Photoshop Tutorial: Selective Coloring

Objective: This quick tutorial shows you how to spotlight certain parts of an image. This useful technique is often used to grayscale an image while leaving some parts colored.

QUICK TIP: Google IMAGES "photoshop selective color" for ideas.
WARNING: Only use copyright free pictures. I found another good site at


  1. Selective ColoringWith your file opened, press Ctrl-J to duplicate the layer.
  2. Choose IMAGE/Adjustments, Desaturate.
  3. From Layers palette, add a Layer Mask.
  4. Make sure that your foreground color is white and background is black. (Remember--
    white reveals; black conceal.)
  5. With the Eraser tool, wipe across the areas to reveal the desired color.
    TIP: Change the brush stokes as necessary to get around the edges.

    When you paint over too much, swap the fore & back colors. Then wipe again.
  6. When done, duplicate the layer.

    The next two steps create a softer look to the photo.
  7. On the new layer, be sure the image thumbnail is selected. Then choose FILTER/Blur, Gausian. Set at about 3.
    (Don't worry that it looks blurry now.)
  8. From Layers palette, choose Blending, Overlay or Soft Light.
    If you don't like the result of steps 7 & 8, feel free to Undo them.






TIP: If for some reason the Eraser tool does not work, try the Brush tool.