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Join John Derry, a pioneer in the field of digital painting, as he shows how to master the natural-media painting features introduced in Photoshop CS5 in Photoshop CS5: Painting with the Mixer Brush. This course shows how to use the Mixer Brush, the Bristle Tips feature, and a new mechanism for blending colors in Photoshop to add beautiful, painterly effects to photographs, enhance artwork with paint-like strokes and illustrations, and paint entirely new art from scratch. This course also covers customizing brush characteristics and surface textures, applying keyboard shortcuts to paint smoothly and efficiently, and using a Wacom tablet to get the most out of Photoshop CS5’s painting features. Exercise files are included with the course.
The Bristle slider controls how populated your bristle tip is with individual brush hairs. A sparse bundle of bristles will give you a brush that has a very sketchy quality. Conversely, a thickly populated bristle tip will give you a full paint stroke. Let's take a look at this adjustment. So once again, here we are in the Brush panel, and if we go to our Bristle Qualities, you'll see the top slider we have here is Bristles. And a great thing that works in conjunction with all of these controls is the Bristle Tip Preview down here, and you'll see, as I turned this down, we start to see more and more individual hairs to where, if I take it all the way down, it's likely just one broad hair in this particular brush, but this gives me a way to really play with the character of these strokes.
You can see now there is a much more visible shading within the stroke, that indicates hairs within that. Just by adjusting this, I can get a wide variety of looks based on what that setting is. Now once you get up to one of the higher values, you are just going to have basically a solid, thick stroke, but this Bristle slider really gives you a way to get a wide range of express-ability out of your strokes. I like to keep the size of the Bristle Quality down where there is some visibility of the strokes.
At full pressure here, it looks solid, but as I pull off in pressure, you can see that individuality of bristles within the stroke. And just, once you start painting, you're not going to be thinking so much about each individual stroke. It's just how your hand is playing it. You can see here that we're starting to get a very nice bristly quality to the brushes. So you may want to play around with your Bristle tips, in terms of the number of bristles that you are modeling within an individual stroke.
So the Bristle slider is key to controlling the visual weight of your paint strokes. There is a lot of variable expression available via this control.
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