Friday, February 18, 2011

How to paint color into a greyscale photo

....using FotoFlexer (online image editor). (The process is probably similar in many photo editing programs.)

Want to learn how to create images like the one I posted on Valentine's Day?  Yes?  Great; now watch and learn. :)
(Please note that the previous statement was made in the most sarcastic, tongue-in-cheek way possible, as there's nothing remotely impressive about my photo editing skills.  In fact, my 13-y-o daughter showed me how to do this, which translates to - no offense to my Eldest Child -  "it's ridiculously *easy*.")

Alright, for this tutorial I'm using another dog-kiss photo (that didn't quite make the Valentine cut).  Here's the "Before" image:

Secret Reveal:  There's peanut butter slathered on her chin, cheeks, nose and forehead.  (The photo was totally posed.)  My intention was to get both dogs "kissing" each cheek, however; Dewi preferred to wait patiently for "his" turn (which he did eventually get).  My daughter is a very good sport.

Here's the "After" image:

Pretty cool, huh?  Would you imagine the peanut butter, etc.?

Before you try and follow the instructions that I'm about to show you, you'll need to upload a photo to FotoFlexer (using the online instructions).

This is How to Paint Color into a Greyscale Photo:
(Notes: On screenshots, I've highlighted buttons to click in yellow. Click on screenshot to enlarge.)
  1. Click the Effects tab on the main screen.
  2. Click the right More button to scroll.
  3. Click the Greyscale button.
    Note: The image will become greyscale.
  4. Click Advanced Options.
  5. In the small box to the right of the image, click the down arrow beside the Entire Image button.
  6. Click Painted Region.
    Note: The image will revert back to color.
  7. Adjust Brush Size as necessary.
    Hint: Go smaller than default to shade in smaller areas.
  8. Use the Brush tool to "paint" the object you want to show up colored in the final image (ex. dog's tongue).
    Hint: It can be tricky to stay "in the lines." I had to make several passes.
  9. Click Invert in the small box to the right of the image.
    Note: The main image - minus the "painted" portion - will convert to greyscale.
  10. Click Apply.
    Result: Your masterpiece!

I also played around with other tabs in FotoFlexer (such as Decorate and Beautify) to eliminate peanut butter splotches, wrinkles, soften background images and add text.

Now, wasn't that easy?!

If you don't have a blog of your own and decide to create your own pet-related image using this tutorial, I'd love to post your finished image to my blog. Just attach it to an e-mail (see my contact info) and include your name and pet's info.

Happy photo editing!


  1. Thank you! There are so many cool, on-line things these days and I don't have nearly enough time to find them all. I think I'll be using this one quite a lot though.

  2. No problem! I used to be a tech writer in a previous life, so I had a great time putting it together. :)

  3. This is pawsome! Photoshop is very daunting to me but this looks very easy! THanks for sharing, thank you. In return, I've a special discount for you and your pup, just give me a woof at


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