Color Splashing is a commonly used photo editing effect by Professional Photographers and Media Companies. This effect involves highlighting certain colors in a picture while leaving everything else in gray-scale. If used properly, this effect can create some fascinating picture effects.

The picture you see above is a good example of the color splashing effect.

Its’ not really difficult to add this effect to your pictures. Mostly it depends upon the picture you are applying the color splash effect to. The best part is – there is no need to install applications like Photoshop or Gimp. With so many quality online image editors present today, we can add this effect to our own photos and make them even more special.

Lets see how this effect is added to pictures.

Apply Color Splash Effect Using Picnik:

Picnik is feature rich and highly functional online image editor. It’s a completely browser-based web app and gives an large number of options to edit, modify or add effects to your photos and images. We have written about how you can, Use Picnik to Edit photos in Picasa albums.

Picnik lets the users to use the app for free and without registration. However, it’s a good thing to sign up with the service so that you can save images in your Picnik account and track history of changes made to any image. You can sign up with Picnik here.

Step 1: Upload a photo:

Once you sign up and are logged in, click on the “Upload” button at top left corner of the screen to upload the photo to which you want to apply the color splash effect.

upload-for color-splash

When you click upload, a new window pops up. Browse to the image you want to upload on your computer and upload it.

Step 2 : Go into Create Mode:

Once the image is uploaded, Picnik will open the edit screen, where the image you just uploaded will be shown.

before color splash effect

This is the image to which we are going to apply the color splash effect.  Once you are at the edit screen, click on “Create” tab, where we can apply various effects to the uploaded image.

Step 3: Apply the Black and White effect:

Here you will see various interesting things that can be done with the image, like adding effect, text, frames etc. Go ahead and Click on the “Effects” option.


The first step in applying the color splash effect is to apply the “Black and White” effect to our image. Click on the Black and White effect and you would see our entire image is converted to gray scale.

black and white effect

Step 4 : Splash The Image With Color:

Now, without clicking on any other options, click on the small “Brush Icon” we see just above the Apply and Cancel buttons. It would open a small window called effect painting – This enables us to paint over any effect we applied to the image.

“To apply the color splash effect, you essentially need to paint color into a gray scale image.”

Now you can choose the brush size and the color intensity, with which you will apply the color splash effect. Initially you may not get it right, just use the undo button on top right until you get it right.


Once you have the right combination, just paint the area in the gray scale image, which you would like to be colorful.


As you can see, we carefully color the part we would like to stand out in the overall image. After a few attempts, you would be able to get the perfectly color splashed picture you wanted.


This is the final version of our image after we are finished applying the effect. Pretty easy, Eh!

(Tip: You can check the “Reverse Effect” box at the brush selection screen to check if color has been properly splashed on the target area.)

Well, from here, you can just go to the “Save and Share” tab and save your image to your computer. You can even share it on various social networking sites, share it via email or print the image.

Have fun applying this effect to your photos, its lot of fun and can make images really pop out. If you have any questions or suggestions, please share them in the comments section below.