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 23-year old independent graphic artist based in Romania, Bucharest. I design beautiful, engaging user experiences and intuitive user interfaces for the web. I really love what I do. Want to hire me? Follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

  • Safi Sarkar says:

    Thanks Roman for your great painting effect tutorial. I appreciate your good work.

  • Tutor Dipu says:

    Glorious tutorials. Really enchant me.

  • Photoshop tutorials: 75 inspirational projects to level up your skills | CreativeBloQ says:

    [...] 14. How to use the cut out painting effect [...]

  • Web dizajn says:

    Very intresting, thanks

  • Faruk says:

    A great work.

  • Nepal says:

    Simple, Artistic and useful tutorial. Thanks for sharing.

  • Brilliant Adobe Photoshop CS5 Tutorials From 2010 - Noupe Design Blog says:

    [...] CutOut Painting Effect Photoshop CS5 TutorialIn this Photoshop tutorial, you will learn how to turn a photo into an CutOut painting, using a few filters with a very simple technique. [...]

  • Ken Viva says:

    Excellent tutorial. Great descriptions and thought process! Easy to follow too!

  • Misha says:

    a great work

  • Rafael Torres says:

    Very helpful tutorial. I also picked up a few helpful tips along the way as well. Thanks!

  • Lisa says:

    Very nice tutorial. Thank you for sharing your knowledge.

  • Danny says:

    I’m new to the scene but really like this and will be giving it a go. Nice tutorial

  • Michael Plant says:

    Amazing..i will like to have this inspiration too.Nice good work

  • k.m.murali says:

    nice work but i need a different clor has been used in the photo to convert the art paint.plz

  • BWD says:

    The tutorial is just great. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Liv Madsen says:

    Nice work and tutorial, indeed. Very smart.

  • Michael Plant says:

    Simple technique with great effect…

  • Bobby says:

    it’s fast and an easy tut! great help! Thanks!

  • Danielle says:

    Thanks, that’s easy yet effective.

  • Gorny S. Needa says:

    Thanks, that’s very cool effect with simple steps!

  • Andrew says:

    Hey, love this tutorial. thanks ^-^

  • Heatherina says:

    Very simple and amazing trick. good work!!!!