Analyze this!

17. September 2013

I was thinking about this article for a long time. Not only because it would show you how some of stylizations originates but it will also help you to understand retouching better. Actually it won´t be the only article but couple of them, each related to one topic. The first thing I do on every set of images is analysis. It goes from general set analysis where I pick the best images that works for me individually and in a set too and then I analyze every single image that should be retouched.

When it comes to portrait there are some rules to follow. Once you know them well, feel free to break them if it helps to improove your idea. There are no better guidelines than a good taste.


Mechanics and anatomy

Imagine a skull or skeleton under the surface and simplfy it! Almost always you have this chance to see a kinetic system of an object. It can be a great guide when retouching, manipulating, painting, drawing or sculpturing. It´s something you can rely on.


This is image with simple sketching of lights that should improve the image. I don´t use healing brush for smoothing skin surface since I am texture obscessed. I prefer paiting with light


This image should end as a high contrast portrait. The smooth effect is reached via fat/butter on ND filter. I wouldn´t really choose this exact image for final retouching but there is a light bouncing from bellow and contours a skull well.

Give me a couple days to come up with another Analyze this! article. We will look closely what improoved this image and share a bit magic of symetry and geometry.

Read more “Analyze this” articles here:

Analyze this II.
Analyze this III.

Lucie Kout

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