photoshop creative

Remove tattoos in Elements

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
March 29, 2016

Cover tattoos by painting new skin and smoothing all over


1. Eyedrop colour


Firstly, accustom yourself to the Eyedropper tool; this is one of your most trusted companions when it comes to big brushing projects. Click on the little icon on the left-hand side and use it to pick a colour close to where you want to paint over.

2. Select the brush


Now go to the Brush tool. We’re going to need a soft brush with 100% Opacity; if we were cloning we’d pick a low Opacity so that we wouldn’t duplicate patches of skin, but as we brush, we’re creating blocks of original colour.

3. Brush slowly and carefully


Create a new layer, just to be on the safe side, and brush over the tattoo. Eyedrop new colours by Alt/Opt-clicking, and just brush over the tattoo with the colours you select. Take it slowly to start with, and just brush around the edges.

4. Brush some more


Now, brush over the whole tattoo. Blotchiness is inevitable at this stage so don’t worry too much, but just try and pick colours close to the skin’s natural colour to paint over the top of the subject. Use the [ and ] keys to alter brush size.

5. Keep brushing


Create another new layer and pick a slightly bigger brush (we went for 300px). Apply this colour all over by using the same Eyedropper and Brush technique that you’ve been doing this far, until the skin looks smooth and natural

6. Add soft focus


To give an overall finish, apply a gentle soft focus to the picture. Do this by merging all your layers (Cmd/Ctrl+Alt/Opt+Shift+E) and duplicating your layer. Set the blend mode to Screen and then head to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur and apply a blur of 10-12px.

  • Barry Seigel

    Thanks for this. I found 10-12pixels of Gaussian Blur a way too much so I backed it off to 2 pixels !!! 🙂