By Lauren Harmon | Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Colorizing a background, whether it’s an illustration or a photograph, can give your artwork depth and create an interesting mood, but it can be a time-consuming process. But toil no more! This week Deke McClelland shows you a short, painless technique for changing the color of your background using Adobe Photoshop and the Color Overlay effect. Go from color to black and white or from one color to another in about three and a half minutes.
Activate the forest layer or the background you are trying to target with this effect.
Click the fx icon and choose Color Overlay from the pop-up menu.
To change a layer from color to black and white, click the color swatch and then in the Color Picker dialog, reduce the Saturation value to 0%. Click OK and then change the Blend Mode to Saturation.
To refine the colorization, choose one of the following from the Blend Mode menu:
• To apply just the new hue and saturation, select Color.
• To produce a more subtle effect that honors the original saturation levels of the background but replaces the hue, select Hue.
• To create a darker color, select Multiply.
• To create a lighter color, select Screen.
• To achieve an effect with more contrast, select Overlay.
This is a great technique since the effect is applied nondestructively. Simply turn off Color Overlay at any time to remove it. Experiment with the 20-odd blend modes to find exactly the color you’re looking for.
Next week, learn to transform a photo portrait into a pointillist-style dot drawing. Stay tuned for more Deke’s Techniques each and every week!
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• The entire Deke’s Techniques collection
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