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Lesson 6. Photo Retouching > On your own: Painting with the art history brush

On your own: Painting with the art history brush

In Photoshop, you can simulate the texture of painting with different colors and artistic styles using the art history brush tool. The art history brush paints with stylized strokes, using the source data from a specified history state or snapshot. The brush works well with realistic images to let you create painterly, impressionistic effects. Try out different settings to see the variety of effects you can create in the same image. (ImageReady does not have an art history brush.)

1.
Choose File > Open, and open the image you want to paint.

2.
Choose File > Save As, rename the file, and save it, to retain a copy of your original image for future use.

3.
For a variety of visual effects, experiment with applying filters or filling the image with a solid color before painting with the art history brush tool. For example, add a layer to the image, fill it with white, and then use the art history brush tool to paint.

4.
In the History palette, click the icon of the state or snapshot to use as the source for the art history brush tool. A brush icon appears next to the source history state.



You can select any history state to be your source by clicking in the left column, and if you're not satisfied with an effect, you can return to a previous state or the snapshot by clicking the state thumbnail.

5.
Select the art history brush tool ( ) hidden under the history brush tool ( ).

6.
In the tool options bar, select a brush from the Brush pop-up palette. For interesting effects, try using a texture, noncircular, or custom brush. The brush corresponds to the size of individual paint strokes, not the total area covered by the paint.

7.
Drag in the image to paint.

When you've practiced painting with the brush to see how it works, experiment with the settings to create various effects:

  • Control the shape of the paint stroke by choosing an option from the Style pop-up menu in the tool options bar.

  • Try out different blending modes using the Mode pop-up menu, and vary the opacity.

    Note

    For information on setting tool options, see "Painting" in Adobe Photoshop 6.0 online Help.

  • Vary how much the paint color changes from the color in the source state or snapshot by adjusting the Fidelity. The lower the fidelity, the more the color will vary from the source.

  • Set the area covered by the paint strokes using the Area option. Try increasing the size to enlarge the covered area and increase the number of strokes.

  • Control the distance between brush marks using the Spacing option. Type a number or use the slider to enter a value that is a percentage of the brush diameter.

  • Select a small brush to maintain the image integrity and reveal the brush stroke. The larger the brush you use, the greater the distortion will be to the image.

    If you are using a pressure-sensitive tablet, select either of the following Brush Dynamics options:

  • Size to have increased pressure result in a larger area covered by the paint. Note that Size refers to the area of coverage, not the brush size.

  • Opacity to have increased pressure result in more opaque paint.


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