How to Convert A Black and White Photo Into Color Using Watercolor Art Effects

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What do you do if you have a black and white photo and want to convert it into color? There are several ways to convert a black and white photo into color. You could take the easy way out and use Photoshop’s “auto color” feature, but this often results in clashing colors or an over-saturation of one or two colors. I prefer to use watercolor art effects to convert black and white photos into color.

Using watercolor art effects allows you to control the intensity of each color as well as the overall brightness of the image. This is easier than using Photoshop filters because they tend to be too strong, resulting in unrealistic coloring. Using watercolor art effects is also easier than trying to paint something yourself, which takes a lot of practice and skill. Here’s how I do it!

The watercolor art effects can be applied to any black and white photo. The result is a watercolor painting that looks as if it was done on wet paper. It can easily be achieved with Photoshop in a few easy steps.

1. Open your photo in Photoshop.

2. Convert the photo to grayscale mode via Image > Adjustments > Desaturate or press Command + Shift + U (Mac) or Ctrl + Shift + U (PC).

3. Adjust Brightness and Contrast by going to Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast or pressing Command + Shift + C (Mac) or Ctrl + Shift + C (PC). Add +30 to both sliders for a more vibrant result.

4. Select the paint bucket tool by pressing G on your keyboard, click on black color and fill the layer with black color layer via Layer > Fill > Black Fill or press Option + Delete (Mac) or Alt + Backspace (PC).

5. Create a new layer above the black one by pressing Command+J(Mac) or Ctrl+J(PC), and fill the new layer with white color again using paint bucket tool or press D for default colors and then X for white color or press Shift+F5 for Color

The watercolor effect is one of the most popular photo effects in recent years. It is a natural look, artistic and romantic. Many people choose this effect when they want to make their photos more artistic, painterly and romantic. The watercolor effect works best on portraits, flowers and landscapes.

The effect can be applied in several ways, but today I want to tell you about watercolor art effects using Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.0.

Step 1: Open your image in Photoshop Elements 7.0 and go to Image > Adjustments > Replace Color > Replace Color.*

*Note – You can also apply this effect using Adobe Photoshop CS3 or Corel Photo Paint Pro X3 or any other image editor that supports layers.*

Step 2: When the Replace Color window appears, select the colors you want to change from the drop-down menu to the right and click on the color sample below it. In our example, we will click on the “Blue” color sample under “New Color 1” and leave all other settings as they are at this point for now.*

*Note – You will get better results if you use a photo with a single large color area rather than small areas of different colors.*

Step 3: Click OK when you are finished

In this tutorial, we will go through the process of creating a digital watercolor painting from a black and white photograph.

This tutorial will use Photoshop CS6 to create the watercolor effect, but you may be able to follow along with earlier versions of Photoshop as well.

Here is your final image:

The original image is a black and white photograph that I took using my Nikon D90 camera. It was not shot in color and converted to black and white in photoshop. Instead, it was shot as a color photo in RAW format and converted to black and white in camera which produced better results than converting it in photoshop. The final photo has been significantly cropped.*

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Converting a black and white photo into color is a technique I’ve been playing with for several months now. It’s all done in Photoshop, and it’s a very simple process. But the results are quite stunning.

I’m going to show you how I do this, step-by-step. And at the end of the tutorial there will be a downloadable Photoshop document where you can practice the techniques yourself.

Let me say first that this is not a new technique. I’ve seen other photographers do it, and I can’t claim to have invented it. But this is how I do it, and I’m going to show you how you can do it too!

Step 1: Convert Your Image To Grayscale First, open your image in Photoshop, then go to Image>Adjustments>Desaturate (Command-Shift-U). This will convert your image to grayscale. Your image should be all black and white now.


I am a professional photographer. I use my photographs for commercial and fine art uses. I try to make my images look as good as possible, by using the highest quality images, or manipulating them in Photoshop.

I am not a professional artist. I enjoy painting and have been painting for years. But I have never taken an art class. I paint to relax and for fun.

I try not to worry about perfection with my paintings and focus more on the process of how to paint. It’s all about learning something new, trying to get better each time, and enjoying the journey.

Tutorials are great when they are talking about the basics of how to do something specific or if they give you inspiration. But sometimes it is hard to find tutorials that will help you with the process of how to learn something new or are geared towards someone who is just starting out or has never tried it before. I hope this tutorial helps those people who are trying to learn a new skill or improve at an existing one or anyone else that might be interested in learning something new!

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