Black and White Photo Coloring in Photoshop

Transforming a black-and-white image into a colored masterpiece brings a fresh perspective and breathes new life into old photographs. Using Photoshop, this recreation can be both precise and artistically open-ended, offering a palette of possibilities. Here's a structured approach to this intriguing process:


  1. Adobe Photoshop.
  2. A clear black and white photograph.


1. Initiate the Project

  • Launch Photoshop.
  • Open the chosen black and white image via File -> Open.

2. Layer Setup

  • Right-click on the Background layer in the Layers panel and select Duplicate Layer.

3. Choose a Coloring Mode

  • Click on the duplicated layer.
  • Change the blending mode to Color.

4. Begin with Large Areas

  • Select the Brush Tool and set its hardness to 0% for a softer edge.
  • Pick a color for a large area (e.g., skin or sky).
  • Gently paint over the area, ensuring the strokes are even.

5. Color Smaller Details

  • Reduce the brush size for finer details, such as eyes or accessories.
  • Select appropriate colors and carefully apply them.

6. Adjust Color Intensity

  • For each colored section, if the color appears too intense, reduce the layer's opacity until the desired effect is achieved.

7. Layer Organization

  • It's recommended to have separate layers for different parts of the image (e.g., a layer for skin, and another for clothing). This provides flexibility in adjustments.

8. Refinement with Curves

  • Navigate to Layer -> New Adjustment Layer -> Curves.
  • Adjust the curve to enhance the contrast or brightness as needed.

9. Blending Colors

  • For areas where colors meet, using the Smudge Tool can help blend colors seamlessly.

10. Final Review

  • Examine the image for any inconsistencies or missed spots and correct them as necessary.

11. Saving the Image

  • Navigate to File -> Save As to store the colored image in the chosen format.


Digitally coloring a black-and-white photograph in Photoshop offers a glimpse into the past with renewed vibrancy. The transformation not only revives memories but also invites a touch of modern creativity to a historical canvas.