Applying a Gradient to a Layer in Adobe Photoshop CS4
You can apply a color gradient to all or part of a layer. In this example, you'll apply a gradient to the HAWAII type to make it more colorful. First, you'll select the letters, and then you'll apply the gradient.
- Select the HAWAII layer in the Layers panel to make it active.
- Right-click or Ctrl-click the thumbnail in the HAWAII layer, and choose Select Pixels. Everything on the HAWAII layer (the white lettering) is selected.
Now that you've selected the area to fill, you'll apply a gradient.
- In the toolbox, select the Gradient tool.
- Click the Foreground Color swatch in the toolbox, and select a bright color of orange in the Color Picker. The Background Color should still be white.
- In the options bar, make sure that Linear Gradient is selected.
- In the options bar, click the arrow next to the Gradient Editor box to open the gradient picker. Select the Foreground To Background swatch (it's the first one), and then click anywhere outside the gradient picker to close it.
- With the selection still active, drag the Gradient tool from the bottom to the top of the letters.
The gradient extends across the type, starting with orange at the bottom and gradually blending to white at the top.
- Choose Select > Deselect to deselect the HAWAII type.
- Save your work.