Hi. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV. I’m going to show you how to create
beautiful, watercolor portraits from photos using your own brush strokes.
Because they’re your own brush strokes, it allows you to create your own subtle nuances.
Open a photo you’d like to use. Since every photo has its own unique characteristics, such as lighting, brightness, contrast and color,
the results of the watercolor effect will vary. If the subject has very light skin,
it may be necessary to darken the mid-tones. You can achieve this by pressing Ctrl + L on Windows or Cmd + L on a Mac to open your Levels window. Slide the Input mid-tones to the right. I’d also recommend using a photo that
doesn’t have a dark background If it does, just lighten it. Its size and
resolution will ultimately determine the setting amounts for the filters and brushes. This photo is 1550 by 870 pixels with a resolution up to 150 pixels per inch. Unlock the background by holding down Alt on Windows or Option on a Mac as you click on the lock. We’ll name it “Base”. Make a copy of it by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + J. Name it “Smart Blur”. Go to Filter, Blur and Smart Blur. For the size and resolution of this photo, I’ll make the Radius: 10… the Threshold: 20… the Quality is High and the Mode is Normal. Depending on the size and resolution of your photo, you may want to adjust the amounts for the Radius and Threshold to get a similar result as this.
Click on the thumbnail of the Base to make it active and make a copy of it. Drag it to the top and name it “Pencil Lines”. Go to Filter and Filter Gallery. Open the “Stylize” folder. In it, you’ll find “Glowing Edges”.
If you have an early version of Photoshop, go to Filter, Stylize and Glowing Edges. Make the Edge Width: 1… the Edge Brightness between 14 and 17 and the Smoothness: 15. Then. click OK. Invert the image by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + I. Then, remove the color by pressing Ctrl or Cmd + Shift + U. Change the Blend Mode to Multiply. Make the Smart Blur layer active and make a copy of it. We’ll name it “Brush”. Invert the layer and change its Blend Mode to Color Dodge. Open your Brush Tool and press “d” on your keyboard to make
your foreground and background colors black and white. respectively. Click the arrow next to the brush size and click the gear icon to open your list of brush presets. Click “Reset Brushes” and click OK to replace the current brushes with the default brushes. Click back on the gear icon and choose “Small List”. Scroll down and click “Dry Brush”. Reduce its opacity to 10%. To increase the size of your brush, press the right bracket key on your keyboard. I increased to 200 pixels. Now, brush across your image. Open your gear icon again and click “Wet Media Brushes”. Click OK and choose “Watercolor Textured Surface”. Press Enter or Return to close the Brush panel and increase your brush size. I made mine 300 pixels. Now, selectively brush over areas of your image.
It’s okay to leave lighter areas untouched. I’ll make my brush smaller by pressing the Left bracket key. Continue to brush over your image to bring out contrast and color. If you want to lighten or remove some pencil lines, make the Pencil Line layer active and click the Layer Mask icon to make a layer mask next to it. Increase the opacity to 80% and lightly brush over the pencil lines you’d like to lighten or remove. Next, we’ll darken the Input levels of the
brushstrokes, but leave the pencil lines as is. To do this, hide the Pencil Lines and make the Brush layer active. Press Ctrl + Shift + Alt + E on Windows or Cmd + Shift + Option + E on a Mac
to make a composite snapshot of your image. Press Ctrl or Cmd + L to open your Levels window and then drag the Input darks to the right
until it’s at the point where the histogram starts to rise. Make the Pencil Lines visible and go to Filter and Filter gallery. Open the Texture folder and click “Texturizer”. Choose “Sandstone”. The Scaling is 100%… the Relief is 2 or 3 and the Light is from the Top. Then, click OK. This is Marty from Blue Lightning TV.
Thanks for watching!