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Painting With Adobe Photoshop

Lesson 18 of 40

Mixer Brush & Parameters

Jack Davis

Painting With Adobe Photoshop

Jack Davis

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Lesson Info

18. Mixer Brush & Parameters


Class Trailer

Day 1




Why Do Expressive Painting


Adobe Bridge Setup & Image Optimizing


Jack's Painting Presets


Enhancing Source Images


Photo Hand Tinting & Workflow Options


Working with Brushes & Palettes - Part 1


Lesson Info

Mixer Brush & Parameters

I want to start off I mentioned are where we did yesterday that's where we were working on yesterday about using this as a starting for our mixer brush so let's go ahead and do that here is where we left off yesterday and I'm going to open this up as an object will give me that freedom even though we're not going to do a smart filter recipe on this one right now and we're going to jump over to our mix of brush which has found under our regular brush and it is the mixer brush the parameters that are available for the mixer brush are these up here in the options bar and let's take a look at some of those um shall way specifically let's actually open up our brushes palette which I've got over here we're going to turn on this is the brushes palate you'll notice over here looking at our how we've set up my workspace here I got layers channels, actions, history stiles those all our nice long list one so I put those in a nice long palate by themselves things that I don't use ah always I have ...

on this pop out which is my brushes my brush presets which are always going to be in the upper left of the options bar so you don't necessarily need that I throw in swatches you could do a color mixing but I'll use these as a starting point the swatches palette in photoshopped allows you to use not only the default but any of these different palates in the swatches including pantone colors and tokyo ings and focal tone and all these other ones so all of these tokyo true match you know, web safe for the olden days for those who remember web safe colors so that is what I'll have here and then the properties palate is based upon whatever you're currently have active in the layers palate such as that's where you would change parameters on adjustment layer like levels of curves okay, but brushes is where we're at now and, uh, what we want to do here is talk about the mixer brush and the mix of brush as soon as you selected over here in our toolbar over here when we look at our brush palette um we're going to see some things that are specific to it starting off with when you see not a brush tip, you'll notice that over here let's see if I can get thes tto go these when you see a brush tip the shape that is going to make those are, um old brushes they're not mixer brush brush tips they are the old bit mapped pixel based uh captured footprints of pixels and again you can make your own brushes just like I made my own and burton a million people and you may have you made your own they're also really popular now for stamps you can see a million photoshopped brushes that have nothing to do with brushes you'd never brush apply them they are you know a water staying the glass coffee stain you know the circle so you can add this grunge texture so a person took a photograph of a stain of a coffee on a napkin and turned it into a picture and then they made it a brush tip and the nice thing with brush tips is that you could have a bunch of different brush tips and they have a brush that is a coffee stain um it's an interesting way of doing it since you can make a pattern of that um the nice thing about those sorts of stamps and one of the practical ones that I use is a signature stamp we'll talk about that about making a brush tip out of your signature so when you're all done that's actually don't let me forget before the end of today we're going to make a signature painted signature of yourself to add to your full paintings and we'll make it a brush so you can select that and just tap and the benefit of having it as a brush if you make it real big, you can use your scales, you're you're square bracket keys to scale it to position you'll see exactly and tap and you're done so people are using brush tips for all sorts of things whenever you see a brush tip that actually has part of the handle associated with it or these little airbrush tips. Okay? And again, coming up here, you're going to see some of the iroda ble tips for he's right here that showed the pencil thes are also kind of fit into the irritable tip. I mean, the mixer brush category, meaning that their procedural they are actually creating their effect on the fly, usually from vector information. And I'll show you the second will be able to see this vector three d virtual simulation of these brushes that air that are taking place here, but basically, if you see a white tip, okay, a white tip here, the white tips are going to be basically round brushes, even though some of them are they look like they're flat fan brush there actually round. Okay, so these are all round brushes if you think of normally when you go and you buy a brush and I should have brought in some real brush is something that has, ah, round head on it. That brings up to a tip those around around brushes. The other type of brushes are flat head brushes ones that actually are crimped at the top and the bristles fan out from it. So those are the two types and you have those same two types if you see it has a white tip that is a round brush and if you see it as a black tip it's a fan or flat brush so they actually color coded them because they look exactly the same even though the three d simulation for it is completely different the round one that looks like this is goes like this and the one that's, the flat one looks like thiss so anyway, so that is, well, come over here and do a round brush and we're going to click down here on this one little teeny icon at the bottom tuck toggle the live tipped brush preview and that's this over here and that now I'm going to get over and I'm gonna show you and let's go to something that's going to be a little longer so you can see it. So here is the, um, brush tip in three d okay, let's actually, go ahead, create a yes, I see you well, go ahead and fill that with white just so we see that so here is our brush tip in three d if I press and hold you're going to see and that's actually if we come up here and we change our load setting and change not our wet setting and we come up here and we're just having a good time we're gonna load up brush um is there somebody else's settings in here? So if we look at the three d, uh, simulation of it, you can see that I'm just barely touching that tip. So you're looking up here and actually see if I can zoom up here a little bit so you can see this so as I pressed down here, this is the paper let's do this. Okay, so I'm above the paper now you can see the three d simulation is I moved the brush around how the bristles air coming out of its around brush you see that's around situation here as I pressed down and I pressed down hard there's the deforming of that brush by press ever so lightly, even cm just getting the tip of the brush brush and then down so it's actually is truly simulating three d bristles in this environment, which is pretty darn cool. Um, that's not how brushes are usually, um created, but it's gonna allows for a lot and it's going to certainly allow for adobe to do a lot maurine the future um let me clear that out and now I've been using the regular pen that ships with walking into us and again I've got an into us five here this is the regular pin that ships with it I'm now going to switch over to the art pen and the art pen is going to allow me and it's kind of hard to see because I'll have to switch over to a fan tip but you can actually see and again lets you see the camera I'm gonna be doing this rotating the barrel of the stylists and you're going to notice that it's rotating the barrel of the brush so let's actually jump over jump out of here and use get a um one of the fan brush is okay so we can see that um taking place and now you can see as I rotate that brush and you can actually see the three d rendering of it which by the way if you're really cool you can shift click on it and becomes a three d rendered version of the brush the problem is it's white bristles on a light grey background excuse me and it's actually harder to see the brush so again you can shift click on it and it's you know that's getting a little carried away that you get a real pridie rendered version of your brush but anyway so now you can see that the um what's known as the art pen from the welcome art pen what used to be known as the sixty art pen if you add I think the into us three on before used the sixty art pen it's the same basic technology in tow us four and five just call it the art pen and that great thing is you can see here the reason for the art pen being cool is I can and rotate by rotating the barrel I can have the control of the breaststroke if I go back to the regular pen um it is locked in a position I can't come up here and say ok, I want it to go down and thick right? That is that's all I can do I jump over here and I go so the exact same brush obviously gives me a lot more flexibility with the art pen that right there just shouldn't have sold you on getting the art pen because you're what you're going to need to do if you want to stroke this big and you have using the regular pan what do you have to do it you can have to scale that brush up three hundred percent to get the same whip um you can use and we talked about it before when we get into these parameters underbrush uh the shape dynamics we can say that that angle control is based upon either the initial direction or the continued direction and then we went over this yesterday so now this is the regular pen, okay? Not the sixty pen and whatever direction I do, but um and if I go like this I can get that um and let's see if I can do it really but I can't I'm actually spinning the brush as I would in real life this is using my direction I can't change that as I'm going along with the brush so I'm going to be using just to not make you guys who don't have the art pen I'll be using the regular pen as much as I can today and only when I want to do what I want to do and I don't care about your guys out there and I'm gonna switch over to my art pen, which is what I always use um because that is really what you'd want if you're really painting and that's how you're used you're doing it, you're going to spend your brush and do what you want. You're not going to be worried about the initial direction of something and something else. So anyway that's the flat versus round let's go ahead back up in here and look at some of these other parameters in terms of our um mixer brush uh, he said, we've got the shape on it we've got the category of that shape you've got over here the these are all part this section here is how you're going to customise your brush to be exactly like you'd like can I ve given you just a sample that I used that I love for my oil paintings so it could be that the one set that I give you is great and you don't need any other ones there are a number ones that have come out and they're arm or in push fcc than there were in previous versions of photo shop again, I mentioned john derry john derry d e r r y dot com he has sense of brush is that he sounds sales I haven't gone there lately I don't know if he's created continued to create multiple ones for new versions of photo shop, but just in general anything that john does is awesome. Um and of course I get ten percent of whatever he makes because of that night john doesn't even know I'm teaching this class s o these are the categories and here in terms of the shapes of the brushes, the number of bristles this's how literally hominy bristles there are the thickness of the paint by taking the bristles down you're going to get more of the splotchy paint kind of feel to it it also will be a more responsive brush as you take this down meaning remember this is a three d simulation, so a hundred bristles means it's calculating a hundred different things bending into a paper and that you have three bristles it's only needing did to keep track of three pieces of information so the more bristles like we talked about yesterday the spacing which we'll get to in a second is infinitely important in terms of how responsive the brushes the bristles are also important to know the size of the brush really doesn't matter, so this may be a situation where you use unless bushels make them thicker and therefore you get a nice big brush that covers a lot of area but it doesn't have a lot of bristles there just happened to be thick now that may not look like as accurate because we see individual hairs when we do a real brush stroke so again that's up to you and how you balance this out on performance. One of the main things on why I wanted to come up with a technique that doesn't need us to sample all layers is because without that you being needing to balance out these brushes to get them to actually follow your brush strokes was infinitely important that's really not the case if you turn off that feature and again we'll get to that we touched on it yesterday those of you just joining us today have no idea what I'm talking about, but we'll get there so bristles how many brussels there are um length of it and that's going to be how floppy that brushes and how much control you have the length is important because as you press it down going back here so let's come over here to our, um bristles here and let's actually do here's our brought up the number of bristles it's actually take this and will leave this out it's actually not, um way won't otto collapse? We'll leave that one open, so um here it is okay the at the current bristle setting of sixty four, you'll notice that because I'm using the walk him you'll never get this with the mouse, right? Because there's no such thing as pressure sensitivity so I can come up here and barely touched the surface versus press hard and get a completely different so again for those of you who don't have a walkie or wasn't sure whether you needed one get one because without that you're not really painting by come over here with the mouse and click and hold it's every single time I do that it's going to be the same thing including this little gap in the center and you can see because it's a three d simulation when it gets into that center and the brushes go the difference between here and here somebody bristles are going this way somewhere going this way so in that middle is the gap is why you're seeing it when I press down on, you'll notice also when I have the mouse that brushes kind of laughing at me it's going to do I know you don't have a walk him that's just that's just sad a supposed to when I have the walking now it now knows now it's giving me all this, you know, amazing control over what I'm doing so one get the walking no matter what, you're going to have pressure sensitivity at your disposal so we're doing with flat fan bristles so if I take my bristles down, you actually can just look at the preview in here and here's, you know, one one bristle, one big bristle down here and now here's bristles, so you're going to bounce this out if I do less bristles to make it more responsive, you can see I could take that thickness up and it's gonna cover area. The problem is, is that that's not the size of most bristles? I've never seen a bristle really thick bristle brush, so bouncing out the bristles so you think something is believable is what you're going for. Hey, um that length, as I mentioned here, you can look at the three d simulation in the upper left and the thing is with this is as you press down it deforms on let's go the brush it does weird things just like really floppy long brush would do it would just kind of crunch it if you did it this it would give you really weird things so even though the preview may look good for really lengthy brush if you're saying well it's giving me a thicker look to it yeah it's not going to give you that control you really don't want to get it too long if you really want to get a thicker looking you can use that thickness toe toe add a little bit of that too it um stiffness is how responsive is it when it um touches the surface ok, so again um you're not seeing it changed the simulation up here because stiffness is not going to be a parent until I come down so here is the stiff brush here and here is a brush here that you can see how it's no matter what I do it's like it's a dried brush it's just the tip of the brush because of that it's going to give me allow me tio skip over the surface easier then if I had a a nonstick stiff brush so that even at a light pressure because it is, you know, bending if I take it down and ben didn't mohr but it's going to um you want some stiffness in the brush because if you're like me um you want it's this fading out of the brush that floats your boat it's that splitting apart of the bristles toe actually imitate you know um the bristles splaying out that is cool and groovy and whatever if you're using the angle this is the initial angle of the brush okay so this is where it starts but based upon the fact that you're either going to be using the art pen which is going to follow the angle of your barrel or you're going to be using that direction option in there it's not as big but it is the starting point and if you are using a mouse it's absolutely essential because if this is my you know initial direction let's go back to the mouse and by the way I'm using the shortcut to fill with white commander control delete is filled with your background color option are all delete is the shortcut for filled with your foreground color so since I'm not on a background layer for me to continually you know because you're going to be doing just what I'm doing you gonna play with brushes and you're going to race and keep playing with brushes so it's nice to know that'll shortcut command delete or control delete is filled with your background color as a default your background color is white okay so with the mouse you can see here as I change the angle okay and I can't so there is that you know one forty five. So you can see that the angle is changing in real time for the mice. So it's, really important for, um, setting up the the mouse as a starting point. But it really isn't going to affect the whole lot in terms of once you start getting into something like this, because you can see that on the art pen it's being overridden by my barrel. Okay, so far, so good. Making sense.

Class Description

Learn how to reshape your photographs into expressive original art quickly and easily with Adobe® Photoshop® Hall-of-Famer Jack "Wow" Davis. Clients love artistic expressions of their family and pets, especially as large (profitable) gallery wraps or watercolor prints. Join Jack as he shows you simple step-by-step techniques for transforming your photos into gorgeous oils, pastels, watercolors and sketches – all by cloning and filtering your original photographs.

Software Used: Adobe Photoshop CC 14.0

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Painting Files

Painting Presets

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes



Okay, I'll be first. Jack has an easy, approachable way of teaching. It was more like being in the room with him, watching over his shoulder as he created something utterly new and exciting. Even when he worked on images he had done many times, I never sensed boredom or a lack of enthusiasm. He was patient with questions and answered them completely. I hope Jack enjoyed this way of teaching as much as the world enjoyed watching. Maybe he'll find more to share. I know I'll sign up for his next one. This workshop inspired me to start creating art again. I'm slowly losing my sight and sad to say, I was starting to let it get to me. As I watched Jack, I tried just a few things and realized that I can do this. Digital art is much easier for me than pencil and paper because of the technology. I miss the pencil and paper drawing, of course, but this is so much FUN! The techniques that Jack shared are wonderful and the results rockin' ... or as Jack says, bitchin'. Thanks to Jack and creativeLIVE I'm back in my head in a good way.


Okay, I'll be first. Jack has an easy, approachable way of teaching. It was more like being in the room with him, watching over his shoulder as he created something utterly new and exciting. Even when he worked on images he had done many times, I never sensed boredom or a lack of enthusiasm. He was patient with questions and answered them completely. I hope Jack enjoyed this way of teaching as much as the world enjoyed watching. Maybe he'll find more to share. I know I'll sign up for his next one. This workshop inspired me to start creating art again. I'm slowly losing my sight and sad to say, I was starting to let it get to me. As I watched Jack, I tried just a few things and realized that I can do this. Digital art is much easier for me than pencil and paper because of the technology. I miss the pencil and paper drawing, of course, but this is so much FUN! The techniques that Jack shared are wonderful and the results rockin' ... or as Jack says, bitchin'. Thanks to Jack and creativeLIVE I'm back in my head in a good way.

a Creativelive Student

Thank you Jack Davis. Having tried to paint, both in the real and digital worlds, this is the first time I have seen a comprehensive demonstration of the techniques and philosophy for the artist. This course is valuable for any aspiring artist, digital or otherwise. By the way thank you CreativeLIVE for the long form training space you offer both the teachers and students. Jack is inspirational, talented and sometimes funny. Watching him paint in real time is by far the most impressive sight but the information about why is more valuable. Overall this course will give you ideas, knowledge and skills (if you practice). I highly recommend this course for anyone that has tried to paint in the past and was underwhelmed by the results.