How to transform a picture into coloring page?

Shark converted into printable coloring sheet
We must first warn you. Making your own coloring page is not a super easy task. It requires a lot of patience, exercises and improving your skills. But you know what? At the end, it also gives a huge amount of satisfaction. So you have some free time and enthusiasm for work? Let’s start!


1. A tool

Gimp interface

First of all, we need a tool to make transformation happen. For this purpose, we highly recommend an image editor called GIMP. Don’t worry it’s free and you can download it instantly here: GIMP Download

GIMP downloaded and installed on your computer? OK, so now it’s time to open an image which we want to transform. To do so just click: File -> Open or simply drag and drop your image into GIMP active window.


2. Let’s get ready to rumble!

Vividness adjustment in gimp

A thing to remember! The more bright and sharp is the picture you choose the higher are chances to achieve a good effect. The resolution of the image is also important. In general, the higher the better. After uploading the image, we can also slightly boost its vividness.

To do so click Colours -> Brightness-Contrast and adjust Contrast value. In our picture, we increased it by 20.

3. A crucial step

Using effects to transform a picture into coloring page

And now the real fun begins. What we are going to do here is the actual transformation of the picture. So do it carefully and unhurriedly. The quality of the final effect depends to a large extent on this step.

At first click: Filters -> Artistic -> Photocopy and watch all the magic that GIMP is able to create!

After that, you’ll see a smaller window with four equally important values to adjust: Mask Radius, Sharpness, Percent black and Percent white

And that’s a tricky part because there is no one and perfect value to use for all transformations. But the good thing is that in many cases, the optimal values will be similar to those presented above. Nevertheless, always try to play with sliders a little bit and search for the best effect.

4. Halfway

A picture transformed into coloring sheet

Are you already here? So the hardest part is already behind you! And your picture should look very similar to a normal coloring page now. Actually, we would like to color our shark straight away, but we don’t need to hurry. Instead, we’ll try to improve it a little bit more. So what’s now?

Some elements in our picture seem to be too bright. Se we’ll try to darken them using a tool called Dodge / Burn It can be found in a toolbox on a left side.

It is important for you to check the boxes: Burn and Midtones

And then we just move the tool over too bright areas and click a left button of a mouse until we get a satisfying effect.

5. Almost done

A transformed shark

It might also happen that you’ll notice some badly blurred areas or simply elements that you don’t want to have in the picture.

Fortunately, we have an old, good Eraser to be found in the toolbox on the left.

Erase what you don’t like and give your coloring page final touches.

6. Scale

Coloring sheet resizing in Gimp

What we’ll do now is the final preparation of the size of the picture for printing in A4 format. Luckily, at least this part is very easy.

Just click: Image -> Image Scale and in the field Height type 780 px (it can be less but never more)

Then just click: Scale

7. Your own coloring page is ready!

Prepare an image to A4 format

A height is ok, so now we only need to adjust the right width of the image.

To do that click: Image -> Canvas size and type 600 px (as previously, it can be less but not more)

To confirm click: Resize

A4 format is ready and now you can print your coloring page on a classic sheet of paper.

8. Save your work

Saving a file in png format

Your own coloring page is finally ready so don’t forget to save it! You can do it using for example png format but jpg is also fine.

To do so find: File -> Export As, then give a name to your file and click: Export

You made it! Your own coloring page is ready!