Draw a portrait of a girl in Photoshop

Comments from the translator: This lesson is not intended for those who are just beginning to comprehend the basics of drawing portraits. Here you will not see a detailed description of the creation of the portrait, only general provisions and some techniques. It serves for your inspiration and, perhaps, the tricks and secrets used here will be useful for you. I wish you success!

Greetings! This lesson is designed for those who already have a basic knowledge of anatomy and digital drawing in Photoshop. The lesson presents my own drawing technique. I also do not claim that this is the most effective way. Perhaps if you do not have a tablet with a touch sensitive pen, this technique will not work.

Step 1 – Preparation

To get started, create a new document in Photoshop or in a similar program. Set the canvas size to 3500px by 4000px with a resolution of 300px / inch. Reduce the image by 15-25% of the full size so that you can see everything you are doing (I constantly distance the image except for the detailed drawing of the image – this speeds up the work process).

Step 2 – Basic Proportions

Next, create a new layer for the background, and above it another layer for the outline. Usually for this purpose I use a hard maroon brush. Let’s mark three lines defining the location of the top of the head, the line of the eyes and the chin. Now just above the eye line, draw another line that defines the location of the eyebrows. The face is usually divided into four equal parts: the line of the forehead, the line of the eyebrows, the tip of the nose and the chin.

Now visually divide the distance between the tip of the nose and the chin into three equal parts to determine where the upper part of the lips and the protruding part of the chin will be located. Draw everything in general terms. Duplicate the layer and clean up the sketch before continuing.

Step 3

The next thing you need to do before you start painting is to set up the brush correctly. I usually use a standard brush with an activated parameter. Shape dynamics (Shape Dynamics) with parameters Opacity swings (Opacity Jitter) and Fluctuation of paint (Flow Jitter) set to Pen pressure (Pen Pressure). It’s all. Without these settings, you cannot mix colors so that the image looks like it was made in the traditional way.

Step 4

On a background layer, using a standard brush, apply randomly strokes of different colors. I chose dark green and purple with stains of gold and cream as the main color. Then apply Filter (Filter) – Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur) to this layer to smooth out all transitions.

Step 5

Now create a new layer above the layer with the sketch. It’s time to add color! I usually start by applying a basic skin tone with a round brush. After that, I take warmer greyish and reddish hues (they should not be bright or dark).

Then I put on a brighter color, but it should not be completely white. To the base skin color, I apply the slider to add saturation (saturation) in Photoshop to make this shade darker.

Again, I apply a more saturated shade of gray and continue to darken. Saturated maroon color is well suited for applying darker tones. I also use several other colors, such as magenta and salmon, to clarify details.
Raise the layer with a sketch on the layer above so that it is more clearly visible.

Step 6

Moving on. On a new layer above the layer with a draft, we begin to define light and shadows where they should be located in reality. Continue to build colors from different shades (for example, reddish in the cheek area) until the face has a volume.

Do not worry if at this stage it will not look good. Continue smoothing the transitions between colors. Gradually, you will begin to notice how the face acquires its shape.

Step 7 – Smoothing

At this stage, I switch to a round brush with soft edges that will help smooth the transitions. Change the size of the brush depending on the area in which you work.

I use a large soft brush about 500 pixels in size. To dark skin tones to add more shadows on the cheeks and give them volume. For areas such as eyes and lips, I apply the previous brush settings to draw details, such as cracks on the lips and cilia on the eyes. Soften the edges of the lips with a tool Blur (Blur) or using a round brush with soft edges, it will give volume.

Try not to let the image look too blurry, keep clear lines. Do not be afraid to also use the tool Plastics (Liquify) for error correction. I often use it for a small displacement of some areas, reducing or increasing details. Don’t forget to switch to the sketch layer.

Step 8 – Eyes

For the eyes, first use a hard brush to draw the iris on a new layer. I used a nice green color, and for the contour – dark blue. Then I take a Spackle brush or a round brush with hard edges of very small diameter to draw small lines around the pupil. When the iris is drawn, apply to the edges. blur (blur) to make it look more realistic.

On a new layer, use alternately hard and soft brushes to create highlights. This little detail will make your eyes more alive. For eyebrows, use a round brush with hard edges to draw small hairs. Also for this brush Spackle is well suited. I prefer to draw each hair on a separate layer so that you can later move them to another place, if I deem it necessary.

Also use the following technique: to add eye shadows, create a new layer and set the layer to Chromaticity (Color). Apply a slightly purple color to your eyelids with a soft, round brush, or whatever you like. Decrease Opacity (Opacity).

Step 9 – Hair

For the hair, create a new layer and define the base shape in dark brown using a solid round brush.

Reduce the size of the brush so that it draws loose strands. For the highlights, I chose a bright color, added them on the top of the head, where the light is supposed to fall.

As before, I reduce the diameter of the brush, gradually add strands of hair of a brighter color. Do not be afraid to make strands chaotic, so they will be more like natural ones. Ideally straight hair in most cases look unrealistic.

Finally, apply a soft round brush on the layer between the hair layer and the face layer. Add a shadow on the face of the strands of hair. This will allow the hair to look more natural, and not as if they were stuck on top.

Step 10 – Texture

The last step is to add textures – very important. In this case, the process is quite simple. On a new layer, using a Spackle brush with a dark skin tone, add a few freckles. Set the layer to mode overlap (overlay) and lower the opacity slightly to make the freckles look realistic.

On another layer with a stiff brush, I added a few spots, similar to moles, and freckles of a slightly larger size. Finally, I used a texture brush to add subtle pimples on the skin, set the layer mode to Overlap (Overlay) and reduced opacity. The difference is not particularly visible, but the picture as a whole has become more realistic. Also, for realism, I added more glare on the lips with a round brush and applied a Spackle brush in the lower eyelid area to create a hollow.

Step 11 – Soften

This step is optional. First, I save the image by combining all the layers, then I make a copy of it. Apply to new layer Gaussian blur (Gaussian Blur). Then shrink opacity (opacity) layer and erase areas where parts must be clearly visible – the area of ​​the eyes, lips. This action gives a slight softness to the entire image and defines its contours.

Author: lithriel

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