Masking in Photoshop

I've learned enough about masks in photoshop to see how powerful they can be.  But, I can't seem to get them to work for me.  Every time I try to use a mask it doesn't perform in the way that I would expect.  Either is doesn't mask anything at all.  Or it locks me into using only one value.  None of this seems to make any sense.  But, it just isn't working. 

Tonight I tried locking pixels, creating clipping masks, using selections, etc.  None of it worked.  It's frustrating.


Fionna WIP 2

I really need to learn how to use layer masks.  I'm making this much harder on myself than I have to.


Fionna WIP 1

The Tarpon painting was going well...until it came time for the scales.  It was going so horribly that I'm not sure that I want to continue it.  So, I'll put it on the shelf.  And start something new.   Of course, this means that I now have way too many WIP's that are unfinished.

So, without further ado....here is yet another WIP.  Fionna from Adventure time.  This work is done from a photo reference, but I'm planning on changing some things up, perhaps making the painting a little less realistic than the photo.



Lips Study 1

I decided to do a study of lips.  Really, just to do something a little different.  It turned out alright.  Not mind boggling, but not bad.  The darker set were done from a photo reference.  The lighter set were done entirely from my imagination.

Working with the photo reference I used the color picker to take the colors directly from the photo.  I did this after initially doing the colors on my own.  I was surprised how far off my values were. I see now that I have a tendency to make things lighter than they really are.