By Helen Bradley

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BEFORE e’ve got a speedy makeover for this lucky young lady, and the principles that we’ll use can be applied to any portrait subject. It’ll take you around an hour to complete – at least if you’re reasonably au fait with Photoshop’s keyboard shortcuts and the basics of nondestructive edits. We say non-destructive because what we achieve here is done using adjustment layers, blank layers in the case of some tools, and duplicates of areas of the background layer, rather than working directly on the background layer with our tools and image adjustments.

We chose Charcoal. 02 03 05 06 Sort the background Decide on what colour you wish your background to be. With your new layer selected, go to Edit>Fill. Be sure to set Mode to Normal and Opacity to 100%. If you have time, create one black and one white layer, and then examine the effect of your chosen tool on the different colour backgrounds. You could also go for a more traditional off-white. Set some guidelines Create a new layer, making a total of three. You always have the option to erase or simply turn off an unused layer.

Open a simple bold image to experiment with and go to the Options bar. Select a colour and style, and apply to the canvas. The ten paint styles include different settings for Tight, Loose and Dab, and determine how closely the strokes you apply stick to the contours of the original image. Switch between styles to see the difference in application between them. indd 46 20/4/06 11:23:44 Three different effects Experiment with the inspiring effects on offer The beauty of the Art History brush is that you can achieve a wealth of results with extremely little effort.

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