In this Photoshop tutorial, you will learn how to turn a photo into an CutOut painting, using a few filters with a very simple technique. Even though it may look like a difficult tutorial, it’s really not that hard. Let’s get started!

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Photoshop
  • Difficulty: Beginner
  • Estimated Completion Time: 30 Minutes
Take a look at the image we’ll be creating. You can download the layered PSD document from here.

Step 01

The first step is choosing the photo. You can use any other image if you wish, but there are a few points to keep in mind. First of all, the settings of the filters we’ll use in this tutorial depends on the image size, so using smaller or larger images will end up with different results. Second, you can play around with the settings when applying filters, according to the image you’re using.

Step 02

Duplicate the picture layer and name it "Bottom Layer".

Go to Filter > Artistic > Cutout and use these settings:

You should have something like this:

Play about with the the settings until you get something that you like.

Step 03

Duplicate the "Background" layer (Command+J) two more times. Name these two copies as "Relief" and "Color".

The "Relief" layer is below the "Color" layer.

Select the "Relief" layer in the Layers Palette, set Foreground Color to black (see picture below if you don't understand this), set Background Color to white.

Go to Filter > Sketch > Bas Relief. Use these settings:

Set Blending Mode of "Color" layer to Color.

Select both "Color" and "Relief" layers and hit Command+E (Ctrl+E) to merge.

Step 04

Select the "Color" layer and go to Filter > Artistic > Cutout and use these settings:

Go to Layers Palette and set the Blending Mode of "Color" layer to Overlay.

Keep in mind that applying different filters instead of Bas Relief at this step is worth giving a shot.


Well, this is the end of this short tutorial. Again, you can play with the settings until you get something that you like. I hope you found this technique useful and had fun. Enjoy applying these technique in your own work!

About the author

Alex Roman

I'm a 26-year old independent graphic artist and architect based in Bucharest and also the co-owner of iCanBeCREATIVE.

I specialize in branding for small businesses and startups: logos, websites, flyers, posters; mostly everything a brand may need to put the word out there in a professional way.

I really love what I do. Want to hire me? Follow me on Facebook.

Post a comment


  • Heatherina
    2010-06-11 19:54:58
    Very simple and amazing trick. good work!!!!
  • Andrew
    2010-06-11 19:55:16
    Hey, love this tutorial. thanks ^-^
  • Gorny S. Needa
    2010-06-11 19:55:34
    Thanks, that’s very cool effect with simple steps!
  • Danielle
    2010-06-11 19:55:56
    Thanks, that’s easy yet effective.
  • Bobby
    2010-06-11 20:05:54
    it’s fast and an easy tut! great help! Thanks!
  • Michael Plant
    2010-06-11 20:06:18
    Simple technique with great effect…
  • Liv Madsen
    2010-06-11 20:07:32
    Nice work and tutorial, indeed. Very smart.
  • BWD
    2010-06-11 22:30:39
    The tutorial is just great. Thanks for sharing it.
  • k.m.murali
    2010-06-13 06:45:50
    nice work but i need a different clor has been used in the photo to convert the art paint.plz
  • Michael Plant
    2010-06-15 03:54:12
    Amazing..i will like to have this inspiration too.Nice good work
  • Danny
    2010-06-15 03:54:32
    I’m new to the scene but really like this and will be giving it a go. Nice tutorial
  • Lisa
    2010-06-15 04:00:45
    Very nice tutorial. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.
  • Rafael Torres
    2010-06-15 04:02:18
    Very helpful tutorial. I also picked up a few helpful tips along the way as well. Thanks!
  • 2010-06-19 09:15:55
    a great work
  • 2010-07-14 16:46:47
    Excellent tutorial. Great descriptions and thought process! Easy to follow too!
  • 2010-08-04 00:49:39
    Simple, Artistic and useful tutorial. Thanks for sharing.
  • 2011-03-12 13:46:24
    A great work.
  • 2011-06-07 18:02:14
    Very intresting, thanks
  • 2012-06-30 10:44:11
    Glorious tutorials. Really enchant me.
  • 2014-07-09 11:57:02
    Thanks Roman for your great painting effect tutorial. I appreciate your good work.