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I've done some work on the skin detail and I've saved my changes as Face and skin.psd and we're currently viewing the painting layer independently of the Background layer. Now, I was telling you that you can't really paint this way, not with the mixer brush anyway because you don't have anything to mix with. Well, that's not entirely true. If you're trying to fill in gaps for example, then you could go ahead and turn off your Background layer and just draw your colors from those that you've already painted into your painting layer. For example, right now I could just go ahead and fill in some of these gaps like so by painting over them if I so desire.
So that is an option that's available to you. I'm actually spending a fair amount of time just painting single strokes incidentally as opposed to painting back and forth, but I have roughed-in a fair amount of areas by scribbling or crosshatching if you prefer. So I'll go ahead and paint in some more of these gaps; it's not really necessary that you cover them all by the way, you don't need to get too carried away with that. Now, this area right here that I'm painting near, this represents the neck and around the earring. So I've chosen to paint in swirls around the earring; you can approach the earring in anyway you like.
Bearing in mind of course that if you paint into the earring, you're either going to smear colors into it or smear colors out of it. So you have to take it easy around that area. On the other hand, if you take it too easy, if you're too conservative around the earring, then, it's going to look really photographic. It's not going to look like part of your painting. So I haven't actually painted in the earring yet; I've just painted around it. Same goes for the ear, and the other thing that we're missing at this point is the hair and the background. So what I suggest we do is we go ahead and paint in the ear and the earring in this exercise, and then we'll take on the hair in the next one.
So I'm going to turn on the Background layer once again making sure of course that the painting layer is active, so that I'm painting on the painting layer and not the Background. Now I'm going to paint in the ear. One of the things you should notice here, I'll go ahead and turn off the painting layer for a moment, notice that I painted over these little fragile hairs that are dropping down around Colleen's ear. Now, they are really important. I don't want those hairs to go away. They're really great elements of this portrait. However, problem is that I'm not going to mix them very well.
If I try to paint over them with the mixer brush, then I'm either going to make them thicker or gooier or just weirder looking. So those hairs, because they're so very, very fragile, I'm going to paint them in independently that is on an independent layer in a later exercise. But for now, let's just go ahead and paint maybe a few of these hairs in if you want to. Notice what I'm talking about here is especially with this brush because it's so thick where as soon as I start painting in the hairs, they look like big thick noodles essentially, and they don't look to be the right color either depending on which direction I'm painting.
So for now I think I'll just go ahead and focus my attention on the ear and I am going to try to avoid basically painting into that hair region because it messes up the colors but I'll paint down like so around the ear, and then over this sort of shell of the ear here too. Notice that I am dragging in those colors out there in the hair and so, what I might do in order to try to avoid that is reduce the size of my cursor which I'm doing by pressing the Left Bracket key a few times. Then I'll continue painting around the top of the ear, like so. Notice that I'm sort of crosshatching in some of this information or at least streaking some of it in there, which is fine.
It's up to you how you decide to work. So I think I'm going to go back to a larger brush here. I think it's going to work better for this ear. So I'm going to take that brush back up to 6 pixels and I'll trace inside of this region of the ear as well, trace back and forth, and maybe even crosshatch to a certain degree. Again, crosshatching is essentially, I'm sure some people will take exception of this, but it's essentially a highfalutin word for scribbling back and forth, and I'll go ahead and scribble into the ear as well.
Now, here I'm taking care to trace the contours. So once again, because this is an important detail, I am taking a fair amount of care with it, not as much as I would the eye because not too many of us are going to get recognized by our ears. Although, I dare to say our ears are probably as unique as our eyes are, I doubt any two people share the exact same ear. All right! Now I'm going to paint around the piercing right there in order to expand this and this is one of those tough details that you can either make bigger if you want to, to exaggerate it. I could take that piercing up a little bit or I could make it smaller by painting down.
So it's really up to you again what you decide to do with that area. I'm going to paint up into this area of the ear as well. Now, let's take on the earring. And the earring is kind of tough, quite frankly. I'm going to go ahead and zoom in on it so I'm viewing the earring at 200% because again, you want to maintain the detail that's inside this earring, but you want it to look like a painted element as well. So that does mean that you're going to have to get in there, and adjust these various details to some extent.
I don't suggest, by the way it's very tempting to do something like lower the Flow value in order to add some translucent brushstrokes. I don't suggest you go that way. I don't think it's going to look right and you're also going to maintain some of the grain that's in this original photograph, that is, some of the digital noise. We don't want to do that because basically we are obliterating the noise inside this image by virtue of the fact that we're painting over pretty much the entire thing, we're going to have a pretty darn noiseless painting left over and if we have suddenly a region of noise, like here inside the earrings, that's really going to belie the fact that it is at least to some extent a photograph in the background.
So if nothing else, I mean I don't think we have to disguise the fact that this is a photo painting, but I do think that it's important that we maintain some degree of consistency where this image is concerned. Now, fantastically enough, there I was working around the eyes with a 3 pixel brush, here I am working inside this earring which is just as fragile, and I'm attacking it with a 6 pixel brush. I'm going to go ahead and press the Left Bracket key a few times in order to take that back down to 3 pixels, so I can perform my meticulous painting surgery around this detail here. All right! So then I'm going to paint along each one of these little wires like so and I really am pretty much painting every single detail of this earring.
One other thing that I think I'd like to do is introduce a little bit of sort of variation inside this flat portion of the earring. So I'm going to start things by changing the Mix value from 100% to something like 25 would work out brilliantly. Then I'll press the Enter key in order to accept that modification, and now I'll go up to the Options Bar, this down -pointing arrowhead here, and I'm going to choose Load Brush, so that for just one brushstroke we're loading the foreground color. Notice that we now see the foreground color up there in that swatch on the left-hand side of the Options Bar and now I'm going to go ahead and paint in some darkness inside of that earring, like so.
That's quite a bit of darkness, and I've painted basically all the way around, that's okay. Now I can come in having done that. I'll go ahead and switch the Mix value back to its original 100% setting, and then I'll just paint in a little of additional color, actually using a smaller brush I think. So I'll go ahead and take that Size value down. I'll paint some of this lighter color back in like so, and then I can paint some of the dark color around as well. So just by virtue of the fact of throwing basically a splash of darkness into the earring, it gives me a little more flexibility in terms of what colors I can play with.
All right! So that takes care of the ear and the earring. In the next exercise, we'll take on the hair.
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