Final Strokes

By Mark

Although there are is an almost infinite number more of brush topics, this will be the wrap up for us.  We have spent the last several weeks talking about how you can customize the brushes and even create your own.  Today, we are going to discuss the tool that really can unleash the inner artist in you.  If you are still using a mouse or a trackball in doing your masking or creative works, you are working with a distinct disadvantage.  Some NAPPster said that “Drawing with a mouse is just like painting with a brick”.  There is a much better and more natural way—a graphics tablet and pen.  The Wacom tablets have been designed to maximize your control of the Adobe Interface and specifically the power of the brushes.  The pen is both pressure and angle sensitive.  Just like with a pencil, a paint brush or pastel chalk, the harder you press on the pen the darker the result and the wider the swath. I am not going to spend a lot of time describing how you can customize the tablet buttons specifically for the things you do in each application.   

Wacom Controls.PNG

Nor am I going to dwell on how even the ring controls can be tailored.   

Wacom Control Ring.PNG

.   Nope, I am going back to the brush menu to cover the two icons we didn’t discuss.  The two circled icons tell Photoshop to let the pen controls override the settings.

Pen Menu.PNG

On the left, the globe tells PS to let pen pressure control the opacity.  Press lightly, and only a little color comes through.   The control on the right tells the pen that the harder you press, the bigger the brush size will be.

brush graphic.PNG

In addition to all that coolness, if you go back into the Brush preset menu (F5), all those controls can also be set to be controlled by the pen pressure or the angle.  The pen gives you very, very precise control.   Don’t forget that each layer can be adjusted separately and the specialized layer effects applied.  Now go out and create some cool art.

Brush Panel Pen Controls.PNG
Just playing with brushes and layer effects

Just playing with brushes and layer effects