With the help of adjustments and stock photos, use masks for a stunning composition
Start by cutting out your subject using Healing brush (J) to fix blemishes and the bags under the subject’s eyes. Create a Curves adjustment, invert (Cmd/Ctrl+I) and mask in the eyes with a soft, white brush. Increase the contrast of the eyes.
Select the Pen tool again. On a new layer, select around the face and fill with #e4b5a3. Select the eyes on a new layer and fill in with black, then create an outline for each body part. Hide these layers for now; they will provide detail later.
Create a 50% opaque layer, and again with the Pen, select and fill some of the shadows with black. Create another 50% opaque layer and do the rest of the shadows. Merge these layers, then go to Filter>Filter Gallery>Dry Brush, set to Brush Size: 2, Brush Detail: 8, Texture: 1.
Hide your shadows layer along with the body parts you outlined with the Pen. Duplicate your portrait layer (Cmd/ Ctrl+J) and go to the Filter Gallery again. Go to Poster Edges and choose Edge Thickness: 10, Edge Intensity: 10, Posterization: 6.
With your Poster Edges effect applied, you’ll have a subtle outline to the entire portrait. Go to Filter>Stylize>Oil Paint and choose Stylization: 10, Cleanliness: 6, Scale: 10, Bristle Detail: 10, Lighting Angle: 90 degrees, Shine: 0. This will soften and blend your portrait to give a more painted feel to the image.
Go to the Filter Gallery once again. Choose Cutout, but instead of following a set rule of what you should type for each value, experiment with what would work best for your subject. Keep Simplicity low and Fidelity high for clearest results.
Once again, go to the Oil Paint filter. Run exactly the same values as you did before – Photoshop will automatically load the last ones that you used – only this time, slide the Cleanliness up to 10 for even more of a smudged effect.
Hit Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/Opt+Shift+E to merge everything to a new layer. Select the hair with the Pen, and hit Cmd/Ctrl+J to duplicate to a new layer. Go to the Filter Gallery; choose Paint Daubs (Brush Size: 20, Sharpness: 40), Palette Knife (Stroke Size: 7, Stroke Detail: 3, Softness: 10).
On a new layer above the hair, select strands of hair with the Pen tool. Fill these in with #642215 and set this layer to Multiply. Because we filtered the hair in the previous step, it should be easier to select blocks of colour.
Cmd/Ctrl+click on the preview window of the hair layer you just created. Create a new layer, select a big, 0% hard brush, and using the colours from the supplied swatches on the FileSilo, add touches of different colours for a multicoloured, gradient-like effect.
Repeat this effect until the majority of the hair is covered with these bright colours. You may wish to experiment with different blend modes, such as Screen, Soft Light and Color Dodge. Unhide the Pen outline layers you created, and drag them to the top of the layer stack.
Again, hit Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/Opt+Shift+E to merge everything to a new layer; Cmd/Ctrl+click on the preview window of the layer on which you filtered the hair in step 8, and hit Mask. Use Smudge to blur colour into the roots, then go to Filter>Filter Gallery>Paint Daubs, with Brush Size set to 20 and Sharpness: 40.
At this stage, start to adjust your image with a Curves adjustment (as seen), Vibrance (Vibrance: +50, Saturation: +10) and add a Gradient Map. We’ve supplied a gradient that you can apply to the piece; just turn the Gradient Map to Soft Light for optimum effect.
Create a new layer. Go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise and choose Amount: 400%, Distribution: Gaussian and check the Monochromatic box. Click OK, set to Soft Light, 30% Opacity. Insert a paper texture, desaturate (Cmd/Ctrl+Shift+U) and set this to Overlay, 40% Opacity. Insert your background at the bottom of the layer stack.
Finally, merge everything to a new layer twice more. On the first of these two layers, go to Filter>Noise>Reduce Noise; choose Strength: 10, Preserve Details: 100%, Reduce Color Noise: 100%, Sharpen Details: 0%. On the second, go to Filter>Other>High Pass; choose 6px, click OK and set to Overlay to sharpen.