Adding Beards & Stubble to a Portrait Tutorial

This photoshop tutorial will show you how you can easily add beards and stubble to a portrait. Here’s my before and after photos..


Step 1.) Create new layer, and paint the beard area using a midtone gray using a soft-edged brush.


Step 2.) Apply gaussian noise filter ( filter >> noise >> add noise) to your the gray you’ve just painted on the new layer. The amount of noise used will depend on the size of the image you’re working on.


Step 3.) Now apply the Radial Blur to make the stubble. First, we must set the midpoint for the blur by hold on ‘alt’ as you draw an elliptical marquee from the center out. Starting from the bridge of the nose and enclosing the whole beard area.


Step 4.) Chose radial blur (filter > blur > radial blur: zoom, best).


Step 5.) Now change the layer mode to hard light to make the stubble transparent.


Step 6.) To make the beard darker, you can lower the brightness by using the Curves Adjustment (Image > Adjustment > Curves)



Tutorial written by Steve Caplin, the author of How to Cheat in Photoshop (Shared with permission).

See also: Photoshop Tutorials

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Comment by dayemn
2006-03-31 17:09:54

that’s pretty sweet. good tut.

Comment by HIValicious
2006-04-11 02:16:09

This is so fu*king cool.. I mean simple, useful and fun.. I love this and use constantly

Comment by CHongo
2006-04-14 08:56:46

Great tutorial! It’s Strangly addictive, half my photo collection is as of now full of oddly bearded women, its got great practical uses aswell of course!

Comment by laura boone
2006-09-19 02:40:57

Great tutorial i will have to try this one

Comment by laura boone
2006-09-19 02:51:44

I rate this one an 8

Comment by Davis
2007-04-05 17:49:27

This is awesome, you are great!

Comment by Xopa
2007-06-07 19:50:28

Simple yet effective. Fantastic tutorial!

Comment by TRTint
2007-06-26 05:44:41

Nice tutorial, thnx

Comment by Glen
2007-08-18 01:24:56

Great tutorial! Welldone.

Comment by eliasmoskona
2007-10-18 13:52:10

Hahaha best tutorial ever… Both my 14 y/o brother and my mom are happy with their beards (Y) It is an addictive effect

Comment by itsiam
2008-07-12 00:10:34

realy worth

Comment by Sandeep
2008-08-05 04:00:48

Good one….. Thanks

Comment by Rachit Sheth
2008-08-30 01:09:58

good tutorial!
thanx! :D

Comment by SIG916
2008-10-30 14:20:58


Comment by Bacon
2008-12-07 11:28:28

This Tut is the best so simple i thought id run into problems as i mostly do with tut’s but with this is was spot on no problems what so ever I reckon just about anyone could do this!

Comment by Jeff Subscribed to comments via email
2008-12-10 15:35:44

It doesn’t work. You can’t apply a gaussain noise filter on a specific area-it coveres the entire image!

Comment by Lolz
2008-12-15 10:56:13

Make sure you create a new layer for the stubble, otherwise you will do the whole image rather than just the stubble

Comment by errisi
2009-03-21 16:36:56

veryy cool thank you verry much

Comment by photo retouching
2009-05-06 02:28:14

A great bit of photo retouching ,I will recommend this to my students.

Comment by retoucher77
2009-06-04 09:32:53

thats excellnt! Really great job, thank you for posting this tut :)

Comment by Suzy
2009-07-08 23:05:23

This is amazing!
Okay I’m going to go waste an hour having fun with this now, thank you :D

(seriously though, great tutorial)

Comment by Bombchell
2009-07-18 07:04:55

pretty cool

Comment by Adithya Subscribed to comments via email
2009-09-05 09:59:27

wow man.. pretty good tutorial.. thanks!!!!

Comment by Michael Subscribed to comments via email
2010-07-08 21:08:02

If you’re showing it to someone who’s never seen a real beard they might believe it wasn’t faked… But as someone who regularly sports a beard it looks absurdly fake.

Comment by jk
2010-08-12 14:09:54

Awesome dude

Comment by Sepehr
2010-10-23 15:49:49

Thanks that was So Cool ;)

Comment by Dave
2010-11-24 00:24:39

Wonderful tutorial! Works like a charm!

Only issue I had was that it I can see some coloured spots in the gaussian blur. Maybe I should make the amount lower and also make it monochrome?

Still, works fantastically! Thanks!

Comment by sharseencalge
2011-03-03 11:47:31

Привет. Как ваши дела-то?
На вашем форме спамить-то можно?

Comment by Jimmy Wilson Subscribed to comments via email
2011-07-16 12:36:57

This is brilliant, but why don’t you sample color from the hair’s midtones to make the stubble look more natural?


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