Home Retouching Tutorials Colorization

Last update:  12-31-1969

Submitted by Jakaleena

There are lots of ways to colorize an image, but this is one of the ways I do it

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There are lots of ways to colorize an image, but this is one of the ways I do it...

Open your image. Make sure it's in RGB color (grayscale won't accept added colors)

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Using your favorite selection tool, start selecting areas to be colored. I usually start with the hair since I think it's the hardest to do and I like to do it while I'm still fresh.

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After my selection is made, I use Bruce Beard's skintone and hair color charts to pick my colors using the eyedropper. The color charts are under Resources on the menu.

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I make a new layer and set it to color blending mode

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Fill your selection (Edit > Fill > Foreground color), and adjust the fill opacity to your liking. I also save all of my selections in case I need them later (Select > Save Selection).

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I re-name my layers so that I can keep track of what coloring is on which layer. To re-name your layers, just double click on them.

When I fill color into the face, I normally go back and erase the coloring from the eyes and mouth so that they aren't skin colored. I make a separate color blending layer for them, and use the paintbrush to add color. I usually try to fleck in several colors to the eyes to give them a more natural look. I also use the same color I used on the lips to add a rosy highlight to the skin by painting lightly on cheeks, nose, ears, etc. at about 5% opacity with a soft paintbrush.

Finally, I color all of the remaining objects in the photograph (also by selecting, making a new color blending layer, and then filling the selections).

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And yes, that incredibly cute child in the samples is me as a baby... :)