First, I will utilize an HF layer to even out textures. I often use this for stray hairs, blemishes and even tattoos.
When I am satisfied with the texture of my skin work, I will turn off both the HF layer and the paint layer, and while on the LF layer I will paint over the skin using the mixer brush. This is a great way to even out skin tones and marks and blemishes.
The middle layer, which I use for painting, is an excellent way to add a painterly feel as well as giving you the ability to paint in things like makeup, eyelashes, increase drama by adding white highlights and again, evening out skin tone. This is probably my favorite step. I always use a soft brush at an opacity of no higher than 15%. I go over the entire image as if I am painting on a canvas. Once I am satisfied with the way my image looks, I will copy the group and flatten so I have a fresh flat canvas to continue working on. I then begin to dodge and burn. I dodge and burn on a grey layer using black and white, but any technique you’re comfortable with will have the same effect. I use dodge and burn to bring some life back into my artwork by focusing on shadows and highlights. Dodge and burn is a fantastic way to attain a painterly feeling, which is something I aspire towards in every piece I create.
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