Step 8 Create a new layer and drag it above the ‘fabric bottom’ layer in the Layers palette. Double-click the new layer and name it ‘fabric bottom paint’. With this new layer selected, use what should by now be a familiar procedure to create a painted effect in this area.
Alter the brush size as necessary and, when it comes to the edges, adjust the contour by pushing light into dark or dark into light, just as you did previously with the model’s hair. It is worth taking the time to make this fabric look softer around the edges and altering the curvature so that it feels more integrated into the background.
Step 9 Create another new layer and drag it above the ‘figure’ layer in the Layers palette so that it sits at the top of the stack.
Name the new layer ‘figure paint’ and then adjust your brush size to something quite large. Use this to paint over the cloth at the bottom left and across the model’s chest and mid-section, including the shadowed region of her stomach. Also paint over her arms.
While using the large brush size, focus on areas that are themselves large and that don’t contain fine detail. Leave the neck, hair, and face alone for the time being.
Step 10 Reduce the size of your brush and zoom in closely on model’s hands, neck and shoulder.
Take a moment to study how the image is basically made up of regions of colour. As you’ll see, her hands are not simply a flesh colour with lighter highlights and darker areas. It’s important to pay attention to how colour indicates value when you’re painting, or things will become lifeless.
Carefully use the brush to blend colour within each region, but do not alter the structure. If the colours blend together too much, you will lose the defined regions and your painting will look flat.
Take a look at what I’ve done here and you’ll see that although it has a painterly effect, subtle regions of different colour remain separate.