Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Hi everyone! Casharina here! I have only recently learned how to use brushes to help embellish my layouts and I absolutely love them. They can give a greater dimension to any layout as well as give another opportunity to add color to a layout.
Some of my favorite brushes come from the Shabby Shoppe in various kits. I especially love the Carousel Monograms brush set. As well as the .abr brush file set, the monograms also come in .png format and can be used as standard elements. A couple of other products that feature bonus .abr brush file sets are: Bountiful ~ which includes a gorgeous floral “stamp-like” alpha & Autumn Chic ~ which includes decorative stamps and frame.
Not all software is able to make use of the super-convenient .abr brush file sets. But there is a way around this by using your .png files as brushes. Yes, it’s possible! – and once you learn how you’ll never look back! We have some awesome tutorials right here that can show you how…for both Photoshop CS and Photoshop Elements. One tutorial shows you how to load and use a brush…the other shows you how to turn your .png files into brushes. There is a choice of video or standard step-by-step tutorials…so take your pick!
And don’t forget you can make your very own custom brushes…see Beckie’s fabulous how-to post HERE!
Once you have all your custom brushes set up you can begin playing. Here are some suggestions:
- You can adjust the opacity, color, and size of these brushes just like you would your default round brushes.
- I think it’s fun to play with layering of the brushes. One way is making brushes look just like real stamps - just as Rachel showed us in her “stamping over layers” post.
- Another thing you can do with your brushes is create a layer with each brush and then clip a patterned paper to it.
- I also like to layer some of my stamps under photos to give them more depth.
- Experiment with all your brush palette options (or in Photoshop Elements your brush tool bar, and inparticular the “more options” on the far right of the bar). For example, creating your own scatters is something you might like to try.
How to create a scatter:
Open a new layer
Choose the brush tool and then open your brush palette
Select the brush you want…in this case the Shabby Squiggles heart
Move the sliders for the brush diameter and spacing
Click on Shape Dynamics and play with the sliders until you are happy with the preview at the bottom. Any of these are optional. (Also, in my screenshot the preview is after I’d finished selecting all the brush dynamics I wanted, not just the shape dynamics…so yours will look different at this stage)
Next is the Scattering options. Again, experiement with the sliders and check boxes until you are happy with the preview. I did the same for Color and Other Dynamics.
When you play around with the color sliders the preview remains black and white. Just practise by brushing the scatter on a spare layer and then go back to the color dynamics and adjust the percentages. Keep doing this until you are happy.
Then it’s just a case of ‘drawing’ your scatter where you want it. You can use your mouse, or a pen tablet if you have one.
You can have lots of fun with scatters! Here’s two more examples just by experimenting with different brush shapes and some of the different options in the brush palette. Other software and/or software versions may not have as many options but don’t let that stop you from experimenting with what is available to you.
How about some stars…
…or a little confetti!
For some more brush fun, check out two more of Beckie’s awesome tips & tricks:
her ad inspiration post that shows you a few tips about how to use brushes to customize your own papers
Using each of the tutorials/Tips & Tricks posts, as well as playing with brushes myself, has allowed me to utilize brushes on numerous pages I’ve done. I’ve also had some luck finding free brushes by doing a google search…just be sure to check the artists’ user terms before using them. There are so many ways to use brushes, I hope this post along with the others, will encourage you to try them as well!
Thanks for stopping by today! Tomorrow, Kim will be bringing back some fun Thursday scrap inspiration!