This week we were given the assignment to shoot a beauty image with the intent of selling a cosmetic product. I wanted to do a real natural look so I went with a subtle eye shadow and kept the rest of the styling very minimal. I also thought this would be a good opportunity to go over some basic retouching techniques that I like to employ on images that require minimal work.
I apologize for the difficulty of the layout causing you switch back and forth between the text and images above. Tumblr doesn’t have the best options for in line image inserts.
In the first image you see above I just want to emphasize the importance of beginning your retouching with with a copied layered. There is nothing worse than forgetting this step and being stuck with adjustments you have made to the locked background layer. On my journey working in the digital art world flexibility is key.
In the second image I have created a blank layer to retouch on. This will minimize damage to your file as well as give you more flexibility for going back on any adjustments you may not be happy with. On this layer I used the clone stamp tool to touch up large noticeable blemishes on her chest and face. I will do more detailed retouching with other layers.
**Quick key** For adding a blank layer quickly use SHIFT+OPT+CMND+N
Moving onto the next image you can see I added two very important layers. The first being a ‘dodge’ layer which is just an unchanged curves adjustment placed on blending mode SREEN then inverted. The other being a ‘burn’ layer which is another unadjusted curves layer placed on blending mode MULTIPLE and again inverted. On each of these layers I have painted with a white brush at an opacity around 15-20% to even out skin tones. I often focus on the ‘dodge’ layer when working with blackheads and darkspot in the skin. Just zoom in nice and close and dodge those dark areas until you can balance the tonality with the surrounding skin. Note that the opacity of your brush may not always be in the range mentioned. Practice makes perfect and you will soon find the right density for each image.
Moving onto the next image I have merged all my previous layers up to one using a quick key command (SHIFT+CMND+OPT+E). This layer I used strictly for some light liquifying work. I used this tool to reshape her eyebrows as well as bringing in the squareness of her jaw line.
The following image consist of another retouch layer which I used to touch up a few spots I missed and another ‘dodge’ layer to add some shape to her neck and clavicle.
The next image is an added ‘dodge’ layer to accentuate the eyes and define the bridge of the nose.
Our final ‘in photoshop’ image is a contrast and color balance adjustment. The contrast was added by applying a black and white adjustment layer placed on soft light blending mode. I like to add contrast in this manner because I gives me more control and flexibility over the range of color channels I am working with. After bring the opacity of that layer down to preference I added a color balance to cool the skin and pull some of the magenta out of her skin. In the end the color grade of your image is really up to you and your own creative style.
Thanks for checking out the post and I hope this sets you on your way to improving your own work.