The concept of turning photos into paintings has been around for as long as photography itself. However, it is only recently that, with the help of modern technology and smartphone apps, it has become much easier to turn your beloved photos into painting-style works of art.

This means that whether you have a wedding photo, a family portrait, or a shot of your favourite landscape scene, transforming it into a painting is now easier than you think.

The cool thing is you don’t need to be a naturally gifted Picasso or have advanced ninja skills in using professional photo editing tools to give your images that much-needed painterly look.

Instead, you only need a clever little app that will allow you to add painterly styles with a few taps on your smartphone screen. Doing so will turn your digital memories into something truly special.

Transform Your Photos: What are the Best Painting Apps to Use?

Here is my pick of some of the most popular apps that will enable you to release your inner artist and turn your photos into beautiful paintings in a matter of minutes.

These amazing apps are simple to use and will allow you to get creative with style and colour, turning any ordinary photo into an extraordinary work of art.Various painting styles and effects

Prisma: The Artistic Revolution (Android & iOS)

prisma app

Prisma Photo Editor is a cool app that uses artificial intelligence to apply over 700 filters, many of them modern and colourful. This is a nice change from other photos-to-art apps that veer toward the abstract and impressionistic.

Some of Prisma’s artistic filters preserve so much of the photo that it looks like a crisper, smoother version of itself, with just subtle artistic differences.

There are traditional painting filters and effects, too, and Prisma releases new filters all the time. You can emulate styles from history’s greatest artists, like Dali, Munch and Picasso as well as genres like popart. Once you’ve applied a filter, all you do is use sliders to make adjustments and edits. You can change settings like contrast, exposure and sharpness.

All-in-all, this is a very good photo-to-painting app that will deliver an impressive final image that has the wow factor.

See our tutorial guide, to find out how to use Prisma app to turn your photos into paintings.

Download: iOS | Android

Brushstroke: From Camera Roll to Canvas (iOS)


Brushstroke, another app on our list, effortlessly turns your photos from camera roll to canvas in just a few steps. With various art styles, color palettes, and more than 50 presets, Brushstroke offers a wealth of artistic options to bring your photos to life.

What sets Brushstroke apart from other apps is its ability to allow users to:

  • Fine-tune their images
  • Adjust colors
  • Add texture
  • Sign their work before sharing or printing it

Plus, it offers canvas prints that can be ordered and shipped to your home, making it a perfect choice for those looking to decorate their spaces with their own masterpieces.

Download: iOS

Waterlogue: Dive into Watercolor Styles (iOS)

waterlogue app

Waterlogue is an app for those who are fond of stunning watercolor paintings. Specializing in watercolor effects, this app comes with 14 presets and a myriad of customization options to create beautiful paintings from your photos.

Although Waterlogue has a straightforward interface, don’t let its simplicity fool you. The app offers a unique painting style created for each photo, allowing you to control color, pen outlines, and wetness. While it’s most suitable for landscapes and still life photos, the watercolor effects can add a touch of whimsy to any image.

Tangled FX (iOS)

Tangledfx app

Tangled FX caters to those seeking a more distinct style. With its unique oil painting effect and 16 styles, this app allows you to turn your photos into vibrant, dynamic pieces of art that are sure to catch any eye.

What sets Tangled FX apart is its ability to:

  • Bring out details, shapes, and movement in photos that are not noticeable to the naked eye
  • Be a perfect tool for those who love to experiment and explore new artistic realms
  • Save custom presets to simplify future editing tasks, allowing for quicker access to preferred settings

Download: iOS

Adobe PaintCan (iOS)

Turn Photos Into Paintings apps
Adobe PaintCan doesn’t simply apply a painting effect to your photos; instead, it lets you use six types of brushes and effects to paint over your image.

Colours are auto-chosen based on where you paint. You can also undo all of your work or use an eraser to undo a portion of your work.

When you first play around with Adobe PaintCan, you may feel like the image becomes too blurry and impressionistic. The trick is to use a two-finger motion to enlarge the picture. Then, whatever brush you use will cover a smaller area of the image, meaning you can paint in more detail.

This excellent app has a number of sample photos to play around with so that you can experiment before using your own photos. For more information on how to use the Paintcan app, check out my tutorial on it.

Download: iOS

PicsArt (Android & iOS)

Best Photo Collage Apps 7

PicsArt is an all-in-one mobile editing suite that gives users the power to turn their photos into art. With filters and sliders, a mix of photos and effects, and the ability to paint on images, PicsArt offers a wide range of creative possibilities to turn your photos into works of art.

The app has over 50 different effects, from classic painterly styles to modern, colorful filters, which, with one tap, allow you to turn your photos into stunning paintings. Using the Masking and Transparency Packs, you can apply effects to portions of your image while preserving the original. Further refine your painting with tools like hue, saturation, contrast and more. You can also share your creations on social media directly from the app.

Not only can you turn your photos into sketches and paintings, but you can also use other editing options if you don’t want to use the painting route.

PicsArt has a free download version available, but a subscription gives users access to exclusive content and an ad-free app. With helpful tutorials and advanced photo editing capabilities, PicsArt is a great choice for turning your photos into art.

Download: iOS | Android

Portrait Painter (iOS & Android)

portrait painter app

Portrait Painter, another commendable app, is not to be overlooked. As the name suggests, this app specializes in turning portrait photos into lifelike paintings. With customizable brush and canvas options, Portrait Painter allows you to bring your portraits to life.

Whether you’re painting a portrait of a loved one or immortalizing a candid moment, Portrait Painter offers you the tools to create a masterpiece. It’s a must-have tool for those looking to capture the beauty and complexity of the human face and figure.

Download: iOS | Android

Glaze (iOS)

glaze app

With Glaze, your photos-turned-paintings will look real enough to touch. You’ll be able to actually see the layered paint, just like on a real painting. Since many of Glaze’s effects have a lot of texture, they work best on images with contrasting colors and distinct shapes. There are a number of effects that you can apply with one touch. More than 30 styles come free with the app, and you can unlock more for a low fee. You can also stack styles to create presets.

With the Transparency Pack, you can use masks to apply effects to portions of the image. You can also save transparent layers for blending. Try out the pack for free. The best part about the app is that it walks you through how to use its features, and there’s also a user guide and a video tour for even more help.

Download: iOS

Free vs. Paid: Navigating In-App Purchases and Subscriptions

You must also consider your budget while choosing the right app. While some apps are completely free, others offer basic features for free and require in-app purchases or subscriptions to unlock the full suite of tools.

No need to worry, as we will guide you through the world of in-app purchases and subscriptions, assisting you to select the best app for your needs.

Free apps like Prisma and Waterlogue are ideal if you’re just starting out or on a budget. These apps offer basic painting effects that can transform your photos into beautiful paintings, and they even provide a free version for users to try.

While these apps are free, they may offer in-app purchases for additional tools or features. However, the basic features are often more than enough to create stunning artworks.

Evaluating Premium Artistic Tools

However, if you’re seeking more advanced editing capabilities, premium apps like Brushstroke and Tangled FX could be a better fit. These apps offer a wider range of tools and features, allowing you to fine-tune your images to perfection.

While these apps come with a price tag, they often offer more customization options and professional-quality tools. So

If you’re serious about turning your photos into paintings, looking for more advanced editing capabilities and willing to invest a bit, then you may want to check out some more advanced apps that offer a wider range of tools and features, allowing you to fine-tune your images to perfection. Some popular ones to check out include:

  • Procreate
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • ArtRage
  • Rebelle

Tips for Choosing the Right App for Your Artistic Vision

Best Phone Apps to Turn Photos into Paintings - paintcan

Now, with an understanding of the top apps for transforming photos into paintings, how should you go about selecting the one that suits you best? The answer lies in your artistic vision. Each app offers different painting styles and tools, and the best one for you will depend on your desired style, genre, and level of customization.

Here are some tips to help you choose the right app for your artistic vision.

Unleashing Creativity Across Different Genres of Art

A major advantage of these apps is the freedom they give you to express your creativity across various art genres. Whether you’re into popart or classic oil painting, there’s an app that can cater to your artistic preferences.

Let’s see how apps such as Prisma and Glaze enable you to delve into various artistic genres.

Pop Art Perfection with Prisma Photo Editor

For pop art perfection, Prisma Photo Editor is your ideal choice. With a diverse range of artistic styles inspired by famous artists like Van Gogh, Picasso, and Munch, Prisma can turn your photos into vibrant, eye-catching pop art pieces.

However, Prisma’s capabilities extend beyond just popart. Whether you’re into abstract expressionism, surrealism, or any other genre, Prisma has got you covered. With Prisma, the possibilities are endless, and creating art is as easy as choosing a filter and applying it to your photo.

Classic Oil Painting with Glaze

For lovers of classic oil paintings, Glaze is the perfect app. Glaze creates realistic oil painting effects with layered paint, offering over 30 styles and customizable brushstrokes.

With Glaze, you can:

  • Create stunning oil paintings with just a few taps
  • Recreate the look of a traditional oil painting
  • Experiment with new styles
  • Bring your artistic vision to life

So, what is the Best Phone Apps to Turn Photos into Paintings?

So, what is the best phone app to transform photos into paintings? Well, that largely depends on your desired style and effect. If you’re into pop art, Prisma would be a great choice.

For those who prefer classic oil paintings, Glaze is the way to go. Personally, I like the tactile nature of using Paintcan. It is easy to use, gives impressive results, and gives you the sense of having control during the creation process.

But regardless of your preferred style, all these apps offer endless possibilities by simply uploading a photo and starting the process.

So, go ahead, unleash your creativity, and turn those ordinary photos into extraordinary pieces of art!

In conclusion, turning photos into paintings has never been easier with the help of the right phone app. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned artist, these awesome apps offer a variety of painting styles and advanced editing features to help you create beautiful paintings from your photos. So what are you waiting for? Unleash your creativity and start creating your masterpiece today!

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I turn a photo into a painting on my iPhone?

You can easily turn a photo into a painting on your iPhone using apps like Paintcan, Prisma, Brushstroke or Glaze. These apps offer a variety of painting styles and image editing tools to help you create your desired masterpiece.

What is the best app for turning photos into paintings?

The Vinci app uses artificial intelligence to apply different artistic styles to your photos, inspired by famous paintings, and turn them into stunning artwork. It is the best app for turning photos into paintings. Try it to give your photos a unique touch!

How do you make a picture look like a drawing on iPhone?

You can make a picture look like a drawing on your iPhone by using apps like Prisma, Clip2Comic, Photoleap, Painnt, or Photo Lab. Another option is to use the Painnt app by tapping the menu, selecting Sketch, choosing a filter, and applying it to your photo.

What should I consider when choosing the right app for my artistic vision?

Consider your desired style, genre, and level of customization when choosing the right app for your artistic vision. Each app offers different painting styles and tools, so the best one for you will depend on your artistic vision.

What are some premium artistic tools for more advanced editing capabilities?

You should check out apps like Brushstroke and Tangled FX. They offer advanced editing capabilities and a wide range of tools for fine-tuning your images to perfection. These apps are premium but provide professional-quality tools and customization options.