by Amy Palermo
If you want to photograph roses, rest assured you'll be able to find a bunch of red, white, or yellow roses at just about anyplace that sells flowers. If you're looking for something different like, say, rainbow roses, those are a little harder to come by. But you can improvise and make your own rainbow roses in Photoshop with the technique illustrated in Figure A.
As you've probably guessed, rainbow roses don't grow naturally. Just as carnations and chrysanthemums are frequently dyed, the rainbow rose is artificially colored.
Flowers naturally draw up water through their stems. To dye a flower you simply cut the end of the stem, and then place the stem in colored water. The flower will draw the colored water into the petals, and the dye stains the petals. Colorizing a single-colored flower sounds simple enough, but what about a multi-colored flower?
To dye a flower in multiple colors, the cultivator must split the stem and then dip each stem part into different colored water. The different colors are drawn into the different petals resulting in a multi-colored flower.
Pick a flower
While a white flower works best for the colored-water dye technique, that isn't the case for this Photoshop technique. Because we will be painting using different colors and then applying a layer blending mode, the color of your flower will make a big difference to the final outcome. We experimented with different colored flowers and yellow seemed to yield the best results. You can experiment with any color flower, but to follow along with our example, download the file rose.zip from the URL given at the beginning of this article. (Images provided by PhotoSpin. Some images modified for educational purposes.) Then, extract the file rose.psd, launch Photoshop, and open the file shown in Figure B.
By Michael Kobayashi(C)ROSESHOP ((C)ROSESHOP) [GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons