Highlights in Photoshop

  ●  Highlights add depth and expression to your composition.

Learn About:

Brush Tool Gaussian Blur Filter Dodge Tool Smudge Tool

  •   This tutorial is 5th in a series designed to help complete the Photoshop Portrait Project:

1 - Line Art   2 - Face Color   3 - Face Shading   4 - Hair   5 - Highlights   6 - Eyes  

Other People's Work:

Here are some examples inspired by this tutorial.

                        More Examples

Step #1: Open your Portrait in PhotoShop ~

Open your sketch from this tutorial


… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be
applied to YOUR PROJECT) …

… create a new layer above the face layers, name it face highlights.

Step #2: Blur the Highlights ~

Using a white brush, paint in some highlights …

… paint along the edge of the nose, forehead, hands; anywhere you need some contrast to give depth.

Step #2: Blur the Highlights ~

Go to: Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur on the Face Highlights layer.

Drop the opacity of the face highlight layer, too.

Step #3: Dodge Tool ~

Select the Dodge Tool which is behind the Burn Tool.

The Dodge Tool makes things lighter …

Do a Good Job!

Step #4: Smudge Tool ~

Get the Smudge Tool

smudge tool

… try smudging your hair to make it look better.

Step #5: Luscious Lips!

Add another layer called lips color.

Lips are usually a dark Red, right?

Clean up the edges using the Eraser Tool.

Step #6: Lip Highlights

Lastly, add highlight ABOVE the layer for your lips.

lips shade

Color over your lips with a lighter color …

Lastly, Blur the highlight layer as necessary.

Repeat this process 1 more time … ?

lips layers

Last Step: Save & Attach ~

Go to: File > Save as … and save your work as - FIRST_NAME_LAST_NAME_PROJECT_NAME.psd

save as .psd

Attach it!

  •   ALWAYS save your projects like this:


  •   DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.


  •   NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.