by Stephanie Shimerdla
Have you ever used a brush and thought how pretty it would look, if only you could make it show up in more than one color? Being able to change the color of Photoshop brushes upon application is a beautiful thing, but sometimes the colors on image brushes and the like can look rather... flat in color. This tutorial will show you how to add multiple colors to the same brush.
1. First off, start by creating a new layer on top of the Background layer. On the layers palette, click the "Create a New Layer" button on the bottom right (just next to the trash can). Now, on that layer... using black, make a single brush stroke on the canvas using the brush of your choice. I'm using a flower brush, and it looks like this:
3. Name that layer whatever color you would like to use first. The primary color of my phlox flower is a blue-violet, so I named mine "Blues." You can rename it either as you duplicate it (it will ask you what to name it) or afterward, if you forget, you can right click on the layer in the layer palette and choose "Layer Properties" just like we did in the first step. Now, on the layers palette, make sure you have the "Blues" layer selected and click on the "f" at the bottom left corner of the layers palette.
4. Choose "Color Overlay" from the dropdown menu, and then pick out a color.
5. You should have an image exactly the same as the original black, but now in whatever color you chose. We're going to change the way that this layer blends into t
6. Click on the "Blues" layer to
Now we want to change the way that the blues layer blends in with the whole image. Select the "Blues" layer by clicking on it in the layer palette. Now click on the "f" at the lower left of the layer palette again. Choose the first option, "Blending Options":
8. In the menu that pops up, at the top, you'll want to change that from
9. What this is doing is changing it so that this layer now merely changes the color of anything on the layers below it. It does NOT change the luminosity of it, so if you had this over white, it wouldn't do anything. It would make it a blue white, but a blue white is still white - white doesn't have any color to it at all. However, when you have gray tones in the layer below, as we do, it adds color to those gray tones to make them blue-grays. I played around with my blues layer and added different tones of blue simply by painting it in. If you didn't want to actually paint them in, you could add a gradient - with this flower, I added a radial gradient so that the tips were darker and the inner portions had more purples in them:
11. You can do a lot of "playing around" with it afterward by changing the hue/saturation like that, or by changing the lightness/darkness or opacities of each layer (including the black one!). Here's another image of a pansy where I did just that. The first one is the original, where I have the black layer's opacity set at only about 60%. The second one is different hues AND the black layer's opacity is set much higher, at 100%. The third one is different hues again, with the blues on the edges much more saturated and the black layer at a lower opacity, around 30%.
13. If you're not familiar with where to change the hue and saturation, brightness, etc, it's under the top menu. Click on "Image" then "Adjustments" then "Hue/Saturation.." A window will pop up that has three bars where you can play around with the colors (hue), how strong or weak that color is (saturation), and the lightness/darkness of that color. As you change them, you'll see the changes to the image itself, so you can see exactly how it will turn out.
14. That's it! Now you can do all sorts of things with colors and brushes!
An alternative method that I use sometimes is to make a single black brush stroke on its own layer, then make another layer just beneath it where I "paint" in the colors that I want that brush to have. Just like I'd paint one of my paintings. This method isn't for everyone, though, and can be difficult to do with just a mouse. So I spent much more time outlining the method above. However, if you're an artist or would like to do these colors much more intricately, try painting the colors in on a layer below yourself.