How to Create a Coloring Page in Photoshop


Learn how to create a color book page in Photoshop with a couple of clicks and some slider adjustments. Use this technique to either upsell existing clients in your photography business or to gift existing clients as a relationship-building tool. Coloring book pages are fantastic things you can provide to families because the children will love coloring themselves in. In this video, I show you exactly how to create a coloring page from a photo right inside of Photoshop.

Transcription was done by Rev.com’s automated transcription service which means it’s an AI-generated transcript. The transcript may contain spelling, grammar, and other errors, and is not a substitute for watching the video.

Hey, this is Scott Wyden. Kivowitz a storyteller with a camera talking about all the things photographers like you and I are thinking about right now. My studio is a mess because I’m going from video set to headshot that I am preparing to photograph a bar mitzvah. That is a pandemic socially distant outdoor bar mitzvah should be really interesting. So instead of showing you my messy studio right now, I am recording my screen, showing you something that I learned and want to share with you that photographers can do to make more money and, or just build relationships with your clients.

Now, this will work best with families that have children, but you could probably find ways to use it. Otherwise, if you have cake smash customers and things like that, here is what you do. And by the way, I did not create this, uh, this idea I learned about, I got this idea from my friend, skip Cohn. When I was recording episode 114 of the WordPress photography podcast, he brought this up in a discussion about pivoting and shifting your business due to the pandemic. Now, here is what you’re going to do. The idea is simple. You are taking a photograph of a family and you aren’t converting it into a coloring book page, printing it out and giving it to your client or creating a PDF and giving it to your client to then print out and have their children color the photos of them selves.

Okay, now here’s what you can do. There are many ways to do this. I am finding my favorite way. I just open a photo in Photoshop to just go to filter, go to filter gallery, and then you’re going to choose under the sketch, a dropdown over here. You’re going to choose stamp. Now you’re going to want to zoom out and you’re going to choose stamp. And then you’re just going to tweak the different settings. Now I have it at 25 for light, dark about balance, and I have an eight for smoothness. Now, if I am to just bring this back down to zero, or if I was to reset the settings back to, you know, the defaults, you’ll see the differences of what will happen. You go light up or down, or the light dark balance. And depending on the photo, you’ll get more details, less details and so on and so forth.

If I bring it up all the way, you’re going to see a lot of black, which is not great for calling book page, because there’s not much to color. So you want to bring it down. So you get less black and just more the lines is what is most important. And then smoothness will make it more cartoony, more minimal than, uh, what it would be if you bring the smoothest down. So I had it at 25 and eight. And to me for this photo of my brother, uh, my sister in law and my niece and nephew is the perfect amount of balance. You’ve got detail on the ground. You’ve got the slide, you’ve got them and so on and we just hit, okay. And now I have this beautiful, uh, coloring book page that my niece and nephew who are now older, since this was made, they can go in and color everything, including the letters in the background.

Here’s another one, right? So I’m going again, good to go to, uh, the filter gallery and I’m going to choose stamp and I’m going to zoom out. It always zooms in for whatever reason. And you can see there’s a lot of black here, so I’m going to have to do some adjustments. So first thing I’m going to do is bring down the smoothness and I’m going to bring down the light, dark balance in order to get more of everything else in here, right? I want lines. I want to see texture so that, um, when their daughter is old enough to start drawing, which she is now, she can, now she’s now a old one and she can start taking Kranz and start scribbling all over it. But when she’s even older, she’ll appreciate it even more. Now, Mike, go and go to smoothness and bring away some of the details.

Possibly this is a matter of playing to find what works best for this specific photo. I really like this one, look at this. It’s minimal, but you can still see the details I’m gonna hit. Okay. And now I have another one. Let’s go to one more. This is my younger brother and sister and my sister in law. Again, this is many years ago. This is when they were engaged. I’m going to go to a filter gallery, choose stamp, zoom out. And again, there’s, this is actually a pretty good starting point, really, but I’m going to go to smoothness and start playing around. I actually think it’s taken away too much of the background. So I’m gonna bring that back down and let’s go to light, dark balance and bring in some more details.

All right. So you can see that we’re getting a lot of detail on them, but nothing on the building. So I’m gonna just keep going. I don’t want to risk getting too much of them, so I might have to bring it back down and just deal with it. This is one of those things where you could use masking and do it and you know of them and then do it of the, the background. It all depends. This is a high contrast because it was a very sunny day in the, and, and the, a lot of it was the sky, but, uh, I’m going to just leave it about, Hmm. I might go about here. So you get a little bit of detail here, you know, there’s cars and stuff and we hit, okay. Let’s see if I can find one more. So again, this is an older family photo.

I’m going to go to filter gallery, zoom out, and these kids are way older now. And, uh, we can go ahead and immediately start messing with the light and dark balance to get a nice, good mix. Let’s start messing with smoothing, bring less details. We might want more. We might have to bring the detail, the smoothness down on this one. And I would say maybe about there, we’ve got the trees that we can mess with. It’s still too much black in my opinion. Uh, Oh, there we go. That was good. Here we go. So now we’ve got, uh, some trees. We can see some trees. We can call her that, and we’ve got, we actually have a power line going through here. Um, there’s enough detail. We can make it out and then save or hit. Okay. And now we’ve got another one ready to go.

So you can see it’s pretty easy. Again, there’s mold a couple ways you can go about it. If you were to Google, how to do this in Photoshop, you’ll see a very old tutorial, look at the screenshots of this tutorial, but you’ll see that you can do it manually by desaturating making a copy of the layer, inverting, changing the, a blend modes, adding some blur, uh, and flattening the layers and doing all this different stuff. But I’m finding that this one filter in Photoshop does a really good job to get you there with minimal effort. So if you are looking to build some Goodwill with your clients, build some relationships, or just offer a simple conversion of a family portrait you made of your client. You can upsell this for a little bit amount of money. Um, and I’m sure that families would buy it again just to restate.

This is in filter and then filter gallery. And the one I am using is the stamp filter found under sketch, but you can also try other ones. There’s many other ones that you could try to do those, even the photocopy, which does a nice job, which might be a good one to use in some, in some cases where you can start messing with the details and more and less chains of darkness, you know, for more contrast and stuff like that. Uh, there’s a bunch that you can mess with and try, but I’m finding stamp to be the overall best blend of everything. Thank you for watching. And I’ll see you in the next video, be sure to click subscribe. You don’t want to miss the next video.

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