imo painting skin is more about lighting than shadows or really anything else? if you create a dark base and build light up on top of it the shadows will form naturally.
a big thing is the coloring of the cheekbone area, it is NOT always like this. coloring the cheekbones is completely determined by the MOUTH!
in its most basic form the corners of the nostrils connect to the corners of the mouth and coloring the cheekbones should be determined based on the line between them! light hits off the highest point on the cheekbone and moves outward from there, a scrunched up face would have fewer highlights and more shadows for this reason.
You do not want your darkest darks to be too low on the value scale: you will be colorizing shadows, and likely glazing over them to darken them. To avoid a muddy mess, make sure that the darkest darks on your HSV/HSB (hue-saturation-value) color sliders are at MOST a 9. Photoshop has a Levels feature that lets you do that quickly.
2. Start with a colored base
Sometimes I use a gradient map (which can color lights/mid values/shadows at once), but the idea is the same – you want to color on top of a picture that has NO grey in it. Pick a neutral color that’s closest to your shadows – for example, here I wanted to have a warmer skintone, so I made the shadows cool.
3. Glaze CAREFULLY
Here is an example of what not to do – do not pile adjustments layers on top of one another in hopes that some of them will give you a good result. Lower your opacity and learn what layer modes do! Overlay will hit your lights, Multiply will hit your shadows, and Hard Light (my favourite) will show up exactly like a colored light source would.
Slow down. This is kind of like glazing an oil painting. Pull down your saturation and leave the Jersey Shore orange for the last steps of a painting.
4. Turn on hue jitter
Real skin is transluscent and highly reactive to the environment it is in. If you look at any realist painting, you will see glazes and glazes and glazes of color packed into a single square inch of canvas. You can imitate this by playing with your brush’s HUE JITTER setting, which will make the color you pick jump around the color wheel a little. This is especially helpful when glazing shadows.
5. Use neutrals to unify your painting
Greys are great. Greys are AMAZING when you want skin to pop, and this is why the majority of classical portraiture sports a neutral background. I just went over the whole piece and punched a bit of grey-green into the background and shadows to “kill” the oversaturated color. The painting immediately started to come together.
6. Remember that this is not a coloring book
The great thing about digital painting is that your CANVAS is your palette – and this method allows you to build one. It helps establish major structures so you can focus on color and light, but chances are you will end up repainting large parts of it anyway. Don’t be afraid to!
Glad to be back at TUTOR TUESDAY, and a big thanks to Paul for taking over for two weeks! Big thanks to @wr3h for todays topic! I’m hoping to branch out more into styles/techniques in photoshop if y’all enjoy how this one went! I’m always open to recommendations, feel free to send them here or to my personal. Keep practicing, have fun, and I’ll see you next Tuesday!
Maybe pick you fav and tell me what mood/atmosphere they show to you? A few colour and lighting experiments i’m doing while i work on a tutorial for simple shading, knowing what you think might help me improve it! These are all using the same base colours and the same technique but in different ways, i’ll cover that in the tutorial.
Ahhh thank you again//// im kinda flattered you would ask me for tips;;;;; Well colouring is really VERSATILE and so many possibilities!!! So there’s no right or wrong way to colour//// Here is just some stuff on how I colour, hope it helps!!!
Phew, this is getting long, but the harpy is almost complete now! There’s just some shiny glow effects and lighting adjustment to go (in other words, the fun stuff!). I might add a simple background in too, to finish things off.
Ooh, I should probably add - for colour mixing, I’ve been using a neat Photoshop add on this last couple of months called Coolorus. It makes colour picking and mixing that little bit easier.