Turning Photograph Into Cartoon-Style Picture – Part 2 (Coloring the Skin)

Part 2 – Coloring the Skin


Tutorial Index:


This is part 2 of tutorial on turning photograph into cartoon-style picture. (If you haven’t done so, please read the first part of the tutorial).

On the first part of the tutorial, we have made the outline of the cartoon photo. Here’s what we got so far:

after threshold


By the end of part 2 of the tutorial, we will have something like this:

after coloring the skin


Now begin…




Step 4: Coloring the Skin


Our next step is coloring the skin.

layers1. Select the ‘outline’ layer. Press Ctrl-J to duplicate the layer (or drag and drop it to the ‘create a new layer’ button). Rename the new layer to ‘white’.







2. Let’s make this layer pure white.

Choose menu: Image :: Adjustments :: Brightnness/Contrast…

change brightness and contrastMove the ‘Brightness’ slider all the way to the right (+100) and the ‘Contrast’ slider all the way to the left (-100).



Click OK.

Now we have something like this:

white, all white


Note: If you cannot get a pure white layer using the above method, try this alternative:

Choose menu: Image :: Adjustments :: Levels

change levels Set the ‘Output Levels’ to 255 and 255.




Click OK.


layers3. Drag the ‘white’ layer below the ‘outline’ layer.








layers4. Change the blending mode of ‘outline’ layer to ‘Multiply’.








default colors5. Press ‘d’ to set the foreground color to black and background color to white.



6. On the Layers Palette, select the ‘white’ layer.


7. Click the ‘Create new fill or adjustment layer’ create new fill or adjustment layer at the bottom of Layers Palette. On the popup menu, choose ‘Solid Color…’. A ‘Color Picker’ dialog box will be displayed.

choose color for skin On the ‘Color Picker’, pick a creamy brown color. This color will be used for the skin color. (I picked #FAD594 for the skin. You don’t need to be too picky here. We can change the color easily later whenever we need to).

Click OK




8. Now we have something like this.

after picking skin color


9. Choose ‘Paint Bucket Tool’ paint bucket. Click on the canvas to fill skin’s layer mask with black color.


10. Rename our new layer to ‘skin’.

And now we have something like this.



layers11. Create a clipping mask between ‘skin’ layer and ‘white’ layer. Press Ctrl + G while the ‘skin’ layer is still selected.


Note: for those who use Adobe Photoshop CS3, press Ctrl + Alt + G here instead of Ctrl + G.




select all12. On the ‘Layers Palette’, click on the ‘outline’ layer while holding (pressing) the Ctrl button. This will tell the ants to march around Rihanna. Oops, I mean, this will put a selection mark around Rihanna.




layer thumbnail

layer thumbnail

for those who use Adobe Photoshop CS3, make sure you click on the Layer Thumbnail instead of on the layer’s name




switch foreground and background color13. Press ‘x’ to switch foreground and background color.



14. Choose ‘Paint Bucket’ paint bucket tool, click inside the selection on the canvas to fill it with white.


15. Press Ctrl + D to deselect the selection area.


And we’re done coloring the skin.

finishing the skin


Here’s what we got so far:

what we got so far


On the next part of the tutorial, we will apply some shading to the picture to give it depth.

Go on to the next part of the tutorial.


Tutorial Index:



Oct 2022 at 11:24 pm

in step 7 when i click the option nothing happens, no menu


Oct 2020 at 5:01 pm

Step 14; be sure that layer “skin” is selected. THEN SELECT THE “LAYER MASK” (black square). I think this is the point, which is missing…

After that you can paint the canvas. 🙂 Otherwise, thank you for a nice tutorial!


Sep 2018 at 4:22 am

At step 14, clicking with paint bucket {white as foreground) shows white selection mask. But…..
the it is still white on the canvas.

Any comments are welcome.


    Sep 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Before clicking it (fill it with white color using paint bucket), make sure the ‘skin’ layer is selected (i.e. the active layer is the skin layer, not the outline layer nor any other layers).


Apr 2018 at 2:00 pm

Everything is fine until step 12. I can’t do selection tool and can’t perform ctrl +x to change the SERIOUSLY!! HELP ME OUT


    Apr 2018 at 3:31 pm

    Have you tried Kaine’s suggestion (the above comment)?


Mar 2018 at 8:41 am

A couple differences on my version:

Step 11: Creating a clipping mask is Ctrl + Alt + G on my version.

Step 12: You have to click on the thumbnail, not the layer, for the outline to be selected.


    Mar 2018 at 8:45 am

    Thank you for your input.


Apr 2017 at 5:23 am

fail at step 12


Mar 2017 at 4:43 pm

what didn’t you understand here? very simple…chat me up on WhatsApp for more explanation 08165969969…Instagram ID: samfredis


Feb 2017 at 11:31 pm

What a waste of time! Everything was fine untill step 12. I press ctrl then click the layer, fill it with white and…..nothing. No changes are made and the outline isnt being selected. Why??


Mar 2016 at 8:05 am

my sketch z also having a drawing on the layers so I don’t kno wat to do


    Mar 2016 at 9:20 am

    Sorry, I don’t get you.
    Would you please be clearer?

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