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I've saved my progress as Ear and earring.psd. And not only have I gone in and filled in the ear pretty significantly here, and I've painted in the earring as well. Now there are a few gaps around the earring. I'm going to go ahead and leave those little micro gaps in there. But I've also spent some time filling in the forehead, and filling in the eyes as well, you'll notice. I have been spending a fair amount of time on it. I should tell you that. This has not been a quick process. So if you're sitting there going, is this supposed to be like a five-minute project and it's just me that's taking nine and a half hours on it, no, it's me too.
So it's just that I'm not going to show you every single little bit of what I'm doing, because I'm not sure that watching the paint dry is the best use of your time. However, that said, the next thing that I'm going to do and you can either go this nuts with your painting or not. Again, totally up to you. In this exercise, we're going to take on the hair. So I'm going to go ahead and turn the Background layer back on. I just wanted you to see how the painting was coming along here on its own. I'm going to move this Bristle Brush preview to a different location by dragging its title bar. I'll go ahead and move Colleen over and down a little bit.
Then I'll switch to a larger brush. So I'm going to press Right Bracket key a few times, until I make the brush nine pixels, in my case. Then I'm going to go ahead and begin painting into her hair. Now her hair has a fair amount of variation going on in it. We want to try to preserve that variation without smearing a bunch of skin tones in there. So I'm kind of painting one direction, then I'm painting the other direction. That is to say, at first I started painting from the right to the left, which brought in skin tones into the hair. Then I painted from the left to the right, in order to compensate.
But what I suggest you do is paint some pretty big aggressive strokes here in order to represent this hair. Then around the ear, I would take it a little bit easy, because you don't want to scalp off any portion of that ear after all. And same with the back of the neck, which is already done in my case. I've filled that in pretty nicely. I might come back into the ear and paint it around, like so. Then if I need to fortify the colors of the ear, that is, in my case I can paint outward like that. Then I'll go ahead and paint around.
So what you're trying to do is follow the contours of the ear. Now that isn't necessarily the way you approach painting if you're working with acrylics, or watercolors, or oils. You don't always have to paint slavishly in the direction of the detail, although that is one approach. But when you're working with something like the Mixer Brush, it's a really great idea to paint in the direction of the detail, because you're lifting the colors from the painting itself. I can't stress this enough. This is actually a really bonafide advantage to working with something like the Mixer Brush.
I'm sure a lot of people would consider this to be just outright cheating. But the truth of the matter is that because we can draw the colors from the painting, without ever having to dip a brush into a palette for example. We're ensured that we're getting the proper colors as we're painting through this image, as long as we paint in the proper direction. If you just bring in an aberrant colors from wherever, then you're going to have a hard time with it. But just think of the time savings. I mean, if you had to sit there and mix every single one of these colors, you'd be at it for a fair amount of time. That is, to my way of thinking the big advantage to working with the Mixer Brush, is that it's saves you that time that you would otherwise have to spend with the traditional palette mixing colors, or over here in the Color and Swatches panels, trying to mix your colors as well here in the digital world.
Anyway, now I'm painting in the sweater, which I gather is a sweater. I'm not sure exactly what kind of blouse this is, but I think it's a sweater. I'm painting down along the shoulders as you can see me doing right here. You can also paint along the shoulder like so, or a combination of the two, which is probably the approach that I'm going to take is a little bit of back and forth here. So I'll go and fill in this highlight right there. Then drop down into the shadow region. Paint upward in order to bring up some shadows as well. So you can keep this pretty free-form.
Again, we're not really working in a highly detailed area. In fact, most of what's going on here inside the actual base photograph is shadow noise. That's about all we got going in this region of the image. Then I'm going to come over to the other side of the sweater. Notice I'm being fairly careful to trace along the contour of the background, because I'm thinking what we're going to do here. If you worked along with me this way, that's great. If not, if you're painting is a little more free-form, that okay as well. But what I think I'm going to do, is I'm going to try to lift this painting and put it against a different background.
After all, I've spent all this time painting the edges; it's as if I've masked the image as I've painted it. So I might as well take advantage of that, because this background is blown out. Basically, what's going on is we have some sky up here, some trees down there, a railing, and it's all, of course, out of focus, which is just fine. But it's also blown out like crazy, because it's outside, it was shot through a window. And it's just not really anything to do with it. It's not terribly interesting information. So if we were to bring in a different background, because after all, we can, then we might be able to sort of highlight the power of this painting a little bit more.
So emphasize it, in other words, augment it, if you prefer. So you know what, the fact I'm just coming out with synonyms now as I'm talking to you, is probably an indication that we should take another break. And I should go ahead and fill in the missing details on my own. But just to give you a sense of where I'm at right now, so that you can compare it to where I end up being in just a moment, the next time I visit you. I'm trying to move the Bristle Brush preview. You know what, a good bye! Go away for a second. This is where I'm at. Obviously, I've got a lot of gaps that I need to fill in; I'll go ahead and do that. But it's basically, me doing that same thing that you saw me doing over and over again, except with the photograph visible in the background.
I'll go ahead and finish off this hair, and I may introduce a few sort of random strings of hair back here, just using a thinner brush. Then once I'm done, I'll go ahead and visit you in the next exercise.
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