The Brush Tool in Photoshop Elements 11: Video
This video shows you how to use the Brush Tool in Photoshop Elements 11.
How to Use the Brush Tool: Overview
To use the Brush Tool in Photoshop Elements 11, first select it from the Toolbox. Then make sure the color you want to apply to the image is selected as the foreground color. Also, make sure you selected the appropriate layer to which to add the brush strokes in the “Layers” panel. The highlighted layer is the one to which you apply the brush strokes. Oftentimes, if you are trying to apply an effect and it doesn’t appear in the image, you selected the wrong layer in the image.
To use the Brush Tool, then click and drag with the circle that appears in the image to paint. The circle represents the width of your brush. If the lines aren’t appearing as you wish, remember that you can reverse your steps in the “History” Panel and try again. Look into the Options Bar with the Brush Tool selected. Here you can set different options that affect how the Brush Tool will interact with the underlying layer of the image.
After creating a brush you use frequently, you can then save it as a preset tool you can then access in the future with all of the brush options you use already set. To do this, click the “Brush Presets” and then click on the small right-pointing arrow to display the side menu and select “Preset Manager…” or choose “Edit| Preset Manager” from the Menu Bar. Use the preset drop-down menu to select the brush preset. In the dialog box, you can select your brushes, rename, edit, save brushes you create and even load custom brush sets such as those in TeachUcomp, Inc.’s “Photoshop Brush Bonanza.” The “More” button allows you to change the display of the presets, changing the display to lists, thumbnails, etc.
To control the size of the brush, use the “Brush Size” slider to set the width of the brush tip you’ll use to paint. Alternatively, type an exact measurement in pixels into the box provided. You can use the “Mode” drop-down to determine how the brush will apply the color and interact with the color of the pixels it is painting over. There are several color modes that we will examine in the next section.
You can use the “Opacity” drop-down to set the transparency level of the paint that you are using in the slider that appears. If you want to use the current Brush Tool as an airbrush, then click the “Airbrush” button at the right end of the Options Bar. This will allow you to apply gradual tones to an image, simulating an airbrush technique. Use the “Tablet Options” to set preferences for what can be controlled with the pen of most pressure-sensitive digitizing tablets. These optional hardware devices allow you to paint with a pen tool in your hand, instead of using the mouse and keyboard.
Under “Brush Dynamics” (“More Options” in version 7.0 and earlier), you can imitate different brush strokes and effects by changing what is called the brush dynamics, which we discuss in more detail in the next chapter. Then, to paint, just click and drag in your image.