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Wacom Tablet Pen Pressure
By: Nicole Young

Tap. Tap. Tap. That's probably a sound you are getting used to if you are using a Wacom tablet. A fantastic ergonomic alternative to a mouse! And Wacom tablets work hand in hand with many Photoshop features. Let's talk about one of those features- PEN PRESSURE.
You may have encountered in a drop down list before and scratched your head. What does pen pressure have to do with anything? Well in Photoshop when you are using a Wacom tablet, it can make a WORLD of difference! So are you ready? Let's talk about PEN PRESSURE....

Let's start with a new document. I opened up a background so that we can really see what's going on when we experiment with pen pressure.

We are going to try out the pen pressure using a soft round paint brush. Choose your paint brush tool from your tool palette. I chose a soft brush set at a size of 100. Once you have your brush selected, let's open up the brush palette and make some changes. You can open your brush palette by going to Window>Brushes.

When you installed your Wacom tablet, this may have caused the Photoshop default brush setting to change automatically to PEN PRESSURE when we look at the Shape Dynamics tab on the Brush Palette.
For this example let's pull down the drop down menu and set it to OFF so that we can see what a paint stroke would look like with NO Pen Pressure.

Now on a new layer above your background, make a paint brush stroke.

Notice how the size and width of the stroke does not change from beginning to end of the stroke.

Now let's make some changes on in our brush palette. While in the Shape Dynamics tab still change the drop down menu from OFF to PEN PRESSURE. Again on a new layer make a brush stroke. This time start the stroke by lightly dragging your pen across your tablet and increase pressure as you go.

See the difference. You can experiment with how hard or softly you push down on the pen and with the size of the brush. Have fun playing and enjoy your Wacom Tablet!!!!


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