I will be doing a series of tutorials on how to use the GrutBrushes Photoshop Impasto brushes but this short video above shows a few brief tips.
– Vary your stylus pressure and use short strokes for a more organic look
– Use a flatter Photoshop brush to block in large areas
– Press softly on your stylus to blend or soften texture
– Push harder when you want more texture
– Use alt/option to pick colours from your painting
Q: George asked me in an email: “Is there any way to use these brushes as an eraser?”
A: Yes! If you’re painting or drawing in Photoshop using a brush that has a nice organic brush stroke and you want to correct or erase part of your painting using an eraser that has the same look and feel of your brush instead of the default Photoshop erasers there are a number of ways to do so in Photoshop.
Perhaps the easiest is to switch your brush mode from ‘normal’ to ‘clear’ which will essentially turn your current brush into an eraser, with all it’s settings in tact. But what if you have switched brushes or recently changed the settings of your brushes and want to go back to a previous brush? There’s an easy way to do that as well. With your eraser tool selected, just open the brush preset panel and you will see the history of the last seven brushes you used in order. Simply select the one you want to use and your eraser now takes on almost all the properties of that brush.
I didn’t get a chance to announce this week’s free GrutBrush on Monday due to my day job, but it’s been there and is still free until Sunday (24 hours left!) This one is a cross-hatching brush and I doodled this guy above using it. First I sketched the basic shape in black and then I ‘etched’ into it with the same brush, but using white to chip away at it (you could also use an eraser) and essentially carve into the black. Finally I made the layer a Multiply layer so that the white disappears and the paper background shows through.
Watercolor in Photoshop can be just as tricky as real watercolor and some of the same techniques apply. A little forethought can go a long way as digital paint ‘dries’ when you lift your pen so ideally you want to do one contiguous area in one unbroken brush stroke. Don’t lift the stylus from the tablet and be prepared that each subsequent stroke will give you a darker colour (see the hair in the top left) due to the multiply effect. Think of it as laying down multiple layers of coloured plastic sheets – the areas where they overlap will be darker and you will see the seams.
Sometimes one brush will do for the whole painting but other pieces call for multiple brushes. The colour in this painting was done using the bolder Paste Up and Grape Remains for the hair and for the subtler more even tone of the background I used the Moth Wing brush. For shading I used the Ocean Liner brush with a reduced opacity so that I could go over and build up darker areas slowly and also for the clothing I used Lofty Tinge which has more texture. To get some more texture and drama into the background I added some of the more saturated orangey bits using the Paste Up brush again, this time with a much larger brush size, about double what I used on the hair.
When using the watercolour brushes, you may want to reduce, increase or simply control where the ‘edging’ appears. While painting, make sure you don’t lift your pen or stylus off the tablet, then reduce the pressure until you are pushing very lightly and go over the area where you want to remove the edging.
With a light stroke you will no longer be adding paint and will only be removing the dark edges. Then, if you like, you can go back over the same area with more pressure and add in fill. As long as you don’t lift your pen, your stroke will be ‘edgeless’ on the second pass. The key to all of this is you cannot lift your pen off the drawing tablet, you can take your time but it must all be done in one stroke.