How to Color Illustrations in Photoshop

by Caroline Mercurio on June 16, 2015 No comments

Black and white illustrations sometimes get passed over because they lack the vibrancy of colored-in graphics, but it’s easy to change that. Adding color transforms these images from monochromatic to eye-catching and radiant in no time. In less than five minutes, you can go beyond the “paint bucket” and drastically change the visual effect of black and white illustrations. This trick increases the flexibility of your design work and allows you to repurpose graphics just by altering the colors.

Don’t believe it? Just watch the quick tutorial below! And if you want to follow along, download the elephant illustration from the video.

Add Color to Black and White Graphics With Photoshop

 

 
It’s really that simple—you’ve successfully colored in an illustration in Photoshop!

Bonus Round: Add a background
Now that you are a pro at coloring in black and white graphics, make them pop by adding a background hue to your project.

All you have to do is create a new layer (make sure that it is outside of Group 1). Then, drag the layer below Group 1 and pick a color for your background. With your new layer selected, click Alt+delete (Option+delete on Macs) and the entire background of the illustration will be filled in with the color of your choice. We chose a bright orange for our example.

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How to Color Illustrations in Photoshop

Before & After

How to Color Illustrations in Photoshop

 
With these new skills in your toolbelt, jump in and explore all the stock black and white illustrations from the GraphicStock library. They are just waiting for you to add your own creative flair.
 

Color Your World

 

 
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