feature is a very useful function in
Photoshop. It is mostly used on photos by photographers.
Curves can fix bad contrasts, too light highlights,
details gotten lost in shading and much more. When i
paint skin tones i found it very useful to use
Sometimes i get the color balance wrong and i have too
many midtones everywhere. Using curves usually fixes
keyboard shortcut for
Curves is CTRL+M.
Pressing Ctrl+M will open a Curves window,
and the settings you apply here will only affect the
current layer. But if you want some insurance you can
add an "Adjustment Layer". You add such
a layer in the "Layer" menu, under "New Adjustment Layer". This
will create a layer with your Curves settings. You can
later delete this layer, change opacity or blending
mode. You can even paint with black on this layer making
everything that is black to not be affected by the
Note: It can
sometimes be sufficient to just press the "Auto"
Paint with values, not
When an artist
paints, the artist should paint using values instead of
color. Since if you paint with correct values a painting
can look great in greyscale, red colors or even blue.
But if you have incorrect values it won't look good in
any way you show it. Beginners usually paint a portrait
in greyscale, that way it's much easier to draw the
correct values. When you have a correct value template
they add a new layer with the blending mode set to
"Multiply". Now they can paint with color and the values
will be intact.
Fixing midtones in
Here is a work in progress, I'm
painting a portrait of my sister. This is far from done,
but here I had to use Curves to fix the midtones. I had
pretty much nailed the values in it. But i had too much
"red" in my shadows. Using Curves i managed to fix the
most problems, adding much more
realism to the painting (I know that
I have added some hair in
the after painting, but the
screenshots should serve the purpose).