by Weston Maggio

10 Tips for Using Photoshop's Healing Brush with a Wacom Tablet

Much has been written about the Healing brush since its introduction to Adobe Photoshop in 2002. Surprisingly, I still remember the days prior to the Healing Brush when we had to use the Clone Stamp tool alone to remove blemishes and unwanted elements. This wasn’t always easy, as you often times had to create something from nothing.

I used to tell photographers that they sometimes need to put their cameras down and put their illustrator’s hat on. I still say that, but the illustrator’s hat is a bit easier to equip nowadays, thanks to the Healing Brush.

In short, the Healing Brush affords Photoshop users the great luxury of cleaning up simple to complex imperfections with ease. In this tutorial, I’m going to show you some tips and techniques for improving the results of the healing brush so that you can create more and clean up less. 

Need a quick reference for unlocking the Healing Brush's potential in your workflow? Check out these 10 tips for better results with the Healing Brush (and Spot Healing Brush).

10 Tips for better results with the Healing Brush (and Spot Healing Brush)

  • Heal on separate layers - Check Sample All Layers
  • Use only as large of brush as need to cover the area being enhanced
  • Adjust brush size using pen pressure
  • Make short, wispy strokes
  • Cover a blemish multiple times—again, short wispy strokes
  • Lower layer opacity to “dial back” the effect
  • Use Fade (Cmd/Ctrl + Opt/Alt + F) to lessen effect
  • Increase brush spacing to create randomness in the brush’s effect
  • Use both the Healing Brush and the Spot Healing Brush
  • Select busy areas first before healing

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