.

4. Move the thumbnail image to check details by clicking and dragging the hand symbol that appears when you place your cursor in the thumbnail win-

5. Click OK when you're done to apply the changes.

6. If the picture seems drab, use the Sponge tool set to Saturate to bring out the

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