Recently we showed you 9 simple edits the pros use to retouch portraits. Today we’ll show you seven more professional portrait retouching tips you can use to enhance your subjects for beautiful faces, skin and much more.
Portrait retouching tips: steps 1-2
01 Skin softening techniques
Click here to download our start files and follow along! Professional retouchers will often spend hours poring over skin, brushing in skin tones and removing marks at a fine level. For those of us who don’t have that inclination, there are a few quick fixes.
The key is to clean up skin without making it look too blurred or plastic. For Lightroom and Camera Raw users, the Adjustment Brush loaded with negative Clarity can work wonders in seconds.
Alternatively, high-pass skin softening does a great job. Simply duplicate the layer, go to Filter>Other>High Pass, enter around 9px and hit OK.
Next hit Cmd/Ctrl+I to invert the layer, then Alt click the Add layer mask icon to hide the layer behind a mask.
Now all you have to do is grab the Brush tool, set the colour to white, and paint over the skin for soft, velvety texture.
02 Remove spots and blemishes
When it comes to removing blemishes and lines, four tools are essential – the Spot Healing brush, Healing brush, Patch and Clone Stamp tools.
The Spot Healing brush is good for spot removal if the spots are over clear areas. The Healing brush is similar, but you define the source by Alt-clicking.
The Patch tool enables you to drag a selection to tidy up the detail within, so its good for removing irregular shaped marks.
The Clone Stamp tool also requires an Alt-click to define a source. Used at a low opacity of about 20%, its good at softening areas while still leaving detail.
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