Paint with Photoshop – create a stunning digital art portrait

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Experimenting with how to paint with Photoshop has always been a mission for illustrator Ayran Oberto. The idea of ​​the work here is to paint a female portrait but with a sense of randomness; one who embraces mistakes. Oberto’s lines, which he admits to be “always imperfect,” tend to produce features the artist considers particularly attractive: thick lips, large eyes with long lashes, small, pointed noses, and hair that looms large. flow in all directions.

In this tutorial Oberto covers his process extensively, if you want to try to emulate what he does you can download Photoshop and follow along. There are free Photoshop brushes to download and try for yourself.

This tutorial will cover Oberto’s general workflow. He will share how he creates various sketches to discover one to continue; during this step, what is above all in Oberto’s mind is to avoid drawing the same angle. He looks for natural angles of the head that would allow a logical movement of the eyes of the character towards the viewer.

Once the sketch with the strongest composition is chosen, Oberto aims to give it maximum visual impact by using color. His approach during this step is to create a sense of randomness using a range of Photoshop tools. It combines effects that on initial visualization appear to be errors, but with a little vision they can end up having potential towards the end of the painting process.

Once the colors are finalized, Oberto shows how he spends his time discovering the image, using design rules that allow him to reveal attractive shapes in each area that are gradually refined as the painting progresses. .

Watch Ayran Oberto’s Photoshop process here …

Now read on to find out how Ayran Oberto creates his beautiful Photoshop art in his words…

01. Sketch the ideas

(Photo: © Ayran Oberto)

It all starts with the sketch. A few key words spark ideas and help me write this workshop. My goal is to create different angles of a female head using my visual and muscle memory, and to make the viewer feel like being watched.

02. Wrap lines on my sketches

(Photo: © Ayran Oberto)

While working on the sketches, I create geometric shapes using lines that seem to surround them. I need to visually feel the shapes and how they change direction, which is dictated by the general angle of the face. With these geometries, I seek to create features that appeal to me – the thick lips, the refined nose and the large eyes that I mentioned earlier.

03. Find the bright spots

(Photo: © Ayran Oberto)

To create the lighting scheme, I think the ideal approach is to center the light so that all of the features of the face can be appreciated in detail. I don’t want the face to be lost in the shadows. To enhance the silhouette a little more, I draw a second light that delicately touches the edge of the face.

04. Shadows everywhere

(Photo: © Ayran Oberto)

With the light already established, I have an idea of ​​how to shade it, through the use of a more central light source. I focus on creating shape shadows on all geometric shapes. One of the characteristics of the central light source is that it does not create large shadow projections, resulting in smooth transitions across the entire face.

05. Explore the color options

(Photo: © Ayran Oberto)

For this step, I’m going to Layer> New Adjustment Layer> Curves. I switch between channels using Alt + 2, Alt + 3, Alt + 4, and Alt + 5, and move the curve as I like, which creates color breaks. Then I double-click on that adjustment layer to see how well it blends with the one below in the Layer Style> Blend Options menu.

06. Create a variety of colors

(Photo: © Ayran Oberto)

I focus on identifying the potential of each of the outcomes from the previous step. Using the color picker, I select the colors that have emerged and bring them to other areas of the face by applying brush strokes and taking each of the options in slightly different directions.

07. Combine ideas

(Photo: © Ayran Oberto)

The art editor likes two color options: one with a yellowish blue palette and the other with a more saturated skin tone. I place the saturated option on one layer below the other option and erase the face of the layer above. This reveals the saturated face and achieves the best combination of the two options.

08. Let the game begin

(Photo: © Ayran Oberto)

The color option has already been approved and I am still aware that there are a lot of mistakes that I need to correct to bring the image to its maximum expression. The most difficult stage has been overcome and now I can start jumping in all directions. I fix and define all the chaos that is still present in the image.

09. Contrast and duality

(Photo: © Ayran Oberto)

To balance the image, I have to think in terms of contrast, which extends to more concepts than just value contrast. My intention is to create a lot of life and information in the hair so that the smoothness of the face comes out more. In addition, the viewer’s eye will naturally try to land on these areas.

10. Break down the big parts

(Photo: © Ayran Oberto)

The sketch is the recording of a very general idea and each element of the portrait itself is simple. Much like a renderer that subdivides grouped pixels to increase definition, I decide to split all of these into smaller ones. It will increase the feeling of high definition in the illustration.

11. Everything flows

(Photo: © Ayran Oberto)

I use the Fluidity tool to correct elements that have already been refined. I move them by checking the thumbnail to get a more consistent positioning of the facial features and hair. For that I go to Filter> Liquefy, click on the Forward Warp tool in the left panel and tap on the forms as you need.

12. Liquefy without remorse

(Photo: © Ayran Oberto)

I use the Fluidity tool to correct elements that have already been refined. I move them by checking the thumbnail to get a more consistent positioning of the facial features and hair. For that, I go to Filter> Liquefy, click on the Forward Warp tool in the left panel and tap on the forms as you need.

13. Choose the highlights

(Photo: © Ayran Oberto)

To give the image a final touch, I create a new layer and set the blend mode to Color Dodge. Then I apply very soft strokes with a neutral, desaturated color over the highlights with the Soft Airbrush from my custom brush collection, slightly increasing the unreal magical tone and quality of the light.

14. Let go of the illustration

(Photo: © Ayran Oberto)

I can’t deny that all of the work I do for clients increases my nervousness, and that makes it difficult for me to know when to stop adding detail. If I can’t control myself at this point, I may end up destroying the image. The solution is to tap into my experiences, send the file as finished, and wait for feedback.

This article originally appeared in ImagineFX, the world’s best-selling magazine for digital artists. Subscribe here.

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