Right-click your finished Geisha layer and choose “Duplicate Layer.” Select “Overlay” from the layer options menu to give your Geisha a brighter color and contrast.
Choose the Brush Tool and open the Brush Panel. Click the Preset Manager button at the bottom of the window to load your Watercolor brushes.
Use the Eye Dropper Tool to sample the bright red color from the Geisha’s kimono. Create a new layer and call it “Paint.” Drag it below your Geisha layers.
Return to the Brush Tool and select the “watercolor_11” Watercolor brush. To see the brush names, hover your mouse above the brushes and wait a moment for the tooltip to appear. Adjust the size to about 1500 and click once over the Geisha to get the effect I have here by lining up the brush outline of the round spot with her hand:
Paint around the subject, experimenting with the other brushes, sampling yellows and magentas from the kimono. To rotate the brush, open the Brush panel and drag the compass to change the brush angle. If enabled, uncheck “Spacing” to make it easier to preview.
To create the appearance of the black part of the robe blending into the paint, use the Watercolor_5 brush at about 600 pixels.
Select the Eraser Tool and use a large soft brush size to go over the paint edges between the Geisha’s face and the upper half of the circle splatter. This technique helps accentuate the brightness of the Geisha’s face and sleeve, and gives our art a light source. Depending on your history settings and experience level, you may opt to use a layer mask here instead.
Here is a look at my finished layer:
Create a new layer above your Geisha layers and call it “paint2.” Sample a bright red color with the Eye Dropper, then select the “watercolor_2” brush with the Brush Tool. Set the size to 1100 and click below the Geisha’s feet.
Set the foreground to white and select the “watercolor_7” brush. Rotate it -80 degrees and click the Geisha’s hair to add a painted hair ornament. Repeat to add the second, adjusting the angle and size slightly for variation.
Create a new layer and call it “accents.” Sample an orange or yellow color from the kimono and choose the “Scattered Maple Leaves” default brush. Experiment with rotation, color and size, painting sparingly off both sides of the kimono. The effect you want to achieve is the appearance of leaves blowing off the kimono into the canvas.
Set the layer with the leaves to “Hard Light.” With the layer selected, click on “Layer > Layer Mask > Reveal All” from the Photoshop menu. Choose a large soft brush and brush over the leaves on the right side just enough to make them look like they are fading into the background.
Create a new layer called “threads.” Set the foreground to white and choose the Pen Tool. Ensure the “Paths” and “Add path to area” options are selected in your Pen Tool Option toolbar.
Draw several lines extending from the Geisha’s palm towards the edge of the image. Remember to drag between points to crease flowing lines. When you have finished setting one path, right-click and choose “Stroke Path.” Leave “Pencil” and “Simulate Pressure” selected and click “OK.” Hit “Enter” to create the line.