Painting Realistic Skin Textures in Photoshop Tutorial

Posted in: Tutorials | Tags: , .
Painting Realistic Skin Textures Tutorial
Photoshop CS-CS6, CC

This tutorial will walk you through how to create realistic skin textures in Photoshop. It will explain how to paint with the brushes, blend to create beautiful skin textures, as well as how to add pores and freckles to the skin.

This set is really made for digital painters. If you’re not already accustomed to painting portraits in Photoshop, it may not come of much use to you. But for the digital painters out there that use Photoshop for your painting, this set will help you create skin textures and blend colors like never before.

You’ll need to grab my Skin Textures Photoshop Brushes to follow along with this tutorial.


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  • Ressa

    Thank you for these brushes and the tutorial on how to use them, Stephanie. I am much more comfortable in Illustrator than Photoshop but trying to learn PS better. Your brushes make it fun!

  • Sherri

    Hi. Thank you so much for making these brushes and tutorial! I’ve been wanting to try digital painting, but when I would try to color a portrait something would feel off about the skin. These brushes look like they would be useful. I’m going to have to try them out. Thanks for making them! :)

  • Antique Mommy

    Awesome brushes and tutorial! Thanks so much for making them available. I’ve been doing a lot of digital painting since the advent of the mixer brushes in CS5 and these brushes will be extremely helpful. Can’t wait to try them out!

  • daly danal

    Nice job Stephanie!

  • natali

    great work !!!!

  • Emiola

    Thank you for your brush tools. I have what may be a silly question..but I “literally” cannot find the brushes once downloaded. How do I find them? I do not see pores for example listed under brushes. I downloaded your puzzle brushes/actions as well…which is what I actually need right now. I think I found that in actions? But I have never actually used actions (although I can tell it is a major timesaver), so I don’t quite get how to create my image puzzle. Help! Thanks.

    • Stephanie

      Actually, actions are something entirely different than brushes. If you want to make an image into a puzzle, there may very well be an action for that – and will work better for an entire image than the brushes will. The brushes are better for single or scattered puzzle pieces.

      Anyway, if you’re new to brushes, check out “Installing Brushes” (found in my sidebar) and some of my other tutorials (section is along the top menu) to see what they can do. :)

  • Elsie


    I loved the brush sets I downloaded from your site. I’ve got only one question. How did you create the color palette for your highlights and shadows? I don’t mean to ask how you got the colors but the actual window with the circular (eyeshadow like) colorsamples.

    Thanks a bunch!

    • Stephanie

      I just made them. I figured out the colors that I wanted to use, and then I use a regular round brush and make that little color palette up in a corner, so that I can keep going back to it and keep the colors consistent. It works much like a regular paint easel. I usually make them on their own layer, which I can just delete when I’m done.

      As far as how I got the colors (although it sounds like you aren’t asking this, I thought I’d answer it just in case), I have a tutorial on painting skin tones and the colors you choose to use for it. It’s up on Elfwood, and you can see it here:

  • elricthenecromancer

    gretting for the brushs category it’s very fun

  • Armando Gomez

    Thank You so much for posting this video, its helped me out alot, i didnt even know photoshop could be so awesome, im more of an Adobe After Effects Artist.

  • Tharik Ahamed

    nice tutorial….. Thanks

  • Priby Mathew

    Nice Tutorial. Great work !!! Thanks so much.

  • Jourdan

    I figured out how to convert Photoshop brushes to Gimp without any difficulties. If you would like the link and download links to open the ABR files to covert into Gimp brushes. Let me know and I could do that for you via e-mail if you want to make a page/tutorial on how to do the converting on your site.

  • Latest PC Tricks And Tips

    Just an awesome work done by you in this post. I love this tool in Photoshop.

  • Primo G. Uy

    I could not say how much i appreciates your works and effort to share your skill to the rest of us.
    As one comments “went shopping for free” i my self was doing it here in your website…. a million thank you!
    I’m a semi pro photographer but not a pro photoshop user but sure i’ll be getting sort of guidance and important knowledge from to use photoshop correctly and artistically.
    Time will tell how will i progress from here on and i just want to make sure that your name/credits will not be forgatten….a 1m thanks once again and best regards,

  • Yan

    Wow. Thank you for the brushes and the tutorial. I managed to get rid of a large shadow over half of someone’s face just by following your instructions. Great tutorial. About a year ago, I commented that I learnt from your instructions on how to load brushes into Photoshop. Your instructions are always so clear.

  • becca

    wow you have amazing brushes I was wondering if they can be used to make the skin have a shimmering or glitter effect?

    • Stephanie

      Absolutely, you could use these for that. The pores brushes, used with a really light color, would do just that.

  • Lisette

    Great wonderfully specific explanations! Thanks for demonstrating your technique so eloquently! You’ve certainly helped me a TON!

  • Sally Colima

    Wow! It’s very useful! Thank you for your demos as well as the brushes!
    I like you so much! More power!

  • G. Gottschalk

    I tried these blending brushes yesterday on a pic with really bad skin.. and it was awesome… :)
    thank you <3


    This site was… how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I
    have found something which helped me. Thanks!

  • David Garcia Antoñanzas

    i liked your style, a mask is always better as to delete

  • David Garcia Antoñanzas

    i do some coloring and thanks for the brushes

  • helyfell

    This is an
    excellent blog along with the great knowledge.
    painter woodbridge va

  • J.Ferdous

    The best part of this tutorial is to explain everything very clearly through the video version of this tutorial. Thank you.