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Lisa's Favorite Brushes

Lesson 18 from: Advanced Techniques with Brushes in Photoshop CC

Lisa Carney

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Lesson Info

18. Lisa's Favorite Brushes

Lesson Info

Lisa's Favorite Brushes

Sir Harry, Sir Harry! Alright. Isn't that nice? Wait a minute, that's kind of cool. And what it's, let's take a look at the settings. Color dynamics, well, what if we changed that hue and what if we make that warm, not green, warm. Could we make that jitter even more? A saturation jitter? Four-color, almost. So that's more Cezanne-y, or well, I don't know. What's that movie with the guy with the big eye? Mikey and, Pixar thing? The blue monster? Monsters, Inc, can you see that? You could make Monsters Inc, the, Scully. Is that what his name was? Right, you know it's true, it's Scully right there! Alright, maybe not, but I think it's Scully. Alright, so I think you get the point. And then I'm gonna show a few that are not on the handout. I repeat, I'm gonna show you a few of my favorites that are not on the handout. And look, you don't need me to do this, you don't need me to show you my favorites, but why I'm doing it is because there's too many. There's too many brushes to go through,...

so I'm just trying to find a few things that you can look at. As I've said, Kyle, in his brilliance, is an illustrator. And so he's got a lot of comic book background to him and he likes to do this kind of stuff. So he's got this great comic book line, and I just think this is the coolest brush. You can go straight down, I'm holding the shift key, shift key straight across, isn't that nice? And, um, in addition to that, you can make it smaller, you can make it zig zag, you maybe could even illustrate a pipe, if you needed to. You know, let's say you had to do a design for something, and you wanted to make that shape look kind of similar, so you know what I would do? Maybe see if I can go to my brush tip shape. What if I change that spacing, what happens if I make it tighter? Oh that's more like a solid line. What if I make it further apart? Do you see, so what I'm trying to get you to understand is, he's gonna have this really cool stuff, that is the exact same brush, the exact same brush, I'm holding the shift key down to draw it, so it's a perfect line. And all I've done is change this. That's it, isn't it cool? It's amazing, well, it's amazing. Alright, let me show you another one. I'm gonna be like the freaky brush lady. I'm already the freaky brush lady, I understand. Alright, here's another one, and this for me is a stamp brush. And this, in fact, I forgot what it's called. It's called his comic action burst, thicker. Now, what will give you a clue on the brushes, not that you necessarily care about this, that it's a stamp brush. Sweet Jesus, Mary, mother of God, look at that pixel count. That pixel count, that is 3,350, it is huge. Why is it huge? It's huge because it's resolution-dependent. So he's already started big. So if you're doing an 8 X 10 comic or an 11 X 14 comic, you're making your own comic book, I'm gonna make it smaller, just so you can see it. I've got black as my foreground color. So if you're doing a comic, you want to have a burst, it's already done. You can use it like this too, if you want to make, I don't know, a spiky ball, a little spiky, furry ball, coming right at Sully in the movie, and then it came and then, sorry. I've been here too long today, you can tell. There is no color dynamics. Well, why not, who says there can't be color dynamics? Maybe I turn that on, and maybe I pick a color. I just made a four-color brush. I made a four-color brush by just changing the hue jitter. And then I can make it gray, if you need to. So now, what have I made? I've made, like, this crazy-ass eye that, you know, aaaarh. Um, pick-up sticks, we're gonna play a game of pick-up sticks, here we are. But are you guys kind of starting to follow what you can do? So let's say you've got a comic, the only thing I don't dig about this color setting thing on this brush is that it's a hue jitter and it's a percentage, and I can't call a number out. I can't say, wouldn't it be cool if you could actually say, hey, Photoshop, will you go between a, b, and c? That would be really cool, but you can't do it in this manner. I'm just gonna show you a few more, let's see where we're at. Okay cool. And I think, in the end, this is probably one of the more important things to look at overall, is just knowing what you have. I'm gonna not even show you this, I just want to show you the titles of them. So he's got this crack, this crazy crack, crazy crack, and then he's also got the, I'm gonna show you the downpour, the downpour's great. So in a filter class that we had recently, we showed how to make rain. Kyle has some rain for you, it's called concept brush downpour one. If it says downpour one, there's gonna be a downpour two. So go ahead and take a look at it, but look at that. And it's all in a layer. Come on, someone out there's excited. Alright. I'm doing this on the fly, I'm gonna see if I can change the direction. All I did, all I did is change that from nothing to direction. Let's try initial direction, and if this works the way I understand it to be, okay. I just took my paint brush and I'm turning it from left to right. I'm gonna do this again, here's directional, left, to right. The brush is going from left to right because I'm saying, hey, can you do that directional, right? Where am I folks? You are with me, we're on shape dynamics. You're not scared, we're on window number one, let's make a deal. And we're on this panel here, this is not in your handout. This is not in your handout. I'm on the concept brush, I'm on shape dynamics, I was on direction, now I'm going on initial direction. I'm gonna do the same motion, from left to right. It's now just keeping, whatever I started, is the direction it's going. Only now, it's gonna go ahead and paint. My initial direction just did what I just did. Every time you pick up the pen, it's a new one. And I just made crosshatching, isn't it beautiful? Alright, so I think this is a good time to say, don't panic. Because I know this is a ton of information, a ton of information. But if you rewatch this slowly and you look at this, you can go, and go, okay, how am I gonna do this? How am I gonna work on this? And I'm gonna hopefully lead you along a path that you'll have a little more control.

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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