Digital painting is a popular way to add beautiful effects and graphics to scrapbook layouts. Photoshop has a powerful brush engine with many options to customize any brush tip. The screen shots in this tutorial are from Photoshop CS, but version 7 has most of the same options. Lower versions have several brush options as well, so experiment with those in the Brushes menu to create a variety of painting possibilities.
This tutorial only shows how to use the Palette and change the various settings in order to follow more advanced brush tutorials and to be able to experiment with the settings.
To view the Brushes Palette, go to Window>Brushes, hit F5, or click on the Brushes tab to open it from the Palette Well at the top of the screen when PS is larger than 800x600 resolution. Also, choose a brush-based tool from the Toolbox like the Eraser, Brush, or any other tool that utilizes brushes. Press B or click the Brush icon to choose it.
To keep the Brushes Palette open all the time, click and drag the tab out of the Palette Well onto the Active Image Area.
To move the Palette Window, simply click and drag the Window/Title Bar at the top to reposition it.
The Brush Presets is the default view on the palette. It contains a list of available brush tips currently loaded, and an option to change the Diameter of the brush tip. Use the slider bar, or just click [ or ] on the keyboard to make the tip smaller or larger.
Resize the Brushes Palette to better view all the brush choices by clicking and dragging the lower right corner.
If the Expanded view of the Palette is not showing, click the Arrow button to access the Palette Menu, and choose Expanded View from the list.
There are many options in the Palette Menu for ways to view the palette, loading and saving brushes and settings, and a list of more brush sets to choose at the bottom. To get back to the Default brush set, choose Reset Brushes.
The Brush Menu accessed from the Options Bar contains a list of brushes and two options: the brush Diameter, and the Hardness.
The same Brush Menu pops up when right clicking on the image with any brush-based tool.
To access the same options and more in the Brushes Palette, click on Brush Tip Shape.
Under this heading, choose a Brush Tip from the list and change the way the tip is shaped. Change the Diameter, Flip X or Y axes, rotate the Angle, squash or expand using Roundness, change the edge Hardness, and adjust the Spacing to paint with tips closer or farther apart.
In Figure 8, the brush used is still the first choice on the list, the 1 pixel Small Hard Round brush. However, by changing the options, it's now much larger in Diameter, has soft edges, further Spaced, it's no longer Round, the Angle is tilted, and the Y axis Flipped. Using these options can get brush tips turned and distorted into many different ways.
The next row of options can be turned on by simply checking the box next to each subheading. To turn the options on and edit the settings, click the words directly, don't just check the box.
Using Shape Dynamics as an example, the settings can be randomized according to Jitter values.
A Jitter is the range of randomness allowed in the brush settings.
For example, change the settings under Size Jitter from 0%
to 50% and see how the size can be anything up to 50% smaller
than the Maximum Diameter set on the Brush Tip Shape screen.
By changing the Minimum Diameter, it limits the Size Jitter
to be larger than the Minimum.
Change the Angle Jitter to allow the Angle set in the Brush Tip Shape section to range from 0 to 100% from its axis, and Roundness Jitter can range from the Roundness set in the Brush Tip Shape section, and limited by a Minimum Roundness setting, just like the Diameter.
Flip X and Flip Y allows the axes to randomly change from those set in the Brush Tip Shape screen.
Each of the options has a Control to further define how the brush will behave when used on an image. Some of these are for use with a pressure sensitive pen tablet, and the stylus direction, angle, or pressure determines how much Jitter is on each setting.
Under Angle Jitter, the Angle can be constrained by the Direction the brush is dragged. For example, the Angle will follow a path if set to Direction, as in the line in Figure 9.
Experiment with the various Jitter and Control settings, brushing samples until you feel more comfortable with what each setting can do.
Each of the other Options Settings like Scattering, Texture,
Dual Brush, Color Dynamics, and so on, can be changed to get
an incredible variety and custom brush effect. To learn more
about some of these other settings, follow the Painted
Background tutorial here, and continue to experiment with