Well HELLO there PicMonkey: A photo editing tutorial (of sorts)

Raise your hand if you tore your clothes like they used to in Biblical days when you heard Picnik was closing shop.

*waves hand wildly*

But friends! tear your clothing no more! Have you met PicMonkey???

First off, I have no relationship with PicMonkey… I am just a girl who has great fear of Photoshop who has been searching madly for a simple photo editing tool.

I would say the only down-side to PicMonkey is that one must be online to use it. I really would love to not to have to be online to edit pics…. *sigh*…


Here’s a picture of Lucy from when she took my borrowed hula hoop from me without permission…

(P.S. I am not trained in photo editing/art, so all my filter choices are guided by my own preference. Your preference may differ from mine. I like blues and greens, you might like reds and yellows… in any case… GO YOU!)

The original:


With auto-fix (which I hear is generally discouraged, but I like how it lightened up the tones a touch. Especially around Lucy’s face.

#2: auto adjust

I love cross process. One of my favorite filters… I love the enhanced blues and greens… I often tweak the fade… in this one I tweaked to 42 (like that means anything to you, BUT IT WILL!):

Cross process

I felt the picture was a touch darker than I wanted, so I went to the exposure feature and increased the highlights just a touch…

A touch of highlight

I added the Tranquil effect with a fade to 34. I like the added lightening andhow the effect softens the yellow tones and harshish feeling the highlighting did to Lucy’s shoulders:


Then a slight soften, to match her soft wisps of hair:


Dusk… faded to 70. It’s barely noticeable, But it deepened the edges without feeling like I was creating a heavy edge and it toned-down the yellows just a touch more:


Now for some frilly fun!

As a former scrapbooker I have to remind myself to be careful. I used to be quite a sticker user in my scrapbooking days… So, when using overlays/stickers… less is more, right? My arrows are also faded. Given the softened features of the picture, I felt a solid overlay would be too much…

arrow overlays

The finished product:

I dream of hula hoops

And THAT, my former users of Picnik friends… is how it is done.

And clearly… I AM NOT A PURIST.



real me

And now the Me if I had my own magazine (think Oprah, but with less no staff):

processed me

I made this one my Facebook banner picture!

I repeat: I AM NOT A PURIST.

Another tip… PicMonkey does not yet have an option for collages, BUT… iPiccy does. And iPiccy has a rainbow effect I really want to use when I find the right shot. It has many of the same features as PicMonkey. I’ve used both and there are things in each I prefer over the other.

In my opinion, PicMonkey is more visually appealing and a bit more easy to use. There are a few things about iPiccy that I just haven’t been able to figure out.

So. Whaddya think? Did you used to use Picnik? Have you tried PicMonkey or iPiccy? Are you a Smarty Smarterson and do you just tear it up with Photoshop? If so, will you mentor me?


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22 Responses to “Well HELLO there PicMonkey: A photo editing tutorial (of sorts)”

  1. Marika says:

    Hey-ho, thanks for this! I just started using Photoshop (with the aid of whiskey and Xanax) and it basically broke my brain. So I’m happy to find something a bit simpler when all I need is an easy fix!

    • You know, I have only sat before Photoshop in bewilderment. My husband has it, but not me. So there are TWO things… cost AND skill! Definitely PicMoneky is a great easy fix solution 🙂

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I used Picnic and was most upset when it disappeared. I have discovered PicMonkey but not played around with it too much yet. PhotoShop scares me too (the price alone gives me the willies).

  3. Angie says:

    Awesome stuff! I’m no purist either and I’m certainly no Smarty Smarterson, but I do use Photoshop because that’s one of the tools of my background trade. Honestly though, Lightroom changed it ALL for me. Most images that end up on my blog are edited entirely with Lightroom. Like 90something percent of them. Glad to know about PicMonkey though because friends ask a lot about other programs and I really don’t know about others 🙂

  4. Jenna says:

    My problem with PicMonkey is that they keep saying their collages are coming soon, but I need them now. Actually yesterday. Actually, last Monday. In my panicked search, I found http://ipiccy.com/ iPiccy. It has everything that Picnik offered minus the fancy collages (like cards/invitations). I just needed the ability for quick, drag-and-drop collages and, really, iPiccy has more simple collage wise than Picnik did — and for free.

    That said, I’ll probably check out PicMonkey’s collages when they finally roll them out, but as they’re going to go premium service, like Picnik did, I’d really rather stick with the free one that already works.

  5. I’m glad you mentioned Lightroom – I have heard so many wonderful things about it… Is it true you can edit in batches? 2 things about it I love: the batch concept and the fact that it’s offline. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been on an airplane and have just wanted to sit and edit pics from my trip. But not all flights offer wi-fi and/or WHAT A PAIN.

    Someday I will learn and be legit, just like you 😉 xoxo 🙂

  6. Abigail Snyder says:

    I’ve missed Picnik very much! Just tried PicMonkey on a concert photo and loved it! Thank you Jenny <3

  7. I have an older version of Photoshop & I just hate it. It’s not user friendly & I don’t want to shell out another several hundred dollars for an updated version.

    I agree….I like both iPiccy & PicMonkey & have been playing around with them both.

    You’ve inspired me to go do some more playing with my photos though! 🙂

  8. I need a good easy photo editing program. I have dipped into Photoshop Elements but to be honest it’s a bit to technical for me. It’s not user-friendly at all. I want immediate, fast results and if you dont know what you are doing you can create a mess in 2 seconds. Thank you so much!!!

  9. PicMonkey looks cool, so I will have to try it. I, too, cried (& took to complaining on Twitter and such). But I finally tried what Google said — used the photo editing tools in Google+ — and, lo and behold! It IS Picnik. Like, exactly Picnik. So new things are nice to play with, but when you get a hankering for your old faithful Picnik fonts &effects, Google+ is now where they reside. And you can download your newly edited pic to upload or use anywhere — print, FB, etc.

  10. Michelle W says:

    I use Graphic Converter. Then I add words using photoshop. I am all over da place! Thanks for the tip! I have been wanting to use some cool filters, but cannot for the life of me figure out how to do it using photoshop.

  11. Jo says:

    I use Picasa, and I luv it!! I haven’t tried either of the ones you mentioned or Photoshop….

  12. Andrea says:

    I am turtley excited!!! Thanks JennY!

  13. Andrea says:

    PS Did you know when I BEGGED for Photoshop from Santa and got it–it came with a BIG OLE book called “Photoshop for Dummies” (like the big yellow books for dummies for everything…well–I STILL couldn’t figure it out!!!!

  14. Hi Jenny – thanks for this great post! (Lucy is a cutie pie just like her momma). Another bonus to PicMonkey is the super cute interface – makes it fun to fiddle. + Even though Picnik is officially closed, I still use it all of the time. The little ‘edit it in Picnik’ icon in Picasa takes me to Picnik and all of the features I use are still there (just fyi cuz PicMonkey is sweet!).

  15. Lu says:

    I like your alterations, my friend. I have used Photoshop for years and now, I almost exclusively use Lightroom. Although, I am loving what can be done with simple editors.

    I sure wish I had more time to sit down and do creative work. My job is sucking the life out of me.

  16. kerry says:

    Great tutorial of sorts my friend!!!!!!!!!! I tweeted it to my sparkly followers too because I’ve been W.A.I.T.I.N.G for someone to show me how it works. I literally signed up a couple of months ago whilst tearing at my clothes after above-mentioned announcement, and then forgot about it all.

    I’m busy uploading pics as we speak so I’ll give it a Go Go Go!

    Thanks Jenny darling xx

  17. […] Well HELLO there PicMonkey: A photo editing tutorial (of sorts) (jennyonthespot.com) -12.449029 130.855172 Spread the lurve:MoreLike this:LikeBe the first to like this post. Posted in other people, photography and cameras, process | Tagged Flickr, Image editing, photo editing, PicMonkey […]

  18. ovey says:

    Hi Jenny! Nice post! We recently launched a web photo app too! — called Loupe.

    With Loupe, you can grab photos from Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and any web site and make a shape collage. You can make collages out of your Pinterest and Instagram photos too.

    What do you think? http://www.getloupe.com

    I’d love to see your collage!


  19. Claire says:

    Do you Do you know how do I make a layer with PicMonkey ?

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