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6 Questions About Lightroom's Brush Tool You're Too Afraid to Ask

Asking questions is hard enough.  But asking questions that you think most everyone else already knows can be even harder.  Today, I wanted to answer some of the questions about Lightroom's Brush Tool you may be asking in your head but are too afraid to ask!

Where is the Brush Tool?

Lightroom’s Brush Tool is located on the right-side panel of Lightroom.  You’ll find it with all the other Local Adjustments Tools in the Develop Module.  It is a paint brush with a dotted circle around the brush.  (However, as Amanda pointed out in one of her webinars, it also looks a little like a microphone!)

When you click on the Brush Tool, a new box will open with several sliders available for you to use.  You make changes to those sliders and brush them on your photo.  It really is THAT simple!

Where do I find the Brush Presets I just purchased and installed?

Once you have downloaded and installed the Brush Presets you have purchased you will find them over on the right-side panel in Lightroom.  First, click on the brush tool.  Then click on the words or double-arrow next to the word Effect.  A menu will open and you can choose the Brush Preset that you’d like to use.

My brushes stopped working!  How do I fix them?

Almost always when someone thinks that their brushes have stopped working, they really haven’t.  They have just accidentally moved some sliders that make you THINK they have stopped working.

At the bottom of the brush panel are two sliders called “Flow” and “Density”.  Setting either of these sliders to anything less than 100% will adjust the strength of the brush or limit how much of the brush can actually be brushed on your photo.  If you find that your brushes aren’t working any longer, check those two settings and set them back to 100%.  I bet they will be magically fixed.

How can I see where I have brushed?  Or if I missed a spot?

Seeing where you have brushed is as simple as checking the “Show Selected Mask Overlay” box just below your image.  You won’t see this option unless you have the Brush Tool selected.

Once you select that box selected, and one of your brush pins selected, you will see a red haze over the areas where you have brushed.

A brush is too strong.  How do I tone it down?

There are a few ways that you can tone down a brush.  If you have already brushed it on, then the easiest way is to adjust the sliders in the brush panel to the amount you think looks best.

If you haven’t already brushed on the effect, then the best way to add an effect lightly is to decrease the flow a bit and then brush over the area more times to increase the effect.  Think of flow like a spray paint can.  The first time you spray over an area with a spray paint nozzle only pressed halfway, the surface won’t likely be completely covered.  You would spray over the area a times to cover it completely.  In the same way, each time you brush over an area of your photo you are increasing the amount of the effect being applied to that area.

I brushed over an area that I didn’t want to.  How can I fix that?

You have two options.  You can press ctrl/cmd + z and undo everything you have brushed on and start completely over.  If you have brushed a large area, that means a lot more work for you.

The easier option would be to select the erase tool and brush over any areas you hit that you didn’t want to.  When using the erase tool, it is nice to have the “Show Selected Mask Overlay” box checked so that you can see the areas you need to erase.

More Questions?

Never be afraid to ask the questions you need to.  Have more questions you are afraid to ask?  Feel free to ask them in the comments or over in the Pretty Presets Facebook Group and I will do my best to answer them!

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