How do you increase opacity of artwork in Photoshop CS6?


For example, say I create a new layer, change my brush to solid black, but to 50% opacity, then draw some artwork. Then after the artwork is drawn, I realize it's too light and want to increase (darken) the artwork's to say 75% (so it's darker), or 100% (so actually appears solid black). How can this be done? Just to be extra clear, the color is solid black, it only appears grey (or lighter) because of the 50% brush opacity (layer opacity is 100%). Here are the methods I've tried so far:

  • Levels: no adjustment here will darken the artwork
  • Layer opacity: is already at 100%, the 50% is in the artwork itself (brush stokes)
  • Variations: darken in here does nothing either
  • Hue/Saturation: sometimes lightness will darken a little, but can't get anywhere near 100% solid black
  • Burn tool: does nothing

Here's an example PSD:

There is only one layer where I drew the word "test" with a 50% opacity brush. If you can make that "test" turn black you will save the day.

(Whenever I try to Google this problem I just get stuff about changing layer or brush opacity.)

8/27/2014 2:19:00 PM

Accepted Answer

Duplicate the layer by selecting it and hitting CtrlJ.

Then adjust the new layer's opacity so that it matches what looks good to you.

You may need to duplicate the layer several times if it starts very light.

As suggested by Scott, you may also set the Blending Mode (found to the left of the Opacity in the image above) to Multiply on each subsequent layer if you think it looks better. This option may or may not be good depending on each case, so do what looks best.

After you have the opacity you want, select all the duplicated layers by clicking the first one then holding Shift and clicking the last one. The right click the layers and select Merge Layers.

Merge Layers

4/13/2017 12:46:00 PM

One method is....

  • Copy the layer
  • Set blend mode of the copied layer to Multiply
  • Repeat until it's the level of opacity you want.

It is often best to always paint at 100% and adjust layer opacity rather than adjusting brush opacity. Of course, it depends on the end goal though.