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Female Manga/Anime Style Face Painting Tutorial On Photoshop

Updated on August 20, 2014

Painting On Photoshop: Anime/Manga Styled Female Faces

There are many methods you can use to paint in Photoshop (I personally use CS version). I think you will need to choose the best way that is of your liking and goes with your style of drawing. Here I will explain the method I personally use. While I do not think it to be the right way (which I think there is none). It is practical to me, and goes with my style of drawing.

I'm not very good at explaining things sometimes, Sorry if there is anything that is unclear on my part.

The following will be the coloring steps I use in Photoshop for my famale manga styled face drawings.

Tutorial # 1. Coloring Steps 1-10

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Tutorial # 1. Coloring Steps 1-10

  1. Original scanned sketch. typically very dirty after had used the eraser many times and also because of involuntary finger smudge. sometimes you can’t help it. Next, i am going to import it to photoshop, and choose mode: RBG Color.
  2. Here in this first step, I had created a duplicate layer of the same original for safety reasons if i mess up. I applied cutout filter for simpler lines strokes but it is optional, you can simply skip that step and apply base colors with brush tool, like I did here. Note that I do not use 100% opacity to the brush, so I can still see the sketch lines when I paint over them.
  3. I apply base colors to the skin and her hair here. going over the brush where i think are going to be dark shaded areas.
  4. Two things happened here:
    1. I added white brush strokes and dots to show the hair’s highlights.
    2. I used the burn tool to make some areas darker on the hair
  5. I made the the layer a little transparent because i could not see my original lines anymore. (remember that original sketch layer? it came in handy). Here I have used the smuge tool to make hair strokes, making it look somewhat like strands of hairs. i also started to color on the eyes.
  6. Defining the eyes and adding lip color.
  7. More eye details, the eyelashes specially. Used the smudge tool for the eyelashes.
  8. Finish refining the eyes, and nose, and cleaning up the hairs.
  9. More clean up, adjustments to the hair and final touches.
  10. Final finished drawing. I decided to change the color of her hair. I used the replace color feature found in adjustments under the image menu

Tutorial # 2. Coloring Steps 1-10

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Tutorial # 2. Coloring Steps 1-10

  1. This is the original scanned sketch. It does sometimes look messy with just pencil lines. after the scanned phase you can then proceed to import it to photoshop or just do the scan directly to photoshop and while there, go to image menu, scroll to mode, and check the “RGB Color”.
  2. I am now ready to put in some colors. It’s always a good idea to keep a duplicate layer in case you mess up and want to go back at the beginning if you do not like your progress, and can be quite useful for other reasons. So make a duplicate of your background layer. After I have done that I started putting some base colors on her skin. Note that I do not use 100% opacity on the brush. This is so I could still see the sketch lines while i go over the color brush.
  3. I painted over the the skin, hair eyes, earrings, and lips. Do not worry about being too precise on the boundaries, you can fix that later. Go over the as many time with the brush on her hair to give sense of hair strands, on where you think should be dark
    shaded places.
  4. Here I made my current working layer a little transparent.  Remember the duplicate sketch
    layer with no colors? It shows here with more line definition.  I made this so I could see the
    lines better.
  5. Here I used the burn tool to make more dark places on her hair, and added white dots to show where the hair highlights were going to be.
  6. To make the hair strands I used the smudge tool, selected it, and chose the “Rough Round Bristle, which is almost  at the very bottom of the list of brush tips.
  7. Here, I started defining her eyebrows.  I just went over the lines with black color with brush tool with hard tip.  Also around her eyes (top only) to define the lashes I used the smudge tool again with same tip i used for the hair. 
  8. I defined her nose, and lip lines with strong colors of the same fill. Also on her earrings.  I started cleaning up, to make sense of the boundaries.
  9. Adding final touches here  to her eyes.  I added more shade color to her face where shadows might be.  
  10. Finished final drawing. Hope it has been helpful. (^.^)

The Illustrations above are originals from me. These tutorials were provided by Female Manga Art blog. Please visit for more of my art. Thank you

Comments Are Welcomed

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    • danielallen66 profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice Tutorial thanks for your help

    • M. T. Dremer profile image

      M. T. Dremer 

      7 years ago from United States

      These are some really beautiful illustrations. Your step by step images really helps give an idea of your process. I struggle most with drawing faces so I'm always on the look out for tips and strategies. Thanks!

    • Under The Lamp profile image

      Under The Lamp 

      7 years ago

      Thank you for this hub. I have Photoshop and don't even use it. Now, I will give it a try.


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