Spot Healing Brush – Clearasil for Photoshop

Hello and welcome to our next installment of Portrait Editing.  Today we are going to concentrate on removing spots and blemishes and tidying up unruly eyebrows.  We will be using the Spot Healing Brush, or as I call it, “Clearasil for Photoshop”.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could deal with spots that easily in real life.


Before we get started, I would like to touch on some photography terminology and explain their meaning.


Straight Out Of Camera or SOOC, refers to a totally unedited image.  If you have taken a photo on your phone and ran an editing app on it, it’s no longer SOOC and would not be ideal for these tutorials.


RAW images are unprocessed images and you are able to produce higher quality images shooting with your camera’s RAW settings.  Jpeg image information gets compressed and a lot of information gets lost.  This is not necessarily bad, but if you want to become a high end editor, working with RAW files are always better.  Phone cameras shoot in jpeg format, but there are third-party apps that will allow you to shoot in RAW.  RAW images are 16-bit and jpeg images are 8-bit.  This bit of information will come in handy in future tutorials.


Adobe Camera RAW has been around since 2003 and is available as a Plug-In with all PS and PSE versions after that date.  Not all camera files are supported in the earlier versions of Camera RAW, but for our purposes jpeg images are fine and there are a lot of websites that will convert images for free.  Just google which format you want to convert to jpeg.


When you open a RAW image in PS you will get a pop up as in the screenshot below.  We aren’t going to make any changes in RAW so you can just click “Open Copy”.



Once your photo is open in PS, duplicate it by hitting Ctrl/Cmd J.  The reason for this being that the Spot Healing Brush is a destructive tool (making changes directly to the layer as opposed to working non-destructively on layer masks or new layers).



In this next image I have circled the areas that need work.  The unruly eyebrows, the rough texture of the applied make up, the texture under her eye, lips, spots on her chin and of course that huge distracting shadow on her face.  Zoom into your photo and make a mental note of all the areas that can be improved.



Today we are working on the first step of our workflow and preparing our canvas.


Click on your Spot Healing Brush in the Tools Panel.  This is located under the Eye Dropper Tool.  You may have to expand the options if it’s hidden under one of the other tools.  Use a brush size slightly larger than the spot you want to cover.  Blend modes will depend on the image. If “Normal” doesn’t give the required effect, try “Lighten” or “Darken”.  Type is also dependent on the image, try “Proximity Match” or “Create Texture”.  What you want to achieve is a seamless cover up of the spot.  Only click once on the offending area.  With scratches or stray hairs in the face, you can click and drag.



As you can see in the next image, the scratch on the nose and a lot of the spots have been removed.  I have left the large offending area on the nose as that will be dealt with with another process.



In the next image you can see that the chin is now blemish free.



In the next image, the eyebrows have been neatened and I have removed a lot of the spots on the eyelids.  The lumpy make up will be dealt with in next week’s process.



I hope that this tutorial has been helpful, and remember – Every print worthy photo deserves a lot of loving to make it perfect.





You may also like

Leave a comment

Pin It on Pinterest