How to Make a Pastel-Looking Image
Using White Layers

Clive R. Haynes FRPS

This technique can create images with a beautifully soft and pastel-like appearance.  It's simple and straightforward to do and makes use of white-filled layers.

Pastel Version
Original Image

Open your image.

Create a new empty Layer by clicking on the New layer icon next to the Trash Bin (see below)

Next,  Edit > Fill > Use > White > OK

Change the Layer Blend mode for this Layer (use drop-down menu arrow) to Soft Light


If a denser white is needed, duplicate the layer to increase the effect by dragging the layer to the New Layer icon at the base of the Layers Palette (see below)



To apply the soft pastel whiteness selectively, add a Layer Mask to one or both layers and with a suitable Brush 'paint' upon the Mask.  Use Black as the Foreground colour to reduce or remove the pastel effect and White to restore.

NB:  Remember to activate the Layer Mask thumbnail (by clicking upon it - and a frame appears around it) otherwise should the image thumbnail be active, you'll be painting on the picture instead.  We've all made this error - you won't be alone if you do!

There's an alternative method, follow the link below to find out more.

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