Illustration

Make Your Digital Fantasy Portraits Sparkle in Photoshop

Learn how to make your digital portraits sparkle in Photoshop, with Bearbrickjia

The final touches that we add to an illustration can completely transform the end result. Take your digital portraits to the next level and make them sparkle.

Karmen Loh (@Bearbrickjia) is a digital illustrator whose surrealist style fuses fantastical worlds with everyday reality. In this video, she reveals how to make your portraits shine in Photoshop. Watch the video below:

1. Create a new layer

First, create a new layer on top of the other elements of your illustration: this layer will be where you add your sparkles. Give it a name so you don't confuse it with other layers.

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2. Choose a brush

To add sparkles to your digital portrait and get the best results, Bearbrickja recommends that you use a hard, round brush.

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3. Change the settings

Go to the "Brush Settings" panel and deselect "Transfer", as you will want a very opaque brushstroke. Go to "Shape Dynamics" and for "Minimum Diameter” of "Pen Control" select zero, which will allow you to create very fine sparkles.

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4. Add sparkles

Then, add sparkles to your portrait, wherever you want, but especially on areas where light reflects. This way, from a distance, your character will look like they have little stars on their face and hair. Try not to overdo it–there is such a thing as too much sparkle.

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If you have enjoyed these tips, you can learn to create dreamlike digital portraits in Bearbrickjia’s course, Digital Fantasy Portraits with Photoshop.

English version by @eloiseedgington

You may also like:

Adobe Photoshop for Illustration, a course by Gemma Román
Artistic Illustration: Draw from Your Imagination, a course by Fito Espinosa
Digital Painting for Characters: Color and Light, a course by Joel Santana

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