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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What is it about yellow? (recoloring tutorial)

 Have you signed up to participate in DesignStar yet?  In honor of the upcoming competition, today's tip is about recoloring...it's useful for scrappers AND designers.

One of the major reasons to love digital scrapbooking is the ability to recolor items to make the perfect match.  I'm always encouraging my CT to recolor anything they need to.  They often ask "How do you make something yellow?"  I'm not sure what it is about yellow, but for some reason it's a little tricky.
I'm sure there are several ways to turn an element yellow, but here's my favorite process.  (I'm using Photoshop CS4, but it should work in Photoshop Elements as well.)

Let's start with an element.  I was working on a layout about CORN...using Chilling & Grilling.  (That little corn cob is so CUTE).  But I wanted a yellow ribbon or trim.  No yellow ribbons in the kit, but there is a red ricrac, so we'll have to work with that.  First we need to desaturate the ribbon (I use Ctrl-U).

And we'll pick a nice golden yellow and make a fill layer above our ricrac.  Change the blend mode back to normal (on the yellow layer)  Duplicate the bottom ricrac layer and move it above the yellow layer.  Change the blending mode on that top layer to linear light.

The result is too dark.  We need to adjust the levels.  (Ctrl -L) brings up the Levels dialog box.  Slide the right arrow left 'til it hits the edge of the curve.  It looked a little too contrasty to me, so I also slid the middle arrow to the right.

Now lower the opacity of the linear light layer to about 40%

That's much better, but lowering the opacity seems to have decreased the definition.  Duplicate linear light layer and change the blending mode to soft light.  Soft light adds back in some of the contrast, but in a soft way.
I forgot the soft light layer was still set at 40% and I wanted more definition, so I duplicated the soft light layer again.  I played with the opacity sliders, but I decided 40% (on each) was just about right.
The last step is to link all the layers together.  I save this for last so I can see how well my recolor is matching my original color fill layer.  ta da !

For more recoloring tips & tutorials, be sure you are subscribed to my CU newsletter (up there in the right hand column)  and check out the greyscale items in my store.  Included in each collection is a PDF showing how to create the sample shown in the preview...like this:

PS... the images in those PDF's are much more clear...this blog is shrinking them and making them harder to see here.  Sorry!
If you have any questions...I'd love to hear from you:  chelles.creations1@gmail.com

Have a great day!


  1. Awesome Tutorial Chelle - Thanks!

    FYI: PSE users will need to use (ctrl-shift-u) to desaturate the ricrac.

  2. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [10 Feb 12:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

  3. LOVE this tut! I posted a link to it on my blog. :)

  4. Thank you for that tutorial!

  5. Fabulous tut and I wanted to say thanks for the gorgeous freebie that came with today's TDD newsletter. Love it!

  6. Thanks for the Tut-it's great, I always have trouble with yellow! Also thanks for the mini-kit included with The Daily Digi newsletter!

  7. Thanks for the freebie from The Daily Digi newsletter!

  8. Very useful!! Thanks so much :D