Just For Beginners – Brushes

When I (Steph) first started using a photo editing program for my digital scrapping, I soon learned how to make my own brushes. I then went through a “phase” where I made brushes from everything. I took photos of rocks, dirt, bricks, and wood to make my own brushes with. I used brushes a lot on my layouts as well during this time. Then, I slowly stopped using them as much, but after seeing some great uses for brushes in the galleries, I think I need to go back to using them again– and soon!!

First up, is this layout by Jsgus (images are linked to galleries for credits):

the-art-of-discoveryJanelle used an alpha brush set for her title. I love how it makes it look like it was hand stamped. The “altered” album was actually all created digitally.

Scarlettmcd had this great layout:week-6

The acrylic brush strokes under the title really help to set it apart from the rest of the layout.

I was really excited to see the great technique Nettio applied with brushes here:

dd119_vacationNettio used some circle brushes to add a color-on-color pattern to her green paper. What a fun way to add some depth and also carry the circle theme throughout the layout!

I was totally smitten with this layout:

becool_jmjaquezSweeet used a brush to create a snowflake cut-out look on the photo. There are two ways this could be done: one is to use a layer mask; the other is to stamp on the photo with the brush, but put it on it’s own layer, select the magic wand and click on the outside of the stamp, select the photo layer and edit>cut. This will remove all of the area outside of the stamp. Pretty easy, but adds soooo much to the layout!

So, how do you use those brushes? You probably already have some brushes in your stash, even if you don’t know how to use them. If you don’t have any (or if you do, but would love to have more) I found this site that is a great place to find PS and PSP brushes! If you would like to learn how to make and install your own brushes in PSP, this is a great tutorial. You can find a tutorial for making Photoshop brushes here and installing Photoshop brushes here. There are several indepth Photoshop video tutorials for free here. Here is a tutorial for our friends using Photo Impact.

If you have ACDSee, then you probably already know that you can organize, view, and install your brushes into your photo editing program, right from the organizer. If you dind’t know that, but would like to learn how to do it, you can watch the video under “Browse and Organize Your Brushes” (scroll down to see it). If you use ACDSee and would like how to turn ABR (Photoshop brush) files into brushes you can use in ACDSee, there is a great tutorial for you here.

It’s time to load those brushes and PLAY!! Try using the dodge/burn tool with your brushes or maybe the eraser instead of the brush tool. Don’t be affraid to try different settings and see what happens after all, you can always UNDO!