Change Colors In Photoshop with the Hue Blend Mode

    Jennifer Farley

    There are several ways to repaint or change the color of an object in Photoshop. In this short tutorial, we’ll look at a really easy way to re-color an object by painting on a separate layer and then use blending modes to “apply” the new paint job. Blending modes let you control how colors interact with each other on different layers. So let’s get started.

    1. Open up an image that you want to change an object’s color. This image is a free wallpaper from the Formula 1 site.


    2. Create a new layer above this image by clicking on the New Layer icon at the bottom of the Layer’s palette/panel.


    3. Click on the Blending Modes menu at the top of the Layers palette and set the new layer’s blend mode to Hue.


    4. Choose the Brush tool (B) and then select the color you want to apply by clicking on the foreground color. Use the Color Picker to pick a color, then click OK.

    5. Start painting on the new layer over the object you’re change the color on. Because the layer you are painting on has the Hue blend mode applied, the paint does not go on opaquely. Highlights, shadows and shines are all dealt with very nicely.


    6. If you make a mistake or “go outside the lines” you can switch to the Eraser tool (E) and carefully erase the new color. This is generally not too much of a problem with this image, thanks to the blend mode change. If you paint on top of white pixels on the underlying layer, there will be no change of color. For this example I’ve painted all orange and red livery with a light blue brush.


    7. To finish up, select another color for the Foreground and paint over the green livery and green strips on the tyres.


    This is just one, of many ways to change colors in Photoshop. It’s very quick and easy and handles highlights and shadows extremely well.