We thought we’d make this colour on grayscale image our first project using the Pixlr editor as it both effective and fairly easy to do. A great combination if this the first time you have used the Pixlr editor. As you can see we have used a flower for the video tutorial. There are however few restrictions to what sort of image you can used. It is best that the image has a focus, which will be the item in colour, but other than that almost any image will do. Other examples one this page are a boy and a butterfly. These were actually done using a different image editor (Paint.net) but the technique used was exactly the same. If you chose to use a different image editor it must support “layers”, it it doesn’t do that then you wont be able to use this technique.
The technique is explained in the video below:
Colour on Grayscale Steps:
- Open your image in the Pixlr Editor.
- Right click on the background layer (the only one at the moment) in the layer panel and duplicate it. I often duplicate it twice to be safe. Ending up with 3 layers.
- In the layers panel ensure you have the top one selected.
- You now have to change this top layer in someway and it will be the background. A couple of popular ways to change it in Pixlr is to either make it grayscale (“Adjustment” / “Hue & Saturation” / Take the saturation all the way down to the bottom and hit OK) or making it Sepia (“Adjustment” / “Sepia”)
- We are now going to remove the bits from the top layer where we want colour to show through. This can be down either by making a selection and then deleting (“Edit” / “Cut“) or by using the rubber/Eraser Tool from the toll box on the left. I normally use a mixture of both including several types of selection tools (there are 3, one which does rectangular boxes or circles, one you use freehand and one which selects by colour) and several different sizes of rubber.
- If you are having problems selecting an area in the grayscale/sepia version of the image it can be useful to flick to the colour version (using the layer pallet). Use the ticks to ensure you can see it and highlight it so you are working on it. Make you selection using that colour version then change back to your sepia/greyscale version and do your “Edit” / “Cut” there.
- If you find making and deleting selections difficult then forget that bit. Just work on the top layer using different sized rubbers/erasers.