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How To Paint Realistic Lips In Photoshop CS5
In this tutorial — from George Patsouras of PSD Magazine — you will learn how to paint realistic lips with Photoshop. Before attempting to paint lips, it’s essential that you practice drawing lips as well as the head in general to get the best results possible.
STEP 1: Sketch
I almost always start off with a sketch for my serious paintings, and this one is no different. I create a new layer, and with a Hard Edged brush, I quickly sketch in the lips. Getting the lips to look right now just makes the painting process that much easier.
STEP 2: Picking the right base color
Pick a mid-tone for the skin, one that’s not too saturated or too light (a common mistake many artists make). To quickly fill in the canvas with a color, I simply use the Gradient tool. After it’s done, I use a hard edged brush to paint in the red lips.
STEP 3: Defining Form
Once I chose my base tone, it’s time to define the form of the skin. The first thing you must think of is where does the light come from? In this case, I decide to go for a fairly simple front light and shade accordingly. Using a Hard Edged brush, I use darker, more saturated tones for the darker parts of the skin, and a lighter, less saturated tone for the highlights of the skin for a realistic effect. Use a darker midtone for the ‘top’ lip, and bring out lighter tones for the bottom one (this works for most lighting situations).
STEP 4: Bringing out the Highlights
Things are still looking too flat for me at this stage, so I choose a much brighter midtone to bring out the form of the skin. As always, I simply use a hard edged brush at this step. I bring out lighter tones on the ‘corners’ of the lips, the chin, and on top of the lips.
STEP 5: Smoothing out the Skin
Once I’m happy with my value statement, I decide to soften everything out with a soft edged brush. I choose Hardness 0% under my Brush Settings, and with a 50% Opacity, I smoothen out the rough transitions.
STEP 6: Details
I start bringing texture to the lower lips using a fairly small, Hard Edged brush. I zoom closer here to make things easier, and begin to paint the texture of the lips keeping the form in mind, using a circular stroke. Additionally, I bring out a fairly harsh highlight at the top of the lips (the part that looks like a ‘V’), which gives the image a much more realistic feel.
STEP 7: Even more details!
I bring more contrast to the image, using lighter tones for the highlights and darker ones for shadows. I introduce a fairly dark tone right underneath the lip, above the chin for a realistic effect. I also use a darker tone to separate the ‘bottom’ lip from the top, giving the lips more depth in the process. I also add a mole simply for the fun of it.
STEP 8: Final Refinement
Here I add even more texture to the lips, and use a very light, almost white color on the bottom lips to bring more life and contrast to the image. I clean the image out a bit in general and make sure everything appears as symmetrical as possible, and voila! We’re done!
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