I’ve been working a lot lately to improve my Photoshop skills. And even though there’s still a lot of work ahead, I am happy because I am already starting to get when to use which tools, and how to achieve the results I am looking for. That goes from improving portrait retouching, to composite some fine art photographs.

I have been talking to some friends who are in the same place I was last year. They need the program, they want to do specific projects with it, but they don’t know how to use it. So, today I am trying to help out Natalia, starting by explaining the differences between the healing brush tool and the clone stamp tool.

Let’s start with the cloning stamp tool as it’s the easiest to understand and explain. Basically, what it does is literally clone the color AND the texture from the part of the image we choose (ALT + click) and stick it wherever we want. We use it when we’re working on areas where we need precision, when we would like to duplicate part of the image, or when we need to repeat a pattern in the image (sometimes this will also be the only tool we can use, when the healing brushes can’t do the job).

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To fix the side with water in, I just cloned the right eye and on a new layer I just got it on.

We will be using mainly two types of healing brushes:

  • Spot healing brush tool: We’ll use this tool when we want to get rid of little imperfections in the image (a classic would be blemishes, or, in the case of some of my landscapes, dust dots from the camera sensor). This spot healing brush tool takes the color and texture of the surrounding area and blends it in. It is because of this that even if it is a terribly useful tool, sometimes it makes mistakes and that’s the reason why we have the healing brush tool.
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  • Healing brush tool: This brush work exactly as the previous one, BUT it is more precise. This means we can mix the color from an area with the texture of another. It’s because of this that if we use the spot healing brush and we start having blurry areas, we lose detail in the textures… everything starts looking weird… Then we use the healing brush tool, select the texture from similar areas and we paint it with the color from the closer ones.
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    Original image, the second one is with the Spot healing brush, and the last one (chin improved) is with the Healing brush.

    I hope this helps and you improve your Photoshop skills, and you can create all you can imagine.

    If you have any doubts, you know how and where to find me. The same goes for if you need help with something specific! Don’t hesitate to write!!

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