Step 8 - In this step I will show how I created a textured brush or “stamp” from a photo. I took my photo of fallen brown leaves into PS, desaturated it, and pumped up the contrast using the Levels sliders.
Remember that when making these “stamps”, the black shapes are the shape of the stamp. Because the leaves were light on a darker background, they looked white. If I selected this pattern I’ll end up the ground as texture, not the leaves. So I needed to invert this image to get the leaves as black shapes. Go to Image > Adjustments> Invert. This will give a nice dark pattern that will be the leaves. I selected the portion that I wanted and “defined brush preset“. Here you can see the “stamp” in green.
Step 9 - Adding more details!
I painted the thin webs on the separate layer. Being lazy I just duplicate the layer and added the web to other parts of the painting. I also painted glittering webs drooping from the flowers and on the lace of her green dress. I also finally rendered the foot!! It was too large and I had to resize it. Then I added more spider webs on the ground where it touched her dress to show that she dragged and stretched the webs as she walked across the forest path.
The beads were then added to the lace. I painted “water drops” to the end of the beads, making them look dewy. I also added the swirly designs to the bottom of the dress on another layer. This layer was set in mode “Overlay”, I used a small round brush 5px to add details. I also used the fallen leaves stamp on the bottom of her dress as well to give it more texture.
Now I sprinkled “glitter” to the dress and ribbon as well by simply use the small round edge brush and stippled in the sparkles. Then I painted the earrings and the ivy necklace, just having fun adding more details at this point.
Step 10 - Finally I came back to her face. I modified and added more flowers and details to her head-piece. The hardest challenge about painting the face for me is not rendering her lashes, but keeping the eyes aligned with each other and other parts of the face. The guide (which I mentioned before) was really helpful; this way I can render her soft features and detailing away while keeping the facial anatomy correct. Flipping the image horizontally also helped to spot mistakes.
For final detailing of the artwork, I painted the finger nails and the wrinkling of the knuckles to achieve a more realistic look. Finally, I added freckles by painting random brown dots on a separate layer that is set to “Overlay” at 25% opacity.
In the final image, after I’ve saved my painting as a new file (file 27 at this point), I flattened the whole image. I checked the consistency of the light source, making sure that everything was lit from left to right. For the ivy leaves on the tree, the light doesn’t spread uniformly among each leaf, but shone on the clump as a whole, with areas of lights and dark. To achieve this look I added a new overlay layer, added “light” to the ivy leaves in the middle of the tree, added some darks were the wings were casting a diffused shadow, and added light to the snails to direct the eyes to notice this detail.
For the very last step I flattened the image again, duplicate it, and set the duplicate layer on “Soft light” to sharpen the painting. But doing this would increase the saturation of my artwork, so I go to Image>Adjustments>Hue/Saturation and slide the Saturation slider to -60 (negative 60) to keep my colors consistent. I flattened the image for the last time and saved file. All done!
Thank you for reading this walk-through. I hope it gave you an insight of my work process and that you found it useful.