Sometimes you’ve spent quite a while on a certain subject but then you don’t like the color anymore. Instead of painting it all over again, you can simply change the color.
You change color in Procreate by selecting your layer > Adjustments > Hue, Saturation, Brightness > Layer. In the bottom left corner, you’ll find a slider that contains every hue. Changing this slider changes the hue of your layer.
But there are a few more ways to change color of a layer or a certain area. Keep reading to find a detailed step by step guide on how to easily change color in Procreate!
How to change color in Procreate
The easiest way to artistically change an area or layer in Procreate is by using adjustment layers. Adjustment layers are effects you apply to your layers. This includes effects like:
- Adjusting contrast
- Color changes
+ much more effects.
Every adjustment has two options: Layer and pencil. If you pick Layer, the adjustment will affect the entire layer. If you pick Pencil, the pencil icon (where you change your brushes) will turn into an adjustment brush.
You can pick any brush you want and paint where you want the effect to take place. After that, you can adjust your layer further.
Changing color in Procreate by using Hue, Value, and Saturation
The easiest way to change color in Procreate is to use the Hue, Saturation and Brightness adjustment. I sometimes duplicate my layer before making any adjustments, just to be safe.
1: Select your layer and create a duplicate if you want to (slide your layer to the left and hit duplicate)
2: Go to Adjustments (magic wand icon) in the top left corner and tap Hue, Saturation, Brightness
3: Choose layer or Pencil
4: Finally, adjust the Hue slider in the bottom left. Done!
After opening the hue, saturation, and brightness adjustment, a panel pops up with sliders.
Under the Hue setting, you find a slider with a spectrum containing every hue. The slider is always set to 50% no matter which color you originally have.
Use this slider to change your original color. The hues you see on the spectrum don’t correlate with your changing hue. You need to look at the percentage.
If your original color is red, and you set your percentage to 18% it changes to blue, even though it’s set to yellow on the slider.
This is because when going below 50%, the color goes counterclockwise starting from the original color when looking at a color wheel. Above 50% the hue goes clockwise starting from the original color on the color wheel.
Just keep tinkering until you find the right color.
Next to the hue slider, you find a saturation slider. Saturation, also known as chroma, is the vividness of a color. The lower the saturation, the greyer the color becomes. The higher the saturation the purer the color becomes.
Lastly, we have a brightness slider. The brightness slider adjusts the value, (darkness and lightness) of a color.
If you want to go from a red to a yellow color, you need to adjust the hue, as well as the brightness. This is because yellow is a light color. If you don’t up the value your yellow color will look like a brown.
Changing color in Procreate with Color Balance
Color balance is exactly what it sounds like: in order to change a hue, you need to balance 3 sliders. There’s no real method behind it, other than shifting the sliders to the correct hue and cancelling out color you don’t need.
Step 1: Select your layer
Step 2: Go to adjustments (wand Icon) > Color Balance
Step 3: Choose either layer or pencil
Step 4: Tap the sun icon on the right > pick shadows, mid-tones or highlights
Step 5: Adjust sliders
So this one is a bit trickier than the previous method. To create a different color we need to balance 3 sliders, which have two ends: RGB, Red, Green and Blue vs CMY, Cyan, Magenta and Yellow.
The sliders have 2 ends because RGB is the opposite of CMY. If you want to cancel out magenta, you’ll have to increase green. If you want to cancel out yellow, you’ll have to increase blue.
You do this for every value: The shadows, mid-tones and the highlights. Read this article to find out the difference between RGB and CMY.
How to use color balance in Procreate
Each image has a different way to use color balance. I’ll show you how I go from a red to a blue with the following image.
1. First I select the shadows because this value creates the most dramatic change for this particular image. I change the yellow-blue slider all the way to blue.
2. There is too much magenta. To cancel out the magenta I slide the magenta-green slider towards the green.
3. I now select the mid-tones because it has the second most dramatic change when adjusting the sliders. Once again I set the yellow-blue slider all the way to blue.
4. Now I select the highlights(not pictured). I slide the cyan-red slider towards the cyan.
5. Now I go back to the mid-tones. I drag the cyan-red slider towards cyan.
6. Finally I select the highlights again and I pushed it all the way to cyan to cancel out the last redness.
To sum up:
So, to work with color balance you should:
- Establish which value (the shadows, midtones or highlights) creates the most dramatic change when playing with any slider
- Choose that value
- Try to get the color that you want.
- E.g. for blue, set the corresponding slider to blue and then cancel out any color you see by setting the slider to the opposite color
- Keep balancing hues until there’s no more to change for this value
- Now select the value which has the 2nd most dramatic change when playing with any slider, and change this slider to the desired color
- Now do the same with the last value: set it to the desired color
- Go back to your firstly changed value and tweak. Do the same for the other ones until you get the desired result.
Changing color in Procreate with Gradient Map
Procreate’s gradient map allows you to set specific points on a value slider. These specific points, placed in the shadow, mid-tone and highlight areas can be assigned any color. You can add as many colors to as many values as you like.
Step 1: Select your layer > Go to adjustments (wand icon) > Gradient map > choose layer or pencil.
Step 2: In your gradient library you see Procreate’s default gradients. This is also where you’ll see your previous made gradients. It automatically assigns a gradient for you. Choose whichever gradient you want or click on the plus icon to create your own.
Step 3: Now the gradient has turned black and white. These blocks represent your values. The block on the left side represents your shadows and the block on the right side represents your highlights.
Tap anywhere on the gradient to create a new block. You can slide it around to set it to a different value.
Step 4: Assign a color to your shadows by tapping your shadow block. You can choose any color. This means that you can assign light colors to your shadows which I don’t recommend because you’ll lose your shape that way.
Instead, only adjust the hue and saturation. You do this by selecting the two horizontal stripes in the color menu (and not the square that I have currently selected).
Step 5: Assign a color to your mid-tones by tapping the block in the middle.
Step 6: Assign a color to your highlights and any other value that you might have created and hit done! (Underneath the color panel).
If you have any questions about these techniques, leave them in the comments down below or send me a DM! I’ll always reply. Also, subscribe to my newsletter if you want to receive monthly articles filled with tips and tricks!
See you next week,