How to Make a Person in Photoshop


Photoshop mainly was designed as photo manipulation software but has become a powerful digital painting and drawing tool. Combining traditional and digital art techniques, it is possible to make a person in Photoshop that looks realistic and is in a format for easy posting to the Internet.

Things You'll Need

  • Sketch
  • Computer
  • Scanner
  • Adobe Photoshop
  • Digital Tablet (optional)

Preparing the Sketch

  • Make a rough sketch with pencil and paper of the person you want to draw or paint in Photoshop.

  • Scan the sketch and open it in Photoshop. This will create a layer named "Background" in the Layers Palette.

  • Create a transparent layer over the sketch by pressing "Ctrl+Shift+N."

  • Double-click the name of the new layer in the Layers Palette and rename it "Sketch."

  • Left-click the Brush Tool in the Tools Palette and select a small brush.

  • Trace your original sketch in the new "Sketch" layer, taking care to create a slightly more accurate drawing.

Creating the Portrait

  • Press "Ctrl+Shift+N" to create a new layer.

  • Double-click the new layer in the Layers Palette and rename it "Color."

  • Left-click the Brush Tool in the Tools Palette and select a diameter suitable for filling in the larger areas of color in your person, such as hair and skin.

  • Left-click the colored square in the Tools Palette and use the color picker to select an appropriate skin color.

  • Left-click, hold and drag the Brush Tool to fill in all of the flesh-toned areas of your person.

  • Left-click the flesh-colored square in the Tools Palette. Choose a slightly darker hue of the same color.

  • Shade the face with the direction of the light source in mind. For example, establish a light source direction such as "top left" and shade the bottom right of the facial contours.

  • Select a lighter hue of your original flesh color.

  • Select the Brush Tool and lower the Opacity to about 20.

  • Paint in the highlights on the top left of the contours of the face.

  • Left-click the Smudge Tool in the Tools Palette and use it to blend the flesh color and shading smoothly.

  • Left-click the Brush Tool in the Tools Palette to select it.

  • Left-click the colored square and select an appropriate hair color.

  • Paint the hair in the same manner in which you colored the skin. You have created the background color of the hair.

  • Add detail to the hair by selecting a small-diameter brush and drawing thin lines in different directions. Use two or three analogous colors to your hair color. Cover the entire area of hair with the lines.

  • Left-click the Smudge Tool and set its opacity at 20 in the Options Toolbar. Smudge the thin lines together to achieve realistic hair.

  • Using the Brush Tool, choose a color for the eyes and color them in---both the iris and the white.

  • Add more detail to the eyes using the Brush Tool by choosing a highlight color and adding a few strands of color to the iris.

  • Add shadows to the lower side of the eyelids using the Brush Tool. Choose a hue of the flesh tone color that is more gray than flesh-colored.

  • Choose a shade of white to add highlights to the eyes where the light reflects in them.

  • Left-click the colored square in the Tools Palette and choose a color for the lips using a pinkish hue of the flesh color.

  • Left-click the Brush Tool and fill in the lips.

  • Choose a slightly darker hue of the lip color and fill in only the top lip.

  • Use a smaller-diameter brush and draw small dark lines to add the lines to the lips.

  • Left-click the Smudge Tool in the Tools Palette and smudge the lines. Do the same for the bottom lip using lighter colors.

Tips & Warnings

  • Adjust the opacity of your brushes, as it is much easier to go from light to dark than vice versa.
  • Undo steps using the keyboard shortcut "Ctrl+Z."
  • Delete or hide your "Sketch" layer once your Photoshop person is complete.

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