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Skin "tutorial" by krysdecker Skin "tutorial" by krysdecker
Its not really a tutorial .. it's just the .psd file of the body of the new drawing i'm working on.

i'll borrow the explanation i gave of how i work on skin from another of my posts:

"her skin is actually a bunch of layers mixed together.

- 1 base layer where 90% of her skin is (on gray tones)
- 1 layer of "fixes" (i often had a lot of issues with making multiple layers of skin, since if i wanted to erase something i had to erase each layer individualy ... so now i simply make all the layers to be a "clipping mask" of the base one)
- 1 layer with her base color ... it's really tricky to get a realistic human tone .. this layer is set as "Color"
- 1 layer with her "saturated areas" .. it's a layer on "Overlay" where i paint the pink/purple/red tones of the skin, for example her belly, chest and breast .. i also use this layer to highlight or shadow some areas if i want
- 1 layer with texture .. i have some brushes that i use to emulate the small "pores" that make skin, skin .. and not a playboy model plastic skin (also on "Overlay")
- 1 layer with reflexes and things like that .. in this case, the sweat.
- 1 layer i use to add freckles, skin marks, scars etc
- 1 layer to add cloth shadows, or simply "deform" the body .. for example, her top cloth kinda make pressure on her breast, so to give that idea, you make a small shadow in the areas with more "pressure" and highlight a little on top of that .. kinda to give the same idea of what happens if you press your skin with your finger ..

It's not the case on this drawing, but i also have 2 other layers that are often used as "blood" and "dirty" .. which are kinda self explanatory, what i use them for.

Given that i have 2 separated layers for her skin color and saturated hues, i can edit all others freely with gray tones. I simply turn the color layers off and sample the gray tone i want from the image .. so i dont have any conflict between the layers. And on top of the entire drawing there's a secret layer that adds the "noise" in the drawing. "


In the drawing, you'll see that every layer have their name, with a simple "switch on/off" you'll be able to see what they are in the drawing.

- The "skin" layer i do with default round brushes (and the smooth versions) with opacity = pen pressure.

- The skin texture is actually a brush that i have that i got from [link] .. amazing brush set, the one for this texture in particular is the "99" size (the one above the last brush) ..

- The "noise" layer on top is a magic trick from [link] - there's a detailed explanation there on how to create that layer.

One thing to keep in mind is the "size" of the grain .. i try to keep them small, or else you'll notice them on the image .. to do that simply select the layer, Ctrl T and resize it .. then duplicate it some times to fill the entire image ... but that really depends on the size of canvas you usually work with. (my images are around 6k x 4k size .. so i often have half a dozen noise layers merged together to get the size i want)


Any question .. feel free to ask.

And yes, while i dont add unecessary details, i usually draw the naked body and then cover it with cloth/gear .. I find it better to work that way to have a whole body .. and not "several parts tied together. And in case i decide to change the clothing, the body is already there =p
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:icona2vaaaly:
a2vaaaly Featured By Owner Mar 26, 2015  Professional Digital Artist
Amazing, thank you so much.
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:iconthutdara:
ThutDARA Featured By Owner Oct 29, 2014  Hobbyist Artist
Thank you
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:iconpablonegative:
pablonegative Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2014
May I ask what kind of brushes you use to paint the skin on the "skin" layer? How do you get the different tones to blend so well?
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:iconkrysdecker:
krysdecker Featured By Owner Jul 25, 2014  Hobbyist Digital Artist
just the regular round hard brush ... some times I use the soft round brush, but theres nothing fancy on those. 

10% spacing, opacity on pen pressure. 
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:iconpablonegative:
pablonegative Featured By Owner Jul 26, 2014
Great!, thank you very much 4 the reply!
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:iconpablonegative:
pablonegative Featured By Owner Jul 19, 2014
This is awesome! I'm gonna try it out
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:iconmaruseria:
Maruseria Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2014  Student General Artist
Amazing, thank you so much. :D
I'll try something with your tips, If I like it, I'll show you. :D
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:iconsliviss:
Sliviss Featured By Owner Jun 15, 2014  Hobbyist
Thanks! :)
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:iconaivril:
Aivril Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
How do you actually get that grayscale body ? Just using different kind of tones of gray i guess but what kind of brush or layer setting do you use to blend them all ?
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:iconkrysdecker:
krysdecker Featured By Owner Dec 18, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
just different shades of gray and blend them. All on the same layer. 
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:iconaivril:
Aivril Featured By Owner Dec 19, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
Alright gonna try it out ! Thanks so much :huggle:
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:iconphesant33:
Phesant33 Featured By Owner Nov 12, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Thanks for sharing your knowledge :)
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:iconendiseven:
endiseven Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Student Traditional Artist
I digging into your knowledge my dear sir.

Thank you very much for sharing. (:
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:iconsamuel-paul:
Samuel-Paul Featured By Owner Jul 27, 2013  Professional Digital Artist
You are a god, I bow down to this divine offering, and devour it heartily.
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:iconmiilkchan:
MiilkChan Featured By Owner Feb 1, 2013
wow thank you so so so so much
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:iconidn-konzalaev-sergei:
IDN-Konzalaev-Sergei Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
like work
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:icontyzranan:
tyzranan Featured By Owner Jun 24, 2012  Student General Artist
will it be rude of me to ask u to make a video tutorial for us all of this exact tutorial ? would help a lot thanks in advance
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:iconkrysdecker:
krysdecker Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I cant really do this at this time because I don't have enough spare time to finish the drawing, let alone make a tutorial .. but once I do, rest assured I'll post it here =)
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:icontyzranan:
tyzranan Featured By Owner Jul 4, 2012  Student General Artist
thank u :)
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:icongold-deviations:
gold-deviations Featured By Owner Jun 1, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Cool!!! Thanks
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:iconnightreverie:
NightReverie Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012
I cannot thank you enough for this. This is helping me SO much. You're awesomly awesome. Mille mercis! <3
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:iconkrysdecker:
krysdecker Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
glad to hear =D
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:icontempystdesigns:
tempystdesigns Featured By Owner Feb 14, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Pretty awesome, I think I'll learn a lot from this. came just in time, too. I've been searching for a realistic skin tone tutorial/demonstration! This'll work fine. :D
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:iconamairim:
Amairim Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
aw thankyou! i will read this when I get home from work :dance:
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:icontaraakian:
Taraakian Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Do you think, idealistically, using so many layers is strictly better than just 1 layer?
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:iconkrysdecker:
krysdecker Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Just to exemplify a bit better .. i had drawings where i used 5 layers in the entire drawing (Courage) .. and drawings where i used over 60 layers (warsong).

I can't say if its better or not. One drawing required that many layers in my workprocess, while the other didn't have the same need.
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:iconkrysdecker:
krysdecker Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
it depends on what you are trying to achieve. If you are going for something more realistic, you'll end up using several layers. I dont honestly think there's a better way in this matter .. but more of "what you wanna do? how can you achieve that?"

Can you do the entire coloring and ilumination with only one layer? sure ..

Can you do that and also apply a make believe skin texture where people can zoom in and see all the skin cracks and imperfections? I think it's hard to do that with only one layer. Might be possible .. i don't know how to do it on my own.

What matter is that it doesn't change anything from having 1 layer or 10. Did you get what you desired? Yes? the layer count is irrelevant then.
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:icontaraakian:
Taraakian Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I see.

I keep different parts of a picture on different layers, but skin is all on one, hair all on one, clothing all on one.. etc.

I think the way I do it probably just makes it take longer, creating more work for myself. I should use more layers to speed things up.
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:iconlagxbag:
lagxbag Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012
Thank you so much for sharing and helping us! Really love this tutorial.
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:iconblair-piasdottir:
Blair-Piasdottir Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012
Thanks a lot it will be really usefull ^^
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:icondjmadamenoir:
DJMadameNoir Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Yes, thank you for the insight! Gorgeous drawing!
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:iconxerophobia:
xerophobia Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012   Interface Designer
This is not only very helpful, but also answers a lot of questions about the texturing.
I didnt think that you use an extra layer for the "skintexture" OVER a coloring layer.

What I dont get completely, is what this "noise layer" does, and what colors the skin texture layer is made of. Is it the same tone as underneath with a higher transparency?

Even thou, thanks so much for this view on your work, since I often thought about these things already :)
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:iconkrysdecker:
krysdecker Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
oh and the skin texture layer (as well as nearly all layers) are on grayscale. The tones i only apply on the color/overlay layers.

Blood for example, as i'll explain later, is actually 2 layers .. one on hard light, and another on top as overlay to give that "liquid/transparent" feel .. I use both combined because a single layer on hard light will lack color variations, and a single overlay layer is too much at the mercy of what is behind (you can't, for example, draw anything on an Overlay layer on top of a bright color .. nothing will appear)
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:iconkrysdecker:
krysdecker Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
the noise layer on top of the image just add "grain" or noise .. whatever you wanna call it.

If you look at most photos and images, they are often "grainy" (if you look closely). Which is something that digital images lack. The noise simply adds that back. It's artificial, yes .. but the image looks better. Specially if you have lightning and skin involved.

If you look at the Courage picture i did (the one from zelda) .. the glow around the fairy is all "grainy" which makes it looks like a real glow .. this is something caused by the noise layer, because the glow itself is plain.

The colors tones i used you can check by simply putting the layer on "normal" (instead of color or overlay) .. so you'll see the flat colors i used. There's no magic formula .. i usually get several pictures in the same lightning mood i want and sample colors from them, until i reach the tones i'm satisfied with. And to answear your question, no, they are not always the same tone of the "color" layer underneath.
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:iconxerophobia:
xerophobia Featured By Owner Feb 8, 2012   Interface Designer
Wonderful, thanks again for that very helpful explanation :)
I'm trying to improve with coloring at the moment, so i'm glad I had you on my watchlist!

Keep on the good work!
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