Exercise Twelve: Digital Colorizing (E12LastFirst.psd)

Students will add color to a black and white photo as practice before colorizing their own digital photos.

Open the above photoshop document colorize. You can download it from your Edmodo assignment page Before you do anything else, save it to your own student folder on the Digital Photo server as E12LastFirst.psd!

Back up all your files by saving them here.

using Quickmask to select parts of your image

The image of the still life has already been changed from color to greyscale. You can sample the colors from this layer with the Color Picker Tool when painting the image later. You will use Quickmask (see above) to select and save each section of the image by name, then fill each selection with color to “paint” the image digitally.

how to save a selection

Start with the pear, make sure you have the entire pear selected. Save your selection by going to the Select Menu in the upper left of the navigation bar. Choose : Select-Save Selection- enter “pear” in the space provided, saving the selection as its own channel.

your selection is now saved as a channel

Now that you have successfully saved your “pear” selection as a channel, choose Select- Load Selection and load the selection “pear” that you just saved. Create a new layer by clicking the New Layer button in your Layers Palette- call this new layer “Pear”. Make sure the layer named Pear is selected in the layers palette. Once the selection is active, choose Edit-Fill and select a greenish color that you think fits the pear.

how to choose a fill color

Notice how the pear is now filled with a flat green color (with no details or values visible) like a painting-by-numbers. In the layers palette (top left drop-down menu) change the layer mode to Color, and watch what happens. Now the color and the details are both visible on the pear!

If you turned off the background layer, so that only the fills and brushwork were visible, this paint-by-numbers image is what you would see. This is what your painting looks like using the PaintBucket Tool (G). STOP- TURN IN WORK AS E12LastFirst.psd


Exercise Thirteen- E13LastFirst.psd

Now use the WACOM tablet and paint on each layer using the Brush Tool (choose a soft airbrush and remember to lower the Opacity and the Flow on your brush). Paint each layer using Warm and Cool colors- warm colors in the highlights and cool colors in the shadows.


Any color with Blue in it is a COOL color. Reds and yellows are WARM colors.

Now here is what that same image looks like after using the WACOM tablet and the Airbrush Tool (B) to try painting it more realistically. Look at this incredible paint job by student Aristeo Nario!



More great brushwork from student Emilio Tenorio w excellent use of both warm & cool colors!


Turn in this new version as Exercise 13 (E13LastFirst.jpg) so I can see your brushwork. Good luck.

changing layer modes

 Deselect the pear (Control+D), and look at what happens when you shift through the layer modes, changing them from Color to see what happens in other modes.

experimenting with blending modes

Here is an image that shows some of the possibilities of changing the layer modes:

Now go through each part of the image, repeating the steps and saving a selection for each separate object. Each selection must be saved as a separate channel to be called up later and filled with color. Paint the entire image following these steps, then submit to Edmodo as E12LastFirst.psd and show me what you can do to “colorize” a boring image!

before and after “colorizing” a photo

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