Photoshop healing brush

by Design Workshop Sydney

The Healing Brush tool in Adobe Photoshop is one of the main tools used in retouching photographs. We show you how to use this tool to the best of its capacity in our Photoshop coursesphotoshop-healing-brush
First zoom into the area you wish to adjust – this could be a spot, wrinkle, or a scratch on an old photograph. Then select the Healing Brush. It’s necessary to first select an area which you want to use as your source for repairing the image – this should be an area which is relatively blemish-free. If your brush is too large or small you can change the size in the top left drop-down arrow. Or the shortcuts for brush sizes for any Adobe tool are the square brackets beside the letter P on your keyboard. Also make sure you use a soft-edged brush for a greater blending effect.
Now you select the source area by pressing down on the Alt (Windows) or Option key (Mac) as you click on the area you want to use to help repair the image. Then bring your brush over to the area you wish to change (in this case the bags under the eyes) and start painting over the blemish. If you make a mistake, Ctrl+Z (Command on a Mac), or go into your History panel. Sometimes you have to go over an area a couple of times. One tip is to make sure your brush is not too big.
What Photoshop does here is: it changes the texture of the blemish (the tonal values of those pixels) whilst keeping the original pixels colours (the flesh tones in this case). Hence the title Healing brushes as opposed to the Clone Stamp tool which will do a direct copy of pixels from one area to another. In this case it would be too obvious to the viewer. Clone Stamp tool is still useful in other contexts though. Other tools in this section are the Spot Healing Brush and the Patch tool – we look at these in other blog posts.
In the example above we have also changed the eye colour using a layer blending mode – again we cover this in another blog post. Many more tips and techniques can be found at the Adobe website. And see many examples of our clients’ work on our Facebook page.
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