photoshop creative

How to change eye colour in portraits

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
September 6, 2012

A tutorial on how to change the colour of a person’s eyes in a portrait shot in Photoshop


Change eye colour

Step 1 – Set up image

Create a new layer and change its blend mode to Hue. Select the Brush tool with 100% Opacity and set its size so that it’s just large enough to cover the colour part of the eye.

Step 2 – Choose colour

Click on the Foreground swatch to open the Color Picker menu. Select a new colour for the eyes, such as orange (this doesn’t have to be a natural colour!).

Step 3 – Brush over

Zoom in close to the eye and brush over the colour part of the eye with 100% opacity. Lower the opacity of the brush to 40% to add colour at the edges.

Step 4 – Tidy up

If at any stage you went over the edges, use the Eraser tool with 0% Hardness to remove those areas of colour on that layer.

  • Sonia Favret

    I tried to make the color brown eyes, was not good. is anyway or have a way to be able to color the eyes darker, it was beautiful = ^. ^ =

  • This technique is ok for changing eye color. However, what I find sloppy for PSC is the last photo. You’ve got color bleed from the iris into the white of her eye. It’s really tacky and tells me that you’re not that serious about doing quality work. That of course erodes trust with us professionals.

    I get some of my professional tips from Or kelby”s training (worth it, but it costs money)

  • chris moore

    did not work i tried it on bleu and brown eyes did not work

  • Simon Skellon

    Hi Jackson, Sorry you feel that way. The last photo in this tutorial is meant to be demonstrating bleed, and the fact that you’ll need to use the Eraser tool, set to 0% Hardness, to remove these areas. The final image is under the before at the top of the article.

  • Jackson

    Fair enough point regarding the bleed. I happily retract my previous comment =]

  • Jordy

    I followed these steps on CS6 and it just comes out grey even though I picked vibrant blue. Did I do something wrong?

  • Simon Skellon

    Hi Jordy – try the Color blend mode instead of Hue and see what happens. Also check you’re in RGB mode under Image>Mode, this could be a factor.