You’d be very world-weary indeed if your first reaction when looking at this portrait wasn’t ‘wow’. Knockout digital portraiture at this level takes skill, craft and patience – and here, Neville d’Souza guides you step by step through the painstaking process of creating this gorgeous portrait from scratch in Photoshop.

You’ll learn how to plan and pull off truly stunning digital paintings, covering everything from choosing your colour palette to the intricate layering and detailed brush work that make this portrait such a many-faceted, hyperrealistic treat.

You’ll also learn tips for painting faces – in particular, for creating those incredible eyes and lips from scratch, using only reference photos.

So be patient, and be detailed – and remember, it’s far easier to undo or put right any errors you might make than it is when using traditional art supplies – so be a little bold too.

Step 1 First, pick your colour palette: select the base colours, and then separate the colour palette for each element. This way you can pick a sample and play with its light and dark values.


Step 2 We need a custom brush for the hair. Draw a round shape (not a perfect circle) and select Edit > Define Brush Preset. In the Brushes Presets palette, go to the Brush Shape menu and set the spacing to 25%. In the Scattering menu, tick Both Axes and set this to 585%. Tick Smoothing and in Other Dynamics, set the Flow Jitter to 47%.