Monday, April 8, 2013

It Ain't Easy (or - You Wouldn't Like Me When I'm Angry... )

Recording this little trick here so I won't forget how I did it -

Basically I was getting bothered by how hot the skin tones were - all reds oranges and yellows, nothing cooler like blue or green. So I decided to try making a green mask and blending it down. I copied the image to a new layer and used the Color Replacement Tool to turn the skin tones entirely green. I placed that layer on top of the original image and switched it to Darken mode (kept wavering between Darken and Multiply, but darken is much subtler and doesn't bring the darks down the way multiply does, it only affects the light and mid tones apparently).

I lowered the opacity level till I could clearly see both files at the same time and then used the eraser to remove most of the green stuff and to fade it selectively in places, so I ended up with it only in the areas I wanted cooled off and neutralized. I'd turn opacity up to work on it, then fade it until it blended very subtlely - I believe it ended up at about 9%.

The result is so subtle you might have to look at the first and last images a few times to notice it, but it definitely changes things. Where the green mask is the skin tones now look like burnt umber (darker cooler earth tone) and everywhere else it looks more like burnt sienna (warm reddish earth tone).

I think I'll mess around with masks like this for yellows and any other colors I might want to scumble in here and there with ultimate control.

In other news - I'm still tweaking the pose and anatomy minutely and making lots of subtle adjustments to color saturation and contrast etc. My most-used tools the last few days have been the liquify filter (amazing what you can do with it!) and various adjustment layers - specifically saturation, levels and the occasional photo filter, which is great for drawing the color scheme together across an entire painting or for cooling or warming an entire figure or affecting contrast only of certain colors.

I'm starting to really learn how to use Photoshop now, and how to paint with a tablet. Getting better at drawing with it too, but I can see it'll never be anywhere near as good a drawing tool as a trusty pencil. I'll be scanning in drawings to work from for the foreseeable future, thank you very much!

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