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The Expression Settings drop-down menu is found in several of Painter's brush control palettes as we will see throughout this title. This setting is used to utilize a specific form of real-time input to dynamically control a brush stroke's behavior. For example, pressure is often used to dynamically control brush size. Lighter pressure results in smaller stroke and heavier pressure results in a lighter stroke. By constantly expressing pressure to adjust a brush's width in this case, the artist's expressive intent is communicated via the stroke.
So, we are going to take a look at how size controls a brush in this case and we will go to the Window menu, drop down to Brush Controls, and this time I will select the Size palette and we're going to examine how size specifically controls the Scratchboard tool in the Pens category. And if we look at Size, we will find that Expression, which is always the way you will discover where this is if it controls an aspect of a brush, will be located with the word Expression and then a drop -down menu and we can see that pressure is controlling this brush.
If I draw with this very lightly to a very hard pressure, I get a nice change from a very fine line to a slightly wider line. So this gives me a very nice thin to thick ratio when I draw with this pen using pressure from my Wacom tablet. Let's change it to something else like Random. What happens when I do that? Well, now pressure is not doing anything but the size of the pen is being randomly changed between its smallest and largest size as it's adjusted in the Size palette.
So I get a completely different character based on the expression. In this Random, just throws out various sizes of each dab as it goes and gives it a very different look than I get when it's set to Pressure, where I get precise control through my hand to adjust the thick to thinness of that pen stroke. So Expression is another control for specifying a particular expressive quality into a brush stroke.
When it's used in concert with a pen tablet, many dimensions of the artist's hand motion can be applied to a brush. We will be taking a look at Expression in greater detail throughout the media chapters of this title.
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