How would you paint a bullet exit wound?
Liz Tucker, Scotland
Answer John replies
Hollow-point bullets leave a large, messy exit wound. You’re going to have all sorts of blood, skin, bone, viscera and other debris flying all over the place. It’s a fun opportunity to add visual energy to an action piece. In Photoshop, you have a chance to play with different, messy-splatter brushes.
Working from big to small, I take a chunky, textured brush and start by roughly blocking in a large blood-red mass that will burst outward in a cone shape. Then I add some variation in value and saturation, avoiding painting in much detail because we don’t want the viewer to get lost in anatomy.
I add some glossy highlights here and there, and use a Scatter brush to paint blood droplets spraying all over. Then I add a Camera Blur to the droplets for energy.
The process involves blocking in large chunks of bloody red colour, then adding glossy highlights, debris and blood spray, applying motion blur if desired The splatter layer,
just a Round Scatter brush with various Jitter
applied, is converted to a Smart Object so I can apply Filter> Blur>Radial Blur and make tweaks.