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advanced photoshop
Jan
27

How to play with paint in your portrait images with Photoshop, part 2

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by The Advanced Photoshop Team

Continued… We take a look at a popular commercial style for adding paint effects to your studio portraits

How to play with paint in your portrait images with Photoshop, part 2

Step 9

How to play with paint in your portrait images with Photoshop, part 2

Using the Color Picker, select the red tone in your paint image and set Fuzziness to 200. Click OK and, with your new selection active, activate the Channels palette and save the selection as a channel. Now you can paint in the visual values you wish to keep with a white brush, and vice versa with a black brush.

Step 10

How to play with paint in your portrait images with Photoshop, part 2

Once you’re satisfied you’ve painted in all the visual values you wish to keep, Cmd/Ctrl-click the Alpha Channel thumbnail and reactivate your layer in the Layers Channel, then copy and paste into your composition. You can then do the same with all your paint image layers, using the editing and masking functions to correct your paint elements.

Step 11

How to play with paint in your portrait images with Photoshop, part 2

Be mindful of direction when arranging your paint layers, remembering we are trying to create the illusion of an exploding balloon. Use tools such as Warp and Masks to manipulate shape. If tonal changes are necessary, then utilise Image>Adjustments>Variations, applying blue to darken a colour, yellow to lighten it and the Lighten/Darken options to adjust exposure.

Step 12

How to play with paint in your portrait images with Photoshop, part 2

For added reality and depth, add manual shadows of paint splats by duplicating, decreasing Lightness to -100 and applying a 4px Gaussian Blur. Also apply an Overlay blending mode, using your mask to erase disturbance. Create a new layer, place at the top of the layer stack and Merge All. Then select Filter>Artistic>Plastic Wrap.

Step 13

How to play with paint in your portrait images with Photoshop, part 2

Here, apply a Highlight Strength of 5, Detail of 10 and Smoothness of 15. Click OK and apply a Lighten blending mode to this layer, then apply a layer mask and erase areas where the effect is too strong, like in the hair and arms, using a 30-40% Opacity, soft-edged brush.

Step 14

How to play with paint in your portrait images with Photoshop, part 2

Before we go and add the finishing touches to our composition and tie it all together, go ahead and add any more visual elements that you think can add more movement, energy and decoration to the composition. Remember to apply previous effects, yet you’ll need to alter effect amounts, as the resolution and size of your elements will affect these.

Step 15

How to play with paint in your portrait images with Photoshop, part 2

Create a new Merge All layer at the top of the stack. Select an Overlay blending mode and apply High Pass treatment as before. You can then tidy exposure by holding Opt/Alt and clicking the New Layer icon. Set the blending mode to Overlay and activate Fill Overlay Neutral. Now use a soft-edged, 10% Opacity black brush to apply shadow and use a white brush for highlights.