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///Painting with Color in Lightroom

Painting with Color in Lightroom

If you have used the adjustment brush in Lightroom, you may have noticed that you have the ability to paint color on your image. After clicking on the adjustment brush to make it active, click on the color square next to the word Color to choose your color.

Adjustment Brush Color Setting

Adjustment Brush Color Setting

In this case I chose blue. Here is the image I am going to work on:

Before Painting

Before Painting

When I paint over the flower with blue, blue is added to the existing red, and the result is a bluish red:

Painting over the Flower with Blue

Painting over the Flower with Blue

What I really want to do is to replace the red with blue. Here’s the secret: in addition to selecting the color blue, I also reduce the adjustment brush saturation slider to -100.

Settings to Replace Color

Settings to Replace Color

Then the red is removed and I get what I want:

Painting with Blue AND Saturation of -100

Painting with Blue AND Saturation of -100

By the way, with auto mask turned on, painting over the flower with a large brush produced a very good selection of the flower, with just a few missing spots. I then turned off auto mask and painted in those missing spots. The auto mask check box is located right below the brush settings.

Adjustment brush settings are sticky, so next time you use the adjustment brush you will most likely still have your color selected. To unselect it, click on the color square, slide the slider down to 0%, and then close the color window.

2017-07-09T15:17:38-07:00 December 1st, 2008|5 Comments


  1. […] Using the adjustment brush, I used the same Color technique as I did above with the graduated filter.  I ended up painting with orange to neutralize the lighting on the symbols, and dark blue to neutralize the yellow on the drum (mostly introduced by my graduated filter, which applied yellow to the whole right side of the image.   (Here is a video on using the adjustment brush in Lightroom, and a post on painting with color.) […]

  2. dave cunningham February 21, 2015 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    awesome information, video was full of information that was very useful for me. You have a real ability to deliver technical content so that it is easily understood, Keep up the great work.

    • Laura Shoe April 15, 2015 at 2:36 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Dave!

  3. kathy February 15, 2016 at 7:23 am - Reply

    Great tutorials, thank you! BUT… how do i paint with black?

    • Laura Shoe February 15, 2016 at 1:33 pm - Reply

      Very negative exposure, shadows and highlights, Kathy. If you can’t get it dark enough, right-click on your pin (CC/6) and choose Duplicate, or paint again with a new adjustment.

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