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Creating Stylized, Artistic Portraits with Adobe Photoshop

Lesson 2 of 6

Working With Brushes & Pattern Overlay in Photoshop

Khara Plicanic

Creating Stylized, Artistic Portraits with Adobe Photoshop

Khara Plicanic

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Lesson Info

2. Working With Brushes & Pattern Overlay in Photoshop

Lesson Info

Working With Brushes & Pattern Overlay in Photoshop

I'm here right now in Bridge, and we're gonna start our painted portrait with two files. So I'm gonna click to select this one, and Command or Control-click to select this glitter. These come to us from our friends at Adobe Stock, and we'll pop these open here in Photoshop. So, before we get started, we're gonna be using some of Kyle Webster's Photoshop brushes, which if you are not familiar with them, they are the creme de la creme of Photoshop brushes. And it's a pretty big deal that Adobe acquired the use and rights to include these brushes here. So if you are a Creative Cloud subscriber, you already have them for free. I just am gonna show you how to get them into Photoshop. So you wanna start by grabbing your brush tool. Over here, you can press B on your keyboard, or just find your brush tool. And if we come up to the panel options up here, and we click to open this. So click this little down arrow. And then we go over here to this little gear icon, and you click, there is this o...

ption right here, to just Get More Brushes. And if we click on that, it's gonna take us straight to this page on Adobe's website, with Kyle's brushes. And I will just tell you, I'll just scroll through here so you can see, he's very prolific in his brush creation. So you are getting, I don't know, I've never counted them, but hundreds of brushes. And he has them grouped into these different sets, so you can individually download all of those sets. And he's still apparently adding to them, because he released this summer 2018 brush pack. So, that's pretty cool. I haven't played with that one much yet, but they're amazing. So, I recommend downloading all of them. We'll be using for this class, we're gonna be using watercolor, and impressionist. I don't know, a lot. Rakes, spatter. I'd say just get them all. But this is where they are. So what you do, is you click to download, and it just becomes a .abr file, and if you just double click it, it should already automatically install in Photoshop, but, if it doesn't for some reason, or if you just wanna do it the other way, within Photoshop, from the Brushes panel, you can click that gear, and once you've downloaded it, you would click Import Brushes, and then navigate to that .abr file, and it will load, and then you'll see it here. So, highly recommend it. Of course you're free to experiment with the brushes that come with Adobe as well, that are already pre-installed, and we'll be using those too. So, but Kyle's brushes are just so fun. So you can see here in my brushes palette, that I have Kyle's brushes here, and I put them all in a folder, because look how many packs ... If we collapse all of them, look how many different packs there are, and each pack has hundreds of brushes, so it's kind of a lot to manage, and I've just found that it helps keep this panel from getting out of control, if I put them in a folder, and then I can click to expand these as needed. So, we are going to start by using his impressionist brush set. So, I'm gonna scroll through here, and find the impressionist folder. And click to twirl it open. And I'll scroll down here, and I should also point out I guess, if you don't see, if your brush panel doesn't look like this, from the gear, you can also change what you're viewing. So I'm viewing my brushes by name, by stroke, and with the tip preview. So, you can customize how your display here is setup. But this is how I like to have it. So yours might look different, but you wanna find what you're looking for. In this case, we're gonna go with the impressionist brush Seurat here. And to choose this brush, I just double click. And you can see that my cursor looks like this. If I want to make my brush a little bigger, I can use, or smaller, I can use the left or right bracket keys, next to the letter P. So I'm gonna hit the right bracket a little, just to kind of enlarge that slightly. Before we get painting though, we wanna create a blank layer. So, every time we paint, it's good to work on a blank layer, so at the bottom of the Layers panel, I'm gonna click the new, make a new layer button right here. If for some reason you don't see your Layers panel, like all panels, you can find it from the Window menu. So, Window, Layers, should pop it open for you if you don't already see it. I'm gonna select a color too, before we get started. This brush has some neat color properties, so I'm gonna choose a orange-ish color from my color swatch panel. So let's go to Window, and choose Swatches. That'll pop open our swatch panel, and I'm just gonna click to select like an orange like this. So, that's all it takes is a single click, and then I can click right here to collapse the panel. And then, I'm just gonna paint. And you'll notice that I'm getting orange, but also reds, and a little hint towards yellow. So, I thought this image is so colorful, and very bold, and very simple shapes really, but I thought she could use some clothing perhaps, so why don't we just paint that on? So that's a really simple introduction here. I love the texture that this brush has, and the way that it plays with color. So, let's check out another brush. We'll come back to this to add our glitter in a little bit, but at the bottom of the layers panel, we're gonna click to add another new layer. And this time, let's go back to our brushes. And from here I'm gonna collapse that impressionist folder, and we're gonna open his rake folder. So he has a whole collection of rake brushes, because it's Kyle, and he's amazing like that. So what we are looking for here, you can try any of these, but I, screwing around, which one did I go with? I thought it was called phat rake, with a P-H. Maybe I'm just not ... There it is, haha. Alright, so when you find it, they are kind of hard ... They're in alphabetical order, so, but they're all prefixed with Kyle's Rakes, or Kyle's Watercolors, or whatever, so sometimes it tricks your eye, but ... So, P-H-A-T. So, to select this brush, I'm just gonna double click it. And now I'm gonna change to a yellow color. So, I'll pop my swatches panel back open, and select just like a nice gold color. And, I'm trying to do something fun with this fabric band that she has on her hat. So, I basically want my brush to be about this size. So again, the left or right bracket keys on your keyboard are what's gonna make this brush change sizes. If you need to adjust the angle of your brush, if for some reason your brush is being horizontal, you can come up here to your control panel, and this right here, if you grab this arrow, you can click and drag to rotate your brush. So now we can see, you're able to change the angle there. But, I want it to be right straight up and down like that. And now, I'm just gonna click and drag to paint basically a ribbon on her hat. So, really simple. Nothing too complicated. But now we're gonna take it up a notch, and add some sparkle to this, because I always try to incorporate glitter, because it's just so fun, and really easy to do. So, also included in the course files is this fun glitter image. Now, this happens to be gold glitter, which is beautiful, and it's actually what we're gonna end up using. We're gonna be making gold glitter. But, so that we can use this glitter later, in other ways, in other colors, we're gonna make it silver, so we can colorize it in Photoshop later. Okay? So it's gonna be more usable this way. So what we're gonna do is a quick desaturate. So we're gonna come up to Image, Adjustments, and choose Desaturate. Or you can do the keyboard shortcut, Command-Shift-U, or Control-Shift-U. So it's just a quick and dirty desaturate. And now we need to do a levels adjustment, because the contrast could use a big jump. So, I'm gonna press Command or Control-L, to bring up levels. And we're gonna drag the shadow slider ... In, there we go. And highlight shadow, or highlight slider in. So I'm dragging everything into the middle, to really just make this a higher contrast. And probably something about here should probably work pretty well. And when we're happy with it, we'll click OK. So what we're gonna do now is convert this into a pattern. To do that, we need to first select it, which we'll do by pressing Command or Control-A, to put marching ants all the way around our document. And then we'll come up and choose Edit, Define Pattern. And we're gonna call this Glitter. We'll click OK. Now where did that go? It went into our pattern presets, but, here's the thing. We really should save this, so that no matter what we do to our patterns, no matter if we accidentally delete something, or throw it away, or whatever, we wanna make sure we have this. So, I always like when I create my patterns, I like to just save all my presets out right away. So we're gonna come up to the Edit menu, and choose Presets, Preset Manager. And this was a pattern, so from the preset type, we're gonna select Patterns. Now here, this is whatever my last pattern set was. We'll get to that in a minute, but the one that we just made is this one right here. If I hover over it, it should pop up and tell us. Maybe. Maybe it'll pop up. Sometimes it pops up, and it'll say Glitter, or whatever the name was. So I'm just gonna select the last pattern. It should be the last one, because it's the one we just created, so it'll show up last. I'm gonna select it, and I'm gonna choose Save Set. And we'll just put this on my Desktop, and we'll call it MyPatterns. And hit Save. And that's all you have to do. And the fact that we selected it, means that it's gonna be its own set. Otherwise, right now it's just kind of temporarily in here with these patterns, but if we switched to a different pattern library we would lose it. So, we wanna save it out. So, by selecting it, we put this by itself, in its own set, that will not include all these things. These are defaults from another set that we'll get to later. So we'll go ahead and click Done. And now we're done with this image of the glitter, and we can actually just close that. And it's asking if we wanna save it. We don't have to. Okay. So now we've done that. Let's add the glitter effect to this hat painting layer. So first of all, let's rename our layer. Instead of Layer 2, we'll call it Hat. And Layer 1 can be Dress, or Scarf, or whatever. So we just double click to put our cursor in there, and we can give it a new name. So we're gonna add this pattern of glitter. We're gonna add it as a layer effect. So, down at the bottom of the Layers panel, we're going to click to add the effects. And, we're gonna choose Pattern Overlay. So there's a lot of different categories of effects that we can apply. So we'll choose Pattern Overlay. And, here's where we select the pattern. So from this little dropdown arrow, we're gonna click, and there's got all these different patterns in here, and yours probably looks different than mine. That's okay. But if you followed along, and created the glitter, then we should see that at bottom. So we'll click to select it. And here's the fun part, where we can change the blend mode. And, if we change it from, let's see, let's put the opacity at 100%. If we do Normal, we'll see the glitter just appear right here. So maybe we wanna have silver glitter. That would be fine. But, what we're gonna do is, it's not Multiply. I wanna say it's ... I forget which blend mode I ended up liking the best. Pin Light works nicely. Luminosity I think. Yeah. So, you can experiment, but by changing this blend mode, you can change the way that the paint that's on your layer, in this case the yellow rake paint, interacts with the glitter pattern. So, we made the pattern desaturated, so it looks silver, because then it can take on the color that we have on that layer. So, if I leave this Luminosity blend mode, that will blend the color of the paint on our layer, with the pattern of the glitter. In this case, the silver glitter. And the result is gold glitter, or pink glitter, or any kind of color that we want. So, we can adjust the scale here. If we wanna make the glitter smaller, we can drag that scale down. I wouldn't put it above 100%, because it's gonna get garbly. But I'm gonna drag it down, maybe around 50. And then we'll go ahead and click OK. Now just to show you how this works, and what's so cool about that we made that glitter be silver, is because now if I wanna change the paint on this layer, let's lock the transparency of this layer, so I'm gonna click this button right here. And, now I can just fill this layer with a new color, and it will change the color of the glitter. So let's come up here, and if I wanted to make the glitter purple, I could select a purple color, and then I can hit Option-Delete on my keyboard to fill that layer with my foreground color over here. And, it'll just take that glitter, and now it's purple. Okay, if we had made the glitter, and kept it as gold, then we wouldn't have that same effect. So that's why we made it black and white, or silver in this case, and now we can change the color of the glitter by just changing the color of the paint on this layer. So I'll go back to a nice yellow. Maybe even maybe a brighter one. Ooh. There we go. I'm liking this more mustardy yellow. Seems to work really well. So again that's just picking the color, any color you want, and then once you have that color active over here in your foreground swatch, you can just press Option or Alt-Delete, and it will fill this layer with color. And we locked the transparency, so that it doesn't fill the whole layer, it just fills the area that we've already painted. So that's pretty cool. Let's go back to the dress layer here, and we're gonna add some paint here. But, let's put actually a new layer for that. So a new blank layer. And, to keep us from having to reapply the glitter, here's what we can do. On our new blank layer, we're gonna Option or Alt drag this pattern overlay effect down and drop it on our new blank Layer 1. And that will allow us to just paint in glitter. So, I've got my yellow paint still active from when I painted, or filled in the glitter up here. Let's go get our brush one more time. So I'm coming back up here to my options. And one of the nice features here is that Photoshop keeps track of different brushes that we've used recently, so I don't have to go back, and scroll through all of Kyle's brushes, to get back to that impressionist brush that we just used to paint the dress. I can just come back here, and that was my last previous brush, so I'll just double click, and it remembers. Okay? So we're painting on a blank layer, again with the impressionist brush, with yellow paint, and we've applied this effect of the pattern overlay, and watch what happens. Now I'm gonna use my brush like a stamp. And now I'm getting glitter right coming out of my brush. I just think that's so much fun. Okay. So, very cool, very fun use of patterns, and again we can double click this, and if we wanted to scale that somehow, if we wanna make it different for some reason in her dress, we can edit that. So I'm actually gonna scale it down a little more here. So, all I did to do that was double click the Pattern Overlay effect, and I get back to this Layer Style box, and then I can adjust the scaling right here. So again, that's the silver glitter, and we're in Luminosity blend mode. And that's what allows that glitter to take on whatever color we paint on this layer. Okay, and finally, a little bit of fun whimsy, we're gonna add some purple rain to this image. So we'll make yet another new blank layer. Let's go back to our brushes, and I always like when I leave one category of brushes, I like to close it, because otherwise I get lost really quickly in all of these brushes. So, we had the rake brush folder open, so I'm gonna close that. And this time, let's scroll down to his concept brushes. So right here. Gonna open that. And these are really, there's some neat stuff in here. There's foliage brushes, and bird brushes, and scales, and all kinds of things. And what we're looking for is rain. And, so I'm scrolling quickly, because they are alphabetized, so rain of course starts with S ... Or excuse me, R. Here we are. R, for raindrops, and he's got all different kinds of raindrops. So, I'm gonna grab these ones that are actually raindrops cartoon. So I'm gonna click to select it, or double click to select it, and close the panel at the same time. I'll press the right bracket key to make this cursor a bit bigger, so we can see what's happening. And I'm gonna grab some purple, because of, obviously, Prince fans, we'll go with some purple rain. So let's see what's happening. If I click right now, I'm getting sideways rain, which that could be fun. Maybe it's very windy where she is. We all know that rain can blow sideways. But, if we want to adjust the way that this rain is going to fall, we can change that in our options up here, for the brush. So I'm gonna click to open this, and if we drag this arrow here again, I'm just gonna rotate it until I see that the brush is facing the way that I want it to be. This brush comes with some angle presets. I think it's supposed to jitter around, depending how you paint with it. So you might have to fiddle with this, and test to get it to do what you wanna do, but this is how you do it. You can turn this around here, until you get the direction that you want for your raindrops. And then, I'm just gonna click ... Gonna make these a little bit bigger. Click, and maybe I click and drag, and maybe I use it like a stamp. It just kind of depends how much rain we wanna add to this. If I don't like it, I can undo it. We could mask it later. There's a lot of different options. And actually, I'm kind of wanting it to rotate a little bit, like ... So it's gonna come in from the side. There we go. This looks a little more like what I had in mind. So, I'm just sort of stamping, and clicking and dragging a little. I'm trying to avoid having it over her face. If I need to, if I do something like that, and get it in her face, well then it's time for a layer mask. So, that's easy enough to fix. I'm gonna rename this rain layer with Rain, by double clicking on it and typing rain, and then we'll just add a layer mask, so we can hide anything that we might want to get off of her face. So, at the bottom of the Layers panel, we'll click the mask icon, and we'll change our brush. Go back to our defaults. Wherever it is that your defaults are in your Brush panel, and find a soft round brush. And then you wanna paint with black in this case. So you can press D for default colors, if you don't already have it here, and then X to exchange them, or flip flop to get black on top. You can also click this little double headed arrow. So we want black on top, and then we just paint on top of anything we wanna get rid of. So if you, if there's any raindrops anywhere that are too many in one spot, and you just don't like it, you can just brush them away. So, maybe you don't have good raindrop distribution. If you make a mistake, and you erase too much, just press X on your keyboard to get white back on top, and then you can paint over any areas, if you wanna bring something back. So that is a quick look at how masking works. Alright, so we've painted a little bit. We've added some pattern overlays. So, at this point, obviously, if you love your work and wanna share it with us, I wanna see it, so you would save this out. Go to File, Save As, and save it like a JPEG I guess, if you're gonna upload that, and share it with us.

Class Description

Part photo, part digital painting & mixed media, 100% fun. Join Khara Plicanic to learn how to create one-of-a-kind mixed media portraits using Adobe® Photoshop® brushes, textures, and patterns. You’ll be amazed with what’s already available and at your fingertips. Explore the hidden nooks and crannies of Photoshop that you never knew existed and wow yourself with what you’re capable of. Pros and novices alike will come away with a finished project to be proud of. 


Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 


liz palmer

I really liked this. I learned a few new tricks and got to practice others. I liked learning about the Kyle brushes, making a pattern preset and using it in pattern overlay. I was thrilled, really!, to see the eraser in clear mode. How great that will be. I am an intermediate user, lots of tutorials, but not a lot of practice. I watch them like soap operas. The pace was perfect for me.


Loved this class due to Khara explaining the steps so thoroughly. Pace is nice and easy and understandable for all levels. Great little course on creating a wonderful piece of multimedia in no time at all.

Karen Keegan

I learned so much in this class - so many tips and tricks. It's great to see different ways to do various tasks, including shortcuts I wasn't aware of. Khara is a great teacher - her pace is perfect, and it's easy to follow her steps. I really enjoyed this class!