Artsy Photo Colorization Technique
Hey, all. I have a fun little photo trick for you. A step by step Photoshop tutorial to add pop to a photo. Then you can use the cool photo in a scrapbook, art journal, album, planner or other projects. Let’s get started.
This technique works better when you have a darker image on a light background. The photo I am using is really not a good one to start with. Confession time… I snapped this using my phone from inside an upstairs window as my son was playing the guitar and singing in our driveway. He’s a teenager and totally would not have approved of this behavior, but I’m banking on forgiveness once he finally notices the finished page. *fingers crossed*
So, here it is. A not-so-great (OK, terrible) photo that meets the requirements of a dark subject in front of a light background.
I did edit it in Photoshop to sharpen it a teeny bit, adding contrast and overexpose it. So here’s a look at the photo as I start my process.
Step 1: Duplicate the Layer
Step 2: Choose Image > Adjustments > Threshold. Adjust the input slider so that most of the background disappears, leaving the shadows of the model in black. Here’s what I ended up with.
Step 3: Right-click on the top layer and choose Blending Options. While holding the Alt (PC)/ Option (Mac) key, drag the white input slider in the Underlying Layer setting towards the left. Click OK when done.
And here’s what it looks like now…
Step 4: Create a new layer.
Step 5: Click on the current layer and choose Blending Options, and again drag the white input slider from the Underlying Layer setting towards the left (holding the Alt/Option key). You won’t see anything by doing this, but it will help us see what we are doing when adding color in the next step.
Step 6: Add Color. Here’s the fun part. Paint the current (new) layer with any color you chose. Use a large brush with a hardness of 0. I used bright colors. As you paint, you will see your results!
After painting, you can go back and adjust the blending options again if needed.
This is what my painting produced.
After this, I took the brush again, and painted some white over the background. You can also paint on your Layer 1 (middle layer) for more variation. Just play with it! It’s super fun.
The end result…
Even my teenage son #2 (not pictured, LOL) said it was “artsy”. High praise, I tell you.
I took mine a bit further and added a few elements from Traci’s Pocket Life ’15: August Collection to turn it into a scrapbook page.
Very cool. Now it’s your turn. Give it a try!