Saturday, January 29, 2011

Saturday School: Basically Brushes

Hi everyone out in digiland! Happy Saturday! It's Jenn (jk703) here to share a little information with you. Are you too cool for school? (a Pink song, Raise Your Glass!) *giggles*

Now... I am into digital scrapping for just under a year; when I learn about tools or tips in Photoshop, I share them with you! So.... I am going to do a tut about brushes, but I need to learn more and practice!! This is such a fantastic part of Photoshop, that I wanted to share a few tips first... then when I've got the next Saturday, I will post more that I've learned about the Tool itself!

Brushes can make some really cool effects on your pages!  It is an intricate tool, but one that you will love once you learn the basics!  I know I'm starting to LOVE it!  

  • It is a basic painting tool.
  • It uses a traditional painting manner by applying color with strokes. 
  • The Keyboard shortcut is B.
  • The brush tip is the basic way to modify and change your strokes.
Loading a Brush:
  1. Select the Brush tool and click on the brush picker dropdown from the Options bar.
  2. In the brush picker window, look on the right side for a small arrow or double-arrow, click that and the flyout menu will appear.
  3. Select Load Brushes.
  4. In the window that pops up, navigate to the folder where you unzipped the brush files.  I keep mine in a file called:  Brushes.  So original, right?!
  5. Find the brush (you are looking for an .abr file) you put there, click on it, then click the Load button.
  6. That should load the new brush into your brush picker. If you can't find the brushes - look to the bottom.  

Let's Actually USE the brush:

  1. Create a new layer.  Always do this, so what you do can be undone!
  2. Select the brush tool. C
  3. Choose the brush shape you wish to use.
  4. Set your foreground color. Important to do this NOW!  :)
  5. Position the cursor (now the shape of the brush) and click to "stamp" the shape once  or click + drag to make a "stroke" with the brush.

  • You can make your brush larger or smaller with the [  and  ] keys.  Yes, brackets.
  • To paint in a straight line, click on your start point, hold the shift key, then click on your end point.  Funny tip..... click, hold the shift and just keep clicking and your straight lines will be connected.  I made the "house" doing this!  LOL!  
  • Try adjusting the opacity or blending modes of your brush layer to create unique backgrounds or watermarks for your layout.
  • Always create your brushwork on a new transparent layer. This will also allow you to play with the blending mode or color of the brushwork easily.

Most Awesome Tip!

  • Scroll through all of the loaded brushes using the arrow keys on your keyboard. Select the Brush Tool and hover your cursor over your layout, you should see the outline of the brush.  Use the right arrow to scroll, and left to scroll back.  When you find the perfect brush, click once on your layout to apply the brush to the layer. 
Brush Display Options (and my thoughts):
  • Text: This will only display the name of the brushes.  I need some visuals personally!
  • Small Thumbnail: This displays shows small thumbnails of the brushes and then brush size just below it. (This is what mine is on for the tut -- you see a little more).
  • Large Thumbnail: This displays shows a larger thumbnail of the brushes as well as the brush size.
  • Small List: This displays the size of the brush followed by the brush name. There is a teeny-small preview.  I can hardly make out much of what I see!
  • Large List: This displays a larger preview, followed by the size of the brush and the brush name.  Easier on the eyes!
  • Stroke Thumbnail: This view displays the thumbnail, with the size of the brush beneath it. To the right, it shows you what the brush will look like when you paint with it (fantastic!)
I hope you enjoyed some information to get you started on Brushes... there is soooo much to learn about them, and this is just the beginning!  Have a great Saturday and don't forget to stop by the Free Photobook posting that Jen has going on!  A FREE photobook = awesome!  

Have a great one, and thanks for stopping in!
Jenn (jk703)


Anonymous,  January 29, 2011 at 8:58 PM  

Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [30 Jan 12:00am GMT]. Thanks, Maria

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As a creative team member for several digital scrapbook designers, I have received their products for free in return for creating and posting projects (digital layouts, hybrids projects, etc). Many of the layouts you see here were done in conjunction with requirements for these creative teams. Please be advised that the products used were indeed received for free.

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