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dull retouching outcome

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  • dull retouching outcome

    Hi everyone. I've done a lot of learning from this forum. Thanks to all of you. I've got a new question. Can anyone tell me how to improve my face painting? Everytime I do it; it turns out dull or what I call BLAH! Does anyone have any pointers. I'll attach one of mine that I did and another that shows what I'm aiming for.
    Attached Files

  • #2

    Attached Files


    • #3
      Kris, hopefully Vikki or Mig or one of the other folks here who are especially good at this will see your question.

      Here's my $.02 worth -- you have some redder color on the cheeks, but when I checked the skin color elsewhere, it seemed to be almost the same all over. You need to vary the tones a bit, as you did on the cheeks. What Layer Blending modes did you use -- Color or Soft Light or ...? The blending mode can have a strong influence on the look of your skin tones. Did you use several or more layers - you can apply shading to cheeks, jawline, etc. - each on separate layers, and other layers with the forehead, nose, etc. to allow you to vary shading, skin tone, layer blend mode... You can apply different adjustment layers to different layers - dodge a bit here, burn a bit there, change hue/saturation there. Perhaps you have already done some of that, but I THINK you need to do more.

      Here are some links to RetouchPRO posts which relate to painting skin tones -- there are others if you look...

      Skin tone tip - Vikki
      Borrow skin tones
      skin tones
      Doug- facial colorization
      color charts


      • #4
        I've made some slight changes to your image -- adding layers of different hues -- red on the nose -- even some light grayish-blue below the eyes (which surprised me when it looked okay to me!) Others can do better, but this may give you an idea of how different colors can shape a face... it's something I need to practice on some time soon.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by CJ Swartz; 01-08-2004, 05:10 PM.


        • #5

          Thanks CJ... I did have several layers and I used several blending modes, but I do agree with ya on doing even more. I saw the sample and I really need to play with them a lot more also. I did not use the dodge or burn tool. Maybe that is what it is missing. Might bring out more of those pretty features. I'll surely try that next. Thanks again for your advice. Oh also for the other links. I haven't checked them out yet, but I'm headed straight there.


          • #6
            Hi Kris,

            Your stuff looks nice. I have to say I'm not a fan of this type of thing. But that's just me. Still, you're doing well at it.
            There are a couple things that you might want to explore to make things look a little better. The skin doesn't have enough contrast. In the sample here I looked at the channels and found the blue channel had the best contrast, so I copied it, applied some very steep, jagged curves to arrive at something that could be used as a selection to increase the contrast in the face. I also painted on this copied blue channel.
            Then I activated this channel as a selection and applied curves, and selective colour, inversed the selection and did the same thing. That increased the contrast in the skin.
            Next, there's no grain in the skin whatsoever, so you might want to add some to give some texture, as the skin is too flat-looking. You can do that by selecting the skin, filling the selection on a new layer with 50% gray, adding noise to this, then changing the blend mode to soft light.

            These steps might add some realism to your work.
            Good luck,
            Attached Files


            • #7
              Here's what the copied blue channel might look like after you've manipulated it. This blue channel is the one that would be used as a selection to get more interest in the face.
              Attached Files


              • #8
                dull retouching

                WOW, that did make a big difference. I deffinately need to look into this. Thanks so much. I really don't like making these kids look fake either, but that is my business. I'm a pageant photographer and I'm trying to do my own touch up work so I don't have to send all mine off. And also it would be more rewarding in the long run. $$$$$ LOL Anyway, in this business they can have no blemishes, very light wrinkles and facial features, and the fake lashes. CRAZY huh....
                It's fun though. I like to see what I can come up with. Of course, on this girl (Kayla) she doesn't need anything. She's one of the most beautiful girls out there. Oh and mine>HEHEHE
                Thanks Mig for your help.I'll practice these later on today and see if I can get it as good as you did.


                • #9
                  Have I done work for you?

                  Your name is sounding familiar. Have I done retouch work for you or one of your clients before?

                  Sarah Justice


                  • #10
                    dull retouching

                    yep, I'm trying to learn the work myself though. I just aint making no money just doing the photos. Although, I still think your work is the BEST!!!!!!!!! I am getting better though. It's just those skin tones! UUGH! So hard for me to match. For a long time it was the lashes, now it's the color of the skin. I just keep getting a grayish color.
                    I sure didn't know you were a member on here. That's cool. I've learned a lot here. I also use one of Katrin Eisman's books and one of Scott Kelby's books. I saw some people discussing them here so I got them. I've learned a lot through reading them, but still can't grasp this one problem. I guess it's just gonna take a lot more practice.
                    thanks for replying.


                    • #11
                      Kinda freaky...

                      To see that my daughters photo and one of her best friends photos made it on to this forum more than a year before I found this place. I realize this thread is a bit old, but if the OP is still around, would you mind telling me how you went about obtaining the photo of my daughter? (She's the one in blue with the braids and her friend is the smaller photo in white on the right side)


                      • #12
                        'punkydoodlebug' - I presume you have entered your daughter in these paegent things? If you look at the profile of the OP, you will see they have listed themselves as:

                        June 23, 1974
                        pageant photography
                        home maker; part time photographer

                        They have not posted here for over a year and a half, so I would not expect a reply from them directly (though they do have a yahoo IM account listed)

                        I presume this is either someone you have employed to photograph your daughter, or someone who has been involved in peagents you have entered and has used your daughters photo to practice on.

                        I am curious to know what your concern is, as entering your daughter in such an event seems to suggest you would want such attention?
                        Last edited by Caitlin; 06-04-2005, 06:38 PM.


                        • #13
                          Hi actually, no I do not know this person or why they would have a photo of my daughter other than they may have taken it without my permission from somewhere. Problem is I don't know where, yes I do enter my daughter in pageants, however I have never used that particular photo anywhere. The only person who should have had access to it was me, and the person who retouched that particular photo, which was not the OP. I was just curious as to how she obtained the photo since to the best of my knowledge the retoucher never used it on her website either.

                          And no, we don't enter pageants for attention, we enter them because that is what my daughter loves to do.

                          Thank you for telling me about the profiles though, I'm new to this board and don't know how to work it yet. As you will notice I think this is only my 3rd post here.


                          • #14
                            To Caitlyn

                            First of all your comments are extremely rude. My daughters photo was found here today. I emailed the woman who said she is a pageant photographer and asked her where she got my daughters photo and why she thought she had the right to post it on this forum. My friend brought this site and the use of both our daughters photos to my attention this morning.

                            I am a hair and makeup artist and work very closely with many pageant photographers and modeling photographers and I can say in my over 20 years of experience in the pageant world that I have not ever come across this "photographer."

                            Yes both Punkydoodlebugs daughters as well as mine compete in pageants. However, their photos are not given to complete strangers for their own personal use. I find that appalling. I also find your comments to Punkydoodlebug insulting. If you are not educated in the hobby someone chooses then you should keep your comments to yourself.


                            • #15
                              Maybe I completely missed the point in this polite thread, but...

                              Isn't a pageant something like "take a little girl, slap some coat of makeup on her face and let her walk down a catwalk in the hope of some people admiring her and her mother? Sorry for the open opinion, but I guess there are dozens of people taking photographs and I have never seen anybody yelling "NO! Do not photograph my kid!" Or am I completely wrong?

                              Besides that, I thought Kris wanted to PAINT some girls faces and just used the photo as a template, so what is so bad about that?

                              Just curios....


                              PS: As the above only states my own personal opinion I cannot resist to remind you of one very important thing: This is a photo retouch forum for photo retouchers and those people seeking help! Hence, we should not accuse users like kris for asking questions before she could at least make a statement on why she took that photo but rather assume the reasons are to improve her work. And isn't that what we all want?


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