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Adobe Photoshop is more than just an image editing application—it is a foundational staple in all the visual arts, from print design, to photography, to web design, to motion graphics and 3D graphics. In this course, Adobe Certified Instructor Chad Perkins covers the basics of Photoshop. Learn about the components of visual images, making selections, color correcting, fixing images, outputting images, and much more. This course uses Photoshop CS6, but the information presented is applicable to all versions of the application.
Whether you consider yourself a painter or not, or you plan on doing digital painting in Photoshop, painting in Photoshop is one of those things you need to be aware of mostly because a lot of tools, especially these ones here. These are kind of like the image retouching tools, all of these use brushes, at least most of them do, to do their work. So what I'm going to do, is I'm going to go down here, and second from the bottom, I'm going to choose the Brush tool. And if I click and hold the mouse down you'll see that there are several tools grouped with this tool, but I actually want the Brush tool, and then we get this little cursor.
And this represents our brush. Now, before I do anything, I want to make sure that I'm on a separate, new blank layer, and not the background layer, because I want control over what I create. So, I'm going to create a new layer, a new blank layer, and now I'm free to paint. However, if I were to paint, nothing happens because, when we paint, we're actually painting with the foreground color. And my foreground color is the default foreground color of black.
So actually just painted black on black. And if I look up here in the options bar I can see my opacity is set to only 20%. So if I were to click on the background layer, take off its visibility, it's very faint. You might not be able to see it, but there is a very faint brush stroke here that is very, very light, light gray. So, what I want to do is select Cmd+A, or press Cmd+A on the keyboard, or Ctrl+A on the PC. Hit the delete key to clear that out. Then hit Command + D, as in deselect, or Control + D on the PC, to deselect that. We can turn back on our background layer now.
But make sure Layer 1 is selected, so we don't want Background selected, we want Layer 1 selected. And I'm going to click and drag on the word Opacity to the right, bring that up to 100%. And yours, if you haven't fiddled with it, is probably still at a 100%, just wanted you to be aware of these settings in case you'll run into that problem, and for future reference. And one of the things we can do, is click this little icon at the bottom of the tools panel, and this will reset your foreground and background colors to the default, which is a black foreground, and a white background. What I'm going to do actually, is click this button, this little curved arrow here, double sided curved arrow.
If we click that, it'll flip these colors, so that our foreground color's in the background, and then vise versa. So now if we paint, we're going to be painting with our new foreground color, which is white, and we can see what's going on. Now, with all brushes, whether you're using the Clone Stamp tool or even the Eraser tool or some of these other tools here, we have two main properties that we're controlling when we're painting, and we can see these by right-clicking. And if we right-click in the document window, we'll see these two parameters. They are size and hardness.
The science is pretty obvious. It's the size of the pain brush. We could take this down really small and then paint. You could see a noticeable difference there. Right-click again and we can choose the hardness of the brush, so right now the hardness is set to zero so we have these very soft edges. If you want very hard edges we could take this up to 100%, and now if I paint we have no softness in the edges whatsoever... Now here's the key to understanding brushers. If I right-click again you'll see that we can actually choose different brushes.
And this is because when you paint in photoshop you are actually taking a single shape. And this is what these little thumbnails indicate here. You're taking a single shape, and you are duplicating it a bunch of times. So, what looks like a single paint stroke, is actually just a circle, repeated a bunch of times. So if I were to click on one of these little grungy looking spatter things, and paint with that, you can see that we create these kind of like, shocky More organic, sketchy lines here. If we were to click once and let go, we see what that brush actually looks like. But again, clicking and dragging, creates like a stream of that particular shape. It's kind of interesting, phenomenon.
I'm just going to go ahead and drag this layer to the trash can And click a new blank layer to start from scratch. Be aware that brushes can actually be very powerful and have a bunch a bunch of extra, secret functionality built into them. So, I'm going to right-click, and I'm going to scroll down and choose what looks like three blades of grass here, and I'm going toUNKNOWN Make sure that my cursor is big enough so I can see this, and I'm actually going to pick my foreground swatch and pick, I don't know, some kind of grassy-type color, and you don't have to follow along with this exactly, but something along these lines, and then if I click and drag Look at that.
Oh hoohoohoohoohoohoo. So, what it's doing is actually scattering this and randomizing the rotation and the size, and even the coloration of these blades of grass, giving us a nice little random field of grass. We could keep doing this. We could add more on separate layers. And very quickly, we have a very nice little field of grass, because of the power of that particular brush. Now I have to show you some killer, important, shortcuts, when you are painting.
I'm going to right-click, I'm going to go back to using a regular brush here, just use a hard edge brush, and I'll click outside of this to accept it. So let's say I'm painting here with the regular brush, and I realize, oh I want this actually to be smaller. It's actually annoying to right-click and change the size, because as I'm changing the size, I have no idea what the actual size of the cursor is going to be. So what I can do, is use the left bracket, which is next to the letter P, on your keyboard. The left bracket will shrink the size the brush and, I can even go even further than that if I wanted to. And then the right bracket will increase the size of the brush. Now if I add Shift to the mix? So if I Shift + left bracket. I will decrease the hardness.
And then if I Shift + right bracket, I will increase the hardness. Now I realize that if you're not used to using keyboard shortcuts, this might seem overwhelming. But trust me when I say that these keyboard shortcuts are so useful, and these brushes are used by so many tools, that these come in handy so very often. They're worth committing to memory. They also save you a lot of time and headache over right-clicking and guessing with these little slider menus here. Now, one other cool little feature of brushes. I'm going to go over to this tulips.psd image.
It's a regular old photo. I'm going to go ahead and create a new layer and I'm going to choose another tool here. Below the Brush tool, in the same group as the Mixer Brush tool. And this is pretty cool. And like most painting tools in Photoshop, they work best when you're using them with A graphics tablet. So, we're not going to get into a graphics tablet. But that allows you to control the sensitivity, the size, and all other kinds of parameters can be controlled by the pressure of a graphic pen on a tablet.
And that's what works best. But I'm just using a regular old mouse for this. So that works too. So I'm going to go to the top here, and from this drop down, I'm going to choose very wet heavy mix. And what this is going to do, it's going to allow me to basically paint over these colors. Also you want to make sure that Sample all layers is checked up here in the Options bar too. But as I start painting over this, if you want to follow along here, I'm using this brush over here, You could also look at brushes in the upper left-hand corner, but this is the round, fanned, stiff, thin, bristles brush. (LAUGH) So, I'll click this one, and as we paint, you'll see that I'm kind of smearing the paint in a very painterly way, and actually if I just Click and drag across the surface.
You see it's very slow, but you see what it's doing. It's kind of smearing the painting as if it were wet ink, and this Sample All Layers feature allows us to use the composite of all the layers but only paint on the current layer. So it looks like we've smeared the colors from this image but actually if I take off the background layer, the visibility background layer, we could see that we have not destroyed that image at all. Here's the background layer completely untouched, and here's my paint strokes on top of it. So again no harm, no foul.
I've not destroyed anything. So I can go through here. This is one way to turn just a regular old photo Into a beautiful painting, quickly and easily. So I could just go through, kind of paint. Paint, paint, paint, paint paint, until the image is covered. And we have what looks like a beautiful painting. I mean, it's obviously a time consuming process. So I just wanted to show you what the end result is on one that I took a little bit more time with. And you can see the tulips done here. And I added a couple extra adjustment layers here.
And this is my final result. You have this little widget here. And this is really helpful actually when you're using the graphics tablet. Cuz it'll show you which direction your pen is tilted, and that tilt of your pen actually changes what the pen looks like. So powerful are these mixer brushes, but I don't have one of those that I'm using right now. So I'm just going to collapse this, and now we can see all of our image. So this was done really quickly. Again, I have zero talent when it comes to painting. But you could still create something like a little, mini-masterpiece by using these mixer brushes.
So again, brushes are a very powerful and commonly used tool in Photoshop no matter what your workflow or feature set that you use the most is.
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