Advanced Techniques with Brushes in Photoshop® CC®

Lesson 4/22 - Brush Tools


Advanced Techniques with Brushes in Photoshop® CC®


Lesson Info

Brush Tools

It is come to me that during the course of some of this conversation that there's some confusion as to what the brushes are and what the brushes do, so for today, here's what I'd like you to takeaway or understand. When we're using these tools, the paint brush puts down paint. Okay, you're putting pixels down, you're putting paint down. What color, how you do it, with what kind of nib head, what kind of texture, that's up to you. The mixer brush, the mixer brush, it's got a little icon with a drop. It will put down paint, but it'll also pick up paint from underneath, so you can use the show all layers, or use all layers to pick up paint from underneath and put it down. In addition, the mixer brush will smudge. It'll smudge whatever you've got as you go. It'll also smudge using a reference for what's below. Now, the mixer brushes and what Kyle brushes, he calls them blender brushes, blender brushes. A blender brush for Kyle is a smudge tool. Okay, a blender brush for Kyle is a smudge to...

ol. Just put that in your head. A smudge tool is a blender. Now the blender brush blends or smudges, interchangeable word, what you already have there. It'll pick up what's below. What that means, when I say it'll pick up what's below, it'll do it on a blank layer for you, but it's picking up what's underneath. So the difference between a mixer brush and a blender brush is that the mixer brush will lay down paint and pick up, it's very complicated, a blender brush will only pick up paint. Pick up paint. Now, in addition, the difference between a mixer brush and a blender brush is no texture. You cannot add texture to a blender brush. You can add texture to a mixer brush. I understand this is a little confusing. The difference between a mixer brush and a blender brush is a mixer brush will add color, add color, and you can add texture. A blender brush cannot. I will be 100% honest with you. I use them both completely interchangeably. So I'll be using a blender brush and then if I need to pick up color from underneath, I will go, oh, or add color, I'll switch to a mixer brush. That's the only difference. I find them basically the same. Color replacement tool, poop, don't use it, okay. It's just poop, poop-ey, poop-ey, poop-ey. Alright, we went over the symmetrical drawing. It's fun, enjoy it. Now I just wanna have a real fast conversation about terms and understanding what you're looking for. This is what we're in the photo world for this conversation, we really are talking about illustration and painting, and so I just want you guys to kinda have an understanding about the tools, like the pencil, when people say a chalk line, a conte line, a hard line, a thin line, and then if you go down here and you've got like an airbrush look, or a bristly look, or a spatter look, or oil, and in the handout, this is just a reference for you to take a look and when this really becomes important is when you're looking at 1,200 brushes. So Kyle has named his brushes with these kinds of themes. And, I think if you're just starting out, it's like well, what's the difference between a nice smudge and a scratchy smudge. I mean, you can sort of figure it out by the name, but at least this'll give you a little bit of a visual sample. Like, a splatter versus a scribble, or a heavy texture versus a dapple texture. So just use this as a guide to kinda get your mind wrapped around what kind of terms we're looking at.

Class Description

The brush tool allows you to paint onto your image in a way that makes your final photo truly a work of art. Hollywood high end retoucher Lisa Carney goes in depth on how to control and take advantage of the opportunities that brush tools give you. With the 2017 updates to Adobe® Photoshop® CC®, using brushes has become even easier. Lisa will teach:

  • How to create custom brushes
  • Organizing techniques
  • How to illustrate in Photoshop® for the “non painter”
  • Retouching with brushes for hair and skin

There are many different ways to use brushes within Photoshop®, and you can start to master them with this in-depth course.



Lisa is extremely knowledgeable of the PS Brushes topic covered in this course and she explains everything very thoroughly. Her sense of humor and style made the class fun. She is great at giving catch words and phrases to help you remember what she covers. I feel like my knowledge and abilities in the use of the PS brushes are more clear and polished. Thank you Lisa!

a Creativelive Student

Amazing class!!! Lisa Carney is an amazing instructor and gives so much valuable information and as always so much of herself. I absolutely love learning from her and will purchase every class she instructs. This is another truly amazing class, full of information and of course lots of laughter. I have a whole new outlook on Photoshop brushes. Well worth the money, hands down.

Michelle Mealing

It is easy to see why Lisa is an expert in her field. Aside from her in-depth knowledge, she is extremely passionate about her art. This makes learning from her fun and easy. I thought I knew brushes before the class. Oh wow, what I know how to do now! Thanks Lisa. You're a gem.