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I've done a little bit of work in the Background and I've called it Eyes nose lips & chin.psd found inside the 31_bristle_brushes folder. If you want to get a sense of what I've done, go ahead and turn off the Background layer and you can see that I've traced down the forehead, along the eyebrows, all around the eyes and into the eyes as well, down the bridge of the nose, around the nostril, down into the mouth and lips, around the chin as you can see here both on the inside of the chin and along the outside in Colleen's sweater and I also painted up the jaw line. Now, when I was painting the jaw line, I ended up painting in some pretty large brushstrokes.
I used a 15 pixel version of my bristle brush. Now, while big brushes can be very useful for basically roughing in broad areas of detail like that, you also have to watch out for streaking where the mixer brush is concerned. So just keep an eye on your brush work as you go along and it can be very helpful to turn off the Background layer, so that you can basically assess your progress. However, you've got to have the Background layer turned on in order to paint into the image because otherwise there's nothing to lift from; that is, you can't lift from the original photograph when it's hidden.
Sample All layers just works from what you're seeing onscreen at any given moment in time. All right! So go ahead and turn on the Background layer once again; don't click on it, because we don't want to select the Background layer and make it active. So keep an eye on the Layers panel as you work, just make sure that the painting layer is active, so that you don't mess up the original photograph, and then I'm going to go ahead and scroll up to the bridge of Colleen's nose here. Now, notice I'm now working with the 6 pixel brush. So I've increased the size of my brush here. You can crosshatch back and forth if you want to.
Take it easy with the crosshatching however because you can end up just looking like scribbling and you can end up glossing over important details. What you may find more useful depending on how much time and effort you want to put into the photograph is doing large drags as I'm doing now. So in other words, I'm dragging in single directions along with my brush as opposed to scribbling back and forth, the latter of which is more of a crosshatching maneuver. All right! I'm not very happy with that brushstroke and by the way, if you aren't, remember that you have multiple undos. So you can press Ctrl+Alt+Z a couple of times, Cmd+Option+Z on the Mac a couple of times, in order to undo a sequence of brushstrokes.
You may also find when you're working with the tablet that you accidentally paint a stroke or when you meant to paint one stroke, you end up painting like two in a row or something like that. So just bear in mind you've got the History penal if you need to check it out, you've got multiple back steps available to you as well. All right! So I'm just working my way through here. I am now at this point going to engage in some fairly furious crosshatching, because I do want to get some work done in these broad areas of detail. Now, I want to keep, out here in this region, things a little bit scribbly because that is going to invoke a sense of paint strokes in my image and I do want to have that, and that's going to give my texture something to hang on to later on down the line.
So I don't want to over-smooth things. The worst thing you can do where a painting like this is concerned, in my opinion anyway, or I should say my experience, is scribble over the same areas so often that you end up just absolutely over- smoothing those regions, so they have a kind of porcelain quality to them. Again, in my estimation that doesn't end up looking like much of a painting and you lose some of that expressive effect that you do ultimately want to keep. So it's ultimately I suppose a matter of maintaining a kind of balance. All right! So I'm going to go ahead and paint along the bottom region here as well paint into the lips.
Now, notice I am making cosmetic modifications as I move along too. So you have the opportunity if you want to, to exaggerate wrinkles and that kind of thing in a person's face or you can smooth them over. Totally up to you how you decide to work. I'm kind of picking and choosing actually as I go along, because my experience once again is that there are negative creases and there are positive creases. Around the mouth, maybe we don't want to keep those creases; around the eye, definitely because if you lose the creases around the eye, you lose a great deal of expression, and now I'm not talking about my expression, I'm talking about the expression obviously of the subject of the photograph. All right! So I am just going to continue to paint in regions around here and if you feel like you need to bring in some small strokes, why then remember that you have the bracket keys, you can just go ahead and press those guys in order to make the brush either smaller or larger.
And where that might prove helpful in my case for example is along that nose, back to the bridge of the nose. I'm going to press the R key and go ahead, and rotate this area around a little bit like so, and then I'm going to reduce the size of my brush. Now, when you're this small, when you're working with something like a 6 pixel brush, then every time you press the Left Bracket key you're going to reduce it in 1 pixel increments which is really great. So Photoshop is sensitive to how big the brush is at any given moment in time. This way I can paint in some small brushstrokes along the bridge of the nose in order to introduce some sort of bright highlight lines which I think might be useful.
The only problem with painting at an angle like this it's very easy to lose perspective especially when the angle is this radical. So I'll press the Escape key in order to see what I've done to make sure that it makes any darn sense and that I'm not introducing some sort of brushstrokes that maybe end up making the image look hairy or something along those lines. But I like that, I think it looks pretty good. That's also a problem with zooming in too far. If you spend too much time zoomed in on your painting as you're working on it, then you can lose perspective as well. So, it's that old forest and the trees metaphor; you need to keep track of both if you can.
I suppose there's a point of that metaphor, I'm not sure now that I'm talking about it. Anyway, I'm going to go ahead and scrub along the forehead, like so. Again, I just want to give you a sense of what's happening here in this region. What we'll do next after I get through filling in some of the skin details, we'll paint inside of the hair and we'll go ahead and paint inside of the ear as well. Join me, won't you, in the next exercise.
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