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Wazzy

Brushes - What are they and how to use them

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Really newbie question here about "brushes".
I've been reading what I can find here and online, as well as watching YouTube (YT) videos on the subject, but haven't really found anything that actually explains what I'm wondering about with "brushes".

I put brushes in quotes b/c it seems in Photoshop Elements (PSE) they are not just actual brushes, but shapes and images of other things that can be made into "brushes". 
To me, the whole thing with "brushes" seems to be they are like real brushes, stamps (like rubber stamps) and those stamps can also be dragged to create a different affect, sponges done the same way as stamps and images that can also be stamped once to get that image or dragged to create a different affect.

Can anyone explain "brushes" to me?
Am I missing something?

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Brushes is a general term, but is a specific tool in a program, and different programs have different options for that tool.  Some programs only have brushes that draw like real world brushes e.g. watercolor, acrylic, marker, chalk, etc.  I have a program that can draw in ribbons, ropes, sequins, etc.  PSE as you have said, also draws and stamps using the brush tool.

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Thanks Linda!
That helps. 
I saw some that are like what you describe only with glitter. That really confused me b/c I couldn't seem to get past what I think of as brushes; which is what real brushes are. Am slowly getting my head around to what PSE means when they call something a "brush".

Am working on tweaking the given brushes that come with PSE. Who knew there were ALL those ways to change how a "brush" looks????
It's a WHOLE new world out there!

 

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Hi Marti,

I think you have the right idea about brushes.  I don't use PSE though, I use Photoshop CS6, so I'm not sure if brushes work differently in PSE.  There are "dynamic" brushes, as well, where you can set parameters for variations in size, angle, opacity, etc, as you draw the "brush" across the page.  Those are my favorite.  Many of the SG brushes come with png files of the brushes, and I'll often use those as stamps, as well, like you said.  I love to use a brush as a stamp, then apply styles to it to see the different effects.

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Hi Mikelle!
There is just SO much to take in!!!
I mean, I've only got PSE, which is not the full blown Photoshop, and there are submenus within menus and different combinations of all the parameters you mentioned can change how the "brush" looks. 

It's a little overwhelming. I keep dipping my toe in the water, but then don't actually get in the pool.
Not this time! I'm determined to stick with this and learn more about it, so I can play more.

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8 hours ago, Wazzy said:

Really newbie question here about "brushes".
I've been reading what I can find here and online, as well as watching YouTube (YT) videos on the subject, but haven't really found anything that actually explains what I'm wondering about with "brushes".

I put brushes in quotes b/c it seems in Photoshop Elements (PSE) they are not just actual brushes, but shapes and images of other things that can be made into "brushes". 
To me, the whole thing with "brushes" seems to be they are like real brushes, stamps (like rubber stamps) and those stamps can also be dragged to create a different affect, sponges done the same way as stamps and images that can also be stamped once to get that image or dragged to create a different affect.

Can anyone explain "brushes" to me?
Am I missing something?

I agree that brushes are confusing and when I first discovered them I didn’t understand them at all.    In PSE I finally related them to rubber “stamps” as you said.   The dynamic ones seem to leave a trail as you move your cursor, Mikelle explained those well!    There are lots of options in the tool menu, but I normally only use opacity and size.    
There was once a brush class here at SG and it was awesome, I learned so much!   The most important tip was to always brush onto a new layer.   This way, you can move it around, resize, or even delete!   If you stamp on your layout, you’re stuck with it, other than to “undo, undo, undo”.  :D   

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Everyone is describing brushes so well. I too was confused at first but the more I played the more I like them. They can even be used to erase parts of photos, backgrounds and even embellishments. I use brushes to make my own masks too so I get just what I want. I use PSE19 now but started with 10 so I have learned along the way. The more you use them the more you will like them. There are lots of youTube videos that might help you. Please feel free to ask any of us questions we will gladly help. I look forward to seeing your work.

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Thank you Ladies!
I will not give up and you all have helped immensely already.
I am slowly wrapping my head around the "brush tool".
Thank you also for the links, very helpful. 

 

 

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18 hours ago, Boatlady said:

Everyone is describing brushes so well. I too was confused at first but the more I played the more I like them. They can even be used to erase parts of photos, backgrounds and even embellishments. I use brushes to make my own masks too so I get just what I want. I use PSE19 now but started with 10 so I have learned along the way. The more you use them the more you will like them. There are lots of youTube videos that might help you. Please feel free to ask any of us questions we will gladly help. I look forward to seeing your work.

Oh yes, I forgot about using brushes as erasers!  A new world opened up to me once I discovered that!

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