Black and white into color

This time I'll try to explain how to put color on black and white images. Many people asked me before how I can draw only in gray scale and then easily color such image, that's where the idea for this tutorial originated. Whole thing is fairly simple and it there really is no need for a detailed explanation, but I'll show everything step by step, so anyone can understand.

When you add colors to the black and white picture the effect is very different to what you would probably achieve while painting everything in color from the very beginning. That makes this technique so interesting and unique ;) Personally, I like this surreal color which I get at the end so sometimes I draw like this even now, when I use colors freely. Still, you have to be aware that it's not the same - adding colors and painting in color.

We start from some black and white picture. I used some Korean girl on whom I practiced painting fabrics :D On the separate layer (you can make one quickly by pressing Shift+Ctrl+N in Photoshop) - that's going to be our color layer. If you can't see a small window with layers, open it (you can press F7). It's good to have it around, layers are a good thing ;)

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You need to change the way this new layers works from "Normal" to "Color". After that you can paint on it freely to check what this small change will actually do. Painting on this new layer won't do any good if layer underneath it is all white or all black, well, they can't have any color, can they? Everything else, all shades of gray, are covered in color. Very simple, isn't it? :)

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Painting color on the separate layer gives certain freedom - you can change whole color scheme with just few clicks or paint it all anew without destroying current picture. Apart from that, you can make image very interesting by using some unusual color scheme, which is hard to paint normally (because it's not natural).

Below you can see few images I made using this technique :)

Black and white into color Black and white into color Black and white into color