Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The Forgotten Tutorial!

***News on the New Look: I found that if you're using Internet Explorer 7 or 8, the blog looks like it should. If things look wack, it's time to upgrade your browser!***

So I woke up this morning realizing that in the effort of putting together my new look yesterday I completely forgot about Tutorial Tuesday.

Yes, I'm serious about making this a weekly thing, especially since there are so many out there that want to learn photoshop. If you don't want to learn photoshop, well, you can read along anyway because the literature is as captivating as any highly paid author out there!

Not really, though. If you're not an aspiring photoshopper I won't be sad if you leave right now. :)

And now onto the fun!

Tutorial: Using the healing brush to remove blemishes.

So, let's say you wake up on your wedding day and not only is it raining, but you've also grown an enormous pimple overnight! Aggh! Isn't it ironic? It's like 10,000 spoons when all you need is a knife. It's like meeting the man of your dreams, and then meeting his beautiful wife. (Or woman in my case, and her tool-of-a-husband) But seriously - Alanis Morissette songs aside - every one of your wedding photos feature you, your spouse, and the uninvited pimple.

Don't worry! With the miracle of modern technology we can get rid of that thing and restore your skin to how it normally looks!

Take this lovely bride to be:

(Disclaimer: Anonymous person. Found it on Google. Not necessarily a bride.)

She doesn't look very happy, because with all the stress and planning of the wedding her hormones have betrayed her and have caused a breakout. We've all had days like this and inevitably have pictures that would otherwise be great to post on facebook, the blog, or otherwise, but don't because we don't look as good as we normally do. Let's get rid of those pimples.

1) Open your image with photoshop and select the "healing brush" tool. It's the one that looks (appropriately) like a bandaid.

With this tool we'll sample an area of clear skin to use as a base for covering the pimples. Photoshop matches the skin tones of the retouched area so that it doesn't look unnatural. Another tool - the clone stamp - does something similar. The clone stamp, though, does not match the tones of the retouched area, but copies pixel for pixel the sampled area. It can make things look strange. That's why we're using the healing brush tool.

2) With the healing brush tool selected, bring the cursor over a clear patch of skin on the girls face. Alter the brush size with the "[" and "]" keys until the size of the brush is just about as big as the largest pimple. Press "alt" and click there. You'll notice that when you press "alt" the cursor turns into a target. We've now got our pixel sample.

3) From here, just bring the brush over each pimple and click down. You'll notice that it paints the area with the targeted pixels. When you release the mouse button, you'll notice that photoshop automatically blends the new pixels with the surrounding area. After a bit of work, this is the final result:

Hooray! Clear skin! You'll notice I didn't attempt to give her the plastic look you see in so many magazines nowadays. I hate that crap. She's retained her natural skin, only without the pimples!


P.S. If anyone has a picture they'd like retouched, send me the picture in an email to and I'll do it for you for free! One picture per person, please.


  1. OH BARRY!!! please go throught all my photos and work your magic!

  2. you are amazing. also, i'm glad you liked dr. horrible. it's better watching it again. ;)

  3. I love your tutorials! Especially since I really need to become more familiar with Photoshop.

  4. "the healing brush". I like the sound of that. Much better then calling it the "healing band-aid" eeuww!
    My question: can it "heal" my double chin??

  5. Good job on the tutorial - I need to get PS on my computer.