avi ☁ the faerie (flyingharmony) wrote in icon_tutorial,
avi ☁ the faerie

  • Mood:
  • Music:

How to go from B/W to Colour



Hey there, Muffins!
A friend of mine asked me to write a tutorial for a coloration I’ve made yesterday. And... Well, as you can see, I did it. There are millions of layers, including Selective Colouring, so I’m afraid, it’s not translatable, but it might look good without SC as well (I haven’t tried it out yet, so you’ll have to experiment)
I know, it is very, veeeery long and I think it’s rather easy to make, but there may be some tricky parts... Altogether, it may be beginner friendly.

Get your base. If it isn’t b/w already, desaturate it. There are many ways to achieve a nice b/w, usually I use the Gradient Map, but this time I was lazy and just desaturated it. (CTRL+U)

My Base

Now the colouring fun begins. I started with the skin. I am sure that there are a thousand easier and more simple ways to get a nice colour for the skin, but I did it like this.
Make a new Colour Balance Adjustment Layer. Leave at Normal, but set the Opacity to 70% (If I don’t say anything about Blend Mode or Opacity, it’s always Normal 100%).  Use these settings:
Midtones: +77   +37   -18
Shadows: +37

Looks pretty ugly now, but we’re not finished of course... Add a mask to the layer – and erase everything around the skin.
Next, make another Colour Balance Layer. Enter:
Midtones: 0   0   +32
Remember, you always have to erase everything except the skin! I won’t mention it in every step, but you’ll have to do it properly, please
Duplicate the Colour Balance Layer. Set to Softlight 50%

Make a new Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. I used these settings (only increase the saturation):
Master: +22
Red: +26

Selective Colour Time! Make a new SC Adjustment Layer and enter this:
Neutrals: C: +14
M: -21
Y: +34
B: 0

Yay for another Colour Balance Layer! New Layer, these settings:
Midtones: +23   -18   +33

Make another Selective Colour Layer, leave at Normal, but set to 60% Opacity. Type in these numbers:
Neutrals: C: 0
M: 0
Y: +31
B: 0

Time for more Hue/Saturation. Set to Multiply 10%. Again, we’re just interestet in the Saturation thing. Enter:
Master: -100

There will be many more layers, so don’t get tired! Make a new Gradient Map Adjustment Layer. Chose a middle dark red/creamy tan gradient (I would give you the codes, but I’m afraid I don’t have them anymore *shrugs*) and set the whole thing to Soft Light 100%.
Colour Balance again! This time with these settings:
Midtones: 0   0   +15

Is it getting boring? No? Good. Sooo, we need another Hue/Saturation Layer.
Master: +24

Selective Colour time again. New SC Layer, enter this:
Neutrals: C: 0
M: 0
Y: +15
B: 0

Another Selective Colour Layer, it’s one of the last ones, I promise! The settings:
Neutrals: C: +100
M: 0
Y: -30
B: 0

This part might be a little tricky. But it’s just because I have no idea how to call this Adjustment Layer in English... I’ll name it Photo Filter, maybe you know what i mean. In CS3 for Apple it looks like this.
So... Make a new Photo Filter Adjustment Layer and chose this setting:
Dark Green

Duplicate this Layer and set it to Soft Light 30%.

Another Photo Filter Layer, and then we’re almost finished with the skin. Leave at Normal, but set to 20%. My setting:

Two more Layers! One of them is Hue/Saturation at Normal, 60%. Type in this:
Master: +20

Last Layer fort he skin, really. Guess what, it’s our friend Selective Colour! New Layer, these settings:
Reds: C: 0
M: 0
Y: -30
B: 0

My skin looks like this. I must confess, I have been very lazy and evil and have not erased every layer, but this was a good picture, so I could fix it afterwards... But I promise, it will not look good everytime...


There is a nice little heart on Emilies top, to colour this, choose a beautiful red colour (#910a03), make a new Layer and paint with a soft brush over the heart. Set it to Colour 100%.
Duplicate the Layer and set it to Soft Light 30%.
For the little heart under her eye, do the same like for the big heart.

3.2  – THE LIPS
I wanted her to have black lips. So, I took my soft brush, made a new Layer and painted with black over her lips. Set to Soft Light 100%.
I duplicated that Layer, set it to Colour 100%.
Duplicate again, set to Soft Light 30%.
Another duplicate, Soft Light 30%.
Guess what! Yes, duplicate the Layer, again! And set to Soft Light 30%.

Black lips, some kind of black eye shadow. Make a new Layer, paint with your black soft brush over the part where you want Emilie to wear eyeshadow. Set that Layer to Colour 100%
 I thought it would look best, if her bracelet and the necklace were black and silver. So I made a new Layer, painted over the accessories with a black (you also can use white) soft brush and set the whole thing to Soft Light 100%.

3.5 - THE RING
If you look closer, you can see, that Emilie is wearing a ring. I decided to give it a nice, golden shine. So I made a new Layer, chose a nice, yellow/golden colour (#fde25e) and painted over the ring. I set this Layer to Colour 60%.

Altogether Emilie looks like this now.

This, ladies and gentlemen, will be our last step. Altogether, the picture is pretty nice now, but her hair looks terrible! I wanted to give her a nice, red hair colour, so I made a new layer, took this beautiful dark red (#910a03), painted with a soft brush over her hair and set it to Colour 100%.
Merge the whole thing down to one layer and add a 15px border in white. Guess what, you’re finished now!

This is what it should look like.

I’ve uploaded the PSD for you, but let me warn you. It is VERY chaotic... There are about thousands layers that are invisible or totally useless... Well, I just like to experiment ^^ But I think it may be helpful, though.
Love, to see what you’ve got!



  • gif coloring help

    There is obviously a blue hue to this but I can't seem to acheieve the same coloring no matter how many color balances or selective. Help?

  • Rainbow Glow Tutorial

    to This should translate to pretty much any graphics programme that has a channel mixer function. It assumes you know how to use: blend…

  • luminosity effect on photoshop?

    Hi! Can anyone recommend a colouring tutorial or some tips to achieve a colouring similitar to the one in this picture? Thanks a lot! :)

  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 1 comment