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Make quick color changes using brushes in Photoshop

Added on Tuesday 17th of February 2009 01:07 am EST


Adobe Photoshop CS/CS2/CS3

Operating Systems:

Microsoft Windows/Macintosh


There are many different ways to make color changes in Photoshop, but you probably want the fastest way! To make a quick-and-dirty color change in Photoshop, you can’t beat using the Brush tool and Color blending mode.


To change color quickly with Photoshop brushes, we'll:

     Isolate our object and make a few adjustments to make sure we don't change the color anywhere else.

     Sample a color from a reference photo to use for our color change.

     Paint with the Brush tool and a different blending mode to make our color swap.


If you’ve ever wanted to make a color swap in your image, you’ve no doubt considered some of the many different ways to do this change, with the Hue/Saturation adjustment probably topping your list. But if you’ve never painted with blending modes, you’re missing out on a quick way to edit your image color. With a few stokes of your virtual brush, you can turn your color world upside-down—we’ll show you how.


Paint by numbers

To demonstrate this technique, we'll turn a red tulip into a yellow tulip, as shown in Figure A. To follow along with our example, download the file from the URL given at the beginning of this article, extract the file color.psd, launch Photoshop and open the file. (Images provided by PhotoSpin. Some images modified for educational purposes.)



Natural selection

The first step in this technique is to select the portion of the image you're targeting with one of the selection tools. If you have a steady hand, you could skip this step, but we don't recommend it. Selections are reusable, editable and create a better template to make adjustments. In this example, having a solid selected area will allow us to feather the edges, helping blend in our new color with its surroundings. We’ll use the Pen tool to create a path and then make a selection from the path.


To select the tulip:

1.       Choose the Pen tool from the Tools palette.

2.      Select the Paths button on the tool Options bar.

3.      Draw a path around your object, as shown in Figure B...


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