September 25, 2010


Making a Watercolour-Paint Photograph in GIMP

This tutorial requires a little bit of creativity and imagination for the painting step, but don’t worry it is all very easy to get the hang of and the rest is a breeze!

Watercolor - Paint Photograph in GIMP

Watercolor - Paint Photograph in GIMP

1. Download Texture + Download Watercolour Brushes

2. Preparing Images in GIMP + Adding Layer Mask

  • Now open up your photograph that you’ll be using – preferably one with some depth to it!
  • And open the Old Paper Texture, File –> Open as Layers (Ctrl + Alt + O):
  • On the ‘Paper Texture’ layer, *Right Click* > Add Layer Mask: White (simply hit enter):
Preparing Images in GIMP + Adding Layer Mask

Preparing Images in GIMP + Adding Layer Mask

3. Painting

  • Remember to Refresh your Brushes if you do not see the brushes!
  • Select one of the brushes, with settings: FG: Black, Scale: 2-6 (vary dependant on brushes)
  • Begin painting! Try to stay in the middle of the paper!


4. Add Colour

  • Now select the ‘Paper’ layer (not the layer mask!):
  • Choose around 4 colours, and trace over the strokes with the same brushes, but off slightly (highlighting)!
  • My colours: Purple: 8c27f4 Orange: c83913 Blue: 21bbdc Yellow: f2fb06
  • Once finished all adjustments, Apply Layer Mask, *Right Click* > Apply Layer Mask:
Add Colour

Add Colour

5. Alignment + Cropping

  • Now that you can see through, align your photograph (select photograph layer) by using the Move Tool (M):
  • Crop any excess off using the Crop Tool (Shift + C):
Alignment + Cropping

Alignment + Cropping

6. Levels (Contrast/Saturation)

  • To add contrast to the paper and image simply select the layer then, Colors –> Levels:
  • Move the middle slider to the right and the right slider to the left:
Levels (Contrast/Saturation)

Levels (Contrast/Saturation)

That’s It!

If you prefer Photoshop checkout the tutorial over at Abduzeedo: (my inspiration)!

If you get stuck anywhere just comment below!

If you’d like to use these photographs please Contact Me!

Please comment below if you have any questions and I’ll answer them ASAP!

All images on this site are copyrighted© – All Rights Reserved.

Written by Mike

Michael Scott is the publisher and photographer behind Scott Photographics! He is very passionate about his photography and enjoys sharing the best of his experiences for others to enjoy too! Contact Mike via email!
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6 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jun 13 2011


    Great to hear! Thanks for the correction aswell.



  2. reader
    Jun 13 2011

    Very nice tutorial, thanks! I found one typo. In Step 3 you wrote:
    “Select one of the brushes, with settings: FG: White, Scale: 2-6 (vary dependant on brushes)”

    The brush color should be set to Black for the white layer mask.

  3. areader
    Oct 1 2010

    Thank you, much better! I appreciate your listening!

  4. Sep 29 2010


    I’m sorry about that, I did not know it was an issue for certain browsers or screen resolutions – I have since removed it from my site!

    Thank you for bringing this do my attention,


  5. areader
    Sep 29 2010

    Um…I like this site, but it seems you don’t want me to read your articles anymore– that %$@!! little social networking toolbar that floats on the left side won’t get out of the way. You can’t force readers to share your stuff, you’ll just drive them away. It’s really bad on a netbook.

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