My Process For Retouching Newborn Babies Blotchy Skin In Photoshop

Rating: 4.75 based on 4 Ratings
  By Julian
My Process For Retouching Newborn Babies Blotchy Skin In Photoshop

Hello all and welcome to this Tutorial.

Today I’m going to be showing you my process for Retouching Newborns.

So for Retouching portraits, there is a general overall process that you can follow to start off with.

And that’s for just the average basic person from where ever in the world they are from.

But, when it comes to certain little nippers that are newborn there will be a lot of blotching in the skin.

Which is a pain!


I have the very solution to turn that pain in tointooshop satisfaction!

Ok so check out this little one!

This little one is angry and annoyed because he’s had his photo taken and he’s got blotchy skin!

You can if you want to use this image and work alongside me on this tutorial here is the link to the image (Link)

I found it hard to actually find an image online for this that I could use.

If you have your own images at the ready, then, by all means, use that!

The process will be the same as long as it’s at a respectable level of quality.

Let’s get going.

So by now you should have found your image and have it opened up in Photoshop.

Create yourself a Duplicate.

You do this by going to ‘Layer – Duplicate Layer’

We do this step even it’s not technically required.

It’s always good to have a spare original layer and it’s cool at the end when I group all my edited layers together.

Then flick between the two to see the difference.

This helps a good deal when editing as well because it can help you see things you may have missed.

So for that reason alone, it’s worth creating a 2-second duplicate.

Right now we are all set up let’s open up ‘Channels’

You do this by going to ‘Window – Channels’

On the right-hand side now you will see that the panel opened.

If not then you may be already had it opened and by hitting channels it closed it.

So no panic, just repeat.

What channels are is the image colors being split up into the base colors.

When dealing with RGB, which is for web and what most of your images will be unless you change to CYMK which is for print.

But not going into CYMK in this tutorial as it’s not needed let’s just talk about what RGB is.

It stands for…




That means that using just these 3 colors the computer can mix any color.

So, channels enable you to work with each independently.

Handy right!?

So to correct these blotchy areas let’s grab the green layer and drag it down to the little icon.

It’s just beside the recycling bin in at the bottom of your channels panel.

When you are over it, release the mouse button.

You will now see that there is a new green layer at the bottom called “Green Copy”.

The next step that we are going to do is to open up levels.

So go to Image – Adjustments – Levels

Our goal here is to increase the contrast of the darker areas.

To do this I will first drag the tab on the Input Levels portion of the panel that popped up.

That’s the tab on the right, the white one.

Drag that towards the center, which is towards the left until you start to see highlighted areas get blown out a little.

Then you drag the middle tab towards the right darkening down the image.

Don’t go too far with this, what you see in my image below is something similar to what you should be after.

Then press ‘Ok’

Now we have to make a selection of that layer.

To do this, hold Ctrl on your keyboard and click the thumbnail of the green copy layer.

The thumbnail is the little box with a mini version of the image in it that’s black and white.

You’ll now see the marching ants as they’re called all around your image.

Now click back into your Layers Panel (if you need to find it you can find it in the same way we got Channels, in that ‘Window’ drop down)

Then go to Layer – New Adjustment Layer – Curves

A pop up will now appear and your screen will go Red.

To get rid of the red just click on the thumbnail of the layer, we need to anyway.

The reason we need to is so we can invert the selection, at the minute it is set for lights, but we want to target the dark areas.

So click on your Curves Adjustment layer thumbnail and hold Ctrl, then press I on your keyboard.

Now we are going to activate the Curves Adjustment again by double clicking on the half black, half white circle icon beside our thumbnail.

When the panel appears, click the center, hold and drag it directly up. (then you can go to either side depending on your image if needs be)

Do this until your skin starts to look balanced out, but be aware that there will still be some blue areas due to the veins.

To deal with these other little areas we will first create a new layer.

There is a very nice solution for this!

When you have your layer, then look at the layers panel, there you will see a drop down box with the word ‘Normal’

This is known as your blend modes.

Click into that and have a look at the bottom and you will see ‘Color’ click it and your layer will now be that blend mode.

Ok so what does this do…

Well if you select your brush tool.

Making sure that is is on the soft brush option which is the first in the list.

I basically use this 99% of the time unless I’m using a very specific brush.

You find this option at the top left hand corner just under the word ‘Edit’

Also change the opacity to 50%, you’ll see that option to the right of the menu bar.

Now all you have to do, it identify the areas in your head that you want to fix.

So this would be areas like those veins we talked about.

Then hold Alt and click on an area close to that area, a nice pink area.

You have now sampled that color.

Paint over the are you want to cover and you will see the color being replaced!

If you feel that you may have went overboard with the colors, then fine, don’t worry because…

You always have the option of lowering the opacity of the actual layer on the right to soften that down a little.

Below you can see in my example image I have this lowered to 80% now.

Create another new layer, we are now going to run a Spot Healing Tool session on our image just to remove any odd areas we don’t like.

So grab that Tool from the side as shown below.

Then all we have to do with our new layer created and selected at the top of the pile is to zoom in and get to work.

To zoom in I use the plus and minus keys on my keyboard while holding Ctrl.

I hold down the space bar to click and move around my image.

Then I target any little scratches, or things like you can see in the corner of the eye below.

So like little beads of sweat or wrinkles.

You will notice that sometimes the result isn’t that great depending, so just hold Ctrl + Alt and hit Z to go back a step and try again.

This time you may need to use a small size on your brush.

Do a good once over on your image for 5 minutes or so, I doubt it would take any longer.

Great we are nearly done, just one more little thing that I want to do.

And that’s to add a slight blur.

So click on your top layer.

Then hold shift.

Holding shift now click on your bottom layer above the Background layer.

This has highlighted all those layers so that you can create a duplicate layer of them all.

Right click on the new layer and select merge layers.

Now let’s add a Gaussian blur.

3-4 should do the trick.

It’s just to get rid of little fine hairs etc.

Then with an opacity of about 50% on your eraser tool, just rub out doing multiple mouse clicks areas of interest.

That’s the mouth, eyes, ears, checks, hair and chin…ears too if you wish.

Let’s look at the difference below.

Hope you enjoyed.

Learn here the best method to turn day into the night using adobe photoshop.

Rating: 4.75 based on 4 Ratings
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Graduated from college in 2002 with a degree in Art & Design, I started exploring my way in Graphic Design and Professional Post Production. Full-time freelancer since 2011.

Comments (1)

  1. Bas Berkhuijsen Guest

    Great Help Julian . Thanks!! Very helpfull