Drawing the basic image; laying down grayscale

Chris Scalf
A free video tutorial from Chris Scalf
Commercial Illustrator, animator, and creator!
4.5 instructor rating • 5 courses • 16,328 students

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How to: Digital Painting Photo Realism in Photoshop

Portrait of a Child

07:37:39 of on-demand video • Updated November 2018

  • This exercise conditions the artist to become better at many facets of painting. It is a lot like a musician practicing chords and scales to become a better performer.
English [Auto] OK here we go I'm going to start another photorealism portrait here. When I paint this picture here of this girl and going through this portrait I want I want to show you is mostly the techniques and how I colorized my pictures. I've been getting a lot of requests for that lately. People asking how I work mostly in black and white all the way up to the point of an almost finished black and white illustration. And then I proceed to color it with the color of brush. So we'll get started here. I'm going to go ahead and timelapse this first part. You can see it's the usual technique somebody with an eye and then sketching it the same you know using the same proportion rules I use on my other illustrations I basically use one eye eye length to determine how far away the other eye is and then I use that same proportion to find out how many links down is the top notch sterol and so on. So here it is the finished sketch and we'll move on now to the next step. OK. Now I to take the magic wand tool select the outside hit Q to check my selection and a like inverse which switches that section around and I'm going to modify contract the sections pedal the like that might go a little bit underneath my drawing line. And then I'm going to pick a big solid brown hard edge brush and make it nice and large here and pick a nice light gray. Switch back the color mode and what it would do is just fill this in somehow a nice solid shape. And I called him over to just basically fill in between the lines of paint or the lines are already drawn so I want to change the background to a darker tone so to do that. I'm just going to make a go to image adjustments Lovell's and I'm just going to take this Birendra it here and just slide that over and just kind of turn the background into a nice solid gray and that prepares us for our next step. OK at this point staring at the picture I think I need to transform this part here a free transform command and iMac control to a PC and I just want to squeeze this a little bit. I don't know if it's right or not but I'll try it out see how it looks. And then I need to figure out a way to move forward with the sketch line so I need to find a way to dumb down these lines or just a little too sketchy and scratchy and I don't want to spend any extra time painting over them so imma do a couple of little tricks here OK. First of all I'm going to go up here. And I'm not going to blur this image get to copy the letter first just in case I mess it up. Blair gosh Blair just kind of blew that up. It's me pixels and then I'm going to go to a noise dust and scratches and basically what it does is it just really kind of muddies it down a bit. So you can see it looks quite blurry here. And then what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna like my brush tool and I go to normal mode and I just go in there and start etching and some of these shadows. And from this point on I'm going to stop the video here to second and give you the rest of this black and white toning in timelapse so I'll stop right here and I'll see you in the next section. OK. Here we go. I'm going to timelapse this section because I've covered this quite a few times in previous videos. But this at this point I have the layer locked and I'm basically bouncing around from the brush to the smudge tool and occasionally probably burn too and just really loosely roughing it on the basic tomes on the black and white tones and while doing it you can see that I'm jumping around and trying to carve the image see me hit the smudge tool on the edges of the face and kind of push things around and move things around etc. and basically just trying to flush this thing out and retain proportions and using a lot of the a lot of the soft edge bus tour when I did my painting with a brush but with the smudge tool thing and just kind of caught around and just pushes all this detail around. At this point here I am zooming in on the eye. At this point it's really for me it's important to get the eye established to you before I go on and immerse in the detail though because the eye is just the whole personality portrait. So once I get to a certain point there is kind of loosely fleshed out that's when I start in a way I am trying to point in the portmanteaus. So he amusing to watch too. And then the Burstall dodge to. Well think again. A lot of bouncing around with that stuff and just trying to get all that stuff together. I totally encourage artists in digital learning digital to the bus route between the bus tour and the much to him because it's smart to connect is almost like an eraser tool and you can push the pixels around with it know smudging and pushing it around sometimes you can raise stuff for him and just scribble it fast enough in a short space and then you know just b and go back to Brus and just kind of jump around until you get the right balance and right feel a bit depth and the tone and the character that you're making. Same time I'm using the right key. Right back at the left bank and he decides to brush up and down right side up. So I sit down here you can see I'm working kind of small with the boastfulness hairs and fibers and also scribbling in a little bit of skin texture that may be either with a soft edged brush and it works out really well. A bit here I'm going to be switching over to some of the spatter of students to try to get a faster jump on skin texture. That works too. And you'll see that in a moment. But again just trying to flesh out a lot of these details with the creases in the eyelid details and the Rices eyebrows. And then I go over to the other eye here you know basically doing the same thing repeat going in there and just try and solidify some of this detail and blurt it out like that it just please forgive me based work with like going here and just kind of scribble in the raw. I was like when I worked the slots I could see it as if you were drawing with a pencil and just going in there drawing or scribbling notes or details and whatnot. And again Smudge's tool in. Nervous much tool and jumping back and forth to the brush and the slide I do at this point as well as I hold down the option key in my Mac book sampled tones from within the range and I'm working. How did some great tone I mean the guy just painted one of the eye. I just sampled the tone from somewhere where I painted black over a minor area got a gradient of gray and I think on a PC it's all just about the on button and tap area of the tone that you want to borrow and use in another spot. I mean just can use that painting in their head slightly scribbling in some fine text here. Would this be employers and jump around again. When I was scribbling those in there so. And just to get inside those circles let me sample the tones down the option key again on my PC to sampling the background colors and tones to get some mild Graceville on there. And here's the spatter brushstroke been talking about what the program uses Photoshop seems to cloud 20:17. And this is one of the big spanner brushes on this basically tapping it around and trying to get a rough texture. It doesn't look so smooth and airbrushed while doing that. I'll do that sampling moutons done the option in just that little toes here and there and just mix it up not just use one color or just one color. It's been a really muddy and it's not going to work. So we should definitely try to sample as many different gradients as possible in this day and mix them all together. It's not really well to protect. Salt on my head. It's gets me just going to a certain direction you know instead of over here on the of Basra and the basic. I got the follow reference. Off to the side when I'm working at this point I will include that full reference among the thousands you can download it. You know you can look at it when you watch this video go over to the nose. Now again same process spawning this much to this point it those pixels around carving me up in your view. And then there's the spatter brushes and gets rough skin texture again important to sample the gray tones that you've laid down by black brush and just kind of bounce around a little bit so that you can get them in together. You get the soft brush and this kind of dust and over it all again and back after this better brush. So it's just you know laid out a basic loose base of textures here. And I can tighten it up as I go into this better brush stuff that is giving some pretty good skin texture over here and going go blasting in some soft bed brush and tell it all going on top of the spatter brush and it's more texture there. Try to make that make that work if it goes too heavy. I can go there with the Dodge to lay yourself the midterms come knocking back while still in black white mode and you. So don't be too afraid of being about to zoom out. You can see as I can it was pretty interesting. I was working in a rectangular space see the details basically cut off and you can see how or how effective it is. Strong point. But here I am again working on the lips sampling some of the gray tones using the option key of my keyboard to deliver the photo if it's off the side of darting back and forth. And then when I really get a handle on the tone values of this image you're full of color photographs I'm trying to imagine that and white which is the lock. But not too bad. It's part of the exercise of the two statements. I think normally I don't remember the century ago. Copy the letter of the color photo of the century that had two versions with a bunch of documents. But lately I've been trying to train myself to move forward not just color photos and painting in black and white. And then once you start color coding the picture then you can go in and make the proper adjustments again just say big jumping around in the first two you know. So it's better to better brush doesn't burn here and there. And so I'm just now to trying to close it down but it's like a lifetime of this before I start. I try to make it look like it's beat of a black and white race as possible before going to college. That way all of the base elements are out for I go unnoticed or colorful just hit them in it. This video again is created mostly of color so I've really just kind of blown through this process. It's possible. You have any questions. Obviously you reach out to me through the proper channels and I will definitely do my best to answer them. I look forward to your feedback and what you think of this particular process. Anyway it's Lego blocks at this point so I'm going to here and I'm sampling some of the grades again going down the option key here and this is on my just to get a fresh view of it and see things that going wrong with the idea that at this point I've noticed when I was working with the mouse was torn off. But you know you're going to get around to it and it's going to be the side of her out the top of her left side of the fence and the picture will flop normal. It's just sticking out too far from awful to be getting pretty close at this point. Belting out the total value is in the detail here. They're on lock and they are of course to be able to sit in the shade. It's just basically scribbling in all the different strands fibers and all about in the background now you just have the levels that may get a bit darker back and they're going to layer with more work the head. Number 14 is the. Give a pretty good wide array of textures that just grab the tone sample from which to get my hair glove. You can just work on the elements within a picture you know matching up the picture and drawing that the person to actually painting and grab sample from within. So it's a beautiful one and it's a little bit different and still retain your artistic integrity and raw ability that just began coming to the end of the taunting him on the music video and almost did you know it.