Eric Renno, aka Tip Squirrel’s tutorial focuses on one of the most popular means of using Photoshop, using retouching to enhance photos. Over to you Eric……

In this tutorial we’ll take a look at a way we can reduce darkening around and below the eyes.

Disclaimer: When I come to write these tutorials I, of course, go to Fotolia’s stock library to get an image. The image I’ve chosen for this really doesn’t warrant the attention I’m giving it, it’s great the way it is.

Step 1: Find the Skin Tone

The aim here is to subtly reduce the darkening below this models eyes, as stated, I really don’t think we need to but lets do it for educational purposes. I’ll grab the Eyedropper Tool from the tool bar, or press ‘I’ on the keyboard.


Step 2:  Click on the image to pick up the skin colour closest to the area that you’re ‘fixing’.


Step 3: Add a Colour

At the bottom of the Layers panel click on the Adjustment Layers icon and choose, Solid Color.


The color picker pops up, but you’ve already got the colour you need, so click OK

Step 4: The Mask

The Adjustment layer has, by default, a mask attached to it. At present it is white and so we see the entire layer. What we’d like is to see none of it and then paint it in.

To do this reset the foreground and background colour to black by pressing ‘D’ on the keyboard. Then press Ctrl+Backspace (PC) or Cmd+Backspace (Mac).

Step 5: Get a Brush

Get a brush from the Tool panel or press ‘B’ on the keyboard. Make sure it has got a soft edge and the correct size for the area you want to cover.


Step 6:  Paint Back the Adjustment

Make sure the mask is still active (it’ll have lines around the corners).


White should still be the foreground colour so paint in where you’d like to colour.


Extra Credit: Using a graphics tablet allows you to utilize the pressure sensitivity and to draw thicker and thinner brush strokes.

Step 7: Less is More

To blend the adjustment layer in change the blend mode.


Step 8: Opacity

Reduce the opacity to taste.


9: Tidy Up

Remember, if your colour layer hits part of the image you don’t want it to, click the mask and then press ‘X’ to switch foreground and background colours. Then paint away the colour.

And that’s it! It’s a super simple yet totally efficient way of perking up photos to make both them and the subjects that little bit more ‘awake’! Make sure you share your attempts with us on Facebook or Twitter or by commenting on this post below.

As always, a big thanks to Eric for supplying this super detailed tutorial. Check out more of his tutorials on his websiteYouTube and you can find him on Facebook and Twitter should you wish to get in touch with him!