Before You Start
Use this sample project if you’d like, or practice with your own.
Step 1: Find a Model
For best results, work with a photo that focuses on a model’s face. I specifically looked for an image that showed dewiness or detail in the skin to achieve the results I wanted.
Step 2: Paint Your Design
To design the art for the face paint, choose the Brush (B) tool and set it to a soft round tip with increased Opacity. Set the layer’s blend mode to Multiply so the paint “melts” into the skin. Then brush with different colors to paint a design over the model’s face.
Step 3: Make It Glitter
Consider using imported brushes to add special design elements to your art. For this composition, I painted with a spatter brush, which applied a glitter effect to the cheeks and bridge of the nose. If you’d like to use the same custom brush, click the Gear icon in the Brush properties dialog, select Import Brushes, and find the spatter_brushes.abr file in the practice files. After you import the brushes, they will appear under a category called spatter_brushes.
Step 4: Add a Mask
The paint effect spreads beyond the model’s face. To fix this, apply a mask to the art layer and then brush on the mask with black to hide areas of the art—eyes, hair, and finger—so the original image shows through. Use the [ ] keys to adjust the brush size as you work.
Step 5: Highlight for Emphasis
To create a custom path around one of the eyes, I used the Curvature Pen tool and set the mode to Path and the Path operation to Exclude Overlapping Shapes. Click to add points for a curved path and double-click to create corners. Close the path by clicking the original point.
Step 6: Create a Cutout
After you define the path, right-click, choose Make Selection, and set Feather Radius to 4. Make sure the mask thumbnail is still selected on the Paint layer and then paint with a black brush inside the selection, leaving the right side soft for a smoother blend.
Step 7: Perfect the Style
I wanted the digital paint to look more realistic, as if it were painted directly on the model’s skin. To create this effect, I added a Blending Options layer style from the Layers panel.
Step 8: Blend It Better
Finally, you can fine-tune the effect by Alt (Windows) or Option (macOS)-clicking the Underlying Layer slider and dragged it to the left.
Paint Your Look
Take your digital makeup-artist skills to a whole new level and create dazzling face paint designs with Photoshop brushes and colors. Tag @AdobeCreate so we can see how colorful you get.