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Chapter 8. Painting and Drawing > Using the Brush Tool

Using the Brush Tool

The Brush tool is a near limitless reservoir of hundreds of different and unique brushes. You can apply painted brush strokes directly to the surface of any photograph, or open a new file to serve as a blank canvas upon which you can create an original work of fine art. The dozen preset brush libraries offer selections as varied as Calligraphic, Wet Media, and Special Effects, and any brush can be resized from 1 pixel to a staggering 2500 pixels in diameter. You can paint using any of Photoshop Elements’ blending modes and opacity settings, and you can turn any brush into an airbrush with a single click of a button. So whether you’re a budding Van Gogh, would like to add a color-tint effect to an antique black and white photograph, or just enjoy doodling while talking on the phone, Photoshop Elements’ brushes can help to bring out your inner artist.

To paint with the Brush tool:

To select a paint color, do one of following:

  • Click the current foreground color swatch at the bottom of the toolbox to open the Color Picker.

  • Choose a color from the Swatches palette.

Select the Brush tool in the toolbox (B) (Figure 8.41).

Figure 8.41. The Brush tool.

On the options bar, click to open the Brush Presets palette (Figure 8.42).

Figure 8.42. Open the Brush Presets palette to select from sets of different brushes.

For more information on customizing this view, see the sidebar “Brush Display Options” on the next page.

Click to choose from the list of default brushes, or select a different brush set from the Brushes pop-up menu (Figure 8.43).

Figure 8.43. The Brushes pop-up menu gives you access to a variety of brush sets.

Once you’ve selected a brush, you can use it at its predefined size, or you can resize it using the brush Size slider on the options bar (Figure 8.44).

Figure 8.44. Use the brush size slider to resize your brush.

Again on the options bar, select a blend mode and opacity setting.

In the image window, drag to paint a brush stroke (Figure 8.45).

Figure 8.45. Create realistic brush effects simply by dragging through the image window.



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