How To Create a Multicolor Wash in Photoshop

You probably already know Photoshop as a powerful tool for image editing. There is no question about that, though with all its available features, it can be easy to overlook some which, though basic, can provide a whole new dimension of design to any image. One of the basic features available in Photoshop is the multicolor wash. Read on for the basic processes of creating a multicolor wash in Photoshop:  

  • Create a new file. Click “File” at the top of the screen and then select “new”. Choose the specifications that you want your project to have, such as the size, and make sure also that you choose RGB color for the color mode. To add more depth to your project, you can assign a color as the main background. Choose the paint bucket tool at the main editing controls at your screen, click on a color swatch of your preference, and then click on the project. Your file should now have the color that you chose.
  • Open the image file that you want to edit. Do this by clicking on “File” and then “Open”. Choose from among your image files stored in your computer hard drive. Notice that, in the navigation button, you will see the list of layers that you have created in this project. Remember that each image and color comes with its own layer. By now you should have two layers: one for the background color and the second for this new image. First, click on the layer for this major image and drag it to the top of the layer list. You can control the opacity of the image that you are working with so that a tint of the background color will show though the image. The opacity control button is located on top of the list of layers at the navigation panel of your screen.
  • Work with the layer. Click on the “layer” button on the menu at the top of the screen. At the drop-down menu, place your mouse over the option, “new fill layer” (found near the top of the menu) and click on “gradient”. A small pop-up box will appear at the middle of your screen. Click on the option “OK”.
  • Select the gradient, style, angle and scale. On the new pop-up box that appears, you will find the abovementioned fields. Gradient talks about the type of strokes that will appear over the image that you want to edit. The style talks about the direction of the color: whether it will appear in a linear, radial, angular, reflected, or diamond shape. Next, the angle will determine the slant or incline of the strokes, and finally, the scale talks about the opacity of the color.
    The good thing about adjusting these fields is that you will instantly see the results every time you make a particular selection. So feel free to experiment until you get your preferred results.
  • Create another layer. For a multiple color effect, you should now create a second layer where you can choose a different color. At the top of your screen, click on “layer”, hover your mouse over “new” and select “layer”. You can now work with another layer where you can place another color (with different gradients, angle, style, etc), for a multiple color wash effect.

There you have it! These are just some of the basic techniques to create a multicolor wash in Photoshop. Take the time to experiment with different colors and opacities so that you can achieve the look that you want.


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