Selective Coloring

scriblerColor, Tips & Techniques


I know I am not the only one who has purchased a kit, or already owned a kit, that they thought would be perfect for their layout and realized the colors weren’t quite right. The good news is that all is not lost when this happens. You can use the Selective Coloring option in Photoshop to change those colors so they meet your needs.

To get started, you will need to pull your paper on to your canvas in Photoshop. For today’s tutorial, I am using Vicki Stegall’s The Good Life Bundle.

The Good Life Bundle from Vicki Stegall

This first paper we are working with has a green/teal strip against a light background.

Original Paper 1 from Vicki Stegall's The Good Life

Now it’s time to add an adjustment layers so that we can change the green/teal stripes to a more blue color. To do this, go to the Layer menu, choose New Adjustment Layer and then choose Selective Color.

Selective Color Menu in Photoshop CS5

You will now want to clip your adjustment layers (Command+Option+G or Control+Alt+G) to the layer you are recoloring so that you only recolor that layer and now the whole image.

Clip Adjustment Layer

If the adjustment tab does not open automatically, you can open it by going to Window menu and choosing Adjustment. When you click on the Adjustment tab, you will see a drop down menu with several color family options plus several sliders.

Selective Color Sliders in Photoshop CS5

Choose the color family you want to change from the drop-down menu and then start playing with the sliders until you get the color you want for your paper or element. Remember, you always have Undo so don’t be afraid to change color families or play with those sliders.

Here is the altered paper. The changes aren’t dramatic. They don’t need to be. That’s the great thing about using the sliders, you have a lot of control over the changes you make to your colors.

Recolored Paper 1 from Vicki Stegall's The Good Life

Here is another example of color changes you can make using Selective Color. This is a little more dramatic than the first paper.

Here is the original paper.

Original Paper 2 from Vicki Stegall's The Good Life

And here is the recolored version.

Recolored Paper 2 from Vicki Stegall's The Good Life

I continued to use the sliders to alter other papers and elements as necessary. Here is the final page.

Bright Sunshiny Day from scribler

Making use of tools such as Selective Coloring can really help you make the most of your digiscrapping stash.

(This tutorial was created in Photoshop CS5.)


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