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Here Is That, Which You Will Find, ON THIS PAGE:

  1. Video #1 -- How To Simulate An Acrylic Or Oil Portrait In Photoshop

  2. Text #1 -- How To Simulate An Acrylic Or Oil Portrait In Photoshop

  3. Video #2 -- How To Draw An Oil Portrait In Photoshop (Sped)

  4. Text #2 -- How To Draw An Oil Portrait In Photoshop 

  5. Glossary


Simulate Acrylic or Oil Portrait in Photoshop

If you want to see the text version of this video, click-Portrait Photoshop Text.

Drawing An Oil Portrait In Photoshop -

Shows The Work Bein Done, Sped Up


How To Draw An Oil Portrait In Photoshop (Watch The Video, Above)

The second layer must be a transparent layer. You must draw on it. Then choose the mixer brush tool and change the adjustment as said before. You must choose your color with ALT+I. Do this if you draw on parts where the color is different.

For details choose a small brush, for huge skin parts choose the bigger one. Even draw in the direction where the hair grows, or where there lines are. Brush over EVERYTHIN besides the body shape outlines.

For every part of the body (face, hands, hair) you can make a new layer. It's easier if you have to erase somethin.

Draw the hair with a small brush. then add a new layer and change to "brush tool" on the drop down menu at your toolbar. Choose a hair brush ( you can download somethin like this in the web, google it!) and choose some dark and light hair colors and paint the new "hair".  You can do this often and change the layer settins on overlay, color dodge or soft light.

Make a new layer and draw the outlines with a 1 px sized small hard brush.

Next duplicate, double some layers and go to filter -> stylize -> emboss. Put the settins on 1 pixel 500 %.  Next change the layer style to "overlay" and change the opacity (10-80 %)

If you want to add some highlights, press STRG+SHIFT+ALT+E, then you have a new layer on the top with every visible, seeable layer on it (cropped). Then take the dodgin-and-burnin tool and add some highlights / shadows to your image, your sight ( EXP max. 10 % )


How To Simulate An Acrylic Or Oil Portrait In Photoshop

(watch video by clickin Portrait Photoshop)

What photos work best?

This technique works best when the subject area is large. Landscapes and pictures of groups of people, where things are smaller within the document area, won't work as well.

Duplicatin the background

With your image selected, open up your layers palate. Duplicate the background by usin Control-J on a PC or Command-J on a Mac to duplicate highlited layer. Apply Hue/Saturation to the duplicated layer by either usin Control-U on a PC, or a Command U on a Mac, which opens up the Hue/Saturation dialogue box.

The changes made within this box will be applied directly to the highlited layer. This box can also be brought up by moving the cursor to Image, and then Adjustments.

Set the Saturation to 35. Then, decide which colors within the image you wish to bring out (a yellow feather, a blue balloon, a red shirt).

After decidin which colors you wish to bring out, move the cursor up to the Edit: Master column, and select the color which you wish to enhance by increasin the saturation. After the bring the levels to your likin, click the O.K. button.

Applyin a Clarifyin Unsharpened Mask

Next, apply a Clarifying Unsharpened Mask to the duplicate image. Bring the cursor up to Filter on the top menu, scroll down to Sharpen, then over to "Unsharp Mask". When the Unsharp Mask Dialouge box opens up, set the Amount option to 15, and bring the Radius up to 85. Click O.K.

By this point, change the name of the duplicated layer to "Layer 1". Duplicate this layer by pressin either Control J or Command J. This will create a layer called "Layer 1 copy". Usin the copy, apply the Blur filter by movin your cursor up to Fliters. Scroll down to the Blur option, and then select Surface Blur.

Within the box, make sure the Radius is set at 11 and the Threshold is set at 22. This is meant to keep the sharpness of your main focus intact, while creating a plastic look. Levels may be adjusted to your preference if 11/22 doesn't bring out the desired effect. Once satisfied, click the O.K. to close the box.

Creatin an Empty Layer

Create an empty layer by clickin the icon, second from the right, at the bottom of your layer box. Within this layer, apply the Airbrush option. Click on the brush tool within the tool box. Then, click the Brush option on the top menu and drag the cursor down to the "Airbrush Soft Round 45" option.

Once selected, click outside the box for it to go away. For the photo to resemble a paintin, certain textures may need to be less visible (the lines on jeans, the hairs of a feather, the rough surface of a stone).

In order to do this, sample colors around the area which you wish to brush over, and begin brushin over them, switchin from light to dark when needed. Some colors you may wish to bring out within the picture as well, and that can be accomplished by usin the same technique (highlights in hair, reflections of light).

The entirety of this process is based on the user's preferences. [Editor's note: This process can be accomplished by either Mouse or Tablet. A Tablet is NOT necessary to accomplish this step.]

Composite Layer

Next, create a Composite Layer. To do this, click either Shift Control Alt E on a PC, or Shift Command Option E if usin a Mac. What this will do is create a Composite Layer, which will merge your layers into one layer, while leavin the others intact.

With this layer highlited, move your cursor up to Filter, scroll down to Sharpen, and then over to Unsharp Mask. Within the box, adjust the Amount to anywhere between 160-170, and the Radius to 0.9. Click O.K. On the SAME layer, add a Canvas Texture. Under Filter, scroll down to texture and then click Texturizer.

This opens the Style Log box. Within the box, click the Light option and open up the lighting options. By selecting  where the light will be positioned within the picture, different textures will be added to your photo. By adjusting either scaling or relief, you can make the canvas texture more or less prominent depending on your preference.

Signature Layer

Once your photo is to your liking, create another layer which will be used as your signature layer. With the layer highlit, click on your colors and select a color which you would like to make a signature with. By creating your signature within a seperate layer you can simply click backspace if a mistake is made and delete it without it effecting anything else. Once satisfied, save layer file and photo.




Airbrush-Mimics actual, real-life airbrushes, which can be adjusted to user preference.

Blur-Lessens the area of detail selected by the user.

Clarifying Unsharpened Mask- This technique helps emphasize texture and detail.

Filter- Filters apply a desired look to an image by automatically configuring certain settings.

Graphic tablet

Hue-Hue can be thought of as another name for color. If adjusted, the base color of the image changes in correlation to the color wheel.

Layer-Layers are used to make individual edits to a photo, which can be deleted or altered at different stages of the editing process without affecting your other edits.

Levels-Adjusts the brightness level of an images histogram

Radius-Adjusts your pixel size.

Saturation-Saturation adjusts the intensity of colors witnin the photo.

Sharpen-Brings out the detail within a certain area of the users choosing.


Unsharp Mask-Makes edges clear and distinct.

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