Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fun in Photoshop

For those of you who own photoshop, you know that it would be impossible to completely learn everything that this program has to offer, but it sure is fun trying.

One of my favorite things to do in photoshop is to make my own paint brushes. Once you have a set of custom made brushes, you can work more efficiently. I recently made a bunch of splats and drips for brushes. I found a complete set for free online, but it is only for personal use, and I wanted something that I could use that was my original.

Here's what I did.

I actually planned an activity at school in my program where the children did straw painting. They drip paint onto their paper and use a straw to blow around a design. So, while they were doing that, I made up several of my own drips, drops and splats.

After they dried, I scanned them. I opened each one up in Photoshop and selected the part of the design I wanted. Then, under EDIT, I chose Define Brush. Whatever part of the image that I selected is now a brush. Easily done!

Can you imagine if you had to make each individual spat and drip each time you wanted to do a design? Now, it's done for me. I can change the colors. I can even change the shapes in the filter section of Photoshop.

I also drew some tree silhouettes and scanned them. I did 4 or 5 and now, if I need to place a tree in a design, most of the work is finished for me. I did a project last year where I spent hours putting trees in the background. I wished I would have thought of doing this then.

Something I did discover though, and I'll have to go back and fix it is this. In the above picture, all of the branches go right to the end of the picture. It makes a square. I realized, as I was using the brush, that the branches are placed on the canvas in the same manner, as a square. So all of the edges are the same. I have to redesign my trees so that some branches taper off, making it look more realistic.

In the pictures below you can see the first image is very square, it wouldn't do me much good.

But the second image doesn't look as square, although the left side has a straight edge. I still need to make it look more realistic.

As you can see in the final picture below, I've lost most of the square look and I can overlap the branches. I rotated the bottom branches and now they look like weeds. I'm happy with these branches; at least for now. I still will experiment to get a more natural but polished look. I'm still a novice here, but I just wanted to share this with you.

Feel free to take any of these images for your own paint brushes. Once you start making paint brushes in photo shop you will be hooked!


I've been making a lot of gingerbread babies lately. Here are a few I've done recently.

I have several on ebay this week. Here's a link if you are interested. Ebay

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