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One of the easiest ways to hand tint a black- and-white image would be to use a Fill layer. Now before we add the Fill layer, I'd like to select the area that I want to fill. So from the Tool palette, I'll select the Polygonal Lasso tool and this tool's icon is a little bit confusing. The hotspot is actually at the tip of that black arrow. But if you just tap the Caps Locks key on, now we've got our precise cursors and I know that the hotspot is right there in the middle. So I am going to click once. That starts my selection and then you can see I can let go of the mouse and then drag the straight line to the other corner here.
Click again, click down in the foreground, click over here to the left, and then as I position my cursor on top of the starting point, it changes and it gives me the cursor with the 0 next to it, which tells me that it will close my selection. So I click there, and now we've got our marching ants going around the area that I want to hand color. Select Layer>New Fill Layer>Solid Color. I will go ahead and name this Green. Now my Caps Locks is on, so we will take that off. And I have to do one more thing here.
We haven't talked much about Blend modes, but Blend modes enable Photoshop to change the way that one layer interacts with the layer below it. If I leave the Blend mode here to Normal, then I'm just going to get a solid Green overlay. I am going to lose all of the information or I will at least lose the visibility of the information on the layer underneath. Well, because I just want this to look like it's hand tinted, I need to keep the photograph underneath. I need to keep all of this luminosity data. So I'm going to change the layer's Blend mode to Color, and that will give me a nice color wash when I click OK.
You can see that I've got the Color Picker. So we can choose any color that we want. We can increase or decrease the saturation. I am going to pick a dark green here, and maybe move it a little bit more towards the greens and away from the blues there, and as soon as we've got the color we want, we will click OK and in the Layers panel you can see that I have my fill layer. This is the icon for the Fill. If I double-click on that, it would bring back up the color picker, so I could make a change. And to the right of that we have our mask. If I Opt+Click or Alt+Click on the mask, here's the selection that we drew using our Polygonal Lasso tool.
So let's go ahead and toggle back on the visibility of the layer, and let's continue selecting up the stairway. Now again, I will tap the Caps Locks key in order to turn on the Precise cursors. I'm also going to zoom in here so that we can make a more accurate selection, and I'll click around this second rectangle. And then if I want to add to this selection, I can click on the second icon in the Options bar and that will allow me to continue making selections here, without having to go and modify the mask yet.
So I will select that one, we will do one more right here, and it's going to be barely visible I think if we do the top one. So I will go ahead and leave that alone for now. So I've got these three rectangles selected. What I need to do is I need to modify the mask. Where the mask is white, I can see the green fill, where the mask is black, it's being hidden. So I need to choose Edit and then Fill, and we will fill these areas with White. As soon as I click OK, we can now see the green fill layer within those rectangles.
So let's go ahead and deselect, Cmd+ or Ctrl+D. If we Opt+Click the mask or Alt+Click the mask again, you can see that this is a very hard edged mask. So I want to soften that a little bit, but I want to do it in a non-destructive way. So I will click on the Properties panel with my mask selected, and then I'll move the Feather slider over a little bit. That's just going to give me a softer edge there, so that the transition of where the Paint Overlay appears and where it doesn't appear, is not as abrupt. Of course, we don't have to make a selection first if we want to add an overlay.
For example, if I wanted to add more of the green here in the bushes, I'll grab the Paintbrush by tapping the B key and I am going to take off the Cap Locks, because right now I have the Precise cursors, I can't tell how large my brush is. So now if I need to change or modify the brush size, I can use the left bracket ([) to make it smaller of the right bracket (]) to make it larger, and if I paint right now, I'm painting with 100%. But if I just want to add a little bit of green, so that it's not as powerful as the green here going up the stairway, then I can decrease the opacity of my brush.
Now when I paint, the paint is not going to be quite as severe. Now it does look little bit darker, but that's because the underlying bushes there were a little bit darker. Of course, we can zoom in and we can be as precise as we want here or we can go ahead and just fill this in quickly and kind of paint outside the lines. That is up to you. Let's go ahead and do this one more time. I want to paint the sky a different color, and we are actually going to do this in a little bit different of a manner. Instead of selecting the sky first, I'll add my Fill layer.
We will add the Solid color. I will call this Sky, we will come down to the Blend mode, and change that to Color, and click OK. I can pick a nice blue color, but you'll see that the blue is being overlaid in the entire image and that's because my mask is all White. Well, if I want to hide it from the entire image, I can select the mask and then choose Edit>Fill, we can fill the mask with Black. Now it hides that blue fill layer from the entire image but of course, if I tap the B key or if I have my Brush tool, we get a large brush here that's nice and soft edged, then I can just paint in the sky in the areas that I want the blue to appear.
So it's up to you whether you want to make your selection first and then add your Color Fill layer in the Color Blend mode, or if you want to just add it on top of the entire image, fill the mask with black, and then use a tool like the Paintbrush or maybe the Gradient tool to paint White in the mask to reveal that Color Fill layer in the areas of your image that need it. So there you have it, a quick and easy way to create a hand painted look in your image, using Photoshop's Fill layers.
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