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Brush Settings

Lesson 22 from: Advanced Techniques with Brushes in Photoshop CC

Lisa Carney

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Lesson Info

22. Brush Settings

Lesson Info

Brush Settings

Alright, the fully skinny. We are not doing the full skinny. You will all die at this point, if we go through and look at the full skinny. What I'm trying to point out here is just how many brush settings you have. I'm gonna go through this really quickly. In the settings dialogue box, in this lovely 90 plus page handout, you're gonna have stuff that describes all of this, what goes on in this one setting. Do you remember we talked about noise once on a brush? And I said oh my God, he added noise in the watercolor brush, how crazy was that? It's right here. It'll tell you in Photo Shop speak what they do. These are some informations on standard brush tip shapes and what happens when you change them. Alright, there are some brushes that we have 100% have not talked about and we're not gonna talk about it. Because I didn't think it fit the preview of this class. There are things that bristle tip brushes and what they allow you to do is act like an actual paintbrush would have. And they t...

alk about the dob which is this. This is the dob right there. And how it affects when you move it. There are a bunch of different ones. These are the ... You can round, round butt, round corner, round angle, round ... If you go to an art store, you will find these brushes, right? This looks very familiar? Well this is a digital painting way of getting the same thing. This handy dandy icon right here will let you see the brush, if that matters for you. Some people actually wanna see that. I cannot imagine. All that matters to me is how the paint is going down, but that's me. And did I mention I'm not a painter. So maybe a painter wants to see that. So here's some information for you, erodible tips. These are nutty. What these are, are for like pencils. And what they do is as you use them, they actually erode, like a pencil would do. It's the craziest thing. Hey you can sharpen the tip back up. Isn't that crazy? It's totally crazy. So these work like pencils and colored pencils. And you can use 'em to draw with, they're really cool. It's called and erodible tip. And, I'm sorry, I just wanna point out one other thing. Point, flat, round, square, triangle, so you can get different ... It's crazy, so much you can do. This kind of illustrates how these work. Again, it's a tablet. You can only use those with a tablet, sorry. And when you paint, if you tilt your brush, you actually either get the side of the pencil, it thinks you get ... Isn't that amazing, 'cause this is all digital, isn't that crackers? So you're either straight up or you turn sideways and you get these effects. Can you imagine if we went through all that today? Everyone woulda died. Alright airbrush tip controls. So these are explaining what the airbrush tip controls do. And here's what you can do with airbrushing. You can actually have it do a spatter and do that all with an airbrush. That's kinda cool. Brush tip shapes. Okay, on the brush tip shapes, we've talked about this a little bit, actually we've talked about this a ton. The one thing I didn't talk about on the brush tip shapes is that, you know you can squeeze 'em? You can squeeze em, and so instead of having a circle, you can have an oval. And you can do that on all your brush tip shapes. So hey, one more variable, 'cause you needed one more variable. Here's where it gets heavy. I don't want this to scare you, this scared me. I have to tell you, I've been looking at this for a really long time. I think I made a mistake. I actually went through all these definitions first, before I started doing anything. And it was really analog and really not intuitive and not something I think folks who like to paint do. Or who are used to doing stuff in the real world. So I'm gonna make a suggestion on all these settings, I would suggest you check out Kyle's brushes, do some painting, look in the handout and look at just a few things that we started changing and then maybe after a few pieces, then go and start reading these. 'Cause I assure you 100% if you look at the class in its entirety and do some samples and then go in and look at this, this will be so much more pleasant. If you start with this, right now, I think you won't enjoy me and I'll get a bad review. So go ahead and use this later, not tonight. Alright, here's some other stuff. And this, I gotta tell you again, I am not a painter. Digital illustrators will understand this way better than I. It's this little thing, we didn't talk about it at all. It's called brush protec ... Really, you can read it, I'm not even gonna try to say that word. But what it does, is it projects the brush out a little like you're (blows) just doing that. I don't know, give it a go. We're not even touching it, but it's in there. Now what this, hopefully this diagram will show ... Do you remember with that crazy hair grass purpley brush thing and I said the direction is really cool? And the rain, the rain brush and we held the shift key down and we clicked and then we did the directional thing and we had that? This explains that. So the initial direction, when you first start, it'll only stay in that direction. If you have directional control, do I have directional? Directional control, it keeps going in the direction that we painted. So remember the long strokes? That's what this means right here. So does this illustrate a good point? If you look at these triangles, you're kinda like what, I don't understand? If you watch the video, and you see the rain or the lines and you go oh, now I get it. And now, when you read it here, you're gonna go okay, now I understand. Okay shape dynamics. Again, angle jitter. Think of me dancing, it's all good. Scattering, I love scattering. Scattering is so great for hair, for grass, for masking. We just did it on the bubble brush. We did scattering where it changes how much. I am not sure, had you not seen that bubble brush demo, if this would make sense. But having seen the bubble brush demo, I'm hoping you're understanding it. It's quantity and spacing. Ugh, the textures. Jesus, God, the textures. It's all about the half tone, it's all about the textures. This in particular is what I was telling you about the internet, those people out there, they talk about how these modes don't necessarily make sense and here is why these don't necessarily make sense. And I underlined it for you here. The blending modes here in the texture area, do you remember we did the height and then we did the subtract and the subtract meant the paper kind of showed through more? The definitions you have for this standard layer mode, isn't the same. 'Cause if you put a layer on subtract, it doesn't look like paper is showing through, it looks like a negative. It just doesn't look the same. So in that mode, while you may have definitions here, I think this in particular is an area where it doesn't matter what they say, you have to flat out try it. And then you're brain will understand it in the way you work. Texture, a little more texture 'cause it's a heavy-duty hitter. Again, it's just some explanations, what it does. I highlighted a few things for you . Alright, the paper. We did not talk about loading paper and I apologize. The only thing I talked about with the patterns was how you can click on this icon and load one that Kyle had hidden from you. However, this is so old, this has been in Photo Shop 5 I think. You can go to your settings over here in your patterns and load all these papers. You guys these are all papers that come with Photo Shop free, all of these. There's a lot. There's a lot, it's a crazy amount. I could not even load all of them and look at them on a single screen, there are so many. So you might wanna just take a look, see what you can find. Again, all free. And then just to add misery to comfort, you can load a ton off the internet as well. Just 'cause, you know, you don't have 700 here. Dual brush. We did not really talk much about the dual brush. I apologize for the little typo here. But a dual brush and Kyle uses them in his watercolors, it's when you take one primary brush, one main brush shape. Like Kyle in his watercolors he'll use a pattern. Or you could use a star. Or in his half tones, in Kyle's half tones, he uses a straight circle with a texture. So in this one, this is a primary brush with a brush so it's a start with a textury nib and then you get something that looks like squiggle wiggle. You can make barbed wire out of this. If you have a star and another kind of wiggly thing, it'll look like barbed wire. So have a look at that, it's fun, it's a little confusing, but it is fun. The key is you're combining two different shapes and the key on this one is the primary takes precedent. The primary is gonna give you your main shape. Your secondary is gonna give you a texture fill. Cool? Color dynamics, we talked about it a ton. The sample is a little boring. I think the class is a little more interesting on the color dynamics. Think sazon, think analogous color, think ... Yeah, think someone's gonna come up with complimentary color for me and send it to me. Transfer, the whole thing about the transfer is that pressure, the pressure sensitive turns it off and makes it fade. I know there's a way to do it on a mouse, I just don't know, I'm sorry. I might figure it out and be able to email you, okay? Alright, I got a little tude here, I know, I know, just get a tablet, they're cheap. Little, tiny, ask for it for the holidays, something. Companion. But this is what you would do if you don't have a tablet. Other brush options. Again, this is the one lovely setting. None of these have anything but yes or no. Yes or no, on or off, wax on, wax off. And this hopefully explains a little bit. You can add some noise and grain. You can make some wet edges. This is old-style watercolor for Photo Shop. Old school, how you used to do it. Airbrush build-up and what that is, do you see how as you paint across, if your brush holds, you get more buildup? Just like, think about an airbrush, if you're painting with an airbrush, a real-world airbrush, if you hold longer, you get more buildup. Think of it that way. Smooth. Smoothing is that dang smoothing thing that gives you ... It's lovely, the smoothing is lovely, smoothing is absolutely lovely. And the smoothing here now works in conjunction with the option bar so you can do ... Remember when you're brushing and it was a little jiggly when I did it at first and then I did it 50% and it was better? Protect texture, this is kind of like the ... This goes in correlation with the texture that you pick in the texture brush. So whatever pattern, if you ever see a texture, you know it's from a pattern, okay? Hey, you want some keyboard shortcuts, look 'em up, there you go. I'm not even gonna talk about it. A gazillion hundred options. What did we cover? We covered half tone brush, we covered concept, we covered a little bit of a smudge, I didn't even touch any of these other ones. I didn't touch the rake. We didn't talk about the copier really, did we? Renny, media, mengapack, guash, we didn't touch guash. Can you imagine 1,200 brushes, I wasn't kidding. Alright, and then this is a hotlink page for you for Adobe. Adobe has a lot of information on the brushes, it's a bit clinical, it's on the handout and if you click on the bottom link, it'll take you right to it. And on that note, I just wanna say ... One thing I found, which I think is really interesting, none of this information that you got in this class, is in one spot. If you do an internet search, there's no place to go where all of this is sitting in one happy little package. So lucky you guys, you have it all in one happy package. It's holiday reading. You could spend ... If you're on a plane, look what you're doing, you're learning about transfer. It's all very exciting. So I do wanna say, I know this was a ton. It's a ton of information, frankly it's too much. But the good thing is, there's a pause button and there's a play button and you can come back later. You've got paperwork and I would suggest, you know, do oil painting day. It's oil painting day. I'm not gonna suggest you do oil painting day on watercolor day, they're totally different. And let them be different.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Brushes Companion Handout
Adobe Stock Contributor

Ratings and Reviews


Knowledgeable Lisa is the best teacher. She makes learning Photoshop fun. Great course. Lisa has a great teaching style. She mixes in a great speech cadence, great voice up and down and pausing, jokes, and is extremely knowledgeable and fun to watch. Awesome course. Really helpful course for getting my feet wet with brushes.


This is a comprehensive overview of Ps CC Brushes, what they do, how they work and how to control, manage & modify them. I found it extremely useful to learn about the functionality/features that Ps CC brushes can provide even though I'm a photographer and not an illustrator or painter. I will never ever be able to employ everything Lisa explained & demo'd in the class - she covered a wide gamut of info. But she served the purpose, in this class, of being essentially what I'd call an 'idea sparker'. Once you see how she works with brushes and you find out how you can adapt (or create) brush tools to suit your personal artistic style the options for creativity are unlimited. I might re-title this class "Oh the Places Brushes Can Go" (apologies to Dr Seuss and his classic graduation gift book 'Oh, the Places You'll Go...'). Keep in mind a few things about this class (& back away from it and your credit card if you don't note a few key facts...): (1) It is called 'Advanced Techniques' - it is for intermediate to advanced Ps users, not newbies unless you're a child prodigy who picks things up really fast, (2) This is not a 'Paint with Lisa' class - we don't all paint a butterfly like a color by numbers together. Rather we learn about Ps brushes, how they work, what they look like and how to modify them and change their dynamics for different types of artistic/retouching/post-processing uses. Each person will have to experiment - there's no one 'this is it' formula that can be provided, (3) Lisa talks and thinks fast and has a pretty amusing patter too (she's clearly very intelligent!) - so be prepared to hit the Pause button. She repeatedly advises during the class, don't overload your brain with all there is to absorb with regard to Ps Brushes. Take breaks to try the info she shares & see what works for you before going on to a different section of the class. Don't buy this class thinking you'll whizz through it in 15 minutes & figure out how to complete a job you've committed to deliver in 2 hours, (4) There's a large packet of material that comes with a purchase of the class (descriptions, definitions, brush settings, drawing examples, etc.). Item #4 is the only thing I'd ding this class on. While the handout material contains lots of really really useful info it is - sadly - microscopic print. The text is exceedingly difficult for my poor old eyes to read. I value that there's plenty of white space on the pages to write notes as Lisa talks - I've done so prodigiously. But the print in that accompanying brushes class guide needs to be larger. I honestly wish I could enlarge the print in some way (unless it is a PDF that I can alter & I haven't figured it out). If there is a way to re-print with larger type font sizes someone please let me know! Bottom line: I highly recommend this class to more advanced Ps users who want a comprehensive overview of Brushes and working with them. It's definitely not a class for someone who wants a linear, step x step, "do this then do that" type of recipe class. As I've noted above, it's best as a way to learn about richly varied Ps tools you may have only had superficial exposure to previously; and get enough new knowledge to make you dangerous (and, dare I say it, boldly creative!).

Skye Taten

Lisa is the BEST teacher!!!!! Everyone should take this class!!!!!!! This class is utterly phenomenal!!!! Lisa is so knowledgable and so very talented. She is incredibly smart, super funny and so very helpful. This class contains so much valuable information, and at this price it's a complete steal. This class has forever changed my life!!! I'm so happy to have a new skill set. Thank you Lisa from the bottom of all of our hearts you are completely incredible and have touched all of our editing in photoshop lives forever!!!!! You are so very talented thank you so much for sharing your incredible skills and knowledge with us, you are a true beautiful talented soul. xoxo, Skye

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