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A class of micro-cracks informed damage models for describing the softening behavior of brittle solids is proposed, in which damage evolution is treated as a consequence of micro-crack propagation. The homogenized stress–strain relation in the cracked microscopic cell defines the degradation tensor, which can be obtained by the equivalence between the averaged strain energy of the microscopic cell and the strain energy density of the homogenized material. This energy equivalence relationship serves as an energy bridging vehicle between the damaged continuum and the cracked microstructure. Several damage evolution equations are obtained by this energy bridging method. The size effect of the micro-cracks informed damage law is characterized through the microscopic cell analysis, and the proper scaling of the characterized damage evolution functions to eliminate mesh dependency in the continuum solution is introduced.