COLOUR ME Tutorial


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Challenge Host - June
Colour Me Tutorial
By Kythe

Some colouring tips: A method for colouring elements (PSE2020)

There are many ways to re-colour an image. I am sure some of you have your favourite way to do that however for those who have not tried re-colouring using a painting method, it is explained below.

  • Label the original image ‘base’. Duplicate the image and label that layer ‘overlay’.
  • Link the ‘overlay’ layer with the ‘base’ layer.
  • Make sure the ‘base’ is on the bottom layer. Turn off the little eyeball on the ‘overlay layer’.
  • Open a new layer above the ‘base’ and label the layer ‘paint’. (Layer order from top to bottom should be overlay paint, base) The ‘paint’ layer is where you will put the colour.
  • Link the all layers to avoid slippage.
  • Create a clipping mask from the ‘paint layer’ to ‘base layer’. (The little bent arrow should show) Making a clipping mask keeps the colours from spreading outside the outer image lines.
  • When colouring an area inside an object, use the quick selection tool and draw ‘marching ants border’ around the area to be coloured. The boarder prevents the colour from moving beyond the area surrounded by the ‘ants’. You can blend any hard edges later.
  • Select a soft brush… one that fades slightly at the edges. As you paint, change the size of the brush to fit the spaces coloured.
  • Select the colours. Keep the opacity low enough so the you can see the base greyscale image and still get any textures it may have. Paint each area.
  • Remember that each pass strengthens the colour.
  • Use the dodge and burn tools to complete shading and highlights. (Found in the ‘Enhance’ section of the tools panel) Dodge lightens, burn darkens. Start with a low strength as each pass strengths the opacity.
  • When finished all painting, use the surface blur filter at a low strength and blur the areas coloured to softly smooth the area.
  • Open the overlay eyeball. Play with opacities on the overlay layer and paint layer to get different effects. (I keep each outcome I like as separate PNGs. This saves time and gives me a variety of choices.)

  • A method for colouring papers
  • Single colour paper
  • 1. Make 2 copies of the greyscale paper. Link the layers. Label the bottom layer ‘base’.
  • Label the top layer ‘paint’.
  • 2. Chose a colour from the colour picker.
  • 3. Highlight paint layer. Go to ‘Enhance’ > Adjust Color > Adjust hue/saturation> check the colorize box.
  • 4. Move the sliders to adjust saturation and hue you want. This will give you a single-coloured paper with the base texture showing through.
  • 5. If not enough texture shows through, duplicate the base greyscale layer and place at the top of the layers panel. Play with opacity until you are satisfied.
  • 6. Merge layers and save.

Multiple colour papers
  • Make 3 copies of the greyscale paper. Link the layers. Label the bottom layer colour 1. Label the middle layer colour 2. Label the top layer overlay and turn off the eyeball for the top 2 layers. (overlay and colour2.)
  • Choose a colour using the colour picker. Repeat step 3and 4 above.
  • Open the eyeball on the colour 2 layer, add the colour repeating steps 3-4 above.
  • Make a layer mask for colour 2 layer.
  • Be sure the colour picker has the black box on top and white box underneath.
  • Highlight the colour 2 layer and click on the white layer mask next to the colour layer. Make sure the blue edge is showing on the mask.
  • Use a photo mask or soft brush, at a low opacity, to remove some of the colour from colour 2 layer to let the colour 1 show through. Each repetition allows more colour to show through.
  • (Using a layer mask allows you make changes easily. To remove the changes, highlight the white mask. A Black colour picker box, mode darken, allows the brush to take colour away from the paper. A white colour picker box, mode lighten, allows the brush to put the colour back where it was originally.)
  • Open the overlay layer eyeball. Play with the opacity using the dropdown and slider to see various effects.
  • Merge layers and save

  • Repeat the steps for as many colours you wish adding the greyscale layer each time you add a new colour. (Be sure to link the additional greyscale layers to each colour layer below.)
  • Changing the brush will also change the shape of the colour added or removed. Changing the order of colour layers will also change the look of the paper.
Karen, thank you for the wonderful tutorial and tips!
great tut Karen & thank you for all the work you put into this for us ♥