gabriel_curringtonLately I have seen a really bad photo retouchment of Prince William on the cover of Hello magazine. Apparently, the fact that he is becoming bald is a great deal in UK.

After my initial shock, I started to think how I would do in case of a heavy photo retouchment that doesn’t have to look realistic, nor that awful.

So I picked a picture of my friend, British Film Composer Gabriel Currington, to make a test, and I treated the original picture like a drawing, instead of using the usual tools.

Honestly, he didn’t like the result. I still have to make up my mind. It’s obviously a photoshopped picture, but it’s different from the usual Photoshop jobs that try to cheat on being real, so I don’t mind it.

gabriel_currington_modified2To achieve this result I redrew his face using different sizes of paint brushes, playing with their hardness and opacity. After painting his face in a new layer using a flat color for the base, in each additional layer I focused my attention on the lights and shadows, using the techniques I use to ink my illustrations.

I redrew his eyes giving more lights and reflections.
Notice also how I redrew his jaw. In my version the shape of his jaw looks more unnatural, but I find it accentuates his manhood.

Lastly, I retouched his hair painting over it the wall and the monitor. That gave it a more pleasant shape.


Yesterday I was working on a composition in Photoshop cutting an aircraft and putting it on a landscape, than I thought How could I make this picture more dynamic?
Adding a trail!

So here I did this experiment with some of the things that I like most: Futurama and London, using paths in Photoshop.planet_express_london

If you would like to try yourself, here I will tell you how to do that with your own pictures.

1 – After cutting the spaceship from the background and putting it on a different layer, draw the path of the trail using the Pen Tool.

2 – Make a new layer.

3 -Select the brush you want to use for your trail, the color and the opacity. For my trail I used 3 sizes of an irregular brush to simulate the smoke, White as the foreground color and Opacity 90%.

4 – Go to the PATHS palette and select the Path label. Right click it and choose the brush from the menu. Now your path has a stroke with the brush you selected previously.

5 – Make a new layer, make the last one invisible and repeat twice all the passages changing the size of the brush.

6 – Make a mask on smoke layer and cancel the smoke behind the tower. Also, progressively cancel the big size smoke when it is far away, to simulate distance, and do the opposite with the small sized smoke when it is close by, in order to keep your picture clean.

7 – Select another brush to simulate the fire. DO exactly what you did before. Use a brush with some blur (or add some blur later). I used a brush 50 for the yellow and a 25 for the red (each one in a new layer).

8 – Make a mask for each layer and cancel the useless parts.

9 – Finally, make a new layer and make a new stroke using the same brush and color you used the first time, with Opacity 80%. This helps making things a bit messier and look more realistic.

10 – For the reactors, make a new layer between the spaceship and the trail, selecting a small brush with a large blur. Starting with white to simulate the smoke, draw a circle.

11 – Select yellow and make the brush smaller to color this time the fire coming out of each reactor. Do the same thing, with a smaller brush, with red.

And this is it! I liked this effect: simple and fun.


London is especially beautiful in Crhristmas time.
Lately I went to watch the latest james Bond film to a private screening at the Sony Pictures headquarters and they had a gigantic Christmas Tree. But when I have seen the picture I took I found out that the lightening was far from the real thing.

So I asked to myself: how can I enhance its lights?

Below you find the original picture and the final effect with the lightening enhancement, and I’ll explain you briefly how I reached this result.


1 – With the picture of a Christmas Tree open, make a new layer and call it LIGHTS.

2 – Select the right color for your lights.

3 – Select the brush tool with the proper size for your lights, Hardness 0% and the SOFT ROUND PRESSURE OPACITY (the fifth default brush in the brush palette from left) and Hopacity 100%..

4 – With the Brush tool selected, click on all the lights. If you have lights of different colors, change your foreground color.

5 – Make a copy of the background picture, name it BACKGROUND 2, put the layer on the top and set the blending mode to Overlay. This way you simulate the volume of the tree, with part of it covering the lights you added and creating more shadows.

The effect is done, now we need some color adjustments.

6 – Create a new Exposure Adjustment Layer and set the values as you like.

7 – Create a new Vibrance Adjustment Layer and set the values as you like.

8 – Create a new layer on the top of all and color it in black. Set the blending mode to Soft Light and the transparency to 20%. This enhances the shadows without affecting the lights you added.

And it’s done!


Recently I have seen a picture of President Obama and his wife hugging after winning the elections. I liked it so much decided to make this drawing out of it.
I wanted to congratulate him anyway 🙂

To do that, I sketched it in Illustrator, then I did all the coloring and shadowing in Photoshop.

For the sky I used an interesting effect on Photoshop: select the colors for the foreground and background, go to Filter – Render – Clouds and it automatically does this effect.

Then you can change it going to Filter – Render – Difference Clouds.