How to Color Black Brushes and Stamps in Photoshop, Part 3

March 5, 2020

Digital Stamps are super fun and easy to use on our scrapbook pages.  They can be used in multiple ways to either make a bold statement or add subtle interest.  You can color them, apply styles to them, use Blend Modes on them, or clip papers to them.  Some Designers call them “Stamps” while others call them “Blendables” or “Art Effects.”  No matter what they are called, adding them to your digital stash and incorporating them into your digital projects can be a great way to add another dimension to your finished projects.

Today I want to show you a quick way to create a beautiful, blended, multi-colored effect when using a digital stamp. 

Here is a digital stamp (Garden Brushes 01) stamped in black.  As it is,  the digital stamp shows a lot of contrast and is quite pretty; however, I want it to be full of beautifully-blended colors.

Here is the same brush stamped using an aqua foreground color. I don’t really like this at all. It’s flat and has little contrast.

Below is the stamp with multi-colors. I like this and think it’s really pretty. So how would you get this look?

As demonstrated in How to Color Black Brushes and Stamps in Photoshop, Part 1 and How to Color Black Brushes and Stamps in Photoshop, Part 2, you could use a combination of selections and color-brushing to replicate this look; but that could be tedious and time-consuming with an image like this one. Let’s look at 2 easy ways to achieve this lovely blended effect.

Option #1: Clip Paper to the Stamped Image

  • Place a multi-colored paper on a layer above your stamped image.
  • Clip the paper to the image (With the paper layer selected, hover your mouse over the line between the paper and the stamp; hold down the ALT key on a PC; you will see a white square and a down-pointing arrow between the layers; left-click your mouse; the paper will take the shape of your stamp.)

In the image below I clipped a blended paper from Colorizers 02 to the stamp.  The beautiful blend of the paper allows you to create a lovely blended stamp in seconds.

Option #2: Apply a Style to the Stamped Image

  • Make sure that your digital image is on it’s own layer and that the layer is selected.
  • Click on a Photoshop Style to apply the Style effect to the stamped image.

In the image below I have applied a Stratified Rock Style to the stamped image.  These Styles add texture, an embossed effect, and additional contrast.

Here is the same stamp with a different Stratified Rock Style applied.  So pretty, I think.

If you like the variation of the style pattern but prefer a  different color, add a color adjustment layer above the digital stamp. I used the brown / aqua image above and applied a Hue/Saturation adjustment to achieve the look in the image below.

Option #3: Experiment with Blend Modes

  • Chose a background paper and place it on its own layer.
  • Place a PNG stamped image or using a brush, stamp an image on a blank layer above the background.
  • Click on the stamped image layer to make it active.
  • Find the Blend Mode options at the top of the Layers Panel. Click on the down-pointing arrow to access the drop-down box. Click on the name of one of the Blend Modes to see what effect you get. Choosing Overlay or Soft Light, to begin with, are typically good options. The effect you will get with each blend mode depends upon the lightness and darkness of the background paper you are working with, so experiment and see what works best for you.

Although I used Photoshop CC2020 for screenshots in this tutorial, the techniques described here work in Photoshop Elements as well.

Experiment and enjoy the process!

If you would like to download a PDF of this tutorial you may do so here:  How to Color Black Digital Stamps, Part 3

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    • Karen

      You are very welcome, De!

  1. Cathy L Vernon

    Love these Styles Karen! I use them a LOT on layouts. My favorite way to use them is on my titles.

  2. Peggy S

    I LOVE your stratified styles and overlays. I especially love the styles with the textures.This is a perfect use for them! Thank you for sharing this easy, effective technique.

  3. Steph

    I love your stratified collection! I think I have almost everyone! They are so gorgeous, but I do forget to use them, so this tutorial is perfect! Any more ideas for use?

  4. Carol

    Thanks ever so much for sharing how to do more with our stamps. I seldom used them unless the black color fit in with my layout. I tried a few times to color but felt something was lost so didn’t leave them on the layout. I hurried over to your store and got the overlays and styles and now anxious to try them. The ones you have here are so beautiful.

    • Karen

      Thanks for letting me know, Carol. I’m sure you will have so much fun!!

  5. Sara LEGLER

    I really like when you include a pdf of your tricks and techniques. I keep them in a folder for easy access, then I don’t have to search through my web favorites to try to find it again. ? I know it’s more work for you, but a great resource for us!!

  6. Beatrice

    I absolutely love this technique and the results are so pretty. I’m not very good at using brushes but this makes me want to try!

  7. Lynn

    Absolutely beautiful, Karen, and so easy to change the effect using styles and overlays. I will definitely be using this technique in the future 🙂

    • Karen

      Awesome, Lynn! Thanks for letting me know!

  8. Renee

    Your Stratified Collection has so many stunning color combinations, and I LOVE how I can use them with Stamps – you’re right super Fun and Easy! Thanks for the tutorial/reminder on how to use them 🙂

    • Karen

      Thanks, Renee! I look forward to seeing what you do with them!

  9. Sharron

    I love your tutorials, but greatly appreciate it when the pdf downloads are available. Ones like this are difficult to save, and I would like to keep it.

  10. KJDdesigns

    Karen, thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with us. I just love your tutorials.

    • Karen

      Thanks so much! I’m glad you like them and find them helpful.

  11. sherry pennington

    Thank you for the wonderful tutorial and the extremely helpful pdf file !!!

    • Karen

      You’re welcome, Sherry!


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