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Create Professional Colored Monochrome Images

Author: thedanman

Tools Needed

  • Any paint program supporting layers and transparencies (Shown using Ulead Photoimpact)


One of the simplest tricks of photographers to create visually stunning images is to throw a picture into grayscale and leaving certain objects in color. This simple trick can save you hours of needless masking, let alone hundreds of dollars in masking plugins - producing amazing professional grade images in a mere matter of minutes!


Step 1 - Duplicating Your Image


Start with any image, whether it be photographic or rendered. This main image is of my sister-in-law.


Use your paint program to create a grayscale copy of the original colored image.


Step 2 - Superimposing


Super impose the grayscale copy of the original on top of the original colored picture. Do not merge these two layers together and make sure that the grayscale photo is on top.

Step 3 - Configuring Your Eraser


Instead of masking, we'll be erasing the grayscale layer just enough to allow the colored layer to show through. This requires you to configure your eraser tool to have no transparency, and a nice large-valued soft edge. This will blend your two layers together when you begin erasing.


Once you have configured your eraser brush, start erasing the portions of the picture that you would like to color.

Step 4 - Final Image


This image was created in under 5 minutes using this simple yet effective technique. Go ahead and give it a try!