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› By Paula
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I know the previews don’t look exactly like the examples, but I had to learn how to make this kind of edits while making the tutorial. I’m explaining how I did it, which resources I used and what I concluded.
1. Open any picture you want and crop the canvas. My dimensions: 245x300px. I’m using this picture of Isabelle Lightwood. This edit plus the Alec one are the ones I made myself; in the Clary/Clace ones I dragged two of the psds I directed you to (didn’t drag them entirely because their layers and textures are specifically edited, but more or less).
2. First thing I noticed: though the edits end up being kind of dark, we start adding light to them. Add a Curves or Brightness/Contrast layer to light up the face of the character. You can also add a Exposure layer, decrease the Offset and increasing the Exposure, if you want. (x)
3. Second thing I noticed: grandient maps overall. First, create a b&w gradient (choose black as your foreground color, white as your bg in the Color Picker) Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Gradient Map and set it to Soft Light. This will add more contrast to the edit.
Plus, those psds contain a few colored gradient maps. You have to put two colors in your Color Picker (important: the darkest one as foreground and the clearer as background) and create a gradient map using them. Play with the blending modes, though as you probably already noticed, we always stuck with Screen, Multiply and Soft Light. Change opacity too.
You can also add Solid Color Fill layers.
4. Third thing I noticed: [x] [x] check those tutorials to learn how to make things look like drawings. I personally recommend you this one. What I did was copy the picture layer, cut the lips using the Polygonal Lasso Tool and create a Layer > New Fill Layer > Solid color. In the following window check “Use previous layer to create clipping mask” (you can do this after adding the layer by right clicking on the layers panel, but it’s better to do it before so you’ll see how it looks like). I set my layer to Multiply and leave it 100%. This is the difference:
What changes in the third picture is that I created a new layer and painted the eyes white, then set it to Soft Light and 50%.
5. My edit so far: picture as bg + lips with clipping mask + curves + b&w gradient map + violet color fill layer + eyes. Pretty simple.
Fourth thing I noticed: add textures like there’s no tomorrow. Set them to different blending modes and erase some parts - I personally use the Eraser Tool, a blurred and big one (the bigger it is, the less the human eye notices the fact that we erased).
You can even edit the textures before adding them. Change the size, sharpen/blur before dragging them to your canvas. You can change the color of the textures after dragging them by going Layer > New Adjustment Layer > Hue/Saturation and make it a clipping mask again. Move the Hue until the texture changes to the color you’d like.
I understand this is a very poor tutorial but I don’t know what else to tell you ._. Clearly you need to have a previous graphic-editing base in order to do this. It’s not difficult, though. You only need to find a good combination of textures. I repeated the previews for this tutorial four times until I was as happy as possible with the result.
Good thing about this, is that you don’t have to bother on be careful with spoiling the graphic because this kind of edits require to be spoil to be of this kind.
We will be glad to receive your results and maybe advice you in case you don’t get the trick but please include examples to make it easier for us to help!