I came across this picture online and I want to try and create something similar.


Can anyone give me some tips on how to recreate this image?

I have tried the following:

Create new layer & saturate. Use the history brush to restore the lights.

It's not turning out the way I would expect it to, i'm a Photoshop beginner and this to how I would usually create a color splash.


  • What about the history brush wasn't giving you the results you wanted? Also I recommend you look into layer masks.
    – Hanna
    Nov 9, 2015 at 2:25

2 Answers 2


A very easy way to do it in Photoshop is to:

  • create a new layer over your image
  • fill it with 100% black
  • change it's blending mode from normal to saturation (this will make the entire image b&w)
  • start deleting from the black layer (with eraser, pen, whatever you like) the parts that you want to be in color

What the black layer does is act like a black and white filter. It's a really simple technique, see:

enter image description here

  • Instead of actually deleting the pixels from the black layer, I would suggest using a layer mask and painting them away. I almost never use the eraser. It is always best to work in a non-destructive manner, whenever possible. Otherwise, great answer.
    – Manly
    Nov 9, 2015 at 14:13

Another method, other than Alin's, is to use an adjustment layer.

  • Click on the " Create new fill or adjustment layer" button at the bottom of the layers panel (1) and select Hue/Saturation. This will create the new adjustment layer on top of your existing image.
  • Slide the saturation slider (2) all the way to the left, to desaturate the image.
  • Now that your image is black and white, click on the layer mask (3) and use a black paint brush to draw in the areas that you wish to restore color to.


Giving you something like this:


Since you are new to Photoshop and might not know about them, Layer Masks are an incredibly valuable method of "erasing" parts of layers without actually removing the pixels. A layer mask works by showing or hiding parts of an image, based on a grayscale mask (black = hidden) and can be edited in many of the same ways a regular layer can be. It is always a good idea to avoid erasing or deleting anything in Photoshop, if you can. Do this by using things like Smart Objects and Layer Masks.

  • Hei there, thanks for the comment ^^ you're right when you say that it's a better practice to use a layer mask ^^ I wanted him to get fast results since he's new to PS. Great answer !
    – Alin
    Nov 9, 2015 at 14:35

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