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December 10, 2012
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Tutorials on Realistic Face Features and Shading Details?

:iconalantherobot:
AlanTheRobot Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't know how to explain this but after drawing/painting quite a few people from photos and then trying to paint my characters I've run into a bit of a problem. I knew of this problem but it hadn't been a problem because I could hardly draw my characters before.

Anyways, with real people, they seem to have these slight imperfections, especially around the nose, cheeks and chins. They're quite noticeable when their faces are lit harshly creating a high contrast between the shadows and the highlights. Then there's also the laugh lines. They look fine on real people when you paint them in correctly.

BUT I can't seem to add any of these things to my characters. I have perfect sketches all done. They just need some lighting (which allows you to see the features I mentioned). I use myself as reference though and I'm not old enough to have those noticeable features. I've searched the stock photos for older people but they usually don't have the right post or type of face. I tried tutorials and I can't find much. I've found a few on face textures, but these seem more about final touch ups (textures, freckles, etc). I also tried combining photos of real actors who look like my characters and combining the features, but same problem as the stock photos. The pose isn't right, etc.

Does anybody know of any tutorials (here on DA, or elsewhere, YouTube, etc) that discuss these things? I can't seem to find any.

Or any tips are appreciated.
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:iconalantherobot:
AlanTheRobot Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
This thread doesn't feel like it's going anywhere. How about I clarify a bit:

If you know any books/tutorials/videos on how to draw realistic faces from SCRATCH, please tell me. If it covers lighting these faces, even better, and if it goes in depth about unique features of a face, different eyes, noses, wrinkles, folds, chins, dips, etc. That would be perfect.


I already draw realism and do plenty of sketches, and life drawings. But I can't seem to learn from them and pin down how a face works. A guided approach I feel would help me to understand way better. It's like I don't even know where to begin learning so when I do studies, yeah they come out like copies, but what I learn only applies to that specific face. No two faces are lit the same, and I can't connect how a face would look under different lighting based on it's features. And even when I learn that, it seems to apply to only that face.
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:iconwhin:
whin Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012
I understand your questions, its really hard to match the realism of a subject/photo, but some of my techniques i used was very light opacity about 13% of my brush, normally i use blur brush, the normal brush. Working in a high resolution like 4000px about 200-300 dpi. In realism you need a lot of patience.

I also discovered recently a realistic effect you can find my output here [link] but i cant tell this for the moment. The Final work link is here [link]. You can also browse some of my past works
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:iconalantherobot:
AlanTheRobot Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Do you mean you use that brush to make the tiny details I'm talking about?

My canvas is usually 300 dpi and anywhere from 4000 to 10,000+ px. So I'm good there.
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:iconwhin:
whin Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012
i use the low opacity of brush for 1st touch and retouching it again and againt until i get the right shade, both small details and big as Shades. I zoomed it too for very detailed section.

your other problem was the lighting? i have somes technique like using Soft Round Brush and Burn Brush. You can also save as it or create a JPG and add layers and start experimenting on the shadows/shades.

this is not too much detail but you can see my process:

1. [link]
2. [link]
3. [link]
4. [link]
5. Adding more texture and final [link]

and here is my other way

1. [link]
2. [link] if you can see im adding more details and adjusting the higher opacity of my brush
3. [link] darker shades
4. more shades [link]
5. [link] final

for adjusting the shades, it should be in a diff layer so you can adjust to lighter or darker [link]

adding skin texture [link]
and coloring [link]
max view [link]

and this is my most realistic work but here are only the hands body and phone changes.
[link]
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:iconalantherobot:
AlanTheRobot Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I dislike using soft brushes. The results are too airbrushed for my tastes. Also I have no problems making a painting from a picture or a few reference pictures and merging them into one image.

The problem comes when I try to do a face from scratch with zero references. Naturally occurring face features (dips, laugh lines, strange shadows) are unique in how they appear on different people and under different lighting so they look ridiculous when I try to add them to my sketches.
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:iconwhin:
whin Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012
I see, thats my common used brush but I also use diff brushes depending on the texture i want but still using low opacity, it helps me a lot. My final touch of the skin was overlayed by skin texture so the airbrush effect will gone.

Ok, thats the common problem of lighting. I think you just need more practice for realism.
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:iconalantherobot:
AlanTheRobot Featured By Owner Dec 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I stick to a hard brush, with anywhere from 20-80% opacity and that seems to work fine.

The problem is I feel like all the practice I've done doesn't help with the light. I'm looking more for a general tutorial that maybe teaches how the light and different light falls on a generic face. I remember there used to be a technique where the face was divided into planes, but I can't find it. Or perhaps a tutorial on how to makes faces unique, but then when I search for that i find too much cartoon stuff.
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:iconheavenhairsixes:
HeavenhairSixes Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
It sounds like it is about textures rather than faces. Practicing drawing things with different textures really helped me. Whatever you can find just pile it up and try and describe it with whatever you have. Try and represent the different surfaces and move around it and look how the lighting works and stuff.

Then go back to your faces and try and find uses for the techniques you have tried. At least some of it will come in useful!
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:iconalantherobot:
AlanTheRobot Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't think it's about textures. Textures I can add at the end. It's more those weird dips of the skin and the form of the chin. I can't quite apply what I know to my sketches. I try but it looks ridiculous and I don't understand why.
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:iconheavenhairsixes:
HeavenhairSixes Featured By Owner Dec 10, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I don't know. If you are thinking you can add textures at the end as an afterthought then then you are thinking about something very different to me.

I'm talking about bumps and lumps and creases and folds. The difference between things that are stretched and smooth and things that might be sagging and wrinkly. To me different textures and surfaces are something quite integral to a picture rather than something to be tagged on at the end - although it may just be me that is clueless.

Just finding a flat picture of someone with a wrinkly face and trying to apply that to your character won't necessarily work - those 2D featires created from their specific lighting can't necessarily be 'copy and pasted' to another image. In my experience if you can find a nice wrinkly vegetable and study it from different angles you can get a much better idea of how the creases work with different light sources and how tissue might sag and so on and so forth. And if you practice drawing it you can soon find short cuts that get nice effects that you can apply to a more 'interesting' face.

But it's not like I'm an expert or anything, so whatever...
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