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5 Ways to Recolor Your Digital Graphic Recording / Sketchnote in Procreate

I recently did a digital graphic recording project for an online summit, where I visually summarized presentations by 15 different speakers. Even though I started my graphic recording live, there was a lot of post-production involved. One of which was to change the color scheme of one of my recordings on the request of the speaker.

Before this project, I only knew how to recolor in Procreate with the color drop method. However, this time that would have been very time-consuming. Since these small tasks can take up a lot of time if you don’t know the right short-cuts, I wanted to share 4 other ways that you can use to recolor your work in Procreate.

1. Color drop

Color drop is the first recoloring technique that I learned when I started using Procreate for my digital sketchnotes and graphic recordings

Select a color that you want to change your original color to by clicking on the circle on the top right corner. Hold your finger or pencil there and start dragging the colored circle on the object that you want to change as shown in the picture below.

When you reached the object, release/drop the circle by lifting up your finger or pen. For this, you need to have the layer selected that you have the object on, otherwise it won’t work.

With the color drop method, you should also pay attention to the threshold. In the video below, you can see how the percentage of the color drop threshold changes what gets recolored. You can change the threshold by moving your pen left or right before dropping the color on the object.

2. Alpha Lock + Fill

For this particular project, the alpha lock was the best new technique that I learned, which saved me a lot of time with the recoloring of my graphic recording. Alpha lock basically locks all the unfilled pixels that are on the selected layer. Tap on the layers symbol (second icon from the left at the top symbolized by two squares) and then go to the layer where you have the objects that you want to recolor. 

Select the layer and then tap on it again for the options to show up. From the options list select alpha lock.

Side note: As long as alpha lock is selected (i.e. has a checkmark next to it), you can only draw on the filled pixels. Just tap on alpha lock again if you want to draw on the locked pixels.

If you haven’t already, select the new color from your color palette. Select the layer again. Tap on it one more time and now select Fill Layer.  

Keep in mind that with this option, every stroke and object you have on the layer will be recolored. Therefore, make sure that you only have objects on your layer that you want to recolor.

3. Select + Fill

The select option is like a temporary alpha lock. The process of recoloring with this method is almost identical to the alpha lock.

Select the new color that you want to use from the color palette. Then, while the layer is selected, tap on the layer and then select Fill Layer from the options menu.

Repeat this step on all the other layers that you want to recolor.

4. Recolor

The next method is Recolor, which is similar to the color drop method. Select the layer that you want to recolor and then go to Adjustments and then to select Recolor at the bottom of the menu.

Make sure that you drag the selecting cross to the object that you want to recolor, otherwise you will recolor the background like in the picture below.

Once you dragged the selecting cross to the right area, this is how it could look like. Now, if I would have selected another layer where I had green and black colors on one layer, then it would change the selected area (green) to my new color, but it would also modify the secondary color (black) of my layer. So keep that in mind when you use this method.

5. Adjust HBS

The final method is adjusting the Hue, Saturation, and Brightness of your selected layer. You can find this option under the Adjustments menu.

When you click on this, a menu at the bottom comes up, where you can change hue, saturation, and brightness individually by moving your pen along the slider.

By adjusting the Hue, Saturation or Brightness slider, you will get different colors.

Alright, these are the five ways you can change colors of your digital graphic recording or sketchnote in Procreate. I hope you found this short tutorial helpful. Did you miss something that I should add? Would you like me to cover some other topics of digital graphic recording with Procreate? Please let me know in the comments section below.

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