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30+ Best Watercolor Photoshop Actions

Whether you’re designing a unique website background, a poster, sketch, or creating an artistic photo composition, using a watercolor Photoshop action can make your design stand out from the crowd.

A watercolor effect it’s not an easy effect to master when created from scratch. It takes a lot of work, time, and skill to achieve a realistic watercolor effect in Photoshop. The good news is that using a watercolor Photoshop action can help you skip the learning curve and experiment with a watercolor effect in just a few clicks!

In this collection, we’re featuring some of the best watercolor Photoshop actions you can use to turn your photos into watercolor art, craft amazing backgrounds, and do much more.

We’ve also collected a set of tips for choosing watercolor Photoshop actions to help you make a decision on what type of action you need.

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Explore Photoshop Actions

Top Pick

Ink Flow Animation Photoshop Action

Ink Flow Animation Photoshop Action

This is a unique Photoshop action you can use to create an animated effect using your photos. The action adds a stylish watercolor-themed flowing ink animation to create a stunning visual.

The action is fairly easy to use and comes with a video tutorial to teach you how to apply the effect. It’s ideal for making animated GIF and videos for Instagram as well. You can preview the effect here.

Why This Is A Top Pick

While there are many creative watercolor Photoshop actions on our list, this action deserves more attention as it features an animated effect that’ll make your designs stand out from the crowd.

Oil Painting Photoshop Actions

Oil Painting Photoshop Actions

Even though oil painting and watercolor are two separate mediums, you can still use this professional Photoshop action to create a unique watercolor-like effect with your photos and graphics. It includes 10 different effects with various painting-themed designs.

Oil Painting Photoshop Action 2

Oil Painting Photoshop Action 2

Another high-quality Photoshop action you can use to create an authentic painting effect. This action can be applied with just one-click and also allows you to customize the effect to your preference. The action works with Photoshop CS3 and higher.

Real Paint FX Photoshop Action

Real Paint FX Photoshop Action

This is a unique Photoshop action featuring an effect that makes your photos and graphics look as if they were drawn with real-paint. The bundle comes with the effect in multiple formats, including patterns and textures.

Acrylic Painting Photoshop Action

Acrylic Painting Photoshop Action

If you’re a fan of acrylic painting effects, this Photoshop action will allow you to apply that same look and feel to your own photos. The action is fully customizable and comes with a set of brushes as well.

Concepter – Plein Air Sketch Photoshop Action

Concepter - Plein Air Sketch Photoshop Action

Concepter is a unique Photoshop action that completely transforms your photos into outdoor painting-style sketches (plein air). The effect includes 20 color options to choose from, brushes, and patterns as well. The action works with Photoshop CC 2015 or higher.

18th Century Painting Photoshop Action

18th Century Painting Photoshop Action

This creative Photoshop action allows you to add a vintage painting effect to your photos and images. The action creates an editable effect with organized layers and comes with an additional patterns file as well.

Digital Art Creative Photoshop Action

Digital Art Creative Photoshop Action

A creative Photoshop action that’s ideal for making digital art effects to stylize your photos and illustrations. The action comes with 15 different color styles for you to experiment with and it works with Photoshop CS5 and higher.

6 Free Photoshop Oil Painting Actions

6 Free Photoshop Oil Painting Actions

This is a collection of free Photoshop actions that includes 6 unique oil painting effects. The actions are designed to create various styles of effects including digital painting, drawing on canvas, paint strokes, and more.

Free Oil Painting Photoshop Actions

Free Oil Painting Photoshop Actions

A set of creative oil painting Photoshop actions you can use with your creative and commercial projects. This action is most suitable for adding an oil painting effect to your portrait photos.

Creative Watercolor Photoshop Actions

Creative Watercolor Photoshop Actions

This is a creative Photoshop action that allows you to create authentic watercolor effects with your photos and graphics. The action is easily customizable and works with Photoshop CS3 and higher.

Artistic Watercolor Photoshop Action

Artistic Watercolor Photoshop Action

A modern watercolor Photoshop action you can use to add a little bit of artistic touch to your photos. This action will be quite useful in enhancing your portrait photos.

Watercolor Painting Photoshop Actions

Watercolor Painting Photoshop Actions

If you’re looking for a simple Photoshop action to transform your ordinary photos into paintings, then this action will help you get the job done. It creates a fully layered painting effect, which you can easily adjust and customize to your preference.

Plasticum – Polygonal Art Photoshop Action

Plasticum - Polygonal Art Photoshop Action

Plasticum is a unique Photoshop action that creates an artistic effect with polygonal shapes. With a few customizations and color adjustments, you can use this action to create an attractive watercolor effect as well.

Acrylic Photoshop Action

Acrylic Photoshop Action

Another professional Photoshop action featuring an acrylic painting effect. This action is most suitable for adding an additional effect to your portraits. It works with Photoshop CS3 and higher.

Free Glass Painting Photoshop Actions

Free Glass Painting Photoshop Actions

This free Photoshop action creates a unique glass painting effect. It includes 2 different actions that create non-destructive and editable effects.

Free Oil Painting Photoshop Actions 2

Free Oil Painting Photoshop Actions 2

Another set of Photoshop actions featuring oil painting effects. This pack also includes creative Photoshop actions you can use to add a realistic painting effect to your photos.

Photo Painter Photoshop Actions

This is a bundle of 5 different Photoshop actions that includes different actions for transforming many types of images, graphics, and designs into artworks. The actions feature unique effects that will make your design look like watercolor and hand-drawn paintings.

ModernArt 4 Photoshop Action

This is another unique watercolor Photoshop action that blends the effects of a painting with your real-life photos for achieving the perfectly artistic look. Getting this effect to work is as simple as brushing over the areas for applying the effect and playing the action.

Perfectum 2 – Watercolor Artist Photoshop Action

One of the most attractive features of the watercolor effect is how it adds more vibrance and color to your designs and photos. This Photoshop action helps you achieve that with its colorful one-click process. It also includes a video tutorial on how to customize the effect as well.

Miniaturum – Watercolor Sketch Photoshop Action

Miniaturum is another professional Photoshop action that creates a realistic watercolor sketch effect. This action is best used with your landscape and outdoor photos. But it will also work well with portraits as well. The best part is this action is that it’s compatible with Photoshop CS3 and above.

 

ModernArt 3 Photoshop Action

This Photoshop action is designed specifically for modern portraits and street photos. The effect adds a watercolor effect with a slightly modern touch for giving your photos a mixed look full of both artistic and modern elements.

Perfectum – Vintage Watercolor Photoshop Action

When it comes to watercolor effects, most Photoshop actions try to make your designs look too much like a painting. This effect, however, is not one of those PS actions. This effect gives an authentic look to your artworks and designs to make them look like true watercolor and pencil art. The effect is also customizable and features 20 color presets and options.

8 Watercolor and Acrylic Painting FX

A bundle of watercolor effects. This pack comes with 8 different Photoshop actions featuring watercolor effects and acrylic painting effects. It includes textures made with real watercolor paintings. Each action creates effects with non-destructive layers so you can easily edit the effect to your preference.

Creative Watercolor Action

This creative watercolor Photoshop action comes with 5 different color options for using with different types of your designs and artworks. The effects mix watercolor and photo effects to give a unique look to your images. The actions are compatible with Photoshop CS3 and above.

Watercolor and Pencil Action for Photoshop

An accurately designed Photoshop action that allows you to transform your portrait photos and designs into pieces of art. This action has been crafted by a professional designer to make it as authentic as possible. The effect will give your photos an artistic watercolor painting look like none other.

Modern Watercolor Photoshop Action

This is a watercolor Photoshop action that will work with almost any type of an image or design. It simply adds a basic watercolor effect to your designs to specific areas of your preference. All you have to do is brush over the areas you want to apply the effect and play the action.

Modernum – Watercolor Art Photoshop Action

Modernum Photoshop action creates a unique watercolor effect full of color and vibrance. The effect features a modern design and even allows you to customize it with using 10 different colors presets and other options.

Papyrum – Vintage Grunge Photoshop Action

If you’re looking for a Photoshop action to give your designs an old-school vintage art look, this action will come in handy. It features a watercolor effect that gives a grunge like vintage look to your designs and photos. The action supports 20 colors presets and generates the effect in organized layers.

Palette Knife Photoshop Action

This Photoshop action is truly one of a kind. It transforms your photos and graphic designs into palette knife artworks. The amazing part is how accurate and realistic this effect really looks. The effect is also fully editable to your preference.

Canvas Photoshop Action

Another simple watercolor Photoshop action that creates a canvas-like effect to make your designs look more like authentic paintings. The effect can be easily customized and it even comes with a tutorial video. The action is compatible with Photoshop CS3 and better.

Impressionist Photoshop Action

If you’re looking for a more artistic watercolor effect, this is the best Photoshop action you can use. It completely transforms your photos into paintings by giving them a realistic look. Although, it may not work with all types of photos, especially family and group photos.

Ultimatum 2 – Oil Knife Painting Photoshop Action

Watercolor and oil paintings have a close relationship. This Photoshop action is a one that seems to do justice for both. This action features an oil and knife painting effect that gives an amazingly colorful look to designs and photos. It comes with 20 colors presets.

Posterum – Grunge Painting Photoshop Action

This watercolor Photoshop action seems to work well with object and product based photos. It adds a natural watercolor effect to your photos that will wow your clients and audience.

Uniqum – Sketch Painting Photoshop Action

Uniqum is Photoshop action that comes with a mix of both a sketch and painting effect. It adds a unique look to your photos with a mix of sketch and painting to give them an authentic and unfinished look. The effect is fully customizable with adjustment layers and it includes 10 color presets as well.

Sketch Art Photoshop Action

Even though this Photoshop action creates a sketch art effect, it also seems to add certain watercolor painting-like effect to photos as well. You can use this Photoshop action to create unique portrait photo designs, backgrounds, textures, and more.

Artista – Mixed Media Art Photoshop Action

Is it a watercolor painting? Digital art? Or a real photo? No one will be able to tell the difference once you apply this effect to your photos. This Photoshop action combines lots of graphical elements to create a unique artistic effect that will make your designs look more original.

Ultimatum – Digital Art Photoshop Action

This is technically not a watercolor Photoshop action, but the effect it creates is truly original and it will definitely be helpful for your design work. The one-click Photoshop action creates a unique effect that will make your photos look like digital artworks.

4 Tips for Choosing Watercolor Photoshop Actions

Before you start browsing our collection of watercolor actions, be sure to follow these tips to find the best Photoshop actions for your project.

1. Different Types of Watercolor Photoshop Actions

There are many different types of watercolor Photoshop actions you can use to create various effects and designs. For example, there are actions that create oil painting effects, grunge watercolor effects, sketch effects, and much more.

Depending on the style of the watercolor effect you want to create in your designs, you’ll have to be careful to pick the right actions for your images and illustrations.

2. Pick the Right Action for Your Designs

Picking the right action for your design is also a challenge when it comes to watercolor actions. Mostly because different watercolor actions are made for different types of images and photos.

You won’t be able to use the same Photoshop action to add a watercolor effect to a portrait photo and turn an ordinary landscape photo into a watercolor painting. You’ll need to find the appropriate action for each design.

3. Check for the Additional Resources

A Photoshop action alone can’t create an authentic watercolor effect. Usually, it requires many additional files such as unique patterns, textures, and brushes that aren’t available on Photoshop by default.

In such cases, your Photoshop action files will come bundled with additional resources. Make sure to install these extra files as well. Otherwise, your watercolor action won’t work as intended.

4. Is the Effect Customizable?

The most important feature to look for when downloading Photoshop actions is to check to see whether the effect is customizable. You should be able to customize the colors and adjust the strength of the watercolor effect after applying it to your photos.

Check to see if your Photoshop action creates a non-destructive effect with adjustment layers for easier customization.

Looking for cool backgrounds? Check out our watercolor background textures collection for more.