My drawings always tend to come out a little skewed. As I am drawing they seem fine, but then when I step back, or look the next day, I notice that they are off. I used to just move on, or sometimes I would erase and try to fix things, if it wasn’t too bad. Then one day I decided to scan the picture and fix it in PhotoShop. It worked great! So, now I do that with more of my drawings.
One of the first tools I used to use was Edit->Transform->Warp or even better (with newer versions of Photoshop), edit->Puppet Warp. I will talk abot that tool next week, but this week let’s talk about a filter called Liquify. You can find it under Filters->Liquify. I had used the Forward Warp tool before, but I always used a smaller brush. Using the small brush left things bumpy, so I stopped using it for a while.
Then I watched a class taught by Lesley Adler over on Creative Live. She uses a really large brush with the forward warp tool, and for straightening out entire sides of faces, it works a lot better with the larger brush.
Also, with Liquify, there is a tool on the left hand side that allows you to create a Freeze mask on your image. It does just what it sounds like it should do. If you paint on an area outside of what you are trying to warp with the forward warp tool, it will leave that area alone. So you can freeze the surrounding part of your image, while you move the nose, for example, using the forward warp tool. Click on the Freeze Mask button (if you hover over any of the buttons on the left side, you will see a hint as to what that button does). Paint on the area that you wish to freeze. Then switch back to the forward warp button and start to paint and move that section. There is another tool within Liquify that lets you brush over something you have warped in order to restore it back somewhat to the state it was before, that is, it softens the Liquify changes a bit.
Note that with Liquify, I always make a copy of my original layer into a new layer. Use control-J (command-j on a Mac) or right mouse button click on the layer in the layer’s panel and choose Copy Layer.
Here are some images showing the original image, then a picture showing the Liquify filter in action, and finally the results. I was trying to straighten out my girl’s nose and face, and then even give her a more defined jaw and face shape, as if I was doing a glamour makeover.