Steps for Smoother Brushwork in Lightroom and Photoshop

Table of Contents

0:53How Bit Depth Can Create Smoother Brushwork
6:44How to Use Hardness and Feathering Together
9:00Flow and Opacity to Taper Out Your Brushwork
11:54Layering Brushstrokes at Low Opacity for Seamless Transitions
16:48My Brushing Strategy for Dodging and Burning
19:21Additional Tips and Precautions with the Brush Tool

The Adjustment Brush

Table of Contents

0:05Lesson Overview and Brush Basics
3:42Quick Walkthrough of Applying the Adjustment Brush
8:47The Importance of the Brush Overlay
10:23Brush Feathering: When to Use Soft and Hard Brushstrokes
20:27Using Flow to Taper Your Adjustments
23:38How Density Controls Brush Transparency
27:02The Practical Use of Flow and Density
30:54Auto-Masking
38:35Refining Brushwork with the Eraser Tool
42:01Changing the Adjustment Brush Settings After Application
43:26Managing Multiple Adjustment Brush Applications
50:56Maintaining Straight Lines When Brushing
53:43Brush Presets
56:45Additional Tips
1:01:19Lesson Summary

The Brush Tool …

If you’ve done any kind of processing in Lightroom or Photoshop, you’ve most likely worked with the brush tool. It’s the foundation of dodging and burning, any kind of blending, and many other creative processing techniques.

With the brush tool, you can literally paint over the areas you want to change…without the guesswork and unwanted side effects of the brute-force global adjustments. The ability to tailor your processing to the content of your image will not only give you higher-quality results…but will save you a lot of time in the darkroom.

However, this incredible feature can be a little tricky to master since there are quite a few settings that control how your brush performs…

Brush size, flow, feather, density…they all work together to create specialized brush effects. And like any tool, if you don’t know how to use it properly…it’s pretty useless.

So for this “mini-lecture”, I’ve got something extra-special lined up…two video lessons that will teach you everything to know about (1) how the brush tool works, (2) how to get smooth and seamless brushstrokes, and (3) advanced-level tips for taking full advantage of all this incredible tool has to offer.

This lesson is a sample of what you’ll find in The Darkroom: A Lifetime Membership Program for Lightroom and Photoshop. Click here for more details.

7 thoughts on “Steps for Smoother Brushwork in Lightroom and Photoshop”

    1. Hi Liz – Sometimes the larger videos will download without the file extension (.mp4). Not sure why that happens, but if you edit the file name and add “.mp4” without the quotations, that should fix the issue. Sorry for the trouble!

  1. Your videos have been very helpful. But I do have a question. You are giving away all of this learning without any charge. How do you make a living?

    1. Hi Karen – Glad you’ve found the videos helpful. I release these “sample” lessons so that everyone can learn something new…and those who want more in-depth tutorials and a cohesive “start to finish” learning experience will sign up for the full program. It’s a balance that allows me to create lessons like this regardless of compensation up-front…and has worked pretty well over the years.

      1. So much of PS can be confusing but you have an excellent way of simplifying the confusion. Thank you so much. Glad I found you.

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