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Photoshop Tutorial
Introduction to Photoshop
The Menu Bar of Photoshop
Status Bar of Photoshop
The ToolBox of Photoshop
Palettes of Photoshop
Navigator Palette and Hand Tool of Photoshop
New View & Duplicate
Image Size & Resolution in Photoshop
Image Size Dialog Box in Photoshop
Canvas Size in Photoshop
Crop Tool in Photoshop
History Palette Basics
Color Primer in Photoshop
Color Picker in Photoshop
Color & Swatch Palettes in Photoshop
Custom Swatch Exercise in Photoshop
Eyedropper & Info Palette
Marquee Selection Tools
Lasso & Wand Selection Tools
Selection Tool Practice
Select Menu Commands
Transforming Selections
Quick Mask Mode in Photoshop
More Quick Mask in Photoshop
Alpha Channels & Channel Palette
Intro to Layers
Important Layer Information
Move, Copy & Transform Layers
Advanced Layer Features
Working With Type Introduction
The Type Tool (v.5.x)
The Type Tool - Continued (v.5.x)
The Type Tool - (v.6.x)
The Type Tool - Continued (v.6.x)
Type Palettes and Text Warping (v6.x) in Photoshop
Intro, Paint Bucket and Fill Command in Photoshop
Gradient, Pattern and Line Tools in Photoshop
Brushes and Fade Command in Photoshop
Pencil, Paintbrush and Airbrush Tools in Photoshop
Eraser Tools in Photoshop
Retouching Tools in Photoshop
Blur, Sharpen, Smudge Tools in Photoshop
Dodge, Burn, Sponge Tools in Photoshop
Clone Stamp Tool in Photoshop

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Pencil, Paintbrush and Airbrush Tools

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Pencil, Paintbrush & Airbrush Tools


Notice the brush palette when the pencil tool is active. All the brushes will have hard edges. Only the brush spacing can be changed while the pencil tool is active.

The pencil tool has an Auto-Erase option that allows you to paint over the foreground color with the background color and vice-versa. When auto-erase is enabled, if the background color is detected when you first click the mouse button, you will begin painting with the foreground color; if the foreground color is detected, you will be painting with the background color. What purpose could this function possibly be useful for? Beats me! In fact, I must confess that in all the time I've been using Photoshop, I can't remember ever having used the pencil tool! With that in mind, we won't be spending any more time discussing this tool, but it's there if you need it.

The Paintbrush Tool
Let's move on to the Paintbrush. This is probably the painting tool you will be using most often. The shortcut key is B. The Paintbrush tool applies color to your document similar to the way a traditional paintbrush would apply paint on paper or canvas. We've already discussed blend modes and opacity settings, but when you look at the paintbrush options you will see a few things we haven't yet discussed.

comparing the airbrush, paintbrush, and wet edges brushWet edges applies paint that acts more like watercolor paint or markers. When you paint with a soft brush, the paint is more translucent in the center of the stroke and darker along the edges of the stroke. With a hard edge brush at 100% opacity, the paint still has some translucency, just as markers or watercolor paints would have. When Wet Edges is not active, a soft edge brush stroke at 100% opacity will be opaque toward the center and fade out along the edges. A hard brush at 100% opacity will be completely opaque, but unlike the pencil tool, the edges will be smooth and not jaggie.

Comapring the brush fade optionsYou'll also notice a fade option in the options palette. If you have Photoshop 6, the fade options are located under a pop-out at the right edge of the options palette.

This pop-out is called the brush dynamics menu and is available for any tool that requires a brush selection.

brush dynamics menu

In Photoshop 5.x, you can fade the opacity only. In version 6, you can also fade the size and color of brush strokes. Each "step" specified in the fade options is the equivalent of the brush tip, so don't be confused into thinking it is a pixel or other type of measurement. Hence, the fade-out rate is going to vary with the spacing of your brush. We'll experiment more with the fade options in some of the exercises coming up.

If you have a pressure-sensitive tablet, you'll want to use your tablet's pressure sensitivity to achieve fading, but these options are there to allow you to work with fading even if you don't have a tablet. For those that do have a pressure sensitive tablet, the paintbrush options palette (Version 5.x) and brush dynamic menu (Version 6.0) are where you would go to make adjustments to the way Photoshop reacts to stylus pressure.

The Airbrush Tool
The airbrush tool works more like a traditional airbrush or spray paint. Its shortcut key is J. The airbrush puts paint on a bit lighter than the paintbrush tool, but when you hold your mouse button down without moving the cursor, the paint builds up just like it would if you were to hold the nozzle down on a can of spraypaint. Fortunately, with digital spraypaint, we don't have to worry about it dripping down the front of our document if it gets too thick. :-) Instead of adjusting the opacity for the airbrush tool, you set the pressure. The higher the pressure is set, the thicker your paint will go on. The airbrush is especially useful for painting subtle shading and highlights. With a pressure-sensitive tablet, you can really get exceptional control with the airbrush tool.

A Few Painting Tricks
By default, Photoshop is set to show the painting cursors at the actual brush size. This setting can be changed through your Preferences (under the Edit menu in Photoshop 6; the File menu in Photoshop 5 and earlier.) In most cases you'll want to leave it set to brush size. You can easily toggle to precise cursors without going through the preferences dialog by pressing the caps lock key.

Anytime you have a painting tool active, you can press the Alt/Option key to temporarily switch to the Eyedropper and pick up a new foreground color from anywhere in the document.

You can adjust the pressure of the airbrush tool or the opacity of the other painting tools by pressing the numeric keys on your keyboard instead of going to options.

While a painting tool is active you can cycle through the blend modes using Shift -(minus) and Shift (plus). These shortcut keys also cycle through the layer blend modes when non-painting tools are active. I don't know about you, but I can never remember which blend mode I need by name, so this shortcut to cycle through them is very handy.

Now that we know how to paint, the next logical step is learning how to remove the paint! That's where the eraser tools come in.


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Keywords: Pencil, Paintbrush and Airbrush Tools, photoshop Tutorial, photoshop tutorial online, photoshop tutorial pdf, history of photoshop, basic photoshop, syntax use in photoshop, photoshop training courses, photoshop Download.

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