Freehand Painting with Photoshop

By Troy Packer

Step 4. The Broken Mask

After a small break I had the idea of turning the face into a mask. The mask will be breaking apart to show the wearer beneath.

I duplicated the face layer and hid the bottom layer as this was going to have the colour altered to more of a flesh colour.

Freehand Painting Photoshop Tutorial 11

With the top face layer selected I used the PEN TOOL to map out a section of the mask to be deleted. With the path completed, right click and go to Make A Selection, click ok and then hit delete. With the bottom face layer hidden, the blue of the background shows through.

I then selected a small hard eraser about 3 pixels in size and started to erase the mask to show the cracks. Holding down shift and clicking at various points draws straight lines between each dot.

Freehand Painting Photoshop Tutorial 12

I thickened up the lines in certain places. This helps the illusion of major stress points (usually at the start of each crack, or nearest to the major damage areas. I also made the broken pieces look more random by making them more uneven. If things are too even then they become stale and boring.

To give the mask a bit of depth and to make the damage stand out a bit more I used BEVEL. Depending on the size of your image these options can change. In my case the depth and size of the bevel were either extremely low, or at zero. I matched the light of the bevel with the light in my scene and changed the gloss contour curve. See the image below.

Freehand Painting Photoshop Tutorial 13

Once the bevel was completed I made the duplicate face layer active and altered the colour. I switched between altering the Hue and Saturation (Ctrl U) and the Colour Balance (Ctrl B). I kept switching between the two until I got something that looked right as a face on its own but also contrasted nicely with the monochrome look of the mask.

I filled out the eye with the custom brush and Colour Picker, adding highlights to lift it out of the shadow of the brow and give the character some life.

Freehand Painting Photoshop Tutorial 14

To give the image more depth, and to lift the mask slightly off the face I used a Drop Shadow. I dropped the shadow slightly with the light source coming from above and slightly to the left. I matched the colour of the Drop Shadow with the shadow colour of the face to tie the two together. I also gave it a slight blur.

Freehand Painting Photoshop Tutorial 15

The Conclusion

Finally, I erased the eye area of the mask and filled it back in with another shaded eye. Not quite as strong as on the human side, but enough for you to know it is there. I adjusted the Hue and Saturation of the mask, and deepened the shadows to give it a bit more contrast and mood. I then cropped the image slightly to bring the focus in more on the face.

Freehand Painting Photoshop Tutorial 16

That concludes this freehand painting tutorial!
I hope you enjoyed it and maybe picked up a new trick or two.

-Troy Packer

Troy Packer’s Landscape Paintings Website

Troys Art Banner

<< Return to previous page