Create an artistic color design for a photo silhouette by adding a gradient overlay to a black-and-white photo.
Start from scratch, or download practice files [https://adobe.ly/2EV25vu] for a head start. Steps below.
Prep your files:
1. Choose File – Open to open the practice file.
Tip: This technique works best on high-contrast photos such as the black-and-white photo in the practice files.
2. Choose the Magic Wand (W) and click to select the black dress.
Tip: Press and hold the Quick Selection tool if you do not see the Magic Wand.
Add a gradient:
1. Click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon on the Layers (Window – Layers) panel.
2. Choose Gradient.
3. Review the gradient presets then choose the one you like. Click OK.
Tip: We chose the Red_06 orange-to-purple preset from the Reds category on the Gradient Editor dialog.
Customize the gradient:
1. Click the Gradient preview to open the Gradient Editor.
2. Click the Opacity stop and lower the Opacity. We set it to 27%
3. Move the color stops and Color Midpoints to get the look you want.
Tip: We moved the middle and right stops to the left.
4. Click OK.
Note: The Gradient Fill adjustment creates a layer mask above the model layer, filling the selected area of the photo with the color gradient.
Refine the edges:
1. Click the mask thumb of the Gradient Fill in the Layers panel.
2. Choose the Brush (B) tool, set it to a soft round edge and paint with black to reveal the top part of the dress.
Tip: We used a large, soft round brush.
3. Use a smaller brush, set to white, to refine the edge of the selection or to reveal parts of the gradient you accidentally hid.
4. For a subtle color correction, click the Create new fill or adjustment layer icon and choose Solid Color.
5. Add a solid purple color adjustment layer over the image and click OK.
6. Lower the Opacity (we used 15%) for the new adjustment layer.
To learn more, check out our Companion Tutorial: https://adobe.ly/2EPl0HR