Hey Silky friends! I've had many, many requests for tutorials on how to use our new brushes; this particular image is a VERY old one of my daughter playing in a mud puddle after a thunderstorm. It's underexposed, and very drab as far as color goes. So I wanted to show you how you can take an image like this, where the sky is intact but lacking color, and turn it into something eye-catching and beautiful, using just the brushes we offer! 



STEP 1: Obviously the foreground is much too dark, so the first step is going to be to use a graduated filter with our "Brush On White Light" brush. I applied this three times from varying angles to get the light just the direction and strength I wanted: 

And here's how it looks after that: 

STEP 2: Next I added another graduated filter, this time from the top down over the sky, with our "Deepen and Enhance Color" brush setting, to start to add interest to the sky. 

STEP 3: I used the "Add and Enhance Green" and "Add and Enhance Yellow" brushes on the grass to add a pop of color. 

STEP 4: I used "Darken and Add Contrast" in the lower right corner, and "Add and Enhance Blue" in the sky. Starting to lay the base for our more dramatic edit!

STEP 5: I added my first layer of "Add and Enhance Red" to the sky.

STEP 6: And now "Add And Enhance Orange" just along the horizon:

STEP 7: I added another layer of "Add and Enhance Blue."

STEP 8: I added another graduated filter with "Deepen and Enhance Color" to the sky. Getting very moody now!

STEP 9: Added "Enhance Warm Colors" to the horizon area and "Make it Darker" over the bright spot in the sky. 

STEP 10: Brushed on "Define Edges" over my little girl to bring out the highlights and make her stand out. Also brushed over the puddles with "Darken and Add Contrast" and "Add and Enhance Orange" to better reflect the darker sky. 

STEP 11: I added two graduated filters: One from the top down over the sky ("Brighten And Add Contrast") and one from the bottom over the muddy driveway in the foreground ("Darken and Add Contrast") 

STEP 12: I felt that the blue in the top right was too saturated, so I simply brushed over that area with "Desaturate All Colors Slightly."

STEP 13: I felt like I needed more color and warmth, so I added another layer of "Add and Enhance Red." 

STEP 14: I was happy with the sky at this point, so I simply used "Highlights Up" and "Subtle Vignette" from our handy-dandy Adjustment Kits, and called it done! 

I hope this gives you guys an idea of just how fun and easy it is to use Silky Strokes to enhance just about any image! If you have questions about anything, or suggestions for future tutorials, you'd like to see, please comment below! :) 


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  1. Lindsay

    love love these!

  2. Nicole

    GORGEOUS! Beautiful job.

  3. reina

    the transformation is totally amazing!!! <3

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