From Black and White to Color in Photoshop

Today i am going to show how you can convert the old looking black and white image to color without any plugin in adobe photoshop 7.

Here is what u get after doing the tutorial

prods_lg_bw.jpg retouch-copy2.jpg
Click to enlarge

You can either download that image and start working as i do or you can take the image of your own choice and transform the tutorial according to that.

So lets get started

Open the image in photoshop.

Colorizing the SKIN.

We will first colorize the skin then hairs, eyes, eyebrows, teeth gums and shirt.

1-Click the new adjustment layer button below the layer panel and select the Hue and Saturation..

2-Check the colorize and preview check boxes on Hue and Saturation dialog box and then set the Hue=26, Saturation=90 and lightness=0.

3-Rename the adjustment layer to “skin” by double clicking the name on layer panel.

3-Go to edit menu and select the fill , then choose black under use dropdown and make sure blending mode is set to normal and opacity is 100%.

4-Select the brush tool and make sure the foreground color is set to white and background color is black.

5-Go and start painting the all the skin parts, this you have to do carefully, if some color spills on the other parts outside then do not worry just turn the foreground color to black and then brush the parts where the color is outside the skin.

Get some thing like the following image

Click to enlarge

6-make sure the adjustment layer is still in selection and then set the blending mode to color and set the opacity to 30%.
(Note you can set the opacity and mode according to your own need….Just play with it to see how it produces different effects.)

This is what i get after that

……woooow quite horrified but face and skin parts are looking good,

if u do not like the face color you can go to blending options of the adjustment layer and fill it with any color you want and set the opacity according to your own need but as for this specific tutorial i am not going to do that.

Colorizing the lips.

Select the original image layer in the layer panel, in my case as i did not but the image on a separate layer…so its background layer.

For colorizing the lips you can repeat the steps from 1 to 4 of above section, on step 2 i used these values for lips.
Hue=0, Saturation = 100, Lightness = 0.

Rename this adjustment layer to “lips”.

At step 6 set the blending mode again to color and set the opacity to 50% .


see the result by clicking the above image.

Colorizing the teeth gums and internal borders of the eyes.

Repeat all the steps above….The hue and saturation values are

Hue = 20, Saturation = 100, lightness = +53.

Blending mode = color, Opacity = 50%.

This time brush the tooth gums and the internal eyes border.


Colorizing the Hairs and eyebrows.

Repeat all the steps in sec1

Hue and saturation values are…

Hue = 29, saturation = 32, Lightness= +70.

Blending mode= color, opacity = 18%.

Tip: it useful to only color the thickest hairs no need to color the each hair.


Colorizing the eyes.

For eye i used following settings.

Hue= 49, Saturation = 25, Lightness = 0

Blending mode = Color, Opacity = 100%.

Colorizing the Hair Clip and Cloths.

Use any Color you like……

This is what i got finally.


Comment on how do you like this……..and ask if any help is needed.


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15 thoughts on “From Black and White to Color in Photoshop

  1. Wow thank you 🙂 searched Google for 10 minutes before I found a tutorial that would show how to do this. Excellent, thank you!

  2. hey itw was damn useful tutor for me…. i liked it….. n above its my Email ID do sent me some interesing photoshop tutors…. (special effect tutors also will do…..)

  3. Thanks for the input would just like to ask you semthing here, If we do this with scanned images, How much the Resolution Value I maintain for Scanned Image?

  4. This the first tutorial I have found that gives a good technique for coloring lips and gums, usuall the tuts use photos with the mouth closed therefore iginoring the gums.
    Thanks it will be very helpful.

  5. Hello There. I discovered your weblog the use of msn. This is a really well written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and return to learn more of your
    useful information. Thanks for the post. I
    will certainly return.

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