Beauty Retouching Workflow: The Calvin Hollywood Way By Calvin Hollywood

1 hr 24 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

Known internationally for his edgy style and approach to fashion photography, digital artist Calvin Hollywood takes you through his personal retouching workflow to show you how he achieves his signature look so you can take what you like, or what works for you, from his style and make it your own.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Calvin introduces himself and talks about what he will be covering in the course.
Three main steps: white balance or temperature, change the exposure, and sharpen.
Before retouching the skin, Calvin changes the lips via flip horizontal to create symmetry. Works for the eyes and nose.
Calvin uses the healing brush to touch up the skin on a blank layer.
Using the clone stamp tool, Calvin removes flyaway hair in front of the eyes and duplicates some eyelashes to fill in some spots.
Even the skin tone with the high pass filter and Gaussian blur to soften skin and keep the texture. This can be created as an action to duplicate this process over and over.
Calvin shows you his favorite retouching tools, Dodge and Burn, and gives you a practice exercise to help your technique.
Create light and shadow to give the face depth and change shape without using liquify.
Create layer groups to keep your workflow organized and easy to access.
Use the mask mode to brighten the iris of the eye with an adjustment layer and selective color.
Calvin changes the mood and feel of his picture with the simplest aspect of his workflow that affects 99% of all his work - vignettes.
By using a selective color adjustment layer, Calvin adds a color cast to change the "mood" of his photo - a step that is a signature of his work.
Another method Calvin uses when adding his signature color cast.
Calvin enhances a picture by adding a texture overlay. Calvin has amassed a vast library of textures for this purpose and uses them creatively to add excitement to any photo.
Liquify is something that Calvin only uses 50% of the time because of the drastic changes it makes. He also uses it at the end of his workflow to give the client the option of having it in the final picture or not.
Now that 80% of his work is done, Calvin finishes up the final 20% in the only way he can - by experimenting, playing around, and getting artistic. While this portion of the lesson really can't be taught, Calvin lets you "peek over his shoulder" to give you an idea of what he does in order to help you develop your own style. Another important aspect of this step? Sleep on it.
Calvin takes you back through each layer and step in his workflow. Have fun experimenting with "Calvinizing" your own workflow and thanks for watching.
Profile photo of Calvin Hollywood

Meet your instructor

Calvin Hollywood


Calvin Hollywood is a digital artist, photographer, Photoshop trainer and author from Germany. He's a photography based artist who focuses on getting the perfect shot with Photoshop. In addition, he also serves as an Adobe Promoter and writer for a number of magazines....

Calvin's Courses


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of

    Great course, as always with Calvin. I love his accent, but you guys really have to proofread the transcripts better. I will do it for you if you’d like. The “douching and burning” was very funny but it was “dodging and burning” that he was saying.

  2. Profile photo of scorpio-1974 scorpio-1974

    The guy is awesome. Took the KelbyOne Workshop less than a week ago, signed up for the membership, saw these tutorials on softening the skin and it immediately paid off dividends! I went to a photoshoot the week before this workshop but purposely did not finish the photos because I wanted to implement what I was going to learn into my photos. Thanks a lot! Lessons learned and will learn more!!!

  3. Profile photo of Joy Joy

    Absolutely brilliant. I loved this course.

  4. Profile photo of Howard Lower Howard Lower

    Great job Calvin. I did learn some neat stuff and hope to use it soon. Question: Do you see any reason to use “frequency separation” to work on the color layer and texture layers separately? You do in a different way for color and the same way for texture. What do you see to be the pluses and minus for the Hollywood way and “frequency separation”? I consider you to be the expert after listening to your course twice and writing everything down. You really sold me when I noticed you were right handed as I.

  5. Profile photo of Lynette Lynette

    How do you do this mood light in photoshop cc 2014?

  6. Profile photo of Lynette Lynette

    Create the Mood (03:52)Calvin changes the mood and feel of his picture with the simplest aspect of his workflow that affects 99% of all his work – vignettes.

  7. Profile photo of rcdancel rcdancel

    Calvin the mask mode has worked well for me but for some reason it stopped working. It foes not allow me to paint the iris, what can be wrong?

  8. Profile photo of Venkata S.Nagireddi Venkata S.Nagireddi

    Loved your way of teaching Calvin.I am just a beginner. I have incorporated few steps in to my workflow.My pictures are already started looking much better.Thank you.

  9. Profile photo of Richard Richard

    Thanks Calvin! Your tutorial was just perfect for me, as I followed along using one of my own images. I really liked how you went over each step from start to finish without assuming a viewer could find their way around. You showed how to use every tool in an easy to understand way. With practice, I know I can incorporate several of your steps into my workflow. Best wishes for continued success!!!!

  10. Profile photo of J Allen J Allen

    Extremely good, Calvin. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole course—particularly loved the vignette technique. I have recently joined Kelby Training and although some instructors do go on a bit I find it a very good value for the money and am very satisfied with the training. My biggest problem is trying to remember all that I am learning. It is wonderful that I can keep going back to access any of the courses to refresh. Final verdict? Excellent! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  11. Profile photo of wizardremix wizardremix

    Terrific. Fun to listen to and very useful tips and perfect pace. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  12. Profile photo of pjwcanada pjwcanada

    Calvin, love your teaching style, and the way in which you explain features (what to do vs. not do). Thanks for a very informative series…so many features to play with, and your tips have expedited my learning immensely!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  13. Profile photo of filommm filommm

    Great Video! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  14. Profile photo of BHorst BHorst

    My favorite Photoshop teacher on Kelby Training thus far! Calvin, I love all your classes and they’ve helped me improve my PS techniques greatly! Thank you! Looking forward to more of your classes. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  15. Profile photo of Bob Bell Bob Bell

    Great Job, learned a lot from this. Thanks! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  16. Profile photo of Paul Davis Paul Davis

    Really enjoyed this course. Learned a lot of new techniques and enjoyed seeing how much difference the small details made. Good job! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  17. Profile photo of jessthelioness jessthelioness

    Sooooo helpful!!!! I use a lot of your work flow everyday now!!! Thank you so much! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  18. Profile photo of woolybear woolybear

    Always admired your work. Great informative tutorial, thanks for sharing!! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  19. Profile photo of Carmo Carmo

    Absolutely fantastic, I’m new to photoshop and I use CS6 this workflow had me mesmerised from to start to finish. So looking forward to getting in my studio and trying these great techniques. Thanks Calvin and thank you Kelby Training the best investment I’ve ever made by far. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  20. Profile photo of Philip Craiger Philip Craiger

    Very good information, I’ve expanded my ‘tool kit.’ Calvin’s accent is endearing, and who knew German’s had a good sense of humor! Kidding, I’m part German. ;)

  21. Profile photo of daveinvab daveinvab

    Great series. Very informative and very intuitive. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  22. Profile photo of Neil Schaffel Neil Schaffel

    I saw some of Calvin Hollywood’s techniques in another web course. I was very pleasantly surprised that his series is on KT. I think his methods and presentation, as well as his English, is superb, well done and extremely helpful. Thanks for including him. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  23. Profile photo of phatpuppyart phatpuppyart

    I think Calvin Hollywood is the best teacher I’ve seen to date. More of him. He’s relaxed – straight to the point – no nonsense and you can see he loves what he does!
    BRAVO Calvin!

    —- Yes, please post my feedback

  24. Profile photo of Janet Moir Janet Moir

    I absolutely loved Calvin’s retouching lessons! I found the pace and the instruction perfect for my skill level. I followed along on my own photo retouching and was very impressed. Steps were thoroughly explained and my finished product looks great. Thanks Calvin! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  25. Profile photo of emilnekem emilnekem

    Extremely useful course, to the point and easy to follow. Thank you! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  26. Profile photo of Paddy Phipps Paddy Phipps

    Great stuff, Tutors and content very apt. Love the tutorials.

    Still cant get a pin sharp pic!!! a lot of Photoshop, great. How do I get MY Pics Pin sharp.
    My images are mostly frustratingly soft.

    Paddy the Irishman —- Yes, please post my feedback

  27. Profile photo of C Douglas Jones C Douglas Jones

    Present a picture of the same inndividual to download to let people with dual screens to follow the work you are doing, plracticing as you go helps consdierably. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  28. Profile photo of creasyo creasyo

    Calvin is a genius, I love the techniques and he does not hold back showing you how to use them! Keep it up :) —- Yes, please post my feedback

  29. Profile photo of gpauwen gpauwen

    Great course, Calvin. Would you be able to send me the source photograph of the woman, so I can follow along ? My email address is
    Thanks a bunch in advance, and keep up the excellent work ! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  30. Profile photo of Michael Cox Michael Cox

    This was a great set of videos Calvin is interesting and gives great information. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  31. Profile photo of Peter Ruhm Peter Ruhm

    I’m going to have a workshop with Calvin soon (as a German in Germany) and I watched this course for two reasons: learning about Photoshop was the first, but also to see the way how calwin is “teaching” and I liked both! For me he offered very easy ways for beauty retouching, different from what I did see here in other lessons. I am very excited to go to the workshop, sure I will learna lot. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  32. Profile photo of BatmanUK BatmanUK

    Calvin is a really great teacher, he is very easy to follow and explains everything very well. Watching this Course has taken my Photoshop skills to the next level. I Can’t recommend Calvin Enough. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  33. Profile photo of

    LOVED this tutorial! I definitely learned some new tricks to my beauty editing. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  34. Profile photo of Stefano Sergi Stefano Sergi

    I love the “softening skin technique” very much, Calvin!!!
    Thank so much!!
    Stefano Sergi —- Yes, please post my feedback

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