Character Portrait Workshop: Behind the Scenes & Walk-Through

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: December 13, 2011

Category: General

Hi Folks,
Following on from last weekend’s Character Portrait Workshop I thought I’d give you a sneak peek behind the scenes to show what we got up to plus a look at what editing went into making one of the final pictures:

Unlike my day long Concept to Print workshop, this particular workshop runs for half a day with the focus on photographing and editing images to give them the Character Portrait look.

Each workshop has a theme and for last Saturday’s we went for a Newspaper Editor kind of feel with my great friend and N.A.P.P. Evangelist Dave Clayton stepping in as model for the day; and any day when Dave’s around is always sure to be fun 🙂

The workshop starts off with me first of all going through and setting up the lighting which sees us using 3 lights: two strip boxes and one beauty dish and shot against grey seamless:

Now, this is all well and good but my feeling about this is that what’s covered in the workshop needs to be something that can also be replicated outside of the studio because not all attendees will have access to or maybe the inclination to use a studio. So with that in mind we also replicate the set up using Speedlights and the new Hot Road Stripboxes and an Ezybox from Lastolite

This is very much a ‘hands on’ workshop so once I’d gone through photographing Dave to give me images to go through and edit later, it was then attendees turn to make use of both set ups to then Photograph Dave and each other.

Following a short break it was then time for the editing and although not essential some attendees bring along a laptop with Photoshop installed so that they can follow along each of the stages to take the image from out of camera to final edit. Like I said though, this isn’t essential as everything is covered step by step making it easy to follow along:

To give you an idea of what’s covered and what goes into creating the ‘look’ in Photoshop here’s a sneak peek at the Photoshop Layers I made that went into Dave’s edit.

Now just one thing about this particular image…there are some techniques in here that wouldn’t necessarily be needed to give the Character Portrait Look, such as the cartoon/painterly effect and of course lighting the unlit cigar, but that being said after we’ve finished the main edit we then move onto some Photoshop Tips, Tricks and Special Effects:

Each attendee will be receiving the Workshop eBook very soon, but also on the day Dave very kindly ran a couple of competitions with numerous gifts and give aways donated by the great folks over at the N.A.P.P. and Kelby Training plus there’s exclusive video content that attendees can access showing some of the Photoshop techniques.

And ofcourse as is now tradtition at the end of the workshop we all then reconvened at a local curry house for a bite to eat a drink and a good natter 🙂


  • Been on an amazing photoshop workshop run by the talented Glyn Dewis with the outstanding model Dave Clayton :0) ~ Lee Ramsden
  • Just home from the best photoshop / retouching workshop ever. Very slick and professional a credit to Glyn and superb facilities at the studio ~ Graeme Clark
  • Glyn, brilliant Character Portrait Workshop mate, really enjoyed it. Dave Clayton did a fantastic job as the model and a cracking studio. Cheers guys – had a great day ~  Steve Bryson
  • Thanks Glyn for a great day yesterday. Was good to meet everyone. Loved the curry  ~ Colette Wilks
  • Thanks guys, had a great afternoon,was good to meet you both! Learnt a load of cool tricks, and enjoyed it!! ~ James Hole

So there you have it…a quick look behind the scenes of a recent Character Portrait Workshop 🙂

Come Join me in January
The next Character Portrait Workshop is set for Saturday 28th January 2012 and I’m really looking forward to revealing the theme for the day.

So why not come and join me and learn how to create your own Character Portraits; a look that one attendee suggested would also be great for photographing children or maybe even animals too.

The latest workshop date was only announced a few days ago and already spaces are filling fast so be sure to book your place real soon! [Link]

See you there,
Glyn 🙂

Check out the Workshop link at the top of the page or use this [Link] for more information.

•     •     •

Keep up with Glyn ‘Day to Day’ and get more from ‘Behind the Scenes’…

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  1. Michael

    Thanks Glyn, is there any chance of doing a webinar on the post processing for people overseas? The lighting seems pretty straightforward but in the post processing there are a few tricks I would like to see explained in more detail. Happy to pay for it of course!

    cheers, Michael

  2. Jonathan Thompson

    Great post Glyn, it’s good to see the work through. Think I’ll have to stump up some dosh & come along to one of these. Judging by all the jeans being worn in the group shot, there may have been 1 or 3 photographers among you 😉

  3. Christian Carroll

    I’d like to echo what Michael mentioned about getting some more details about this technique. However, I have an idea which I’m 100% certain you have already thought of, especially now that you’ll be teaching at PSW and gaining an even wider following. Write a book! I’d be shocked if you weren’t already doing this. 🙂 But if you’re not already working on one, I’d like to go on record and say, “it’s time”! Fill it with techniques such as this one. I’d be the first to buy it.

  4. Michael

    Good suggestion Christian. Glyn, where can we pre-order?

  5. Richard Baca

    Hi Glyn,

    I would like to book space for this workshop please.
    Is there any chance enjoy your seminar ?


  6. Edd Carlile

    Hi Glyn.
    I love the background you have behind the model in this shot…can you share how it was done?
    (Was there a back light hitting your background and you’ve simply changed the colour and saturation in PS?)

    Thank you so much.


    • Glyn

      Hi Edd,

      Thanks for your comment. As for the background in this shot, it started off on a grey seamless and here’s a link to a speed retouch to give you an idea (albeit at high speed) how it was done:

      Hey if you’re UK based I cover this as part of my workshops too 😉

  7. Cool trick photography slide show

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