How to Colorize Black and White image in Photoshop

In this tutorial, I'm going to show you how to colorize old, black, and white images using Photoshop. There are a few different ways to colorize an image. In this tutorial, we are going to cover 4 ways, and then you can choose one or maybe a combination of two, three of them to make your masterpiece. Let the fun begins.

The first way is very simple. Add a new layer, choose the soft brush, choose the color, any color from a color palette that you want to use. And brush over the area that you want to color. But if we just add color to an empty layer, we will not get a nice effect, and we are going to lose all the detail from the area. If we change the Blending Mode to Color, Overlay, or Soft Light we will achieve much better results. Usually the best blending mode for this type of work is a Color blending mode that gives a natural look to the details. The Overlay will add some contrast in detail, and Soft Light is a softer version of the Overlay.

The second way is using the Solid Color Adjustment layer. From the adjustment, layer panel add a solid color adjustment and choose the color that you wish to use. Change the blending mode to Color, Overlay, or Soft Light. Click on Solid Color layer mask and Invert the layer mask by pressing Ctrl + I. Make sure that foreground and the background color is set on default ( black and white) using the brush paint over the area that you want to colorize. For me, personally, this is the best way to colorize an image. It's much easier to change the color if you are not satisfied with the current color. To let you I small secret, I do that a lot. :) You can access the solid color panel by double-click on the layer thumbnail.

The third way is by using Color Balance. Go to the adjustment layer panel, and this time add the Color Balance adjustment layer. With color balance, you can change the color by moving the Tone sliders (Midtones, Shadows, and Highlights) left or right, depends on the choice of the color. Change the blending mode to ColorOverlay, or Soft Light. Click on the Color Balance layer mask and Invert the layer mask by pressing Ctrl + I, using the brush paint over the area that you want to colorize. If you are not satisfied with the current color you can always change it.

The fourth way is using the Curves Adjustment layer. You can change the color by choosing the channels, Red, Green, and Blue, and drag the center point up or down, depends on what color you want to achieve. If you want to learn a little bit more about curves you can do that here, The Amazing Power of Curves in Photoshop.

Tip: Since the color of the skin does not consist of only one color, but is a combination of several colors. To make skin color look more naturally you can add some imperfections into the skin color. The best way is to use some photos for skin reference. Or you can add the Solid Color adjustment layer by choosing reddish or pinkish tint. Change the blending mode to Color, Invert the layer mask (Ctrl + I), take a soft bush set the opacity to around 10%, and add some redness in the nose area, around the lips, ears.

Thanks for reading the article I hope you liked it, and we’ll read on in the next one.😀😀