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Add, Subtract & Paint Hair

Lesson 17 from: Advanced Portrait Retouching

Lisa Carney

Add, Subtract & Paint Hair

Lesson 17 from: Advanced Portrait Retouching

Lisa Carney

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Lesson Info

17. Add, Subtract & Paint Hair

Lesson Info

Add, Subtract & Paint Hair

So, what I want to tell you first, is that cross-hairs which are part of the hair conversation, I just want to remind you that I do cross-hairs in the beginning in the spotting phase, and I've found, I did not find, someone found the F key for me, so I know that my F key is, so I just wanted to let you know, you can do cross-hairs with F keys, and I do it at the beginning other folks do it at the end, but can we talk about that for a second? If you were to do it at the end, where would you do it and how would you do it? It's a little challenging, for me, for this kind of job flow, the only other recommendation I have, if you're gonna do cross-hairs, and it's not the end, I mean, excuse me, it's not at the beginning, and you want to do it earlier, is, you could do it on the gray layer, the gray layer, the frequency separation and you could do that circle, with the lasso tool and my F key has it at F1. Do you see that? I'm gonna hide the marching ants, just for a second so you can see it...

, and I hit my F key, and there it went, so that is the work around, if someone wants it, if you don't do fly-aways at the beginning you could do it on the gray layer of the frequency separation. That presumes you're doing frequency separation, though, okay otherwise you have to hand-clone it out, on a separate layer. Alright, so let's talk about hair. Hair, glorious hair! I don't know what's going on here. I'm not sure we should keep it, I'm gonna suggest we get rid of it. How I like to get rid of outside hair, is I'd rather not, I would rather not hand-clone or hand-retouch all that out. So what I like to do is, I like to take the background and clone it in, so I take with a very large brush, clone tool, I'm on top, and I click here, I definitely want to have, either, if it's a flat file, current layer, or current below, as we've discussed earlier, I prefer to work on a flat file, it's just my way, you could do it any way you want. And you just option, click, and you bring your edging in, you may get some halo-ing, we talked about that, sometimes I have to go back after I finish this job and clean up that tone, because I might have a little bit of a halo, you could do it later. I like to work in broad strokes, and then come back in and adjust. And then what I do, is, I mask it. I mask it out, and I have this philosophy, where I think when you're masking out the hair, you don't have to do it that tight, you really don't. Do a rough edge. I see so many people really struggling to get a perfect hair edge, and, I've been doing this a long time, I have a hard time getting a perfect hair edge. So, what I find it's easier to do is, mask it out, kind of close, but a little loose, and then paint hair edges in. Paint hair edges in. So, rather than try to mask that, forget it. I mean, forget it, it's going to be crazy. Plus, her hair is already, like, sweet jesus, it's already going, uh, sir, no offense, it's already going all over the place here. I would much rather make a, kind of, more cookie-cutter hair edge, and then paint it in. Now, these hairs are still a little bit sharp, so when I finally paint all the hair, what I would probably do, is blur that layer down, Gaussian Blur, just a little tiny, tiny bit, like a 0. take it down, take it down now. Before, after, before, after. But it makes a difference. Hair, there's a whole workshop on hair, hair is a thing. It is a thing, but please don't be afraid to paint hair, yes, ma'am? So, are you saying that hair on the outside is, like, a separate file that you brought in, or is that her own hair that you just merged over? I'm sorry, you mean, let me see if I, that is her file, that is the original. Yeah, but when you get rid of that, and there's just the little, tiny hairs on the side Oh, I painted this, honey. I just, literally painted it. That's a great question, thank you for asking it. Okay, so, here I am, I'm gonna paint some hair, and I'd like to talk to you a little bit about my philosophy, about painting hair, because it's hard, hair is hard. There's no question about it. How I like to paint hair, is, I like about a two pixel brush, one or two pixel brush, I do not have it on transfer, I have it on Shape Dynamics, Pen Pressure, can I take another moment to say, you must, you must, you must have a tablet. It's absolutely mandatory, because you can not paint hair with a mouse. I select the color, some people like to paint at a different opacity, I paint anywhere from a 35 opacity brush, oh my god, what did I just do? 30 per cent opacity brush, sorry, I just hit delete three times, or, a 50 per cent opacity brush, 75, 77, whatever you want, it doesn't really matter. And, I'm gonna go here, I'm on my Paint Brush, You know what, so that you can see it on the screen, I'm gonna paint at an 80 per cent brush, I hit the return key, I option-click to start selecting some of the hair color, I'm gonna take a moment to say, please, ladies and gentlemen turn off any color correction. Please turn off any color correction, when you are painting hair, you do not want your color correction on. Why, because I am sampling colors. I'll make the brush a little bigger just so you can see it, for this demo. You just start painting. And not only are you guys gonna start painting, what you're gonna do, is you're gonna do a Tauser layer. What does that mean? That means you are gonna do a layer, I'm option-clicking as fast as I can, I'm getting, you ever do gesture drawing, in college, or in art class? (exhaling) (light audience laughing) That's what you're gonna do. You're gonna be relaxed, you're gonna follow her hair. I did this for about five or six minutes, I go like that, I hit the delete key, I do paint hair, and now I go. (light audience laughing) And I'm not kidding, it is the trick of the trade. Give yourself a minute, five minutes to do a gesture drawing to sample, to loosen up, because otherwise, you're gonna be like, I'm drawing hair, and it's gonna look ridiculous. (audience laughing) I kid you not. This way, it means you've got your file down, you know what I'm saying? You got the vibe down. I will tell you, I have, on occasion taken a hairline from someone else's shot, clients will tell you what kind of hair they're looking for, and I've put it over the shot, the file, and merged and worked it, to get it basically in shape, and I've put it at 50 per cent opacity, so I can see it, and I draw over the hair. So, I use it as a guide. Because, I gotta tell you, the whole decision about what do you do, poof, do you not do a poof, do they want it straight out, do they want this? I don't know! So, it's a way for you to have a guide, to draw. Hair is hard, if you're at home, if you're here and you're struggling, you're gonna struggle, it's okay, but you will get there, it's a hand gesture thing. It's a hand tool thing. And, I wanna take this moment to talk about, in this class, we mentioned, 'we', the royal 'we', mentioned this at the beginning, that this is a process class. This is not, like, oh, there's some information, how do you do a color curve, okay got it, now I'm gonna do it and it's gonna be perfect! This is a process. You're gonna try this, your hand's gonna be clunky, you're gonna forget what the controls were, you're gonna have to give yourself some time to get used to this process, and you're gonna suck, for a while, okay? Feel free to suck, for a while, at it, and be bad. And then, I promise, you will get good. I have, on occasion, sucked so badly that I had to hire someone else to do my hair. It's happened. I don't like to admit it. So, sometimes it's gonna be outside your wheel house, and, if that's the case, get some help. Also, sometimes, you're just too tired. And if you just leave it, and go out, and have dinner, have a bottle of wine, glass of wine, go for a jog and come back, you will be amazed at how much, (audience laughing) I'm not kidding, at how much better you'll be when you get back. So, that happens a lot, with hair.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Brunette RAW Practice Image
Blonde RAW Practice Image
Portrait Retouching Workbook
Lisa Carney PSD Practice Image
Layered Hair Color Change Example PSD File

Bonus Materials

Outline Cards

Ratings and Reviews


If you were like me and had no idea on where to start and feared that the editing process would be too destructive and would have to start all over again if the client didn't like your completed work - then this is the class for you. I watch this class often for review and to make sure that I maintain these good habits Lisa suggests to do. If you follow all of her helpful commentary on her how's and why's you will end up in a far better place when that time comes that you have to re-edit your edit. I cannot say enough great things about her work flow and how it not only enhanced my images to the result I was looking for but also decreased my editing time(bonus!!!!). I also on a whim sent her a email through her personal site and she replied with a massive helpful technique for enhancing freckles on a job I was working on. She is amazing! She is a true teacher who is there to show you how to use photoshop for you to find and gain your own editing style. Far too often i find myself in retouching classes that only demonstrate how to make your images look like who is teaching the class... Workflow and Style are very different, you can have the same workflow but your style is determined by your taste. Her workflow is solid and delivers time and time again. This class should be in everyone's dashboard hands down.

Kristine Pye

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question and take us through your "delivery" process, I found that extremely helpful. I have purchased two of Lisa's classes immediately after the live stream during Photoshop Week 2017 and was very excited to stream another set of lectures from Seattle. I will be purchasing the last two courses of Lisa's within the next 24 hours as I did just over a month ago. I find her classes to be absolutely brimming over with useful information--everything from the technique, her process, what other professionals in her work are doing, and **why** she chooses the methods she does in retouching. She is relatable and genuine, and her knowledge of the program and how to maximize efficiency while "skipping the actions" really reinforces the educational part of her courses. There are "easy way outs", but she emphasizes that you should understand the ways in which any adjustment effect the entire photo. These courses have helped me to move forward in my education, helping me to realize that with enough practice and good habit formation--such as naming every single layer every time-- that it is not irrational for me to make an effort in building a portfolio and a Master's degree with little-to-no- previous experience with the software. I am very appreciate. I hope to see more from Lisa in the future, but I have plenty to practice with for now! Thanks again, Kristine Pye

Jeff Robinson

Lisa Carney is amazing! She has a depth of knowledge of Photoshop, retouching techniques, and compositing that she shares in a fast, but straightforward, easy to follow, step by step manner. No matter what your level of expertise, you'll find gems, shortcuts, and methods in her teaching that you can practice and put to use to make your work stronger, faster, and cleaner. And with the bonus materials she graciously provides, including workbooks with her detailed steps, practice files of the images she uses in class, and before and after comparisons, you'll be on your way to improving your skills immediately. She's an accomplished retoucher and gifted teacher. If you have the opportunity to take one of her classes, take advantage of it!

Student Work