Duotone is a technique that creates an image using only two colors. Often used in sepia during the 19th century to help printers save costs, it has recently made a comeback. Today we are going to look at how to use Pixlr, a free image editing web app to turn this:
And by doing so you too can create your own duotone images in the future. But first, we need to get the image from Unsplash, a free image website that makes amazing photography available under the creative commons license. This image was shot by Noah Hinton.
Creating a duotone image in Pixlr
Next, go to the Pixlr editor web app and select ‘Open Image From Computer’ at the splash prompt. Go ahead and open the image and let it load. In the menu bar, go to ‘Adjustment/Color lookup’ and you should see the following menu:
The color lookup tool overlays a gradient of the selected colors on your image from the darkest points to the lightest. Click on the black box beside ‘Color:’ and put in the value 780046 in the # box. This gives the dark parts of the image a deep pink tone.
Next, click on the white pointer at the end of the gradient. The color box should now be white. Select it and give the # option a value of e3a83b in the box. Voila, the image should now be a gorgeous duotone and full of pop.
Have a play around with the colors and gradient settings and create some awesome results. The funny thing is that you don’t even have to stop at duotones – you can try out 3 or 4 and see how they affect the image. Here are some other ideas to inspire your creativity.
Orange & Black is amongst one of the most popular combinations for duotones
Duotones make great background images where you can lay text over it.
You can also create tritones – this one was a tritone using black, blue and light gray.