My first Photoshop portraits...

cruzader

Dedicated Member
Dec 28, 2006
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#1
INTRODUCTION
Instead of the quick "look what I did post," I feel like I should go into more detail and explain my experience...

Since none of you know me personally, I used to be considered more of a fine-artist practicing in traditional methods- acrylic painting, and various dry mediums (graphite, charcoal, conte, chalk...) So every year, I would do a self-portrait in a different medium, and I haven't repeated the same medium twice. The latest self-portrait I did was a photo-realistic vector done in Illustrator since I am now mainly design oriented than fine art.

This year, my medium has come down to Photoshop. I've never done digital painting before, and since I can't just jump head on into a self-portrait not knowing a process, I decided to do a series of digital portraits to hone in on my new skill.

I'm fairly proficient in PS, but in terms of photomanipulation. I rarely start anything digital from scratch so it was all new to me. My initial approach was to pretend that the PS canvas was a mere piece of paper. And with that in mind...it was TONS easier than I thought it would be.

ATTEMPTS
I work in Photoshop CS3 with a Wacom tablet that includes pressure sensitivity.

FIRST ATTEMPT

"Skulled"

My first ever digital portrait was made mimicking simple graphite techniques. Made completely from a blank white canvas, I used an amalgamation of fashion models' faces to draw it. At this point, I practically mastered rendering hair (on my first try!) I achieved the hair simply by drawing in strand by strand with the brush tool at 1-7px. However I wasn't happy with the final outcome of the texture on face and cloth. But, instead of being over worked on one image, I went on to the next in my series.

SECOND ATTEMPT
"Gazed"

I started this portrait more like I do with my real paintings. I applied a quick sketch and undertones to flesh out values. I based this "model" of famous actresses.
My second portrait had much better texturing. The skin feels more real because I used something I can't do with a real pencil- Photoshop Brushes! So, to add textures, I created some skin brushes and cloth brushes to make it a lot easier than drawing it out. I had to cheat a little for the patterns on the scarf (used photos) because it would take way too long to draw those intricate patterns by hand.


Another perk of using Photoshop is how simple it is to make a black & white "painting" into full color. Using photo hand coloring techniques, I applied color to my drawing. I was really happy with my progress.

THIRD ATTEMPT
"Untitled"

Since a self-portrait doesn't consist of making up a face, a friend of mine volunteered to give me a picture of herself as reference. As a challenge, I told her to use a camera phone so I won't be tempted to "steal or cheat" from a high-resolution image.
Here is the preview of the work in progress. As you can see, some of my under-painting is still visible at the neck, ear, and parts of the hair. The whole bandanna is still practically under painting. I'm quite happy with the facial textures and lighting. I decided to turn the head a bit more at an angle simply because it looks more interesting. This will probably be my last in the series since I know exactly how to approach digital-portraits now.
[Note: The photos seen to the left of the drawing are the original image reference. The one on top is for value reference.]

CONCLUSION
I'm amazed I've never tried this sooner, and that is the reason I wanted to share my experience so far.
Criticism and comments are definately welcomed.
 
Feb 13, 2008
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#2
wow, thats some great work!

+rep

I on the other hand only use AutoCad for my technical drawings, but for my portraits and car designs I use my hands not digital, ive spent enough money on my Airbrush, papers, and a whole other things, mainly because i worked at Michales Art and craft store:D

Great job though!
 

cruzader

Dedicated Member
Dec 28, 2006
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#3
[QUOTE="ScorpionT16, post: 0]wow, thats some great work!

+rep

I on the other hand only use AutoCad for my technical drawings, but for my portraits and car designs I use my hands not digital, ive spent enough money on my Airbrush, papers, and a whole other things, mainly because i worked at Michales Art and craft store:D

Great job though![/quote]
Thanks.
You should show off some of your artwork.

It's great when people still use traditional mediums even when they have the tools to go digital. That's what some designers (and artists) tend to forget when working in Photoshop (Illustrator, Corel, etc...), you can't let the digital medium overshadow the actual art (aka...no obtrusive lens flares and drop shadows!) lol
 

Shadowfyre

Super Elite
Jun 26, 2007
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#5
[QUOTE="grcswoosh, post: 0]That is some pretty amazing work, but your fascination with the bandannas frightens me quite a bit ;)[/quote]

What's wrong with bandannas? :-? ;)

But seriously, that is some quality work, it's very nice!
 

cruzader

Dedicated Member
Dec 28, 2006
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#6
[QUOTE="grcswoosh, post: 0]That is some pretty amazing work, but your fascination with the bandannas frightens me quite a bit ;)[/quote]

It's the reoccurring theme in my series. Plus, it saves me from drawing the whole face.
 

Psypher

Dedicated Member
May 22, 2005
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#8
Just logged in to say how amazing you are, especially considering it was your first try (even that doesn't matter).
Great digital art pieces! Do you by chance happen to have a portfolio site of your other works of art (digital/traditional)?
 

cruzader

Dedicated Member
Dec 28, 2006
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#9
[QUOTE="Psypher, post: 0]Just logged in to say how amazing you are, especially considering it was your first try (even that doesn't matter).
Great digital art pieces! Do you by chance happen to have a portfolio site of your other works of art (digital/traditional)?[/quote]

Thanks.
My online portfolio just recently expired (less than a month ago). I just let the domain expire considering I never updated it and never have time to keep it current.