Ex­plore cre­ative brush tips

En­hance your cre­ative projects with nat­u­ral-look­ing brush strokes – Ge­orge Cairns mim­ics real-world brushes, pen­cils, char­coal and other nat­u­ral me­dia

NPhoto - - Contents -

Mimic real-world brushes, pen­cils, char­coal and other me­dia in Pho­to­shop

Many of Pho­to­shop’s tools are brush-based. By chang­ing the size, soft­ness and opac­ity of a brush-based tool, you can fine-tune the way it al­ters the pix­els in an im­age. If you use a graph­ics tablet then you can use changes in sty­lus pres­sure to cre­ate lighter or darker strokes and work with more pre­ci­sion.

You can also use brushes to mimic nat­u­ral me­dia. Se­lect the Brush tool, then click the Brush Pre­set picker and scroll down to find more cre­ative shapes, such as Chalk, which pro­duces a grainy tex­ture. You’ll also find cre­ative brush tips, such as Leaves, which scat­ters ran­dom leaf shapes. By click­ing the Brush panel icon you can mod­ify the way a pre­set shape be­haves, such as mak­ing the leaves scat­ter in less dense clumps.

To make Pho­to­shop’s brush tips be­have like their real-world coun­ter­parts, the Brush panel and Brush Pre­set picker of­fer a range of bris­tle-brush tips. These de­form as you paint, and leave bris­tle-like strokes on the im­age. By com­bin­ing a bris­tle-brush tip with a tool, such as the Mixer brush, you can turn a photo into a paint­ing, as you’ll see in the tu­to­rial across the page.

But first, we’ll demon­strate how the Brush panel changes a bris­tle-brush tip’s at­tributes, so you can pro­duce more re­al­is­ti­clook­ing strokes.

STE P BY STE P / Imi­tate real-world brushes 1 Choose the Mixer brush

Open the start im­age. Go to Win­dow> Workspace> Paint­ing. Cre­ate a new layer and name it ‘Painted Petals’. Hold the mouse but­ton down over the Brush tool’s com­part­ment in the Tools panel and choose the Mixer brush. Se­lect the Round Water­color erodi­ble tip.

2 Paint and smear

Set the size to 90 pix­els. In the Op­tions bar, choose Very Wet, Heavy Mix. Tick Sam­ple All Lay­ers. Click the trans­par­ent ‘Painted Petals’ layer. Paint strokes that fol­low the curves. The Mixer brush sam­ples colours from the im­age be­low and turns them into wet paint smears.

3 Check your progress

Click the ‘Back­ground’ layer’s eye icon to hide it. The Mixer brush’s paint-like strokes cre­ate a sim­pli­fied ver­sion of the petals, while pre­serv­ing colour and tone. Make the ‘Back­ground’ layer vis­i­ble and con­tinue us­ing lots of short strokes to paint in the rest of the petals.

4 Add re­al­is­tic mis­takes

When you mix real paint, colours can pol­lute other colours, es­pe­cially if you don’t clean your brush reg­u­larly. To add au­then­tic mixes of dif­fer­ent colours, untick the Clean Brush icon in the Op­tions bar. Now paint on the yel­low sta­men and then paint on the pur­ple plant.

5 Im­pres­sion­is­tic ef­fects

Cre­ate a new trans­par­ent layer. From the Brush Pre­sets picker, choose the Flat Point Medium Stiff bris­tle-brush tip. Set the size to 50. Paint over the leaves to ren­der them as rough-and-ready paint strokes. Cre­ate a new trans­par­ent layer and go to Edit>Fill.

6 Add a can­vas tex­ture

Set the Contents menu to Pat­tern. Click the Cus­tom Pat­tern win­dow. Se­lect the gear icon in the thumb­nail win­dow and choose Artists Brushes Can­vas. Click Ap­pend. Choose Yan­kee Can­vas. Click OK. Set the pat­tern layer’s blend mode to Over­lay and re­duce Opac­ity to 13%.

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