Using The Spot Healing Brush



Do you know one of the things that help make a great scrap layout?  A great photograph.  I spend a long time editing my photos for my digital layouts.  There is one little problem…my oldest son.  I love him and all his boo boo’s, but he has the worst case of childhood eczema.  It has been the bane of our existence LOL.  Honestly, it is almost impossible to control…he scratches and scratches leaving these horrible scabs, scars and bleeding boo boos.  So, if I want to scrap him when he’s not wearing pants or long sleeves, like the photograph below, I have edit out all those boo boos.

You maybe be able to see here on his arm all his boo boos.  This is actually not as bad as it normally is.  But, I want to show you a little tool I use in Photoshop Elements that really helps me get rid of most of these boo boos so his skin appears to be smooth and clean.  I believe this tool is available in all versions of elements…it is in my PSE 8.
1.  Open the photo in Elements you wish to edit.
2.  Click on the band aid looking tool on your tool bar, or just click “J”.  Either will open up your Spot Healing Brush.
3.  Now what I do is zoom the photo to 100% .  I want to make sure I can see all the boo boos to “erase”.
  • Click the magnifying glass on your tool bar, or click “Z” for a short cut.
  • At the top of the screen on menu bar, you will see a + or -, you can click the + several times to bring you to 100% or, next to them is a % option.  What I normally do is just type in 100% and enter.  That will zoom in 100%.
As you can see my photo is a bit blurry, focusing in on the plant, but this was the only photo I had that wasn’t already edited.  But, you can still see his poor arm and how scratched up it is.
3.  Click “J” again to bring you back to your spot healing brush.
  • You are going to have to size your brush to match the size of the object you wish to brush over.
  • Move your mouse around, you will see a little circle that defines your brush and brush size.
  • If it is too small or too big, go to the top of your screen on the menu bar and define the size of your brush and which brush you wish to use.
  • You will see a brush image and next to it and size option.  For my case, I am choosing a soft brush at brush size 27.  You can use the sizes they give you or you can type in the size number you wish to use.
  • Next to the brush size, make sure “proximity match” button is clicked.
4.  Start ‘spot healing’.
  • It’s simple.  All you have to is just place your brush (circle) right over your spot you wish to remove and click your mouse.  That’s it.  Simple right?  It should just remove that spot.  If it doesn’t remove it fully, go back and adjust your brush size as needed.
  • For long scratches, you can move your mouse holding down the left mouse button and move down the length of the scratch.
  • PLEASE NOTE that shadows and different shades can cause problems in removing scratches.  Adjust your brush as needed and work around the spot instead.
Now you can see all his boo boos are gone.  There isn’t much I can do about the scaring.  That requires smoothing the skin and I will save that for another tutorial, my friends!  But, this is a great tool for really getting rid of spots on skin.  I have even used it on dark fabric that has lots of lint on it LOL! If there is a lot to remove, it can get a bit tedious and maybe there is a quicker way to do thing.  But, this way has worked great for me.
Hope you found my little tutorial helpful and if you need additional help with this, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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