Sunday, December 27, 2009

Anatomy of...Cute Boys Face.

Whew!  We've done 4 days straight of festivities!
I've barely touched my computer in days so it's time to get back to *normal* with a little blogging action:)

A few weeks ago I mentioned a great tip for removing the texture from a face without removing the color enhancement.  I use textures on almost all my portrait shots but it's usually not a good idea to have weird texturey stuff all over your subject's pretty face...

...unless, of course, you're like me and just can't settle for "normal" in a photo!

I've found myself intentionally adding a bit of texture lately to some pretty cute faces just to see what happens.

I started out kind of subtle...just a little extra texture on the hair and chin area...

...then I went straight to very non-subtle!  why not???

It's amazing how easy it is to add some drama to these portraits with just layer masks and a little creative erasing.

Here's a little Anatomy Lesson of my Cute Boys Face.  This is back to the subtle category of edits! 

1.  I opened my original in Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac:

2.  Next I softened the skin with Coffeeshop Powder Room 2 then Duplicated my Background Layer, ran a Gaussian Blur filter on the duplicate then erased most of the blur expect for the left eye and part of his lips.  (This is my hacker version of faking depth of field, you can check out my Faking It technique here!_
Here's what my layers palette looked like with the duplicate layer blurred then erased:

3.  Next I added my lovely textures...
     Dark Dream (Kaleidoscope) @ 81%
     Vintage warm (Flora Bella Collection) @ 35%
     then I erased part of the textures off his face without erasing them completely.  I left just a hint of texture on the side of his face.  Here's my layers palette showing my textures and layer masks.  The black parts are showing where I erased with a soft black brush on the layer mask.

4.  After I got my texture just where I wanted it I brightened up the colors a bit with Coffeeshop Color Pop 2 at 39%.  Here's my finished portrait:

I think without that unexpected touch of texture this photo would have been a little too "pretty" for this cool boy.    

Every photograph doesn't have to be normal...Right?!?!


Sarah said...

These are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing your tips :)

Chantena said...

I love how you textured those photos! Omg..i just love the way the designs were across her forhead and chin.....thats art work. it would be a beautiful large gallery mount....

C.C. said...

I love these! Your photos say so much about the person and what they're feeling and thinking. You highlight their eyes, the window to their souls and that's such a wonderful gift!

tracie said...

That is awesome. I am going to try it. Thanks for the tutorial. I need all the help I can get.

Traci said...

Thanks for sharing your steps/actions. No, every photo does not need to be normal! Very fun and I love that first one especially.

Anonymous said...

Stunning photos!
Are those textures in Photoshop or did you have to get them some where else? I have Elements 7.0.

way outnumbered said...

those textures are available for purchase at and BUT there's plenty of free textures all over the web so you can possibly try out some free ones first before investing in those. Good Luck!

Michelle said...


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