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3.3 Finishing Details

Let's add the finishing details to this portrait by tweaking the contrast and adding those iconic whiskers.

3.3 Finishing Details

Hey all. Welcome back to Better Pet Portraits, Cats. My name is Sharon Millan and in this lesson I'm going to go over the finishing touches to our fluffy cat portrait. As I've got the basic composition together. I'll no longer require the stock image to be underneath the portrait. What I'm going to do is move its position. Sits alongside the back to work. So I can pick out where about on the portrait, I need to work on further. It becomes more obvious what I need to change and add when I can compare them side to side. The first thing which calls out to me is the contrast. I need to add more shadow to the portrait to create more depth. I'm going to use the brown transparent radial gradient. And the pencil tool to add shapes around the portrait mainly underneath the chin area. These will be set to blend in mode multiply opacity 10 to 20%. With each shape I'll use the gradient tool to modify the gradient. By using lower opacities with jagged edges, I'm helping to blend the gradients into the fur texture without creating any hard edges. I continue adding gradients around the portrait, including the face. Subtle gradients set to blend-in most color burn are added around the face and chin to up the contrast. There I move back to blend-in mode multiply. By going backwards and forwards with these blending modes. I'm darkening the fur and increasing the contrast. The layering of the gradients has added more brown tones into the portrait than what I want. So I tried the other gradients to balance this out. When I change it to a more gray gradient with the swatches panel. It creates more blue hue. I don't want this. So modify the gradient colors, so it's more of a desaturated blue hue with perhaps a hint of brown. This helps complement the blue eyes more. I then return to adding more gradients across the face and near the eyes. This is definitely helping to form the contours of the face better. As I've added shadows of the portrait. I'm now trying to add some highlights. Working on contrast is a balancing act. I probably said this many of times. So you need to create enough highlights to meet the amount of shadows that you've added. I do this by sampling one of the blending mode screen strokes and then by using the paintbrush tool to add strokes around the cheeks and the rest of the face. Time to modify the eyes. I go into the eyes layer and duplicate the shapes of the eyes. In the appearance panel, I remove the attributes. So I'm left with the two shapes for the eyes. I fill the shapes with an inverted gradient, which creeps over the sides of the shape. This is set to blend in mode multiply. I change the colors in the gradient to a more vibrant blue. So, what I'm creating is a darker blue around the edges of their eyes. Next, I remove some of the white dashes from around the waterline. I feel these details are taking away from the cuteness of the eyes. I go in and modify the gradient switch overlap onto the entire eye socket area. This is to increase the shape creeping over the top of the eye. I then add a much more visible light spot reflection to the eyes. These little tweaks will help make the eyes more cute and alive. Time to create a new layer and rename it Whiskers. Gold stars all around if you know what we're about to draw. Using the pen tool with our tapered brush, I'm going to begin drawing the whiskers from the cheek area. I'm using the pen tool instead of the paintbrush tool. As I'll get much more control over the curves. These strokes are a lot more prominent than the original single strands of fur. So I need them to be a lot tidier. I set these strokes to blend the most screen and opacity 70%. As this portrait is more of a close up shot of the feline. I'm going to need to help visualize the composition better. So I can see what exactly I need to improve on or modify in this portrait. I do this by using the rectangle tool to draw a shape around the art board. And then I apply a thick stroke weight to it to act like a frame. I use the free transform tool to move the dimensions of the frame and increase the stroke weight as I go along. This hides the overlapping edges of the art board. And I feel I can view it in a different light. The main thing I'm seeing I need to work on is the contrast in the fur. So, I'm going to begin by adding dark gradients around the face to increase the shadow. I draw the shapes with the pencil tool as this speeds up my process. These shapes are set to blending mode Multiply, opacity 10 to 20%, depending on how strong I want the shadows. As you're adding shadows you want to match this by adding highlights. We know that this is a balancing act. But this time, I'm going to be using blender mode screen and blender mode color dodge for the highlights. Although the fur is rather white in parts, the density of the strands aren't as thick. So to show some of the color of the skin underneath. I'm going to add some red gradients around the tip of the nose and the corners of the eyes. I set these shapes to blend mode color burn and I vary the opacity. With modifying the contrast earlier means that some of the texturing is lost in the fur. With paintbrush tool I go back in with dark strokes, set the blender mode multiply opacity 5%. These are soft strokes, which bring back the texture and reintroduce shadow in the relevant places. As I've added more shadows, let's balance it out with some blended mode screen strokes. Around the final stretch, and this is some modifications with gradients to alter the overall contrast in play with coloring. The first is to duplicate the shadows on the eyes and to increase the gradient represented in the shadow on the eyelids onto the eyes. To increase the contrast and shadow around the portrait. I'm going to use an inverted radial gradient set to blending mode color burn. I use the gradient tool to reposition the source of the gradient. Due to the hues within the gradients and previous strokes. It's a bit of an experiment to get the right color to suit the portrait. I play with different colors so the fur isn't too blue and it isn't too brown. As the shadow has been altered around the outside. I alter the highlights by adding lighter strikes around the portrait in the same method as before. Then finishing off with some blending marriage multiply strokes, which help define the eyes nose and mouth areas. With that, the portrait is complete. Check back with me in the next video, and I'll give you some pointers on where to go next in your vector journey. Thanks for listening.

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