a simple way to turn photos into watercolor paintings

While I’m far from great at it, watercolor is my favorite paint to play with (as seen in the summer, fall & winter essentials free prints). You want to know what’s even more fun than actually painting? Letting an app do it for you. Especially this new one called Waterlogue.



If you hang out on instagram, you’ve undoubtedly seen a watercolored photo or two go by in your feed. Every time, I stop and stare at how pretty and realistic they look! The idea to turn a photo into a watercolor painting is not new, but they way this app applies the filter and gives each painting the look of a real sketched drawing is what makes it most charming.

I spent way too long the other night running photos through the app just to see how they would turn out. Some were okay, others were amazing. Most of all, it’s just so entertaining to sit and watch the app do it’s thing.




Besides being fun to play with and presenting pretty results, you can save or share the files directly from the app. I pulled this photo into photoshop to resize and printed on watercolor paper from my home printer. It turned out beautifully and from a short distance it actually looks authentic.


Should you need a little distraction, or if you want very inexpensive DIY artwork for your home, this is the app for you.

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40 Responses to a simple way to turn photos into watercolor paintings

  1. Dori November 28, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

    Hi. I love this app. But when I go to print the picture it is really pixelated. (spelling?? LOL ) Is there something special you do so it doesn’t turn out that way.

    • emily November 29, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

      You may need to start with a larger image. That should fix the resolution problem.

  2. Bonnie November 23, 2014 at 6:46 pm #

    Hi. I found you on Pinterest through you’re Waterlouge prints. Like everyone else, I just purchased it! My question is, you said you printed yours on watercolor paper using your canon ink jet printer, how did you get your picture to your printer? My app is on my iPad air. Hopefully this question makes sense! Thank you.

    • emily November 24, 2014 at 9:55 am #

      I just emailed the image to myself and then opened from my computer.

  3. eli :) February 19, 2014 at 5:06 am #

    ANY idea when this app will be made for a HOME computer please?

    1,000,000 thanks!

  4. Andrea February 11, 2014 at 12:01 pm #

    Bummer, that it isn’t for Android:( Anyone know a similar one for Android?

  5. Marie-Maguelone Créations February 10, 2014 at 10:49 am #

    I like watercolor, I do and I love the patterns that water makes it possible … I find this extra application! she’s great!
    Emily, I posted a picture of your blog and your dough recipe on my blog, translated into French for the readers of my blog! Thank you for all these shares, which become ours! Even further, you can share and for that alone, blogger is super cool! Good evening to you and your family
    A French blogger: http://marie-maguelone.blogs.marieclaireidees.com/

  6. Marie-Maguelone Créations February 10, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    I like watercolor, I do and I love the patterns that water makes it possible … I find this extra application! she’s great!
    Emily, I posted a picture of your blog and your dough recipe on my blog, translated into French for the readers of my blog! Thank you to all those shares, ui become ours! Even further, you can share and for that alone, blogger is super cool! Good evening to you and your family
    A French blogger : http://marie-maguelone.blogs.marieclaireidees.com/

  7. Harriett February 7, 2014 at 3:22 pm #

    Will this app work on other smart phones? Also will it work on a Macbook Pro?

    • emily February 9, 2014 at 3:48 pm #

      I don’t know if it works on androids yet. And it is just for apps – so if you have an ipad it will work.

  8. Tiffany February 6, 2014 at 9:39 am #

    Love the idea of this, thanks for sharing.

    • Jen February 8, 2014 at 8:43 am #

      Glaze does the same thing and it’s free


  9. S. Ernst February 5, 2014 at 8:36 pm #

    Hi Emily! Thanks for the great tip! I can’t wait to download the app and try it out for myself. But even more important, where on earth did you get your adorable anchor sweater. I love it! Thanks! Sherri

  10. Sharon February 5, 2014 at 5:20 am #

    I just discovered this app last night and did the same thing; spent a long time running some of my favorite photos through it. Thanks for the tip of printing it out. I wouldn’t have thought of that they would have just lived on my phone and instagram.
    I <3 waterlogue!!

  11. Erica - Let Why Lead February 4, 2014 at 9:41 pm #

    HI Emily! I posted about this app today, too! It’s definitely addicting. I have one of mine set right now as the wallpaper on my phone, and it makes me smile every time I pull out my phone. Have a great night!

  12. Kathy February 4, 2014 at 8:41 pm #

    This is a cool app! We had fun taking our pictures and watching them transform. I had a great photo of a snowy mountain and clear blue sky that now looks like a piece of art. Thanks!

  13. Caty February 4, 2014 at 7:54 pm #

    Where are those great shoes from?

    • emily February 5, 2014 at 10:36 pm #

      Aren’t they fabulous?!! They are favorites from www.joyfolie.com

  14. Karin February 4, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    What type of printer did you use an ink jet or laser?

    • emily February 5, 2014 at 10:37 pm #

      I use a canon ink jet (pro 9500 mark II).

  15. Mindy February 4, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

    I love this look! I sure wish it were available to PC users or through photoshop…

  16. liz February 4, 2014 at 1:27 pm #

    Love this app! Totally made my morning, and like you- I shall print out on watercolor paper too!
    Thank you for sharing your finds!

  17. Debbie de Juan nee Keating February 4, 2014 at 12:52 pm #

    This is too cool!

  18. jeani February 4, 2014 at 12:27 pm #

    What- no mention of the Superbowl?!

    • emily February 5, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

      I posted about my seahawks late sunday night :)

  19. Jillian February 4, 2014 at 12:23 pm #

    I have heard so many wonderful hints about this app! thanks for breaking it down for us! I struggle with watercolor so I think this app is perfect for me haha!


  20. Shannon [Our Home Notebook] February 4, 2014 at 10:48 am #

    Such a fun idea!

  21. Linda Leyble February 4, 2014 at 10:20 am #

    Hi Emily. I have to try this. I downloaded a different one, called Glaze. It’s pretty good as well. Some options do a little too much artistic work though. I only like one of the options. I have to try this one.



  22. kristen February 4, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    hi emily,

    do you know of anywhere we i could get mine printed? (that’s not on photo paper) my printer isn’t *great*. ;)


  23. Gina February 4, 2014 at 9:58 am #

    Recently downloaded this app and its addictive. Too cool!! My daughter is loving it as well.

  24. Jess February 4, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    While it may be fun to play with, it’s always sad to see technology replace talent and hard work.

  25. Amber February 4, 2014 at 8:22 am #

    Do you know if you can use this app on a PC? I don’t have a smartphone (I know!).

    • emily February 4, 2014 at 10:02 am #

      I don’t think so. Just iphone, ipad.

  26. angie February 4, 2014 at 7:58 am #

    LOVE this app! Never thought of printing them out though.. thanks for the tip! :)

    • emily February 4, 2014 at 10:02 am #

      Of course!

  27. Kristen @ Inspired Whims February 4, 2014 at 7:56 am #

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing this! I purchased it and now cannot take myself away from playing with it…

    • emily February 4, 2014 at 10:02 am #

      Glad you are enjoying it!

  28. Lauren@SimplyLKJ February 4, 2014 at 7:20 am #

    I downloaded the app yesterday! Love it. Thanks for the printing tip. Forgot about water color paper.

  29. paige February 4, 2014 at 4:41 am #

    who needs candy crush?
    i love this app! especially since i am not a great water color artist. {wink!}

    • emily February 4, 2014 at 10:03 am #

      You’re a natural :)

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