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15 mins

Jake's Painting Process
I love to use color! This is a quick walkthrough of my process when I'm drawing a portrait. I used Adobe Photoshop for this tutorial but any art software will do!

Posted by Jake Romano Published See Jake Romano's 7 projects »
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  • How to paint a painting. Jake's Painting Process - Step 1
    Step 1

    I always start off with line work. This is actually the part of my process that takes the longest, since I'm so picky about how my characters are posed and how they are expressing themselves. For this tutorial I'm drawing a girl with a neutral expression.

  • How to paint a painting. Jake's Painting Process - Step 2
    Step 2

    Once I get my lines where I want them, I create a new layer in Photoshop underneath the line work. This is when I start to fill in big patches of base color.

  • How to paint a painting. Jake's Painting Process - Step 3
    Step 3

    My third step: I create a layer *above* the line layer and create a clipping mask so that I can fill in some color on top of those ugly brown lines. This is where I start to have fun!

  • How to paint a painting. Jake's Painting Process - Step 4
    Step 4

    I love using the brightest colors in my palette. At this point in my process I experiment with my favorite swatches and mix different hues together to make something new and interesting.

  • How to paint a painting. Jake's Painting Process - Step 5
    Step 5

    Step 5: It's a little scary but this is where I merge all of my layers in Photoshop (Yikes!) That means I condense everything so that I can't move layers independently anymore. This gives me more freedom with how the colors in the portrait interact.

  • How to paint a painting. Jake's Painting Process - Step 6
    Step 6

    For my final step I clean up the edges of the artwork and add some colorful highlights that really bring life to my character. I add a brightness adjustment layer to perk up that palette then sign it, save it, and post it to social media!

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