How to Paint a Photo using Watercolors

How to Watercolor a Black & White Photo This has GOT to be one of my favorite crafts I've done lately! I was inspired by the photo idea book from A Beautiful Mess to paint a photograph, but I didn't have any oil paints and didn't want to get too crazy mixing paints and oils. So instead, I experimented with using watercolors and they turned out great! Below are some simple instructions on how to paint a photo if you want to try this easy and beautiful tutorial.


You'll need:

  • Matte photo paper
  • Photo of your choice
  • Printer
  • Watercolor paints
  • Water brush

How to Watercolor a Black & White Photo

First, prep your photo and change it to black & white. I went into my photo editing software and brought the saturation all the way down to take the color out. Then I printed it on matte photo paper (don't use gloss - you won't be able to paint!)

How to Watercolor a Black & White Photo How to Watercolor a Black & White Photo

Once your photo is printed and dry, choose the colors you want to use and start painting! The photo I chose is a picture I shot of my friend Elison at her wedding last summer. She has the prettiest blue eyes and her headpiece was so gorgeous, so I decided to just paint her eyes, mouth, and the flowers in her veil. Get creative! Use colors you normally wouldn't, mix it up, leave creative parts unpainted. This craft has so much possibility.

How to Watercolor a Black & White Photo

I'm so happy with the way this photo turned out. I wrapped mine in tissue paper and mailed it to Elison as a surprise - she lives far away in Arkansas and I miss her dearly. Who can you make this for? Show me your work - tag me on Instagram @melmariadesigns or just use the hashtag #melmariadesigns!