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Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements

Lesson 30 of 58

How to Change Brush Settings


Learn How to Use Photoshop Elements

Lesson 30 of 58

How to Change Brush Settings


Lesson Info

How to Change Brush Settings

I'm gonna show you how you can take even what would maybe be considered a boring brush, not that any of them are ever boring, but let's just take like a round brush. Okay, that's not fancy. It doesn't have any special attributes yet. So I'm gonna double click just this round, plain 13 pixel brush. I'll make it a little bit larger. Let's hide those leaves just because they're distracting. So if I just paint I get just a normal, there we go, a normal stroke. That's great, but we can do something more exciting than that. So I'm gonna come into the brush settings down here and this is where things get really fun. So we have settings where you can control the fade of the brush, the hue jitter, the scatter, the spacing, hardness and roundness. So what does all of that mean? Well, fading is just like it sounds like, how the brush fades in and fades out. This is also gonna be working best if you are using a tablet where you can take advantage of pressure sensitivity. So actually, I can show yo...

u this one right here that I've got on my desktop. This is a Wacom tablet and this is my pen. So I use this like a mouse. I can't lift it too high, so I guess, I don't know, I hope you guys can see. I'm not sure if that's coming through, but it's taped down here. There, I can swing it to the side maybe. There we go, so this is like a mouse. It's sort of like a mouse pad. It's about the size of a mouse pad and then instead of holding a mouse on it, I have this really cool pen. So this allows me to just draw much more naturally than I would with a mouse. What's really cool about it is its pressure sensitive, so the harder I press, depending on how you have your settings, the harder I press the bigger the brush can get. Or the more the paint can come out or sometimes you can also tilt the angle of your brush just by how you hold the pen. So it's kind of a fun thing. These come in all different flavors and variety and I think there's a link to the one that I have in the resource guide. So if you buy the class it'll be there, you can click to it. Mine's old though, so the link is not to my exact one, it's to the current model like the one I have. But they're great. They're not required, obviously, but they can just be kind of fun to take advantage of some of these special settings. But you don't have to have it to take advantage of special settings. You can do all of what I'm gonna show you with a mouse or even just with your track pad on a laptop. So don't feel discouraged, but in case you had questions I just wanted to show you what that was all about. So let's go back to these brush settings and that was fade that I sort of got on that little tangent with. Let's talk about hue jitter. This one is super fun for certain projects. So hue jitter means that whatever color you've got here in your foreground swatch, you are telling Photoshop that you're gonna allow it to basically roam from that color. So Photoshop uses the word jitter. I'm gonna say roam just because I think that makes sense. So if I drag this over here to the right I'm telling Photoshop, "Yeah, I'm starting with orange, "but you can roam away from orange pretty far." 84% maybe, let's say even 100% and we won't have control over that. It's gonna jitter between the orange and, in this case, yellow. So it's foreground and background. So we'll just see where that ends up going. We also have the scatter option. So just like we saw those maple leaves that were sort of blown all over the place. If your scatter is set to zero you don't get any scatter. So all of your ink, your paint, will just be along the path that you draw, but if you increase this then things will start to spread. You can see in the preview down here, if I bring I back down to zero it just looks like a normal brush stroke, but as I increase the scatter amount, you see that the dots that make up the brush stroke are now set free and the ink can run away from the line that you draw. The more that you increase the scatter, the more those can run around and scatter all over the place. So I'm gonna keep it like maybe in the middle for now, for this example. Spacing has to do with how spread out the dots that make up your line, how spread out they are. So if you want it really spread out you can make this really high, but then you won't have much or any control over where things are landing, but maybe that's part of the fun. So let's try it. I really don't know what this is gonna look like. I'll just put it there. I am gonna keep the brush hard though just because I don't want fuzzy dots. So basically we're gonna be painting polka dots in this example. So I'm gonna leave hardness and roundness just where they are at 100% and we'll go ahead and close those settings. Let's see what's gonna happen. How cute is that? They look like candy. (laughing) Oh, I'm good. They look like candy. So I'm painting with that brush so what started out as just a round, little nothing terribly special brush, we were able to go in through the brush settings and change some tweaks to the hue jitter and we changed the scatter and we changed the spacing and now this otherwise ordinary brush is suddenly this magical, I don't know what you would call that. Like Skittles. (laughing) It's like a Skittles candy brush now. So that can be useful for all kinds of really cool effects and things. You could create your own textured background, for example, by just painting it all in with fun stuff like this. I should also point out that in this collection of brushes, those are just the default brushes that we've scrolled through and you can see that there are so many just default brushes, but if we come in here, there is a whole collection of other kinds of brushes. So we're gonna play with some of these and create a new illustration and I'll show you some fun things we can do with this. So let's go ahead and hide all of these things that I've made including that awesome grass layer. That's my favorite. In fact, I'm also gonna delete all these just to get them out of the way. So I'm gonna hold the shift key down, select all those layers and then hit the trash can and that'll just clear them out of there.

Class Description

We all have hundreds of images on our smartphones and cameras that we never do anything with. Adobe Photoshop Elements is the perfect tool for beginners to use for organizing and editing those images. Khara Plicanic will show you the practical ways to use this software by using step-by-step projects you can follow along with at home. You’ll get hands-on practice at making selections and working with layers, doing simple retouching, and adding text to your images.

You’ll also learn: 

• Basic adjustments to color and adding contrast to photos 
• Understanding resolution and image resizing and how to use the crop tool 
• Simple retouching and image compositing

No Photoshop Elements class would be complete without shedding light on file saving and organizing your images for a complete workflow! By the time you’re finished with this class, you’ll be creating beautiful images to share with your family and friends.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 2015


  1. Class Introduction
  2. Understand How Elements Works
  3. Importing Images
  4. Workspace Basics: Organizer
  5. Workspace Basics: Editor
  6. Tonal Adjustments in Quick Fix
  7. Color Adjustments in Quick Fix
  8. Apply Black & White Filters
  9. Sharpen an Image
  10. Fix Red Eye & Pet Eye
  11. Straighten an Image in Quick Fix
  12. Explanation of Photoshop Elements
  13. Basic Cropping in Quick Fix
  14. Guided Edit Overview
  15. Guided Edit: Tilt Shift
  16. Ways to Save Files
  17. Layers & Simple Selections
  18. Combine Images with Layers
  19. How to Use Layer Styles
  20. Make Selections with Layers
  21. Make Selection with Lasso
  22. Compositing with Multiple Images
  23. Refine Edge Selection on Image
  24. Use Refine Edge on Images
  25. Create Gradient in Image
  26. Gradient Map Differences
  27. Options for Saving
  28. Brushes Overview
  29. Creatively Use Brushes
  30. How to Change Brush Settings
  31. Use Shape Tool with Brushes
  32. Work with Multiple Shape Layers
  33. Finish Image with Custom Shape Tool
  34. How to Load Brushes into Elements
  35. Add Layer Style to Image
  36. Clip Image to Shape & Use as Template
  37. Retouching Overview
  38. How to Use Content-Aware Fill
  39. How to Use Content-Aware Move Tool
  40. Spot Healing Brush on Blemishes
  41. Remove Frown Lines with Retouching
  42. How to Remove Tattoos
  43. Remove a Gap in Teeth
  44. How to Whiten Teeth
  45. Adjust Facial Features
  46. Working with Type Overview
  47. Match Type for Image
  48. How to Manipulate Type Layers
  49. Create Postcard with Type
  50. Add Type on a Path
  51. Organizing Images in Elements
  52. Add Keywords to Images
  53. Smart Tags Overview
  54. Using Albums in Elements
  55. Places Workspace Overview
  56. Use Event Tags on Images
  57. Timeline for Image Organization
  58. Recommended Workflow


a Creativelive Student

Just watching this class live. It's my first class with Khara; she is a wonderful teacher, moving at a steady speed but always being careful to let us know what she's doing in the moment. I would classify myself as intermediate in terms of PSE but I've learned lots of little things that will make further use even easier and more fun. I really appreciated her descriptions of the difference between PS and PSE and her encouragement in using Photoshop Elements and all that it can do.


I have only been able to watch portions of this class but every single part that I have watched has been technically clear and inspiring to me. Based on this experience and the thorough, 58 item list of lessons, I will surely be buying this class soon! Thank you Khara and Creativelive for making a class on this topic and making it be super!!

Ven S

Great course. You can tell she knows the programme inside out.