Digital Painting | 09 | Refining the Face

How to Paint Faces in Photoshop: Adding Highlights

Ready to learn how to paint faces in Photoshop?

As you continue to detail out the face, it’s now time to go in and add more highlights.

While you are adding these lighter areas keep in mind a few things:

  • Is the highlight sharp like on the eyes to indicate wetness, or is it softer like on the skin?
  • What areas of the face naturally will catch the light depending on the angle of the light source?
  • What is under the highlight? Areas with bone tend to have a sharper highlight, while fleshy areas are softer.

how to paint faces in photoshop finished painting

At this point in the drawing you can really go nuts with the detail, so don’t be afraid to grab your finer brushes and really zoom onto areas. While you are working however, take care to approach the drawing in an overall manner by not going too heavy on the details in just one area while forgetting the rest.

painting skin in photoshop hair detail

Detailing the Hair

Your next stage of how to paint faces in Photoshop is to add light whispy strokes to the hair to show how unkempt it is. This will help add to the overall affect of this mad king!

While you are adding in these small strands of hair, also add some additional broader highlights.

Detail Close-up

Take a quick study of all of the detail that has been added into the face. There’s beautiful lighting on the pupil of the eye which gives it depth, and also has a very faint reflection painted on top of it. While you are watching Mark work, take note of how simple some of these effects are to achieve.

how to paint hair in photoshop detail

His knowledge of painting and of the human form is rooted deeply in traditional painting.

So, if you have been only working digitally for a while, it might be a good time to pick up an art technique book on acrylic or oil painting and see what you can learn and apply to your digital work.

We hope this article has helped you learn more about how to paint faces in Photoshop. Why not get in touch and let us know how your digital art is progressing?

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