Create a Realistic Blush Using Photoshop's Gaussian Blur Tool | Michelle Tabares | Skillshare

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Create a Realistic Blush Using Photoshop's Gaussian Blur Tool

teacher avatar Michelle Tabares, Cartoonist, Designer and Illustrator

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      Applying the Flush


    • 3.

      Adjusting for Different Skintones


    • 4.

      Adding Extra Flush to the Lips


    • 5.

      Finishing Touches


    • 6.



    • 7.

      Closing Thoughts


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About This Class

Have you ever struggled to replicate rosy, realistic blushes on Photoshop? Want to learn how to add an easy, realistic flush to your characters? This class will show you how in 6 minutes! (Although this class includes a few additional bonus tips on how to improve your blush).

Using the Gaussian Blur Tool (with a little help from the Eraser Tool) is the best way to add a rosy glow to your character art and digital portraits. This video lesson will show you where to apply your rosier tones on the face and body and how to adjust flush colors for various skintones using the Hue/Saturation window.

All music in this lesson courtesy of DJ Quads:

(Completely by chance, the song that is most used throughout this lesson is called "Blushes")

Meet Your Teacher

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Michelle Tabares

Cartoonist, Designer and Illustrator

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: Hi, my name is Michelle [inaudible]. I'm a cartoonist, illustrator, and traveler based here in sunny Tampa, Florida. I was really motivated to create this class because early on, when I began using Photoshop to create digital illustrations and comics, I found that I was really struggling creating a natural Rosie flush on my character spaces without making it look like they were sunburned. Even though it took me a very long time to figure this method out, I'm hoping to alleviate some of the tension for you by showing you my simple and fast method for creating a subtle, realistic, Rosie flush using the Gaussian blur tool. Now, if you wanted, you could actually just watch the next video, which is just six minutes long, and that would basically teach you everything that you need to know, but I will go ahead and include a couple of other short videos that you can watch if you'd like that will help you further refine and improve your flush. Although to be fair, here's a hint, they all involve using the Eraser tool, and involve using the Eraser tool over and over again. This is something that I've really struggled with. I'm really excited to make this class and hopefully help some of you out. Whenever you're ready, let's continue on to the next video. 2. Applying the Flush: Welcome back. In this video, I'm going to show you how to apply your base lush layer. Now in fact, if you wanted to, this could be the only video that you watch and you'd be fine but I'm also going to include some other videos that will help improve and refine the blush on your character or portrait subject. Make sure that your image is black and white, any gray and your line art might make it difficult to see the blush as clearly as possible. They're going to open up your color picker window and select the color that would be suitable for your a natural flush. The color can always be adjusted later so I would recommend sticking with a medium toned coral, hang or light red. I think it's always best, particularly when you're starting out to choose colors would look natural and since this character is going to have a warmer skin tone, I'm selecting a color that has a little bit more yellow in it. This is more of an orange each color rather than a pink. Make sure that your brush is a good size. You don't want it to be too small because otherwise it can be hard to fill in the shaves and too big can make it harder to color and more precisely. You also want to make sure that you reduce the opacity to your brush. I've made a brushstroke of my chosen color and 100 percent opacity. Now by reducing the opacity, you can see here that the color beside it is much less intense and more natural-looking because it's somewhat transparent. That means it will also blend in more naturally to the skin tone. Let's start off with, you're going to roughly apply the color in places that you would naturally see a lush. There's a few places on the body where blushing most naturally occurs. This would be on the cheeks, the nose and particularly the nose tip, the ears, the chin, the lips, anywhere where there's joints. Particularly the fingers, elbows and knees, and the shoulders. Some artists choose to apply lush colors in other places like maybe the chest or the stomach. While that's something that I'm not choosing to do in this particular image that is an acceptable it stylistic choice if you'd like to make it. The nice thing also about using a reduced opacity brush like the one I'm using, is that you can build the opacity a lot of times flush on our bodies can have a more gradiated effect, as you can see on the shoulders and fingers and cheeks on this image. This allows her to be more of a gradual fade, which again looks more natural. You might be looking at this image right now and thinking that this doesn't look good at all. I would agree with you. Reliance here are very noticeable and they don't look natural but as soon as we open up the Gaussian blurred tool, they fade beautifully in a way that is much more natural looking. For me, this is my preferred method of creating a blush in Photoshop, even though there are many ways to do so. Now I'm going into the Filter Blur and then Gaussian Blur on the upper drop down menu and just as we open up a Gaussian blur window, we can see that it immediately blurs out and fades the once harsh, blocky lines. Now you can also adjust blurred level and further you push the slider to the left, the less blended and faded it gets and the more you push it to the right, the more the fade increases. You're going to go ahead and erase all the places outside the drawn lines where the Gaussian blur tool shouldn't be. So you can see I'm starting off with the left shoulder. Some of the color is bleeding outside the line and I'm quickly working my way through all the other places, the blur shouldn't be seen. This immediately cleans up the image and makes it look a lot less messy. Even after using the Gaussian blurred tool that you can see that there are some parts that still are too intense and saturated. At this point, I'm going to go ahead and take my eraser tool at a lowered opacity so that we can still see some of the rosy hue and I'm just going to erase some of that highly saturated on natural flush to make it look more subtle and realistic. I also noticed a spot on the right shoulder that didn't have quite enough of a blush for my liking. I'm going ahead with the lasso tool and I'm roughly selecting the area, adding a little more flush and more Gaussian blur to make that area seem more rosy. As you can see, I'm just continuing to remove some of the flush in the places that it doesn't belong. The flush on the shoulder still seems a bit too intense to me. Since I don't want this to be mistaken for a sunburn, I'm going through another pass with the eraser tool. Now I think this blush looks pretty good and I would say fairly natural looking and if you're happy with it, you can stop there. Whenever you're ready, let's head on to the next video to learn more about how to improve and refine your flush. 3. Adjusting for Different Skintones: Welcome back. In this video, we're going to be talking about how to adjust the blush level for various skin tones. As you can see on the screen, right now we have the original lighter skin tone that we've put on our character and the original pink flush that we've given him. Whenever I need to adjust colors, for me my go-to on Photoshop is the Hue/Saturation tool, which can be found under Image and then under Adjustments from the top drop-down menu. Just by playing around with the Hue slider, you can either opt to add more red or more yellow to the skin tone depending on what look it is that you're going for. Similarly, you can also go to your blush level to adjust the amount of redness or yellowness that you would like your character to have depending on how red or yellow their skin tone might be. I'm going to go ahead and turn off this lighter skin tone layer and then turn on a new layer that shows a darker skin tone. We've left the original blush on for the light skin tone. Even though the original blush that we were working with complimented the lighter skin tone fairly well, it seems a little off with this darker skin tone as though it needs to be maybe darkened or be saturated. Just as we did before, we're going to go back to the Hue/Saturation window and we're going to start by reducing the lightness so the blush color will better match the new darker skin tone. Normally when a person is blushing or has a natural flush to their face, that flush tone tends to be darker than the rest of the skin around it. Next, we're going to go back to the Hue slider and we're going to adjust the blush color so that it matches this new skin color a little bit better. We're also going to increase the saturation because sometimes when you darken an image or decrease the lightness, it can make a color seem less saturated. Making a few more final adjustments. Now we have successfully adjusted a blush for a darker skin tone. Now keep in mind if you're working with an even darker skin tone than what we have on the screen that you would continue to darken the flush and adjust the hue accordingly. Then similarly, if you are working with an even lighter skin tone, you would also lighten the flush and be sure to be saturated as well. Thanks for watching this video. Now, whenever you're ready, let's continue on to the next one. 4. Adding Extra Flush to the Lips: Welcome to the next video. In this section, we're going to be talking about the lips specifically. Applying blush to the lips can be tricky. When it comes to the face, the lips tend to have the highest amount of redness or pinkness compared to the other parts of the face that you would commonly see a flush. One common mistake is that it's very easy to get heavy handed with a flush and make the lips look too bright, which can seem unnatural and as though the character is wearing lipstick, which is not a bad thing at all if it's a decision that you've made. But if you want to go for something more realistic, I'm going to show you how in this video. First I'm going to create a layer specifically for the lips and then roughly color in with the same brush tool that we've been using at our lowered opacity. As you can see, I'm building the color up a little bit, particularly on the top lip, since naturally most people tend to have more pigment on their top lips. Next, I'm selecting the Polygonal Lasso tool. This is to ensure that when I apply the Gaussian blur effect, none of the blush bleeds out from the Lasso tool selection. Now I'm going ahead and applying the Gaussian blur. I'm reducing the blur but just a little bit. This is because I want there to be more pigment on the lips. If I were to apply more of a Gaussian blur to the selection, the color would be too faded. Then going ahead and selecting the straw and removing any of the blush that showed up there. Now I'm taking my eraser tool lowering the opacity even more and gently applying it over and over again to the edges of the lips. This is again to ensure that this has more of a realistic effect. Although you could skip this step if you wanted a character that looked like they were wearing lip gloss. I'm now lightening the bottom lip a little bit because I do want there to be a distinct color difference between the bottom and top lip. I'm opening up my hue saturation tool. Now I'm adjusting the hue and saturation so that the lips have a slightly darker but still somewhat neutral color. This is something that you can actually play around with because lips come in a variety of different colors. I'll admit this is kind of tricky to get right. But the more you practice and the more you use and become comfortable with your Gaussian blur and eraser tool, the easier this will become. I do recommend experimenting as much as possible, since that's the best way for you to discover what will work best for your art style, for the particular color Palette Effect you're using. Really because at the end of the day, experience is going to be your best teacher. I would also recommend having a layer that includes a flat lip color. As you can see here on the screen, this lip color should be slightly darker than the natural skin tone. Then when you lay the blush on top, it tends to look very natural. Thanks so much for watching this video. If you're ready to continue learning more, we can move on. 5. Finishing Touches: Welcome back to the next video. In this lesson, we're going to briefly talk about putting some finishing touches on your newly blushed piece. First, I'm going to try to create some definition, mainly around the cheeks and nose, so that you can see that there is a delineation between the blush on the cheeks and the blush on the nose. Now I'm going in and erasing any harsh edges and the reason why I'm erasing these harsh edges is to soften the overall look of the flush on the face, so that it looks as natural as possible. There's a few places where the flush seems a little bit too harsh and could almost be mistaken for a sunburn. Now I'm going in with a large eraser at nine percent opacity to soften some of those places where the blush is more intense. For the most part, when you're working on these finishing touches, the Eraser Tool is going to be your best friend since putting the Eraser Tool at a low opacity can really help finish the look off and make it look more polished, soft, and realistic. Now I'm taking one final pass with the Eraser Tool at a low opacity. Keep in mind that it is better to slowly remove the blush with a low opacity Eraser Tool rather than all at once with a high opacity. While it is possible to get a natural looking blush with a high opacity Eraser Tool, I find that removing the intensity of the blush slowly rather than all at once with a higher opacity tool will ensure a more realistic looking flush. Now, here is the line art that we began with, with absolutely no color or blush. Here is the line art with the blush. Here's the completed piece including colors, shading, and highlights. If you want your character's blush to look more sun-kissed, I would recommend adding freckles. Since oftentimes light and medium tone skin will freckle when exposed to sun after awhile. I'm turning off and on some layers to show you what this blush would look like on a lighter skin tone. Now you're done. Thanks for watching and now let's move on to the next video. 6. Assignment: [MUSIC] Hello, and welcome back to your assignment video. Your assignment is going to be fairly simple and straightforward. If you take a look at the image that I've included for this assignment, you'll see that I have two images side by side. The first, is the black and white line art with the flush laid on top, and then the second image on the right is a more completed piece. That includes flat colors, shadows, highlights, and of course, the flush that we've learned today. I want you to primarily focus on the first image, getting the flush just right, since this is what our class is centered around. But, if you want to take it the next step further and see how your new flush looks with colors, shadows, highlights, etc, feel free to challenge yourself if you want. If you want to challenge yourself even further, you can also try adapting your flush that you've created for various skin tones. Since as I've mentioned, flushes do need to be adapted depending on whether or not you're working with a light, medium, or dark skin tone, and depending on what your character or portrait subject's undertones look like. Be sure to take it as slow as possible. Don't overwhelm yourself, and remember to utilize the eraser tool to blurt out any harsh lines and to reduce any intensity where you don't want it. Best of luck to you, and I absolutely can't wait to see what you guys come up with. Have fun with your flushes, and I'll see you in the next video. 7. Closing Thoughts: Welcome back, and thank you so much for taking this class on how to create realistic flushes with the Gaussian blur tool. I hope that I haven't been too repetitive throughout this lesson, but my aim was to really emphasize just how simple this process is, as this process can basically be broken down into just three steps. One, applying your base flush tone color, two, applying the Gaussian blur filter, and then finally three, using the eraser to auto lowered opacity, and slowly removing the harsh lines and high saturation until you get a flush that is natural looking. It just takes a little bit of practice to get right. If you find yourself struggling for whatever reason, please don't hesitate to get in touch by leaving a comment. I'm more than happy to help in any way that I can. Keep in mind that the techniques that I've shown you throughout this course are simply my personal preference for creating a flush on Photoshop. There are many ways to do so, and I really encourage you to adapt, and modify certain things that I've taught you and really make this process your own. Thanks again, I hope to see you soon, and please have fun creating your flushes. Bye.