Adobe Photoshop for Beginners: Retouching With the Photoshop Healing Brush

We are now into the last section of this course and learning to manipulate images by “retouching” them or making them look more appealing to the eye.

If you’d like to see the rest of my mini-reviews for this tutorial series, you can do so here.

In today’s lesson we will be using the following assets:

With each of these files we will be removing things from the image such as blemishes for the head shot of the model, graffiti in the second shot from the wall and the person and picture frame entirely from the last image.

We’ll begin with the head shot of the model first above.

You will be opening this file in photoshop and then using the “Spot Healing Brush” tool from the tool bar to remove blemishes from this model’s face. For retouching, you can pretty much do whatever you want as long as you don’t destroy the original source image (by not creating a separate layer) or making the image look too “retouched” and therefore obvious. The idea is to make the image better but not fake to anyone looking at it.


Create a second layer above your head shot and name that layer “retouching layer”. This is where you will be making all the changes and the original file will not be touched (remember destructive versus non-destructive editing?) Very important to get into the habit of doing this whenever you are editing a source file.

To make the retouching look more realistic, we can use the “opacity” tool in the layer menu to create a more realistic looking image. It should be difficult to tell if a face or image has been photo shopped or not. That is the art of retouching masterfully as opposed to creating fake looking images.

Here is my final image:

Retouched by Darkside Creative

And the second image only works because the brick wall is so damaged and has probably had a lot of graffiti on it. This technique would not work very well with a perfect brick wall (that’s definitely an intermediate or even advanced technique).

Retouched by Darkside Creative

And our final example has as woman walking past a wall and we want to make the wall look a little nicer, remove the woman entirely and the picture hanging above her so it looks something like this:

Retouched by Darkside Creative

And that’s it for another tutorial review – only a few more to go before we complete this entire course! Can you believe it we are almost there!

Please let me know if you’re following this tutorial series or if you have any comments or questions about any of the art on this blog. I’d be keen to discuss with you!

Until tomorrow, stay safe out there, keep creating and I’ll catch you in the next post!

If you like my Photoshop posts, you can check out more of them right here.

And while you’re there, why not consider following me which you can do here.

Thanks for your support!

2 thoughts on “Adobe Photoshop for Beginners: Retouching With the Photoshop Healing Brush

    1. There are many free photo editing software out there, but I have always used Adobe products since forever which isn’t free. But you could take a look at GIMP or Pixlr 🙂


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