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Blender Brushes

Lesson 14 from: Advanced Techniques with Brushes in Photoshop CC

Lisa Carney

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Lesson Info

14. Blender Brushes

Lesson Info

Blender Brushes

Now I think I'm gonna not so much go through the mechanics of the brush because I think you guys know kind of what we're dealing with here. But I'd like just deconstruct this file if that works for you guys. Alright, let me turn to brushes then. Again, blender brushes. So here's a base image, it's nothing and I just color corrected it. When I say it's nothing, I just mean I have a whole slew of documents of textures that I've saved and I use 'em. You could go shoot a wall, you could this floor, anything. And I just kind of like this background and I just put a little bit of color. Then there's this gal. And let's talk about the gal. So if you guys are trying to incorporate painting with other folks, like real world. This is just a standard head shot. You know, it's standard shot. She's shot in gray. This is the stock shot as it was. And then I masked it out and I can quite favorably say I masked this out really badly. That is a really crappy mask. The beautiful thing about painting is ...

you don't have to mask it. Who cares? You're gonna be smudging it over. And why do I say that? Yeah you can spend your time and mask it perfect, but it's time and money. Why spend all that time masking perfectly if you don't need to. Eh, let it go. So instead of masking her perfectly, I just darkened her edges with some painting on the edge, putting it on Multiply. It's just a regular paint brush painted. Now her dress was really kind of distracting so I darkened it. I just used a Hue Saturation to bring the saturation down and the darkness down. See that? 38 and 46. And then I went to Levels and I did a levels move and I just changed her levels just a hair. I just reduced this. Now, why I did this, you guys, in adjustment layers, is I thought I might change my mind and I wasn't sure, so I wanted to be able to adjust it. However, when you start smudging, guess what? It's on. You've kind of committed yourself right then and there. The only thing you could do once you start smudging, is you could resmudge. So on this piece, if you see it here, it's the smudge Kyle Real Sargent Flat. It is by far my favorite smudge tool from him. It's the Real Oil Sargent Flat. You guys will get that, it's in the kit. And I did it in 100%. So this is me smudging and I think I kind of lost my mind and it didn't look real good. Who says it looks good anyway? I don't know, it's my painting. So what I ended up doing is I just put it at 50% opacity. That's all I did. And then I thought, "Well I kind of like parts of that crazy painting." So I duplicated the layer again. It's still at 50%, only I masked it in. And, again, would you look at the quality of that mask. Is that exquisite or what? Again, it doesn't matter. It's the beautiful thing about paint. I swear in our business we have to spend so much time being precise. For once to be able to just let it all hang loose is pretty fun. And then so it's got a little bit more of a painterly, edgy look to it. And then, alright, I lost my mind again. I did additional smudge at another 50% and it's an alternative paint look. So I don't know if you guys can sense this but with this painting stuff, it's kind of new to me. I haven't been doing this a long time, so I'm feeling really unsure. And I'm probably asking too many people their opinion. So what I'm doing in the process is I'm leaving everything malleable. It's all on top of the layer. It's all just basic smudge. I did it once. And then this is just me going, "Oh, I don't know. "Did I go too far? "Is this okay?" And then I have the alternative look. On top I used these files. There's a third-party program you can buy called Mextures. You can use them on the phone, they're awesome. It's called Mextures. It's not so awesome on your phone if you need to do a professional job, so they have a free-standing program you can buy and it gives you all these files. And I just put a little emulsion on top and a little darkening right here. So it's just a little sparkly emulsion. And that finished it off. However, I want to show you this other technique you can do. Do you guys basically have the smudge down? Seem pretty clear? Awesome. So now there's this technique called Impasto. And with Impasto all it is it's Impasto is that kind of relief. Let me turn that off and on. Do you see this relief? No relief, relief. And all Impasto is is if you add a Layer Style and you do a Bevel, and you add some texture to it, you can get this relief and then when you start smudging... So I'm gonna go back to the smudge tool. And I'm smudging. And all it is... Well, it's nothing. How is it? Do you see this? I have a layer. Let's talk about this. I have a layer. Oh, what's that? The fill is on zero. The fill is on zero so anything I paint on this layer, or smudge, doesn't show. So that's what I just did. If you put the fill on zero what ends up happening is the layer style is the only thing that shows. Do you understand? Now, I could leave the fill on. But what this allows me to do is not worry about what color I'm putting down. That's the fill showing. You still get the Impasto effect. That is the color not showing and you're literally just painting a texture on top. So what that means is I'm using the same brush. You could use the saison brush and paint on top and add no color and only add a texture. Isn't that cool? And all that is is layer style. So a layer style. We're talking about brushes, not layer styles, but I kind of feel like I need to cover both of 'em. So let me do this two-handed. So on the keynote you're gonna see this section here and it's gonna talk to you about... Excuse me, on the handout that comes with the class you're gonna see this just showing you the demo that I showed. We're gonna talk about some more brushes real quick. And then out of order, and I apologize for that, there's something called Impasto, alright? There's something called Impasto and on here it's gonna show you how you can change the texture. We already did the texture, right? Do you remember we added the paper? We've already done this. We've done this three times. We did added paper texture to a picture of a flower, we changed the texture pattern for a half tone brush. It's all the same technique, you're just using is differently. And in this case you're adding a texture to your contour for your layer style right here. It's all written down. You guys can all have it. And that will provide that look that we just did on that gal. I'm gonna just for time's sake, I'm gonna skip the add wet look, but let me just show it to you. It's on the handout. It's just, it's the same thing we just did. We did a smudge brush only we did the Sargent oil look. This is a smudge brush. It all comes with Kyle's brushes and it's called Add Water Slowly. It's the exact same photo only instead of smudging and looking like Sargent's paint style, oil style, it looks like you're spreading water on the piece. It's the exact same technique. You do it on a separate layer. You have all layers clipped. And this is what changed it. It's the tip head that changes. But it's a smudge brush, have fun with it, and the look is just different. You're gonna go crazy, I'm saying. Your family's not gonna see you, you're gonna holed up on the computer doing all this work. I already can tell it's coming.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Brushes Companion Handout
Adobe Stock Contributor

Ratings and Reviews


Knowledgeable Lisa is the best teacher. She makes learning Photoshop fun. Great course. Lisa has a great teaching style. She mixes in a great speech cadence, great voice up and down and pausing, jokes, and is extremely knowledgeable and fun to watch. Awesome course. Really helpful course for getting my feet wet with brushes.


This is a comprehensive overview of Ps CC Brushes, what they do, how they work and how to control, manage & modify them. I found it extremely useful to learn about the functionality/features that Ps CC brushes can provide even though I'm a photographer and not an illustrator or painter. I will never ever be able to employ everything Lisa explained & demo'd in the class - she covered a wide gamut of info. But she served the purpose, in this class, of being essentially what I'd call an 'idea sparker'. Once you see how she works with brushes and you find out how you can adapt (or create) brush tools to suit your personal artistic style the options for creativity are unlimited. I might re-title this class "Oh the Places Brushes Can Go" (apologies to Dr Seuss and his classic graduation gift book 'Oh, the Places You'll Go...'). Keep in mind a few things about this class (& back away from it and your credit card if you don't note a few key facts...): (1) It is called 'Advanced Techniques' - it is for intermediate to advanced Ps users, not newbies unless you're a child prodigy who picks things up really fast, (2) This is not a 'Paint with Lisa' class - we don't all paint a butterfly like a color by numbers together. Rather we learn about Ps brushes, how they work, what they look like and how to modify them and change their dynamics for different types of artistic/retouching/post-processing uses. Each person will have to experiment - there's no one 'this is it' formula that can be provided, (3) Lisa talks and thinks fast and has a pretty amusing patter too (she's clearly very intelligent!) - so be prepared to hit the Pause button. She repeatedly advises during the class, don't overload your brain with all there is to absorb with regard to Ps Brushes. Take breaks to try the info she shares & see what works for you before going on to a different section of the class. Don't buy this class thinking you'll whizz through it in 15 minutes & figure out how to complete a job you've committed to deliver in 2 hours, (4) There's a large packet of material that comes with a purchase of the class (descriptions, definitions, brush settings, drawing examples, etc.). Item #4 is the only thing I'd ding this class on. While the handout material contains lots of really really useful info it is - sadly - microscopic print. The text is exceedingly difficult for my poor old eyes to read. I value that there's plenty of white space on the pages to write notes as Lisa talks - I've done so prodigiously. But the print in that accompanying brushes class guide needs to be larger. I honestly wish I could enlarge the print in some way (unless it is a PDF that I can alter & I haven't figured it out). If there is a way to re-print with larger type font sizes someone please let me know! Bottom line: I highly recommend this class to more advanced Ps users who want a comprehensive overview of Brushes and working with them. It's definitely not a class for someone who wants a linear, step x step, "do this then do that" type of recipe class. As I've noted above, it's best as a way to learn about richly varied Ps tools you may have only had superficial exposure to previously; and get enough new knowledge to make you dangerous (and, dare I say it, boldly creative!).

Skye Taten

Lisa is the BEST teacher!!!!! Everyone should take this class!!!!!!! This class is utterly phenomenal!!!! Lisa is so knowledgable and so very talented. She is incredibly smart, super funny and so very helpful. This class contains so much valuable information, and at this price it's a complete steal. This class has forever changed my life!!! I'm so happy to have a new skill set. Thank you Lisa from the bottom of all of our hearts you are completely incredible and have touched all of our editing in photoshop lives forever!!!!! You are so very talented thank you so much for sharing your incredible skills and knowledge with us, you are a true beautiful talented soul. xoxo, Skye

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