How to edit photos for diamond painting

Diamond painting is an art style gaining popularity recently. It is similar to cross stitching or painting by numbers. The artist puts the picture onto a canvas and applies tiny resin diamonds in each color-coded section. The result is an image reflecting light and sparkles, hence the name.

It’s a unique art style done for aesthetic purposes to hang on a wall instead of the usual oil or watercolor paintings and framed photos. Some people even make diamond paintings for others as gifts.

But the practice is almost as challenging as enlarging an image for printing. You’ll need high-quality photos to convert them into diamond paintings. And so, here’s a guide on how to edit your images appropriately for diamond painting:

Adjust The Size

Your photo must match your canvas size and orientation. You need to perform this step first before painting it with a custom kit like the ones from Dreamer Designs. Adjusting the size is vital because skipping it could result in stretched-out images or a cartoony style painting for photos of people or sceneries, which some don’t like.

You can check the size of your digital photo by following these steps:

  • Right-click the image file
  • Go to Properties in the drop-down menu
  • Click on Details in the pop-up box
  • Check the information under Image

You’ll see its dimensions, also known as the aspect ratio or resolution, here. An example of a photo’s size is 1284 x 1712 pixels. The bigger the resolution, the better your picture will look in the painting. The colors, shapes, and lines will be sharper when you print the photo.

Next, you’ll have to convert the pixels into centimeters (cm) to match the canvas. Sometimes, you also need to make the photo bigger or smaller depending on the canvas size. There are preferred canvas sizes depending on how many people are in the photo. A supplier may recommend a canvas based on the number of heads in an image:

  • For one person, it’s 30cm x 40cm.
  • For two people, it’s 40cm x 50cm.
  • For three people, it’s 60cm x 80cm.

Adjusting the photo size is tricky for many first-time photo editors. It’ll be much easier if it is already large enough, but you can still edit smaller image sizes when needed. When resizing a photo, adjust both the length and width so that the aspect ratio remains balanced no matter how big or small the photo is. Focusing on only one side could alter the picture entirely, like making narrow or wide faces or specific shapes.

If you have a large photo with many background elements, you could crop it to focus on the subject. Backgrounds tend to lack the finer details needed in a diamond painting, so try to make the photo’s subject the focal point as much as possible.

Brighten The Image

The secret to the popularity of diamond painting is the detailed images it produces. But you can only achieve this correctly if the base image shows the subject clearly. Your photo must have decent brightness to see all the details and colors it has, which will reflect on the painting. Dark pictures won’t make for good diamond paintings. So, you need to ensure your photo is bright enough before putting it on the canvas.

Most diamond painting businesses use a photo editing app on their PC for precise edits. If you want more advanced tools to get the right amount of light in a dark photo, you could adjust the brightness in Photoshop. On a desktop program, you can easily edit even the tiny details you wouldn’t be able to spot on smaller screens. Make sure you don’t make the photo too bright, or you could end up with an image with fewer colors.

You can also adjust the image brightness in almost any photo editing app, even default ones on phones. Open your iPhone Photos app and move the slider to your preferred brightness level. The same method should also apply to any Android phone. You could also download any free photo editing app in the App Store or Google Play Store. However, some apps may put a watermark on the photo after editing and downloading it.

Saturate The Colors

Saturate photos for the best result

Colors are what make diamond paintings so desirable among many people. The resin diamonds come in various colors and should match every hue and shade your photo has. Saturating your image’s colors will help you turn it into a beautiful diamond painting on canvas.

Photos may be highly-saturated, meaning they’re full of color. Other times they’re on low saturation, which makes them look grayish.

Many beginners tend to over-saturate their images, which is a common photo editing mistake. If the picture includes a person, the skin tone may change and make it look like they had a bad tan. But undersaturated images don’t look great either. The colors will drain out, leaving you with a low-quality template for your diamond painting.

Most photo editing apps should have a saturation slider installed. You need to adjust the slider until you get a decent color on your photo. It should not be overly bright with color nor gray and dull. If your app has a feature to edit the vibrance, try adjusting it. It will bring out the other low-saturated details in a photo to make the whole piece more pleasing to the eye. It will also look better when painted on canvas.


Turning your favorite photos into a diamond painting is an excellent way to display them. They’re great as gifts, too. But to make high-quality paintings, you need pictures of the same caliber. A little photo editing can do the trick, especially if you know which parts need more focus and the importance of getting colors and details into the forefront.

By Kyline Cole