Recoloring Elements With a Stroke of Your Brush

with 24 Comments

Nannette-bio-picI have a friend that lives a couple houses down the street from me. She teaches card making with rubber stamps. I have gone to several of her classes, and I just have to say I am no good at it!

It is so frustrating to me, because I always smudge the paper, or I don’t get enough ink on the stamp, or I can’t seem to line it up straight. I am ALWAYS thinking this would be so much easier to do digitally!

She recently taught us how to color on the stamp itself to achieve a multi-colored look when you stamp on the paper. Once again I started to translate that into digital, and I came up with this tutorial!

Step One: Prepare Your Workspace

  • Create a new 12 x 12 inch document (File > New > Blank File) at 300 ppi with a white background. (Photoshop: Choose File > New.)
  • Open a picture or layout (File > Open) from which you would like to pull the colors.

Step Two: Add an Element to Your Page

  • Open an element (File > Open) that is in the .png format (has a transparent background) and has no texture. I am using a flower from the Mother is a Verb kit by Krystal Hartley.
  • Get the Move tool. In the Tool Options, uncheck Auto Select Layer.
  • On the document, click on the element and drag it onto your scrapbook page.
  • In the Layers panel, click on the Lock Transparent Pixels icon.


Step Three: Sample a Color

  • Activate the document from which you want to sample colors.
  • Click on the Foreground Color Chip to open the Color Picker.
  • On the document, click to sample a color you want to paint with and click OK.

I picked a light blue (#bcd3c3) from this paper because it wasn’t as prominent, and I wanted to bring it out a bit.


Step Four: Paint the Element

  • Get the Brush tool.
  • In the Tool Options, set the Mode to Normal and the Opacity to 100%. (Photoshop: Flow should be 100%.)
  • Open the Brush Picker and choose the Soft Round brush. If you don’t see the Soft Round brush, open the drop-down menu and choose Default Brushes. (Photoshop: Open the fly-out menu, choose Reset Brushes, and click OK.)
  • On the document, place your cursor over the element and press the Right and Left Bracket keys to resize the brush to a size that feels right for your element.
  • Brush over the parts of the element that you want to recolor.
  • Repeat with other colors until you have finished recoloring your element.


Here are the colors I used: light pink #e8b7b2, orange #f29e89, green #918b31, yellow #e3c793.

Note: Because I am using a soft round brush, the colors are blending into each other. If you don’t want your colors to blend, use a hard round brush.


I used my painted flower to make a Mother’s Day card for my mom. It really made me feel like an artist! It is so much easier than stamping; at least I think so. Not a smudge to be found.


Digit Scrap Tutorial: Recoloring Elements With a Stroke of Your Brush by Nannette Dalton
Mother’s Day Card by Nannette Dalton
Cardstock Lunch Bag by Susie Roberts
Paper Elements and Wordy bits  from  A Mother’s Heart by Susan Bartolini
Flower from the Mother is a Verb kit by Krystal Hartley. 


Download this Digi Scrap Tutorial

24 Responses

  1. Mary
    | Reply

    Great tip, I’ll have to give it a try. :O)

  2. Anita
    | Reply

    I just wanted to thank you for having a pdf of this lesson. It makes it so great to refer to if I forget. There is so much more to learn than I expected. I have almost completed my preferred collections, and need to concentrate on organizing them and then learning the how too’s better. again thanks

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      Thanks Anita, You are so very welcome. There is so much to learn and do I am so glad we were to help you a long a bit.

    • Diann
      | Reply

      I have to agree with you Anita – it makes it great for referencing back when doing the turorials

  3. janice moss
    | Reply

    Thank you Nannette. I always appreciate your knowledge and your tips!

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      That is so sweet of you Janice.

  4. Florence Longman
    | Reply

    This looks like fun, I have to try it.

  5. Sharron
    | Reply

    The color-blending in your flowers is wonderful. Thank you.

  6. Elise Harper
    | Reply

    This tutorial creates great possibilities to enhance a page with the right coloured element. I am sure we will all be trying this for hours enjoying the process. Thanks

  7. Linda Gregory
    | Reply

    This is a great tip! I can think of all sorts of places to use this. Digital Scrapper tutorials are the very best.

  8. Jana
    | Reply

    Great tutorial. Thank you so much!

  9. Nary
    | Reply

    Thank you Nannette – I love all your tutorials but this one struck a cord, as I like you – have tried and tried with rubber stamping – It was the main reason I turned digital! So – thank you very much.

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      I appreciate all the kind comments. Nary, I know I have found my ninch, sounds like you have too.

  10. Barb
    | Reply

    Great tip, Nann!! 🙂

  11. Kathy Black
    | Reply

    Brilliant!! I love all these tidbits so you can change things up a bit!! Thank you Nann!

  12. Jenifer Juris
    | Reply

    Another great idea!! 🙂 Just might steal your idea and make a card for my mom doing the same thing!! 🙂 Thx!!

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      That’s wonderful Jenifer.

  13. Sharon Horswill
    | Reply

    Thanks, I can’t wait to try this. I was never good with “real” stamps either. It always looked as though a three year old had done it.

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      Oh Sharon, you make me laugh because that is exactly how I feel.

  14. pattya
    | Reply

    Love the tutorial and your beautiful card. Thank-you!

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply

      You are so very welcome Pattya.

  15. Mungo
    | Reply

    That is brilliant, a beautiful effect, thank you for the tutorial

    • Nannette Dalton
      | Reply


  16. Tammy Graf
    | Reply

    Thank you for this great tutorial. I’ve been wanting to do this for so long.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.