photoshop creative

How to retouch portraits in Photoshop, part 2

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by The Photoshop Creative Team
February 20, 2014

Continued… Learn the basic skills and techniques behind turning a drab photo shoot into a stunning portrait

Follow part 1 of this tutorial

Step 10 – Cool the hot spots

The lighting is a bit harsh on the nose and forehead. Add a new layer set to darken. Sample the skin tone colour near the hot spots and use a soft brush to set to 50% Opacity to softly paint over them.

 Step 11 – A close shave

Use the Pen tool to create a smooth selection around the chin. Use the Healing Brush set to Darken mode to remove the slight fuzz. Inverse the selection (Ctrl/Cmd+I) and remove the fuzz seen outside the chin line. Then cancel the selection and touch up the line with the Blur tool.

Step 12 – Sweater colour

Select>Colour Range command to create a selection of the sweater using a mid range fuzziness. Add a Hue/Saturation adjustment layer and tick the Colorize box. Set the colour  (we used 180,25,-15) and edit the mask with a brush.

Step 13 – Skin softening prep work

This technique will soften the skin but still allow some texture. Create a merged layer at the top of the stack by pressing Cmd/Ctrl+Opt/Alt+Shift+E. Then go to Filter>Blur>Surface Blur. Set the Radius to 5 and Threshold to 15.

Step 14 – Nice and smooth

The blurring created a very unnatural appearance. So mask out the entire layer and use the mask to softly paint back the smoothness in only the skin areas. Keep the brush’s Opacity about 50% and be careful not to over-apply the effect.

Step 15 – Popping eye colour

Create another merged layer and go the Liquify filter. Use the Bloat tool with a brush size at about the same size as the eyes. Then a single click on each eye will increase the size just slightly. Increase the brush size to use the same technique on the bustline too.

Step 16 – Blur Gallery

Go to Filter>Blur>Iris Blur to open the new Blur Gallery in CS6. Add a blur widget centre over her right eye and pull out the range to cover her face and a portion of her shoulders. Set the Blur Strength to 15.

Step 17 – Final vignette

To finish off the portrait, add a lens vignette. Go to Filter>Lens Correction and click on the custom tab. Set the Vignette slider Amount to -76 and the Midpoint to 60 to add nice dark corners without obscuring the portrait.