How To Use Adobe Photoshop Brushes

Viewing pictures on laptop

The Adobe Photoshop brush tool is probably one of the most important to master. With it, you can do anything from removing glasses glare in a photo to touching up skin blemishes. The following steps will show how you can use brushes to remove glasses glare in a photo, but the same principles can be used in many other applications.

  1. Open your digital photo by choosing File>Open and navigating to where your photo is stored. Select the photo and click on "Open." (Remember that professional studio photos cannot be scanned because of copyright privileges. In following these steps, you should only use photos that you have taken or for which you have received permission to use or alter.)
  2. If the Toolbar is not open in Photoshop, choose Window>Tools from the menu at the top.

  3. Before you use the brush tool, you must use the eyedropper tool (which looks like a tiny eyedropper), and select a spot of color near the edge of the white that represents the glasses glare. This will change the foreground color (found in the small left-hand box near the bottom of the Toolbar). The brush tool will mark using the foreground color.
  4. Zoom in very close to the glasses glare in the photo.  To zoom in, draw a square around that spot with the magnifying tool.
  5. Select the brush tool from the Toolbar. A brush menu should appear in the top of the Photoshop screen. Here you can change the size and type of the brush. "Fuzzier" looking brushes will make softer marks, and brushes with crisper edges will make harder marks. You change the diameter of the brush to match the area where you will be applying marks.
  6. Using the brush, dot dabs of color in the white area of the glasses glare. To make the marks look more natural and to reflect changing skin tones, select other colors near the glasses glare portion so your corrections will blend into the skin beneath the glasses. Follow step 3 above, to change colors.
  7. Keep in mind that Photoshop will allow only one undo per instance.  Therefore, do not save until you are satisfied with the result.
  8. When you are finished and ready to save... you can choose File>Save As if you want to save your corrections in a new file, or File>Save if you want to override the original photo.

The brush tool is one of the handiest in Photoshop to learn. With it, you can remove cracks from aged photos or correct a number of the other discrepancies in skin tone, etc., that are enhanced in a photograph.


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