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Best Photo Editing Apps for Whimsical Watercolor Effects



Photo Editing

In the realm of digital photography, the charm and whimsy of watercolor effects hold a special allure. Transforming photographs into watercolor masterpieces not only adds an artistic touch but also breathes new life into the images. This unique form of photo editing, which merges the precision of digital imaging with the fluidity of watercolors, requires the right tools to achieve the desired effect. This article delves into the best photo editing apps that enable both professionals and hobbyists to create stunning watercolor effects, seamlessly blending the world of photography with the timeless appeal of watercolor painting.

1. Adobe Photoshop Express

Adobe Photoshop Express stands out for its versatility and powerful editing tools. While primarily known for its comprehensive photo editing capabilities, it also offers artistic effects, including watercolor filters. The app allows users to control the intensity of the effect, making it possible to achieve anything from a subtle watercolor wash to a bold, painterly look. Photoshop Express’s integration with other Adobe products makes it a top choice for those already in the Adobe ecosystem.

2. Waterlogue

Dedicated solely to transforming photos into watercolor paintings, Waterlogue is a must-have for enthusiasts of this particular style. Its simplicity is its strength; with just a few taps, users can turn their photographs into convincing watercolor renditions. The app offers a variety of presets that mimic different watercolor techniques and paper styles, allowing for a range of artistic expressions.

3. Prisma

Prisma has gained fame for its ability to turn photos into art, mimicking various artistic styles, including watercolors. Its use of artificial intelligence to apply artistic effects makes it unique. Prisma provides a diverse range of styles and the freedom to adjust the strength of the effects, ensuring that each photo retains its original charm while gaining a new artistic perspective.

4. Snapseed

Google’s Snapseed is a versatile photo editing app with an array of professional-grade tools. Among its many features, it offers the ‘Grunge’ filter, which can be tweaked to create a watercolor-like effect. This gives users the ability to adjust texture, saturation, and style strength, providing a hands-on approach to creating watercolor art from photos.

5. Brushstroke

Brushstroke is designed to convert photos into paintings with a variety of artistic styles, including watercolor. Its straightforward interface allows for quick transformations, while also offering advanced settings for fine-tuning the effect. Users can even sign their virtual paintings, adding a personal touch to their digital watercolor creations.

6. Enlight Photofox

Enlight Photofox is known for its layer-based editing, which is perfect for creating complex, multi-dimensional art. It offers a range of artistic effects, including watercolor filters. Users can layer their photos with watercolor textures and adjust blend modes for a truly artistic effect, making it an ideal app for those who want to experiment with their creativity.

7. PicsArt

PicsArt is a popular app among those who enjoy adding a creative flair to their photos. It provides a variety of artistic effects, including options that replicate watercolor painting. The app also offers drawing tools, enabling users to add their own brushstrokes or embellishments for a more personalized effect.

8. Corel Painter Mobile

For those who want a more hands-on approach, Corel Painter Mobile offers the experience of turning a photo into a watercolor painting manually. While it requires more time and artistic skill, it provides an authentic experience, complete with a variety of brushes and textures that mimic real watercolor painting.

9. Adobe Fresco

Adobe Fresco is a drawing and painting app that excels in simulating various artistic mediums, including watercolors. While not a traditional photo editing app, it allows users to import photos and transform them into watercolor artworks using digital brushes that realistically replicate watercolor strokes and blends.

10. Tayasui Sketches

Tayasui Sketches is another app that offers a more hands-on approach to creating watercolor effects. With its variety of watercolor brushes and the ability to import photos as a base for digital painting, it’s ideal for those who want to indulge in the process of creating watercolor art from their photographs.

Tips for Creating Whimsical Watercolor Effects

  • Start with High-Quality Images: Higher resolution photos provide more detail and texture, essential for a convincing watercolor effect.
  • Experiment with Different Presets: Explore various presets and filters to find the one that best suits the mood and style of your photo.
  • Adjust the Intensity: Play with the intensity of the effect to ensure it complements, rather than overwhelms, the original photo.
  • Combine with Other Effects: Consider combining watercolor effects with other editing techniques, like adding textures or adjusting brightness and contrast, for a more complex artistic outcome.
  • Embrace Imperfections: Watercolor art is known for its fluidity and unpredictability. Embrace the imperfections and variations that come with these effects.


Transforming photographs into whimsical watercolor artworks provides an exciting opportunity to view the world through an artistic lens. The apps listed above offer a range of tools and features to achieve this effect, catering to different skill levels and creative preferences. Whether you’re a professional photographer seeking to add an artistic twist to your portfolio or a hobbyist exploring new realms of creativity, these apps open the door to a world where photography and watercolor art beautifully converge. By experimenting with different apps and techniques, you can unlock the potential of your photos, turning them into stunning watercolor masterpieces.

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