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Tools Panel in Adobe Photoshop

Lesson 6 of 8

Eraser and Gradient Tools

Ben Willmore

Tools Panel in Adobe Photoshop

Ben Willmore

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Lesson Info

6. Eraser and Gradient Tools

Lesson Info

Eraser and Gradient Tools

All right, let's further work our way down our tools panel here. We were just at the history brush. Below that we have the eraser tool and it just erases things. The one thing you should know about when you use the eraser tool is if you're ever working on a layer that's called background, or you're working on a layer mask, then the eraser tool will not truly erase, and that's because a background layer cannot have any transparent areas and a layer mask is always full of shades of gray so erasing doesn't make sense. But in that case any time you work in the background layer or a layer mask, what the eraser tool will do is it will just paint with your background color. And what that means is if you ever work with layer masks, feel free to use the paint brush tool to paint with white. And then switch to the eraser tool and your background color will usually be black at that time and it would paint with black. So that's our eraser tool. Below that we have the gradient tool. With it you can...

click and drag on your picture and it's going to make a smooth transition. With default settings it'll be between your foreground and background colors, but you're welcome to change those settings up here at the top. If you click here you can choose from preset colors. The one on the upper left would be your foreground and background colors. And then over here you can choose what type of gradient you would like. Do you want it to go in a straight line? Do you want it to radiate out from the middle of a circle and so on. A lot of people ask me how I create a color wheel which is something that I often show in my seminars. And I'll just briefly make one with this tool. I'm going to go in here and one of the presets if I just click on that little arrow, is this one, which looks like a rainbow of color. But notice that the color at the beginning and the color at the end are identical. And therefore if you did something to make it go around a circle the ends would match. Then over here I'm gonna use this setting. That makes this go around, sweep around a circle, similar to the hand on a clock, or to a radar swooping around. And then I'm just gonna click in the middle of my file and drag straight up. That's how I make a color wheel. A wheel that has all the colors in the rainbow in it. And so what I've done is I went to the gradient tool, I chose this preset, and I used this setting. Just make sure when you're done you set it back to normal so you're not always making color wheels. If you want that to be contained within a circle, just make a round selection first, and then you'll be clicking in the center of that selection and dragging straight up.

Class Description


  • Understand the difference between Opacity and Flow
  • Utilize the History Brush to selective undo changes
  • Use the Library panel to store commonly used elements
  • Combine the Eyedropper tool with the Color and Swatches panels to make color choices easier
  • Create and apply presets to speed your work


  • Beginner, intermediate, and advanced users of Adobe Photoshop.
  • Those who want to gain confidence in Adobe Photoshop and learn new features to help edit photos.
  • Students who’d like to take ordinary images and make them look extraordinary with some image editing or Photoshop fixes.


Adobe Photoshop 2020 (V21)

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