Playing with Colour in Photoshop

There are so many way colour can enhance your small business, blog and social media images.

Have a play in Photoshop with these four easy-to-follow video tutorials. They will show you how to create multi-coloured gradients, use the brush tool for precise changes, grab colours with the eye-dropper tool, and change the colour of items in a photograph.

 
There are so many way colour can enhance your small business, blog and social media images. Have a play in Photoshop with these four easy-to-follow video tutorials. They will show you how to create multi-coloured gradients, use the brush tool for precise changes, grab colours with the eye-dropper tool, and change the colour of items in a photograph. itsorganised.com video tutorial
 
 

Tutorial 1: The Multi-coloured Gradient Tool

How to use it:

  • Double-click on the Gradient Bar in the Options Bar to change the settings.
  • Choose one colour that will gradually blend to transparent, two colours that can blend from one to the other, or a range of colours that blend across a selected area.
  • It’s easy to create your own custom gradients or edit the pre-installed ones, which you can save for later use.

Why you would use it:

  • With an unlimited range of colour combinations, a gradient overlay can give your images a unique look.
  • They’re also a great way to colourfully cover a less-than-ideal photo. (Not that you have those, of course!)
  • You can use gradients for text backgrounds. Select the colour to transparency option and use the solid section to type over.

Try it:

  • Create a branded, multi-coloured overlay you can use on your blog and social media images. 
  • Photoshop comes with a range of pre-designed gradients you can use or edit.
  • Use this new overlay across your blog and social media to give a cohesive look to your graphics.

Video Tutorial:

 

Tutorial 2: Precise Painting with the Brush Tool

How to use it:

  • Select the Hard Brush at 100% Opacity and Flow.
  • Take advantage of the Layer Transparency Lock to paint pixels only.
  • Keep editing the size of the brush as you paint.
  • Change your foreground colour or use predetermined colour swatches for your palette.

Why you would use it:

  • The Brush Tool combined with Transparency Lock allows you to recolour with multiple colours on a single png file.
  • The range of brush sizes means you can even paint detailed pngs.
  • Being able to lock transparency means you can speed up your painting without worrying about ‘going over the edges’.
  • It’s a great way to customise purchased overlays and embellishments.

Try it:

  • Download the frame in the video tutorial (or quote in the first tutorial) from the Resource Library.
  • Use the Brush Tool to recolour the png files to your brand colours.
 

Video Tutorial:

 

Tutorial 3: Grabbing Colour with the Eyedropper Tool

How to use it:

  • With the Eyedropper Tool selection, you can just click on any spot on your workspace to select a colour.
  • The colour will be set as your foreground colour.
  • As it’s sensitive, you can change the sample size on the options bar at the top to select an ‘average’ of an area. I find this gives me a truer representation of what my eye sees when using this tool on photographs.
  • The eyedropper automatically appears when you use the colour picker window. Just move your cursor outside the colour picker box and you’ll see it appear, for example when you change the colour of text.

Why you would use it:

  • You can create colour swatch images to demonstrate your interior, craft or fashion posts.
  • Use it to set the colour of text or overlays to compliment your photograph.
  • Great for creating a colour palette from a photograph or sampling colours you’ve seen online by using a screen grab.

Try it:

  • Use the eyedropper tool to select a colour from your photograph, making this colour your foreground colour.
  • Select your text tool and add your heading, which will type using the foreground colour you’ve set.

Video Tutorial:

 

Tutorial 4: Change Colours with a Hue/Saturation Layer

How to use it:

  • This technique works best when used on a photograph that has good contrast between the object you want to colour and its background.
  • Use the Quick Selection Tool to select the object you want to recolour.
  • Add a Hue/Saturation Adjustment Layer. This will create a mask, that means it will protect everything except your object from any colour changes you make.
  • Now open the Hue/Saturation Thumbnail and use the sliders to change the hue, saturation and lightness.

Why you would use it:

  • If you use a lot of stock photos and want them to be a little different, changing the colour of an item is a quick fix.
  • If you take your own photos and are a bit limited in terms of styling props, you can change up your photos by changing colours post-shoot.

Try it:

  • If you want to have a go, the photograph in the video is available in the resource library.
  • If you are using your own photo, use the Shift (to add to) and Alt (to subtract from) keys to refine the selection.

Video tutorial: