How To Creatively Recolour PNG Files

Hello everyone, Ona here with another tutorial showcasing Rachel's fabulous designs!

Once in awhile you may need to recolour an element that you want to use with a particular photo. This tutorial will show you how to recolour a PNG file quickly and easily.

Creatively Recolouring PNG Files.

There are many ways of recolouring elements and in this tutorial I want to show you how to use the “Lock transparent pixels” tool to creatively recolour a PNG file. It's a great tool to use to recolour these type of files as you don't want the colour affecting the transparent background.

In PSE10 the Lock transparent pixel tool is located at the bottom of the Layers Palette, on the same toolbar as the New Layer and Adjustment tools. For those of you that are using Photoshop you may find that this tool is located at the top of the Layers Palette depending on which versions you are using. 

Digital Scrapbook Tutorial Recolouring PNG Files by Captivated Visions

Once you click the box a padlock will appear on the layer, this means that whatever do now will only be carried out on the actual object or element, not the surrounding areas, so if you want to colour in  a particular object you can without ‘going over the lines’ so to speak.

Note: For Photoshop Creative Cloud users you may need to rasterize the layer first, before you can use the lock transparent pixels.

This is what the layer looks like after clicking the Lock transparent pixel tool.

Digital Scrapbook Tutorial Recolouring PNG Files by Captivated Visions

Here are a couple of examples to give you an idea of what you can do. In each example the element at the beginning is the original one.

Example 1 - Using the Brush Tool to recolour the file.

After locking the layer I used a variety of Rachel's brushes to paint this pretty little flower from the Bubblegum Pop: Signature Collection. When using the brush like this the layer needs to be locked so that your ‘paint’ only sticks to the object and not the surrounding areas. 

Digital Scrapbook Tutorial Recolouring PNG Files by Captivated Visions

This is a really fun method, experiment with the type of brushes you use, the colours, the size of the brush and the opacity,it’s amazing just what you can end up with! Rachel's Mish Mash - Stamp Stash 06 and Stamp Stash 07 are great to use to just stamp across the flower as well. Really, the possibilities are endless!

Example 2 - Using the Gradient Tool to recolour the file.

I used wordart from Rachel's  Bubblegum Pop: Signature Collection. Wordart lends itself to this type of recolouring wonderfully.

Digital Scrapbook Tutorial Recolouring PNG Files by Captivated Visions


Using the Gradient tool is one of my favourite things to use when I am working with these types of files as it is so versatile and easy!

Lock the layer, then click on the Gradient button and select the type of gradient you want to use eg. 1) linear, 2) radial, 3) angle, 4) reflected or 5) diamond. Each will give a very distinct look (see picture below).

Digital Scrapbook Tutorial Recolouring PNG Files by Captivated Visions

Now select the gradient colour palette you want to use - click the down arrow shown in the picture below, this will open available colours for you to use.

Digital Scrapbook Tutorial Recolouring PNG Files by Captivated Visions

There are also other colour palettes available, simple click on the little arrows - shown with a red box around them in the picture above. When you click on it, another list will appear like the one shown below.

Digital Scrapbook Tutorial Recolouring PNG Files by Captivated Visions

Once you have chosen the type of gradient and colours you want, simply click and drag across the element! Ctrl+Z will also undo if you want to try something else. SO EXPERIMENT AND HAVE FUN!!!! :)

Here is my page:

Ona: I recoloured the leaf, the bird and the wordart using this technique. On the leaft and bird I also clipped a one of the stamps to it and recoloured the stamp white. On the wordart I used a gradient and selected various colours from the page to customise my gradient a bit more.

Digital Scrapbook Page using Supplies by Captivated Visions

Credits:

Bubblegum Pop: Signature Collection

Here are two amazing pages from the Captivating Sista's:

Roxana: "Most of the brushes are on the overlays of the kit that were from just one tone each, I also used the scalloped stamp (on the left) and totally recolored it as it was red as the background, also some paper strips on top were recolored with the brushes and added another tone of green to the lighter leaves."

Digital Scrapbook Page using Supplies by Captivated Visions

Credits:

  1. Hope Shines Bright: [Elements & Ephemera]
  2. Hope Shines Bright [Mixed Media Papers]
  3. Hope Shines Bright [Word Art]
  4. Mish Mash Stamp Stash 10

Anja: "I've used the stamp method on the leaves, the large round stamp in the background at the right, on the tag..."

Digital Scrapbook Page using supplies by Captivated Visions

Credits:

  1. Artful Intentions | She Wears Wings (Artsy Stamps)
  2. Today Is A Struggle | Mixed Media Papers
  3. Today Is A Struggle | Overlays
  4. Today Is A Struggle | Elements & Ephemera

Recolouring using this method can mean that the texture from the underlying element doesn't show through so it does have it's limitations, I'll share some tips with you in another post to make your finished elements more realistic, but non the less this is a great tool and technique to know about in case you ever find it handy!

Till next time

Ona xxx