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realistic coloring tutorial 
Hey guys, long time no see. I decided to post a new tutorial since my last one did pretty well. There's a lot of manga and anime coloring tutorials out there, so I thought I'd make my own coloring tutorial, but with real people. I hope you guys this useful and fun. ♥

The purpose of this photoshop tutorial is to help you learn how to turn black and white pictures and turn them into a realistic, natural colored one. This learning process takes patience, a few layers, a lot of color balancing, and about 30 minutes to kill. Don't let it scare you though, its actually not that hard once you get the hang of it. If you are ready, we should get started!

Find a black and white picture you love and crop it to your liking. The picture I am going to use in this tutorial is the gorgeous Daniel Henney. You can see the image is of decent size and the quality is in great shape, making this coloring process easier on us. You can use this image also to help follow along.

Make a new layer and this will be your skin color layer. Picking the right skin color can be tricky, so a quick way to do this is to find a picture of your subject in color (or any person you want if there's no color pictures of your subject), and take a color sample from the skin with your eyedropper tool . Now on your new layer and with a paintbrush , color all the spots with skin exposed. It can be messy, we will clean up later. Once you are done, you will want to set your skin layer to Color Burn or Linear Burn. It's already starting to look like skin but it's probably too dark so set your layer to a lower opacity, I set mine to about 50%. Now erase away all unwanted skin color and erase away the eye area. Merge the layers together.

If you noticed the eyebrow color blends into the skin color, Henney has dark eyebrows so we want to change that but also keep it natural. What we're going to do is get our polygonal lasso tool , and select just the brow area. After selecting the eyebrows you will want to go to Replace Color. When the menubox is up take the eyedropper and select the main color of the brow. Make sure the Fuzziness level is about 70-100. Now under Lightness, set the bar to about -50. Now Henney has a more realistic color for his eyebrows.

Coloring the lips is easy. Start with a new layer and decide on a light, but vivid pink lip color to use. Paint the whole lip area and set your lip layer to multiply. If the lips are too dark for your taste, set the layer's opacity level to about 50% or lower. Now erase all unwanted color and merge the layers together. For more depth, I used the dodge tool , and lightly highlighted the inner part of his lip, so it subtly pops out.

Like always, make a new layer, we will be painting over the white part of the eyes. We will want to pick a natural off-white/pale yellow to color over and a dark reddish-pink for the corners of the eyes, this will give the eye a more realistic look than having stark white eyes staring at you. Once painted over, set the layer to multiply and set the opacity to about 20%. Merge the layers together.

Once again make a new layer, this is going to be for the iris. Since Henney has brown eyes we're going to use an orange color so it can show up against the dark eyes. After painting over the iris, set the layer to multiply and opacity to about 50%. Combine all the layers. Now with your dodge tool, lightly around the pupil, create a soft highlight to give the eyes a gentle sparkle. If you over do the highlighting, it will come across very cheesy. Subtle is key.

Daniel Henney has dark hair, but we still want to color it because his actual hair isn't dark grey. So first, merge your layers from before and create a new layer for your hair. For Dan, I took a light brown and colored over his hair and afterwards setted the hair layer to Overlay. I also toned down the opacity to about 20%. The result isn't huge, but it is noticable and makes his hair more shiny. After that merge the layers together and now we will want to blend the hairline in better. Find your sponge tool , and set it to 50% desaturated. Now lightly start blending around the hairline and around the face.

As for layers and coloring goes, you're pretty much done! If you want you might want to tweak around the saturation and contrast of your image. You can also add some color to the background to give the image a more finished look. I just added a screen layer of a blurry lens flare to give the image a more "photo" look. At the end, I finally came to these results:

That concludes my tutorial! I really hope it wasn't too hard to follow and I hope it made you learn something new. Remember, practice and patience makes the quality better! Have fun with this and add your own flare and style to your picture. This was quite fun to do so if you guys like this one, I will probably be making more tutorials in the future. Thanks for your time and enjoy~

05.19.09 (UTC)
Huh... it gives a very particular effect, but the problem is that it still uses black (in the shadows) to shade, and that ends up making the picture look a little flat :/ Still works if you're going for that particular effect, though.
05.19.09 (UTC)
Great tutorial! It helped me a lot, so thanks!!! <3
05.19.09 (UTC)
I love you for this tutorial ♥
05.19.09 (UTC)
Thanks for the tutorial! That's really helpful! :D
05.19.09 (UTC)
Perfect! +memories
Thank you very much, it's very useful!
05.19.09 (UTC)
This was an excellent tutorial! Thanks for sharing, I can't wait to try it out. :D
05.19.09 (UTC)
woah lovely♥
shall try it out when i have the time to. :)
05.19.09 (UTC)
The results are gorgeous!
I'll try it out after my exams :D memming this!♥
05.19.09 (UTC)
OMG thanks.
I'm definitely memming for trying later!!

05.27.09 (UTC) - customize livejournal layout
hi. i need help on customizing lj layout.. could you email me at qurehappiness.l0ved@hotmail.com ?
07.16.09 (UTC)
Oh my. Very impressed. Thank you so much!
05.04.13 (UTC)
oh my gosh~ Daniel Henney? :3
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