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The brush method defines the most basic level of dab behavior and is the foundation on which all other brush variables are built. You can think of the method and the method's subcategory as attributes of the stroke's appearance. If you come from a Photoshop point of view, you might want to think of methods and sub-methods as blending modes but on steroids, because they contribute so much to the way a brush looks. So, let's take a look at methods and subcategories.
I am going to go up once again to the Window menu and we will go down to the Brush Controls > General and here we have once again our General palette and right below Dab Type, there is Method and Subcategory. Methods have a drop-down menu. You see there are many different types here. We are just going to explore a couple, so you can see the basic difference between methods and we will look in greater depth to all of these, as we go throughout the title. But let's take the Cover method, which happens to be assigned in this case to the Digital Airbrush and I will just do a few sample strokes.
So, let's draw with one color and I am going to take a second color and you can see that the Cover method is called that because it covers up what's underneath of it. So Cover is a basic building block of the way Painter brushes are constructed. If we switch it though to Buildup, what will happen is the brush is not going to cover up that underlying color in this case. It's going to allow it to be seen through, but notice how it's changing colors.
It's getting darker and moving towards black. This is because the Buildup method is based more on a dye model of how color builds up. A good example are markers. Markers, if you have ever played with them, will typically work in a very similar manner. So Buildup methods are a completely different way of applying color than Cover methods and as you have seen there are even more methods available depending on the kind of behavior you want.
Now, once you go to a method it is further subdivided by the subcategories. So these are refinements of a method. Now we are back at Cover method and I am going to click on the Brush Reset tool, right here in the Brush Selector Bar. It just brings me back to my default behavior and we can see that subcategories are a further refinement of methods. So here we are back at Cover method and we have many different refinements of the Cover method.
By default, the Cover method for the Airbrush is Soft Cover and as we can see we are getting a nice, Soft Cover method that covers up the underlying color. However, I can add more or a different kind of character to it by selecting a different subcategory, which will still cover but it will add a different flavor to it, and you can see there are several here named Grainy. This is one way to tell when a medium is grain-aware. It will utilize the word Grainy within its subcategory.
Let's just take Grainy Hard Cover for example. When I switch to it, notice the behavior of the airbrush. It's still soft, it still covers, but now it has grain being imparted into the look of the stroke, and that is all because we have switched to a subcategory that has Grainy in it. Flat, on the other hand, tends to produce a harder edge to it, instead of having soft edges. So methods and their subcategories are key components of Painter's brush DNA.
It's for this reason that they appear in the top most brush control's General palette. They determine a brush's most basic behavior. Everything else is built upon this basic structural building block. We will take a look at various methods and subcategories in the various media chapters as we go through the title.
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