Melting/Dripping Face Photoshop Tutorial

Melting/Dripping Face Photoshop Tutorial

In this Adobe Photoshop tutorial, we're going to create a melting/dripping face effect. Many of the basic principles in this document are used in a number of my Circle Circle Math art pieces to this day. The dripping liquid effect, is a great way to add some interest and creativity to your portraits or any other photos. It's surprisingly easy to do, and with just a little bit of practice, you can create some really cool effects. So let's get started! With a bit of practice and your own unique flair, you'll soon be creating stunning visual effects that really turn heads. So, let's jump in!

Step 1: Choosing the Perfect Image

First things first, pick a high-resolution portrait image. This technique truly shines when used on human faces, so pick your favorite selfie or a portrait and open it up in Photoshop.

Step 2: Duplicate and Preserve

Before we start, let's make a duplicate of your background layer. This is a great practice as it keeps your original image intact and allows you to revert any changes if needed.

Step 3: Let's Get Melty with Liquify

Now, for the fun part! Navigate to the 'Filters' menu and select 'Liquify.' Using the 'Forward Warp' tool, begin to distort areas of the face to create a melting effect. Start with broad strokes and gradually work your way to the details. Remember, the key here is experimentation, so go ahead and play around until you're happy with the effect.

Step 4: Create Drips with the Smudge Tool

Next, we'll create the dripping effect. Grab the 'Smudge' tool, adjust the size and strength to suit your taste, and start dragging down from the areas you want to 'melt.' The longer the drag, the longer the drip. It's as simple and fun as that!

Step 5: Depth and Realism with Shadows and Highlights

To give your drips a realistic look, we'll add shadows and highlights. Create a new layer, select a soft round brush, and pick a dark color from the image. Paint in some shadows on the lower parts of the drips. The 3D effect this creates will add depth and make your work really pop!

Step 6: Finishing Touches

Finally, you might want to tweak the overall brightness, contrast, and color balance to give your image a polished look. Feel free to add a background or other elements to your piece. This is where your creativity truly shines, so let your imagination run wild!


Thanks for following along with this Photoshop tutorial! I hope you had as much fun learning it as I did creating it. As always, if you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below and I'll get back to you as soon as possible. And if you end up sharing your results on Instagram, feel free to send the art or tag me @circlecirclemath - I'd love to see how you took this and made it yours.

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