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Grayscale to Color Tutorial

Grayscale to Color

Happy New Year everyone! Time flies! We just survived the second COVID-19 lockdown here, and now that kids are back to school it’s time for me to start writing again.

We have a saying in Greece: “Shoemaker’s kids have no shoes”. And my talented web-developer husband, after having created websites for everyone else, found some time for my own! So, I have a new website now! And yeah, 2021 is officially rebranded!

Anyways, today I have a tutorial for you, how I add color to my grayscale portraits in procreate.

Create the color palette

Before the actual colorizing, I load my reference photo if there is any. (actions->canvas->reference) I create a new color palette where I save selected colors from my reference. I try to choose the most representative colors.

Creating the color palette

Add a “color” layer

Having my colors ready, I start off with my grayscale image and what I do next, is add a new layer and set layer mode to “color”. Then I paint on top with a soft paint brush, such as the default soft airbrush. The process is similar to when painting from scratch. I try to blend, mix and match the colors, in order to make the image as realistic as possible.

Adding the “color” layer

An extra tip

We can leave it here and call it done, but what I like to do is add a couple of extra layers on top. I set the first one to “multiply” mode, where I paint over the dark parts to make them darker and add depth.
And I set the second layer to “overlay” mode, where I paint over the bright parts with a bright color, to make high points stand out.

Adding a “multiply” and an “overlay” layer on top

And that’s all! Grayscale to color with minimal effort.

Grayscale to color

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