How to Color a Scanned Drawing Using Photoshop Elements 8

Using this cartoony self-portrait of me.

This is actually my first time coloring a scanned drawing so there’s not much shading or experimenting going on.

There are very, very, very few tutorials on how to use Photoshop Elements 8 to color in line art, which I found surprising. Fortunately I found this Youtube video:

I had to rewatch the video a few times because it got a little confusing. So I’ll spell it for anyone who needs to work off of written and concise instructions:

1) Scan in your drawing. Open it up on Photoshop Elements 8.

2) Duplicate the Background image. Then make a New Layer. Make sure the New Layer is underneath the Background copy.

3) Click on Enhance > Adjust Lighting > Brightness/Contrast.

4) When the Brightness/Contrast box pops up, adjust the Contrast bar until it’s 100 until it looks right. The number will range.

5) Go back to your Layers box. Click on the bar that says Normal and adjust it to Multiply.

6) Now the lines on the image look like they’re bolder. Make sure to hide the original Background layer.

7) Now you’re free to color the image! Just make sure that all your color layers are underneath the Background copy, and you’ll be golden.

Here’s how my scanned drawing turned out:

NOTE: Please don’t be that jerk who’d use other people’s drawings/illustrations without permission.

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3 comments
  1. fauxli said:

    Thank you sooo much! I struggled to create line art for so long, but this is ten times easier! I watched the Youtube video, but it didn’t make sense to me. Just, thanks so much for posting this!

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