Nude

This is my first try in painting whole woman's body and it was done in a hurry too so please, have mercy on me D: I put it here only to share my thoughts, tell you what could be difficult in such painting and so on. I guess I had most fun painting fabric in this one... It is how it is, I hope it's not a tragedy at least and maybe (just maybe...!) somebody will benefit from this tutorial.

If you see mistakes or something is not clear - please, let me know ;)

I start with a sketch. I draw it with a hard, round brush, a standard one from Photoshop. I try to plan the whole figure, paying attention to proportions (it's not like I know anatomy... I just fix it when it doesn't feel right). This time sketch is important for me because I plan to rely on it heavily when I'll paint. I don't do that usually so my sketches tend to be very messy ^^' After all that I choose big, soft, round brush and place some color on the background and with some serious doubts I start painting the figure itself. I try to pick some interesting skin tone, but it's only a guess for now, and I try to place some basic fabric folds.

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I start with a face, because for now it's the easiest part for me, or rather - I'm the least scared of painting it :D I place colors with a hard, round brush with 100% opacity. Usually I don't paint like that, but this time I tried it that way. When the face feels right I smooth hard edges with special tool (smudge tool). After this I decide to leave face for now and move on to the other part of the painting - the fabric.

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After making an upper part of it I moved it a little to the left. I had to cut it out and place on another layer but it was worth the effort as I like it better after this change, it wraps the arm in a more convincing way. Then I return to painting folds, using the hard brush and smudge tool. I paint fabric with 3 colors - first I paint some dark base and then I try to bring lights out and I finish with adding some highlights.

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Fabric on the left hand is finished so I move on to another part. I paint it in a same way. The hand, which I painted in the meantime doesn't stray from this schema either - I block some colors with hard edged brush and then blend it all together using a smudge tool. Sometimes I use a soft brush with low opacity just to add some more color at the end. I paint her chest with light color and add very light shadows which help to show shape. After all I chose hard light to make things a bit easier ;)

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Then I move on to the belly and tight. As this part of the picture was painted on a different day I changed my technique completely and chose a smooth, soft brush over hard one + smudge tool. I lowered opacity to something like 50% and slowly painted highlights and shadows, completely forgetting about smudge tool - it wasn't needed anymore. Soft shadows, which I painted with a cold color at first, I change into warmer ones. Cold color made skin look zombie-like and I didn't want that... So I decide to put some pinks into brown shadows and I am happy with the result.

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Next is the foot. Firstly I paint it quick and rough, even sketch it out again using black color, just to make things easier. When painting feet or hands you have to pay special attention to the shape. Then I slowly put some bright lights, carefully checking where should I paint them. At the end I smooth everything with smudge tool, get rid of lasting parts of sketch and run away, scared that I might actually mess it up if I paint some more ;D

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I add some ore fabric on the left. First shadows, then lights with a brighter color and highlights at last, just as I painted before. Well it is certainly easier for me to paint fabric like that. Dark shadows help me to design folds, lights bring them to front, creating an illusion of a 3D image. This way I can see from beginning to the end how whole fabric folds and this certainly helps a lot during the process.

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Now I add missing parts of fabric under the tight and behind her left arm. Then finally I spend some more time painting the face to fix eye, mouth and nose. I also change dark and cold shadows near her neck to soft and warm ones, as I realized earlier that they look better.

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After adding some spots here and there the picture is ready :)