You are just going to love this post!  I promise.

A few months ago, a couple of my Facebook friends were posting the coolest pictures.  They actually looked like paintings, and the detail and shading made quite an impact.

So, I sweetly went to FB Messenger, and I asked them how the heck were they creating this new look for pictures.  The answer came back “Snapseed.”  It is a free app, works on both iPhones and androids (I believe…I have a Samsung4). What’s even better is that if your pictures from your phone automatically upload to Google+,  the editing tool in G+ IS Snapseed!

So, how does it work right?

Well, I have to admit this is a bit of a trial and error, at least it was with me, but with a bit of patience and determination, you can take a picture like this

pond beforeand turn it in to a picture that looks like this

pond editIsn’t that cool?

Ok, in a nut shell, here is how you do it:

1.  First you need to load a picture in to Google+ or  select a pic from your phone.  On this last step, you also need to download the Snapseed app.

2.  Go to Edit in Google + or from Snapseed select the picture you want to edit.

I’m going to do the rest of these instruction as if you were editing a picture from your smartphone. It works about the same in Google+, but you would use your mouse….

3.  Once you have selected your photo, you can run it through the Automatic Adjust program if you want to tweak it a bit.  To make changes, you run your finger horizontally on the screen to increase or decrease the editing tool you are using.

4.  The Selective Adjust mode is where you can have some fun by selecting certain parts of the picture to brighten or darken.  When I touch the screen, the letter B appears, and I can then move it to the spot I want and lighten or darken that one place.  This is good to use on faces or focal point(s) in a picture.  Hit the check mark when you are through. ALWAYS hit the checkmark at the bottom of the screen before moving on to the next editing tool.

5.  If you go to the Tune Image mode, your instructions get a bit trickier.  First, there are six options in this mode.  You will find them as you run your finger from top to bottom on your screen.  As you stop at each option(brightness, ambiance, contrast, saturation, shadow, and warmth), you can make your edits by selecting an option, and see how your picture changes as you run your finger horizontally at the bottom of your screen.

6.  The magic starts when you select the HDR SCAPE.  You have four options here: filter strength, brightness, saturation, and smoothing.  With your finger going to the right, increase the filter strength to 100%.  Now your picture should start to take on the elements of a painting.  Play with the rest of the options to tweak the picture to your liking.  As you play, you will also see how to change your pic to a black and white pencil-type drawing.

Here are a few of my changed pictures:

wind pic

grey skies


This is one of my favs!  Bear and calfOk? Got it?  If you don’t see exactly what you like, keep on playing.  It will get easier, and some pics will lend themselves to this process more than others.  I took the picture of the sprayer in the barn lot, had it developed, and it looked great.


Hope you have fun with this, and I would love to see your pictures once you have transformed them!

Lana from Walking the Off-Beaten Path

Jill of many trades trying to master them all. After teaching high school English for 18 years, I changed my life to become a farm wife in northwestern Indiana and mom to Tink and Bear.


  • Jeane

    I enjoyed the article from Farm Wives of America!