Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Using Color Balance and blending modes to improve the look of lips

From: Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching

Video: Using Color Balance and blending modes to improve the look of lips

Let's take a look at another technique which will allow us to enhance the color and tone of the lips in our portraits. And in this technique, we'll be using a Color Balance adjustment layer. We'll also be duplicating that, and changing its blending mode, and kind of combining two layers together in order to come up with some nice results. So with this portrait, let's zoom in on it a little bit, and the first thing that I want to do is I want to select the lips. One great way to make a quick selection is to use the Quick Mask mode. To do that, press that Q key.

Using Color Balance and blending modes to improve the look of lips

Let's take a look at another technique which will allow us to enhance the color and tone of the lips in our portraits. And in this technique, we'll be using a Color Balance adjustment layer. We'll also be duplicating that, and changing its blending mode, and kind of combining two layers together in order to come up with some nice results. So with this portrait, let's zoom in on it a little bit, and the first thing that I want to do is I want to select the lips. One great way to make a quick selection is to use the Quick Mask mode. To do that, press that Q key.

That will then enter Quick Mask mode. You can also click on this icon here. Next, what you want to do is select your Brush tool, and then you're going to paint with black. So here, we'll choose black in our color picker. When you start to paint with black, what you'll see is this red overlay. This is showing you how you're starting to build up your selection. So I'll go ahead and just paint over the lips, and right now I'm painting at 100% opacity. Now, as I get closer to the edges, I want to decrease the opacity of the brush. So we'll go ahead and decrease this, and what this will do is it will select this area with less intensity.

And by building up a good selection now, it'll just speed up our overall workflow later as we start to work on the selected area. So again, Quick Mask is just another way to make a selection, and in this case, we're able to make the selection by painting in this area. Well, now obviously this looks kind of funny, but that's okay, because right now we're going to press the Q key to exit the Quick Mask mode. The next step is to click on our adjustment layer icon for Color Balance. If we make an adjustment now, say, by modifying the color, you can see that we're modifying everything but the lips.

We want the exact opposite, so we'll go to the Masks panel, and here we can click on Invert. Well, now that we've inverted that mask, we'll go back to Color Balance, and here we can start to modify the color. I'm just going to change the overall color characteristics here a little bit. Next, we'll go to the Shadows, and here I'm also going to modify the color of the Shadows. Well, currently the color that I have doesn't look exactly how I want it. It's a bit kind of over the top. I also notice that my edges need a little bit of work over here. So we'll grab the Brush tool, and then I'll paint with black.

I'll do so by increasing my brush size, and just kind of painting this away over here in this part of the picture. By painting away part of the edge, it can just help kind of soften this effect a little bit. Well, I think that's looking fine. The next thing I want to do is I want to change the blending mode, and I also want to dial in a better color. So take a look at how this will work. We'll copy this Color Balance layer, so that we don't have two versions of this. I know it doesn't look good now, but stick with me. Next, we'll change the layer blending mode to Multiply.

In doing that, this will darken up this whole area of our photograph. Now it's too dark; it's also too colorful. Well this is where changing the opacity of these layers really comes into play. Here we'll go ahead and decrease the Opacity, and by doing that, we can come up with this really nice, natural color. It kind of fits the color palette of the photograph, and also looks like a color that this person might wear. After having done that, and after having realized this is going to work, I'm going to go back to my Masks panel, and just Feather out those edges.

By feathering those edges for the color, and also for the darkening effect here, it could help me dial in a more natural or realistic look. I did the Feather later, because I wanted to see what level of Opacity I was going to use for these layers, and the level of Opacity here does determine how we want to then soften those edges. As you can see, with a higher Opacity, well, the edges are a bit more prominent or hard; with a lower Opacity, they're a little bit less. All right! Well, next we can just go ahead and really kind of modify how we want that color to appear.

Here you can see we have that before, and then after; a really easy way to draw out some of the color and tone there. And this technique, it involved using Color Balance, dialing in color in our Midtones, and in our Shadows, and then also duplicating that layer, and changing the top layer to the blending mode of Multiply. All right! Well last, but not least, what I want to do here is just cheat a little bit. What I mean by cheat is, I want to step ahead to something we'll be covering later, but I think it's important to show here.

And that is that, now that I've brightened the lip color, the cheeks feel a little bit too pale. I need to bring in some color to this part of the image. So let's click on our adjustment layer icon for Color Balance, and create another Color Balance layer. Here I'm going to bring in some reds, and also some magentas, and I don't exactly know what I'll need to do with the color, but I'll just make a color adjustment. Next go to Masks, and click Invert. That conceals all of this adjustment. Then, with our Brush tool, we'll go ahead and paint with white. And what you're going to do is you're going to paint with a relatively low Opacity, something less than 100.

I guess I shouldn't say relatively low; it's going to be a mid-range Opacity. Probably about 70% will work well. I'm just going to paint a couple of circles on the cheeks here, and then I'm going to exaggerate something, so you can really see what's happening here. Notice how I have these two red circles on the cheeks? That's because I'm controlling my midtones. Let's go to Shadows, and as I decrease that, you can see I now have a darker hue. So in working with Color Balance, many times you're going to go between these different tonal ranges in order to dial in the color. Well, right now it looks a lot like a clown, but I'm doing this to illustrate how we'll work with this.

We'll get our color, and then we'll go to the Masks icon, and we'll increase the Feather. As we do that, it will diffuse all of that adjustment across the cheeks. Once we have a nice amount of diffusion, we can paint around that area. We obviously don't want a circle, and we obviously don't want it this bright, but I'm showing you this at this brightness level in order to kind of see how we can really dial this in. Next, let's go back to Color Balance, and let's soften this up a little bit. Rather than so much red, I want a little bit of yellow, and a little bit of magenta there, and then in my Shadows as well, I'm going to drop that down.

And by dropping that down, I'm looking to just bring in kind of a healthy look to the cheeks. This is important, because, like I said, when we changed the color of the lips, it now made the cheeks look a little bit lacking in color. Last, but not least, we'll dial in the Opacity here, so that we can just bring in a nice little subtle hue to that area of the photograph. This adjustment is really subtle; it's barely noticeable. Here's the before, and after, but it's adding, I think, some nice quality to this picture. All right! Well, now that I've done that, what I want to do next is just control my overall Opacity here for the lips, so I'm just going to decrease these values a little bit more.

I'm going for a little bit more of a natural look with this picture, so I'll take that back even more. Then you can see how we can really modify this. And when it comes to working with makeup, or changing color, or tone, as I mentioned previously, it is all about trying to experiment with how far to go. Sometimes, with some pictures that are maybe surreal, and bright, and vivid, well, you're going to really leave your Opacity level high. In other photographs, like with this portrait, which is pretty natural, the light is really kind of quiet and subdued, I'm going to then choose some color and tone options like this, which help to kind of communicate and convey the overall mood of this picture.

So here for this image, again, I think it's going to be really key to drop those amounts back. But hopefully by seeing how we can work with this, you can start to see how you could use this technique on all sorts of different types of photographs. And really, it's about knowing the technique, and then deciding how best to apply it in order to improve your own pictures.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching
Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching

85 video lessons · 24144 viewers

Chris Orwig
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 58s
    1. Welcome
      1m 4s
    2. Using the exercise files
      54s
  2. 6m 49s
    1. Initial retouching considerations
      3m 51s
    2. Using a Wacom tablet
      1m 8s
    3. Exploring resources and finding inspiration
      1m 50s
  3. 37m 21s
    1. Where to begin?
      1m 19s
    2. Reviewing the basic cleanup tools
      3m 59s
    3. Removing small distractions
      2m 41s
    4. Using selections and cloning to remove distractions
      4m 26s
    5. Simplifying the background with the Clone tool
      5m 12s
    6. Removing a garment strap
      5m 17s
    7. Removing a distracting logo
      3m 43s
    8. Removing lint from a T-shirt
      3m 40s
    9. Cleaning up a backdrop with Content-Aware Fill
      2m 58s
    10. Cleaning up a backdrop with the Patch tool
      4m 6s
  4. 22m 31s
    1. Extending a real-world scene, part 1
      4m 6s
    2. Extending a real-world scene, part 2
      4m 20s
    3. Removing distractions for a creative effect
      4m 31s
    4. Using selections and Free Transform to rebuild image elements
      3m 44s
    5. Moving a person with Content-Aware Move
      5m 50s
  5. 28m 48s
    1. Removing small details from the face
      4m 50s
    2. Retouching skin
      4m 35s
    3. Reducing hotspots, part 1
      4m 32s
    4. Reducing hotspots, part 2
      4m 36s
    5. Reducing brightness with selections and curves
      3m 26s
    6. Using Hue/Saturation to minimize variations in skin color
      3m 45s
    7. Removing tan lines
      1m 53s
    8. Leaving imperfections in portraits
      1m 11s
  6. 37m 15s
    1. Correcting tone with curves and masking
      5m 39s
    2. Fixing exposure and color with curves
      4m 14s
    3. Correcting tone with blending modes and masking
      5m 22s
    4. Using Shadows/Highlights to improve exposure
      5m 28s
    5. Using Soft Light layer blending to burn and dodge
      4m 37s
    6. Exploring the burning-and-dodging workflow
      6m 35s
    7. Using multiple techniques to improve shadows and highlights
      5m 20s
  7. 22m 42s
    1. Reducing wrinkles with the Healing Brush
      7m 21s
    2. Working on wrinkles and details
      6m 51s
    3. Fine-tuning and making final adjustments on wrinkles
      3m 44s
    4. Quick wrinkle reduction with the Patch tool
      4m 46s
  8. 43m 27s
    1. Enhancing eyes with adjustment layers and blending
      4m 7s
    2. Adding sparkle to the eyes
      4m 38s
    3. Increasing color with Colorize and blending modes
      5m 37s
    4. Rebuilding the edge of the eye
      6m 34s
    5. Whitening eyes, part 1
      3m 54s
    6. Whitening eyes, part 2
      5m 42s
    7. Removing eye veins and sharpening eyes behind glasses
      7m 8s
    8. Correcting color and tone behind glasses
      5m 47s
  9. 11m 26s
    1. Trimming eyebrows
      5m 25s
    2. Darkening eyebrows
      2m 48s
    3. Adding mascara to darken eyelashes
      3m 13s
  10. 16m 47s
    1. Enhancing lip color and tone with curves and masking
      4m 23s
    2. Using Color Balance and blending modes to improve the look of lips
      7m 41s
    3. Improving the look of lips with the Burn and Dodge tools
      4m 43s
  11. 13m 49s
    1. Teeth whitening made easy
      2m 33s
    2. Exploring advanced teeth whitening
      5m 0s
    3. Automating teeth whitening with actions
      5m 9s
    4. A note on retouching facial features
      1m 7s
  12. 35m 22s
    1. Covering and correcting hair discoloration
      5m 48s
    2. Fixing the color of hair roots
      3m 3s
    3. Making creative color adjustments to hair
      2m 44s
    4. Patching a gap in hair
      4m 27s
    5. Removing flyaway hairs
      6m 18s
    6. Fixing flyaway hairs with a complicated background
      5m 57s
    7. Adding accents and creative color to a fashion photograph
      7m 5s
  13. 27m 22s
    1. Brightening shadow areas on the face
      4m 22s
    2. Adding color to the cheeks and eyelids
      4m 30s
    3. Modifying eye makeup color
      3m 52s
    4. Increasing color saturation and variety
      4m 17s
    5. Enhancing color with the Lab Color space
      5m 44s
    6. Using Selective Color to create vibrant color
      3m 29s
    7. Additional makeup resources
      1m 8s
  14. 23m 15s
    1. High-pass skin softening
      6m 48s
    2. Creating a mask for the skin
      4m 23s
    3. Softening and adding even texture to the skin
      5m 36s
    4. Adding a soft glow to the skin and details
      6m 28s
  15. 34m 36s
    1. Adding dimension using curves and masking
      3m 50s
    2. Reshaping a jawline with Liquify
      4m 30s
    3. Reshaping a shirt with Liquify
      3m 13s
    4. Reshaping a shoulder with Liquify
      3m 22s
    5. Reshaping the body with Liquify
      2m 35s
    6. Using the Warp tool to reshape a jawline
      3m 33s
    7. Modifying the body with the Warp tool
      3m 35s
    8. Changing shape with selections and masking
      8m 32s
    9. Tips for thoughtful portrait retouching
      1m 26s
  16. 36s
    1. Goodbye
      36s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Photoshop for Photographers: Portrait Retouching.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.