Author: Wassim El Khatib

Enhancing with color

Design Ideas & Process

Editing images is a huge field in photoshop as it is basically the whole concept of the software. I explored different ways to edit and change pictures using the most tools in the least amount of time. I chose to enhance my images with adding colors and changing all types of tones. I started my photoshop task aiming to develop my skills on working with color and I set out a plan to be able to change the color of all images using blending modes


Design 1


I wanted my first edit to be believable and admirable. It was basically a deformed picture, as if on purpose, of a young boy in black and white (Figure 1). I tried to achieve a clean picture that would be realistic. At first, I got rid of the big white gaps on the left side of the picture (Figure 2). I tried using the spot healing brush tool but I didn’t succeed with big gaps. I used this tool with small gaps only it went perfectly well after changing the scale of the tool (Figure 3). For the big gaps however, I used the stamp tool (Figure 4). I took the color nearest to the white gaps and tried to fix it slowly so the image wouldn’t look deformed. After healing all the white gaps in the image (Figure 5), I decided to enhance my image with colors. I colored the boy’s face with a brownish color based on what I thought he would look like (Figure 6). After trying different modes, I settled on the color blending mode for his face. Then, I colored his mouth and teeth. I used the soft light mode for these features because they looked more natural (Figure 7). Finally, I colored his eyes also using soft light mode, and his shirt using color blending mode. I felt that his eyes were kind of dark brown and his shirt had a light color which I assumed was bluish (Figure 8)


Figure 1 (Black and White Image)

Figure 2 ( Removing the big gaps)

Figure 3 (Using the spot healing brush tool on small gaps)

Figure 4 (Removing the big gap with the stamp tool)

Figure 5 (Image healed)

Figure 6 (Using color blend mode for the boy’s face)

Figure 7 (Using Soft light blend mode on teeth and mouth)

Figure 8 (Final)



Design 2


I wanted to learn everything new for my second edit. I searched for what I can do with photoshop and I saw the auto blend tool and wanted to know what that is. At first I took a random image of a guy with headphones on. I decided to take a selfie and replace this guy’s face with mine (Figure 1). I regret not taking a better image but the important thing is that I know how to use the tool. At first, I self selected my self on photoshop (Figure 2), and I cropped my face. Then, I placed my face on top of the guy’s face on photoshop (Figure 3). After that, I used the match color tool, which is new for me, and I changed my colors to match the guy’s colors (Figure 4). Then, I decreased the luminance and changed the color intensity (Figure 5). I contracted the face’s selection so it wouldn’t take the darker tone of my face (Figure 6), and I changed the levels of color for the image (Figure 8). I used the auto blend tool (Figure 9), and viola. Photoshop did it’s job well in my opinion (Figure 10). I decided to change the beard because it looked fake (Figure 11), and I tried removing the glasses from my face. Unfortunately, the eyebrows got in the way so I took the guy’s eyebrows which doesn’t suit me well.


Figure 1 (Taking a selfie)

Figure 2 (Self selecting)


Figure 3 (Adding my face to the image)


Figure 4 (Placing my features on the guy’s)


Figure 5 (Using match colors)

Figure 6 (Decreasing the luminance)


Figure 7 (Contract the selection)


Figure 8 (Changing the colors of the image)


Figure 9 (Auto blend the image)


Figure 10 (Looking good)


Figure 11 (Changing the beard)



Design 3


For my final Design, I wanted to experiment with colors to the maximum. At first, I got a black and white image (Figure 1) that felt so real. I was shocked and amazed by the guy’s ability to show me emotion without motion. Then, I painted his skin color and tried moving around with blend modes to see what suits him best (Figure 2). I used specific brushes to color the skin part that was narrower and had hair in (Figure 3). After that, I painted the mouth with the color that suited an old man’s mouth (Figure 4). I didn’t like his skin tone so I changed it several times so it would suit him (Figure 5). I decided to color the eyes, which was the hardest part, and I wanted to go with an unrealistic eye color (Figure 6). I used several modes and layers for the eye to make it pop and speak up (Figure 7). I added layers of blue and used the overlay blending mode to make it less attractive (Figure 8). Then, I painted the shirt with blue because it suited the level of grayness in the picture (Figure 9). I decided to decrease the level of blue because it looked odd after many trials of blending modes (Figure 10). I colored the suit with a reddish color because I wanted to make a diversity in colors (Figure 11). After that, I added a layer of light on top of everything because I saw light coming from the right side (Figure 12). I used the divide blending mode and added more light to the right side (Figure 13). Finally, I used the burn tool to add some dark layers on the left side and make it more realistic (Figure 14).


Figure 1 (Black and white image)


Figure 2 (Using color blending mode)


Figure 3 (Using different brushes)

Figure 4 (Painting the mouth)


Figure 5 (Experimenting with colors)


Figure 6 (Coloring the eyes)


Figure 7 (Using color blending mode for some layers)


Figure 8 (Using overlay mode for blue layer)


Figure 9 (Coloring the shirt)


Figure 10 (Trying a lighter blue)


Figure 11 (Coloring the suit)


Figure 12 (Adding shades of light)


Figure 13 (Using divide blending mode)


Figure 14 (Adding some burn for contrast)


Software Tutorials

Because I had basic knowledge using the selection tool and cropping out stuff in photoshop, I decided to try new tools and experiment with everything. I lacked skills with coloring before, so I searched for tutorials that provided that. I wanted to show a level of professionalism in coloring.

For the first design, my purpose was to only remove the gaps at first. It was so much harder than I thought it would be. I used this Tutorial on how to use the stamp tool. Before starting, I was under the impression that the stamp tool was the only tool to use for this process but I was wrong. For that, I searched on how to remove the small gaps in a faster way. I found out that I should use the spot healing brush tool for the small stuff. It worked very well and I understood how both tools work properly and how they compliment each other in an indirect way. For the second design, I used  this Tutorial  to do the whole thing. I tried to move on step by step and I succeeded. My main problem was that I used a bad selfie image for my design. I tried to make the best of it and it turned out fine but it seemed fake. I was so proud of myself for using the auto blend tool and making all the image colors look alike. The coloring and editing wasn’t the problem and that was my main goal.

For my final design, my purpose was to color the whole image and make it look very realistic. I used this Tutorial mainly and tried to follow it even though I had a different picture. I wanted to become good in blending modes and I think I did. The tutorial helped me understand adjustment layers and how I can change the details of every picture with a tiny little adjustment. I was able to use different brushes and I focused on the details of the image. I colored it with more layers that my first design. I can say I’m proud of myself for achieving the goal I had in mind.


Design resources and articles

Inspiration 1


Inspiration 2


Inspiration 3


My inspiration for my designs were these 3 main images. In the first image, I was amazed by the level of precision in colors. The image was very suited to be colored and I can feel like a grain effect coming out of it. The designer wanted to show that the picture was old. The second image however, I was amazed by the shades and the lights. The designer was able to portray a good and believable level of brightness. He also added shades to show contrast and the girl’s skin tone was on point. The third image speaks for itself. The designer was able to swap faces of two random girls while keeping the same level of color. Although the girl’s chin was way wider because of her expression, the designer was able to perfect it and it didn’t look deformed at all.



By doing this task, I was able to understand colors on a different level. I can see now how people convert old movies into colors. The best thing about this task is that everything was fun in it. Time passed by so quickly and I enjoyed the whole process. I feel like my photoshop skills developed in the kind of way I want them to.

Now that I look at all the designs that I did, I can safely say that I can do much better in all of them. I will definitely work more on my photoshop skills and I’m relieved that I learned many tools and improved a lot in this module.




Clipping Details



Design ideas and design process


Early on, why did I choose the Illustrator task to present my blog post you might ask. In short, it’s the one I enjoyed the most and had so much fun in experimenting and trying new stuff. I believe that the more you go to the extreme the better the outcome; after all, what’s art without failing a couple of times and why does the Command Z button exist?


2nd Design Sticker: Using Gradient, Blending mode, and reducing opacity.
3rd Design Sticker: Using reverse Gradient, Neon effect, and vertical text.
Final Design: Using Clipping mask, drop shadow effect, and adding texture.


I always thought that Illustrator was just a drawing app and I didn’t give it much thought and effort. It was until now that my design brain shifted towards thinking outside the box in order to develop my skills further. This encouraged me to start my 2nd design sticker using skills and tools I never thought off. I tried to do it as close as possible to to my 2nd podcast cover as I drew a podcast microphone coming out of a portal and extracted all the colors from it. I also used gradient to all my colors and tried to change the blending mode as much as possible. As to my 3rd design sticker, I thought it would look good to also represent a podcast microphone but to try and do it in a different way so it would match my 3rd podcast cover. I did the Neon effect and tried to show depth and motion in it using the gradient colors and the drop shadow effect. As for my final design sticker, which happens to be named 1st design sticker cause It represented my 1st podcast cover, I tried to use the clipping mask and pathfinder tool as much as possible. And that’s how I came up with the title, “Clipping Details” and as Christian Marclay said, “Art is all in the details”. At first, I used three simple rectangles and put them next to each other on top of a background using the exact colors of my 1st podcast cover (figure 1). Then, I used the pathfinder tool to delete the edges of the smaller rectangles so they would have the same area as each other (figure 2). I used the clipping mask tool to remove some parts of the rectangles and added some color details to it (figure 3). After that, I used the shear tool in order to remove the symmetry in my design as it looked too basic and used the drop shadow effect to add some depth (figure 4). I added texture using the clipping mask tool and added typography by removing parts of the rectangle (figure 5). Finally, I added a small sun like figure with the same texture and typography to make it a little interesting (figure 6). And voila, a simple sticker that I got to be proud of.


Figure 1: Creating simple shoes and a background
Figure 2: Using pathfinder tool
Figure 3: Adding texture and using Clip mask
Figure 4: Shear effect and drop shadow effect
Figure 5: Adding textures typography by clipping mask and downloading a texture
Figure 6: Adding multiple circles and lowering their opacity to create a sunbeam



Software tutorials


I used many tutorials in order to develop my design stickers and I chose the three I benefited of the most of to present here. In the 1st illustrator tutorial, I learned how to use the pathfinder tool. Although it was hard at first, I really got the hand of it as I used it many times in my final sticker and practiced using it to the extreme in other projects as well! As for the 2nd tutorial, I discovered the art of gradient and how to play with the opacity to show depth and kind of like a 3D movement that we anticipate heads on. For me, the 3rd tutorial was the hardest. Believe me or not, but I repeated the video 5 times to understand it well. I learned how to use the blending mode as I tried to use soft light, color dodge, overlay, and screen mode in order to move my 2ndpodcast sticker to the extreme! To be honest, I still think I need to develop my blending mode skills further. I saw what professionals can do with it and I wanna try and beat them with my creativity as they have the upper hand on how to use the software right now. I also want to develop my skills in the effects tools since I didn’t watch many tutorials on it, but I tried playing around with most of the effects on my free time.



Design resources and articles


I didn’t use many design articles for these projects because I thought that videos would benefit me more. During the process however, I sought out some design articles because I wanted to understand some stuff that I was having troubles with. For the 1st article, I read about the blending modes in details and tried to understand them one by one. Unfortunately, I still suffer from this tool as I need to practice it more; but I believe that with time I’ll know when to use each mode on spot. As for the 2nd article, I understood how to draw with simple shapes and get amazing results. It helped me finish a whole project with the minimal amount of time. Although these 2 articles were helpful, I think that the 3rd article helped me the most! Given in mind it’s the simplest of them all, a tutorial to how to clip mask was essential. I used this tutorial to develop my final podcast sticker further as I added texture using a clipping mask.

I believe all the tutorials were very helpful and I think this module really increased my skills in every software we were given. I finally know the exact purpose of each of the software and I can develop my skills way further than that!

Working with technology

At first, I chose my theme modern furniture. Then, I started searching on how  I can present my theme and develop it into a mood board. I thought about what feel I want to present to the reader and what typeface I wanna choose. For me, circle presents the most modern shape and therefore the best way to show my theme. I presented technology on the shape on the right as I wanted to show the connection between every smart object. I connected the lines to a lamp that shows modern furniture and tried to play with the colors In order to show the 3D effect. Then, I used the shape on the left to show the floating feel. Finally, I used a modern typography that represents technology and played with the characters size in order to balance my logo.

Joyful Theatre


I started this project with some experimentations in indesign. I did some trials in the margins and columns as I tried to do landscape mode with 2 rows to fit the paper. I learned how to do the table in indesign so I could arrange the text equally along the page.  I began my search on past cinema listings and was inspired by many of them. I noticed how each listing has a different type of font that made the audience feel like they’re in the cinema. Then, I searched for fonts on google that fit well the movies theme and chose “Joyful Theatre” as my main font. I wanted a color that could be strong and independent above the white background so I chose black and dark blue. I tried playing around with the tint in some places too. Next, I added as many paragraph styles as I can in order to practice using them when there are many texts. I aligned the texts together and added a ruler guide for each line so every text would be aligned perfectly. I used Gill Sans Nova font to state the movie’s description, location, and date. I added paragraph rules below the movie title in order to align the date and location of the movie in a designed way. I tried to make the list easy for the eye to read so every age can be attracted to it. I believe I can use many of these stuff I learned in the book design project, especially the paragraph styles and ruler guides.