Where’s the basic Photoshop B&W brush?

Question by Thfightinggoat Goat: Where’s the basic Photoshop B&W brush?
I have CS5 and I just want to selectively make things black and white. I don’t want to deal with the lasso, I just want to use a brush and “paint” over the color making it black and white.

I’m very new to photoshop, but not digital photography. Please be very clear on each step and the location of the buttons. Thank you


Answer by John H
Wow! Photoshop has a B&W brush? Didn’t know that. But then I’ve only been using it for 15 years. Let me know when you find it.

0 thoughts on “Where’s the basic Photoshop B&W brush?

  1. While there is no control termed the “B&W brush” the effect you are going for is very simple.

    1. Finish all of your edits and flatten the image. The photo should be “done” before you begin this process.
    2. Duplicate your layer. Name this top layer “B&W.”
    3. Convert the B&W layer to black & white using whichever method you prefer. I like the channel mixer, but if you’re just going for very simple B&W that isn’t well controlled, you can just desaturate the layer.
    4. Add a layer mask to the B&W layer. This is a accomplished in Photoshop CS by pressing the button in the bottom right-hand corner that looks like a gray rectangle with a white circle inside of it. I doubt that the control has moved in version CS5.
    5. Your layer mask should be filled with white. If it is not, do so now.
    6. Select a brush. Depending on what you’re trying to paint the color back into, you may want a hard brush or a soft brush, a large or a small brush.
    7. Set the foreground color to black.
    8. Paint black over the areas that you want to be in color in the photo. If you make a mistake, switch your foreground color to white and paint it back; it will return that area to black & white.
    9. Flatten your image.
    10. Hopefully realize that color splash looks really tacky before you decide to do any more of it.

    Good luck!

  2. Another way of doing it when you have the B&W layer over the colored layer is to simply use the eraser tool on the B&W layer on the area where you want the color to come through.

    You can set the eraser to different sizes and shapes as you can with the brush.

    You might find this easier to begin with than using the layer mask.

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