How To Create Skin Tones in Photoshop

When working with skin tones in Photoshop, there are a number of different things you can do and improvements that you can make. One of the most important things will be to even out the skin tones and make the photo look much more professional. Photoshop makes evening out skin tones very easy, as it's simply a matter of using a few useful tools.

Once you have carried out these techniques, you will be able to create high quality smoothed out skin tones which make any portrait photos look amazing.

Tools and Materials Needed

  • Photoshop
  • Suitable Portrait Image

Step 1: Open Your Photo

First, you need to load up Photoshop and wait for it to finish loading. Once it is open, you can select your photo by clicking on file, open and then choosing the photo that you want to open. If you cannot find a suitable photograph, then search on the Internet to find one to practice on. It's always best to try and practice this on a portrait photograph with someone looking at the camera.

Step 2: Duplicating Layers

The photo will be displayed as a single background layer when you first open it. Once you have opened the image, you will then need to duplicate the layer. Layers are very useful because they allow you to easily adjust what's in the photo without needing to alter what's underneath.

Press CTRL and J together to duplicate the layer. This creates an exact copy of the background layer which you will be able to edit. Another way of duplicating the layers is to select Layer, Duplicate Layer from the menu bar.

Step 3: Filters

Apply a blur filter by clicking Filter, Blur. Adjust the radius of the blur depending on the images resolution. If you're working with a low resolution image, for example, then you can select a radius of around 10 and set the threshold at 15. Just play around with the different settings so that you get the best results.

The idea of the blur is to smooth the skin tones slightly. Once you have set the settings correctly, you can then click OK to apply.

Step 4: Improving the Skin

Simply applying the blur should make the skin slightly glossy, like you're accustomed to seeing in a magazine. Hold down the Alt key and apply a layer mask; this will fill the entire mask layer with black. This will also hide everything from view, so don't let it alarm you.

Step 5: Removing the Mask

Use a brush with white to remove some areas of the mask to allow the foreground to shine through. In order to keep the soft finish, reduce the opacity of the brush down to 60%. This should be carefully applied to reveal certain areas of the picture and skin.

Step 6: Finishing the Image

Hopefully at this point you will have an image that you are happy with. It's now simply a matter of flattening the image so that it can be published on the Internet and printed out.

Popular Cameras for High Quality Photos: