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Q1:How do I paint with gradient color?
A1: There are two steps to using the Gradient tool (G): First, pick the gradient you want to use, then click-and-drag to apply it. The direction you drag the mouse determines the direction of the gradient (top to bottom, side to side, etc.), and the length of the gradient line you drag determines the length of the gradient. By default, the gradient will be created from your current Foreground and Background colors, so choose those first (you can also choose from a collection of predefined gradients by opening the Gradient Picker—just click the gradient thumbnail in the Options Bar, or press Enter and the Picker will appear in the position of your cursor onscreen).
Q2:How do I create my own gradient?

A2: With the Gradient tool (G) selected, go to the Options Bar and click on the current gradient shown in the thumbnail—this opens the Gradient Editor—so click on one of the basic gradients at the top of the dialog. Change the start and end colors by clicking on a color stop below the gradient bar and choosing a color in the resulting Color Picker. Add more color stops by clicking below the gradient bar. Copy existing stops by pressing Option (PC: Alt) and dragging a color stop to a new position. (It is also possible to vary the Opacity setting at different parts of the gradient by clicking above the gradient bar to add opacity stops.) Once you're done, give your gradient a name and click New—the gradient you've just created will be added to the Gradient Picker.
Q3:How do I save a gradient that I have created?
A3: As soon as you add a gradient to the Gradient Picker (see previous question), it will remain available until you reset the Picker. As a backup plan, click on the gradient thumbnail in the Options Bar to open the Gradient Editor. Then,click on the Save button and you can save the set of gradients as a GRD file that can be loaded at any time by choosing it from the Gradient Editor's or Gradient Picker's flyout menu.
Q4:Why don't gradients look as smooth when printed? I have created a gradient that looks great onscreen, but when it prints, there seem to be bands of color. Is there any way to avoid this?

A4: Try this: Go to Filter>Noise>Add Noise. Use the settings of Amount: 4%; Distribution: Gaussian; and turn on the Monochromatic checkbox. You'll see very slight noise onscreen, but not in the printing.
Q5:How can I make a gradient with the same colors as my photo? I would like to create a gradient that uses the same color as an image, say the shades of sand dunes. Is there a way to use some of the colors from my sand to make a gradient?
A5: Yes, you can choose colors from an image while you are creating a gradient. Open the Gradient Editor by clicking on the gradient thumbnail in the Options Bar. Click on any basic gradient. Now click on the first color stop below the gradient bar, then move your cursor outside the Editor onto your image and click on the color you want to use from the image. Return to the Gradient Editor and click just below the gradient bar to add another color stop, then choose another color from your image. Repeat. When you are finished adding colors, give your gradient a name and click New to add this gradient to the Gradient Picker.
Q6:How do I add multiple gradients to a single layer? I have painted a gradient, but when I go to add another, I end up replacing the first gradient with the new gradient. How can I avoid this?
A6: You have three possibilities:

Option One: If you want the gradients to blend in with each other, change the blend mode setting in Options Bar for the Gradient tool (B) from Normal to Multiply (or Overlay or Soft Light...) and each new gradient will “interact” with the previous one. Experiment with these different blending modes.

Option Two: Make selections on your layer first using any selection tool, and then the gradient will only work in that selected area.

Option Three: Add multiple layers and experiment with blending modes and/or layer masks to make the gradients only appear in certain areas of the image.



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