Join Julieanne Kost for an in-depth discussion in this video Brush essentials, part of Photoshop CC 2018 Essential Training: Design.
- [Instructor] There are several different brush tip shapes as well as brush settings that can help us create the type of painterly mark or effect that we're looking for in Photoshop. I'll start by clicking create new, choosing photo, and just double-clicking on the default Photoshop size to open a document. I'll use cmd + 1 to zoom to 100% and tap the "f" key to go to full-screen mode. While I'm painting in Photoshop, I think it's helpful to use the painting workspace.
So I'll select it from the workspace picker. For now, I don't need to see swatches, so I will double-click to minimize that. And then I'll click on the brush settings icon, click and drag so it floats, and then reposition it. So our brushes panel is where we can select all of the preset brushes that ship with Photoshop. And the brush settings is where we customize our brushes. To make sure that we're all starting in the same place, let's right-click on the brush icon and choose to reset our tool.
If you want to get the most out of your painting in Photoshop, a pressure sensitive tablet is a really good investment. I'm going to use one in this lesson, so you might not get the exact same results if you're using a mouse. And I'll try to show you the difference that pressure sensitivity can make. Also, I have the art Z pen, so I can control attributes such as barrel rotation and tilt and angle. It's these kind of attributes that make brushes behave much more realistically. So we'll start with the computational brushes which just means we're going to be looking at the round brushes.
Now we could do an entire course in creating different brushes and looking at all the settings, but I'm just going to try to give you a brief overview. So first of all, if you are working with a mouse and you select, for example, this soft, round pressure size or any of the brushes that have pressure sensitivity applied, you're not going to see the changes in size or in opacity. So for example, if I select this hard, round pressure size and I paint with my mouse, we're not going to see any variance in size, whereas if I switch to the pressure sensitive tablet and I start painting, if I press hard, I'll get the thicker stroke.
But when I back off and press lightly, I'm going to get a thinner stroke. And likewise, the same will happen if we move down to say, the hard, round pressure opacity. When I click and drag with the mouse, the brush stays the same opacity, whereas if I'm using the pressure sensitive tablet, I can vary the opacity of the brush within a single stroke. All right, in order to fill that canvas with white, I'll use the keyboard shortcut cmd + delete.
Now we need to look at the different types of brush tip shapes beside just the round brushes. So in my brushes panel, I'll choose brush tip shape, and we can see that there are a number of round brushes but also all of these different shapes. And as I click through them, we get a preview down here of the brush stroke. So I'll select one of these and then start painting in my image area. And this one has pressure sensitivity turned on for opacity, and I know that because I can see that option here.
But we'll talk about these options a bit more in a while. For now, I just want to experiment with a few of these different brush tips so you get a feel for the different variance that you can get within Photoshop. All right, what we're not seeing in this list are any of our natural media brushes. So we're not seeing the erodible tips or the bristle brushes or the airbrush. In order to load those, I'm going to use the brushes panel fly out menu, and I'm going to choose my legacy brushes because I know that the legacy brushes have brushes that contain those tips.
And as soon as I load that, we can see here are my legacy brushes. But more importantly, what I want to see is in the brush tip shape, I want to see these icons for these different tips. So let's select this first one here, and as soon as I select it, I'm going to get different options for my bristles. So I can change the shape between round or flat. And there's a number of different shapes that I can choose from. So I'm going to select the round point, and we get a preview of what that brush looks like in 3D as well as the paint stroke that it can create.
So if I just paint my stroke, that's what I get with the round point, but I can change for example, the number of bristles and make them thinner. I can change the length, I can change thickness, I can even change the stiffness, and this one's pretty interesting because as I make the brush less stiff, now when I press, and I'm just going to press down on my pen, we can watch in the preview that the brush actually kind of splays out. And I can create these kind of strokes.
So be sure to play with the different bristle qualities. Not only for the round brushes but also for the flat ones. These can create very different looking strokes. Okay, let's switch to another tip shape. I'm going to scroll up to the top here until I find one that looks like this. This is your erodible tip shape. And let's fill the canvas using Command + Delete. We have a preview over there of what this erodible square tip shape looks like.
I'm going to change that to the point for a moment, and I'm going to make this a very soft, edged brush. And that will erode down very quickly because I want to show you, watching the preview there, when I start to paint, obviously I have a sharp tip, but if I continue painting and I'm pressing down hard, if you're watching that preview, you can actually watch the tip of this brush erode. If I want to sharpen it, all I need to do is click to sharpen the tip.
All right, and finally I will click on the airbrush attribute. I'll fill my canvas using Command + Delete. And now we can paint in the image area, and we get a very different looking stroke. Again, we have a number of different options. We can change the hardness. We can change the amount of distortion. We can change the granularity and the splatter size and the splatter amount. And again, each time I make a change to this, I'm going to get a very different look when I paint with that airbrush tip.
Okay, let's take a look at one of these custom tips. I'm just going to scroll down until I see this little blade of grass. And I'm going to fill my foreground using Command + Delete before I start painting with this. So it's very easy to create a custom tip, and we'll do so in another video. But for now, we'll just use this one. And while we have some options here that we can change, it's now time to take a look at all of these other options over here.
So for example, the shape dynamics. If I want to change the blade of grass as I paint, I can change the size jitter. Otherwise if we leave it alone, it's just going to be the same size. So I'll choose size jitter. And I can also control that through my pen pressure. So now if I paint lightly, I get this size. And as I paint harder, I will get a larger blade of grass. We can also change the angle jitter. We can change the roundness jitter, and all of these attributes can also be controlled through pen pressure.
We can see a preview of the stroke down here, and when I paint, I'm going to get something more like, maybe the grass has been harvested. All right, let's set those back. I'm going to move to scattering. Here, if I want to scatter the stroke, I can increase the scatter amount. Now when I paint, you can see that it kind of scatters, and I've got it set to both axis. All right, let's turn that off. And move down to the color dynamics. So here I'll select a foreground color. Maybe a green color and start painting.
So now I have my foreground, but if I want to jitter the hue saturation or brightness, I can do that using these sliders. I'll set them all pretty high, but you'll notice when I paint the stroke, seems to be all the same setting. And that's because I haven't applied it per tip. If I paint again and again, each stroke is going to have the variance or jittering. If I choose to apply per tip, now I'll get the variance in a single paint stroke. We can also choose the foreground and background jitter.
So I'll tap the "x" key to move the green to my background color and then select another color. And let's go ahead and decrease the hue saturation and brightness so that all we're doing is we're applying per tip, a jitter to go between the foreground and the background color. So now you can see I get different colors but only based on my foreground and background color here. All right, let's tap the "d" key. That's going to give me my default colors, and then fill my canvas using Command + Delete, so that it's white again.
Now let's double tap on swatches to minimize it. And in the brushes panel, I want to scroll down until I see the dry media brushes. And I just want to pick one of these. Say the ultimate charcoal pencil. When I select this brush, and I start painting with it, you'll notice that it has a nice texture to it. So there's kind of two different textures that you can apply in Photoshop using either the texture or the dual brush options. So the texture option is often used to make it look like you're painting on a textured piece of paper.
So you can pick your pattern here, and there's a number of patterns that ship by default. You can use the gear icon to access more if you want. But we'll just use this one because it should paint rather obviously. So once I apply that, and now I paint. It's a little hard to see, so I'm going to increase the depth here. And you can see the live preview there. Maybe I'll get a little more, there. We can see the pattern, and I'm texturing each tip. But there's tons of different options here that you can manipulate and play with in your own time.
For now, I just want to show you the difference between the texture and the dual brush. So the dual brush option allows you to basically put one brush tip and paint through that brush tip into another. So we can select a different brush tip. And in fact, let's turn off texture for a moment. And we'll select another brush tip. I'm just looking down here at the brush stroke, so I can get an idea of the difference that I can see. So there's one and let's pick another one.
That's going to give me a very different effect. Maybe this one. Okay, so as you experiment, I would suggest that you click on all of these different presets so that you can basically reverse engineer how they're created with all of the different brush tip shapes and all of the different options here. And if you want to access additional brushes, you can use the fly out menu and choose to get more brushes. So there you go. An overview of how to select brushes in the brushes panel as well as change brush tip shape and other settings in the brush settings panel.
Photoshop CC boasts tools and features for making tonal and color adjustments, applying effects and treatments to type and graphics, and distorting, filtering, and layering elements—all while maintaining the highest-quality output. In this course, Julieanne demonstrates how to efficiently perform common design tasks, including editing images, drawing shapes, and working with type and fonts. Along the way, she shares the secrets of nondestructive editing using Smart Objects, and helps you master features such as layers, filters, blending modes, typography, custom brushes, vector masks, and much more—increasing your productivity every step of the way.
- Working with Smart Objects
- Linked vs. embedded Smart Objects
- Creative transformations and warping
- Essential filters for designers
- Emulating traditional drawing techniques
- Working with shape and fill layers
- Pen tool basics
- Applying layer effects and styles
- Type essentials
- Creative brush techniques
- Working with libraries and artboards
- Exporting files and sharing images