2.0K Shares

Yesterday, we covered the basics of using the color tools in Photoshop Elements.

So, now that you know how to find specific colors using the swatches, what in the world are you going to do with color in Elements?

These are the top ten things that I use specific colors for:

  1. Paint on a layer mask in black to hide an effect.
  2. Paint on a layer mask in white to reveal an effect.
  3. Dodge (lighten) – Paint in white at a low opacity on 50% gray layer set to soft light blend mode.  For more details read about brightening eyes using this method.
  4. Burn (darken) – Paint in black at a low opacity on a 50% gray layer at soft light blend mode.  For more details, read about burning pupils, lash lines and eye lashes.
  5. Paint in cheeks:  one click of a large pink soft round brush set to the color blend mode at a low opacity.
  6. Add text in any color of the rainbow.
  7. Use the eyedropper tool to select a color from your image and create matching frames, text or graphics.
  8. Use the eyedropper tool to select a color from outside of PSE to use on your image.  With the eyedropper active, click on the gray workspace background of Elements and drag somewhere else on your computer.  Release the click over the color you want to sample.
  9. Use the eyedropper to select a color of skin that you like.  (If your brush tool is active, just hold down your alt or option button for a temporary switch to the eyedropper.)  Change the blend mode of the brush to color, reduce the brush opacity, and paint over patchy or discolored or blown out areas of skin.  Read this article about advanced portrait retouching for more details.
  10. Type alt/option backspace to fill a selection with the foreground color.  Type control/command backspace to fill a selection with the background color.  I use this method sometimes when vignetting.