Basic skin texture tutorial
- Create a new layer over the original and eyedrop both a light and dark tone from the base work. These two colours are what we’ll use as the shadows and highlights of the speckles in the skin. To paint the texture, we need to use a grainy or dotted brush.
- Set the brush Opacity and Flow to 60-80%. Now we can paint in our dark speckles, paying close attention to creases and folds in skin (build the texture up in these darker areas). Now do the same with the light colour, with the focus on painting the highlighted parts of the skin rather than dark.
- We’ll grab the eraser now, set as a soft round brush with low opacity, and gently erase the ‘harshness’ of the texture away. We could just turn down the whole layer’s opacity but it won’t look as natural (trust me!).
Some areas will need to be generally darker, some lighter, it’ll obviously vary depending on subject. Also, taking a step back every now and then to observe clarity in the texture can help you determine whether it needs fixing or looks realistic enough.
- Now we’ll create another new layer, and again taking the brush (larger in size this time, same opacity/flow) loosely spatter it across the skin in both dark and light. This adds another dimension of detail. Once again, take the eraser and lightly brush over the layer to tune it down.
- To enhance the sharpness and overall level of detail that can be seen, we can bump up the definition by adding this quick textural overlay. I usually leave this part until the very end of the process as it pulls the painting together and is oh so satisfying seeing the level of detail jump up when the gritty texture is added.
PAINTINGS | James Nares
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