View Full Version : Photoshop brush tutorials?

08-02-2006, 07:08 AM

I saw and read many tutorials on digital painting, they are very informative but almost every great tutorial lacks any info about brushes they use. Very often you can find tutorial made in 'hey look what a great artist I am and what cool things I can do' way - they just give hints usable only for experienced artists. But many people want to know : what brush do you use when painting clouds, mountains, shadows, lights, this and that detail. Experiment ! they say - easy to say if you are great artist. I heard many pople have same problem as I do when watching Gnomon tutorials - yeah yeah everything great but what kind of brushes does he use?!
So please could someone give me some help concerning creating and using brushes ? I use Photoshop CS2 with Wacom tablet.

08-02-2006, 09:05 AM
I pretty much just use the standard Photoshop ones - but I dare say your question is a bit like asking 'how do you paint copper?' (which I think you do by observing what copper looks like, noting the colour, texture and specularity (and whatever else) of the surface).

I don't think the brushes themselves have much to do with being a great digital artist, in that .. say you got Dylan Coles set of custom brushes .. so what? What are you going to do with them, exactly, without the knowledge he has of how to use them? In my opinion what you're looking to find out has more to do with being able to see what's needed in the situation you're in - which might call for creating your own brushes, but it might also be perfectly fine to just use the standard ones.

In the end, I think it's more about how you use your tools than which tools they are, exactly.

Just my 2 cents anyway.

08-02-2006, 12:22 PM
I kind of agree with paf when he says that its mostly what you do with the tools as opossed to what tools you have...but.... I think that if you can modify/optimize your tools then you can make a number of working practices easier and more efficient.

For example i have a number of brushes set up to paint clouds, fog, sea spray, which all make it much easier to produce such effects. Without these I could still paint said effects but it would take longer as I would have to spend more time on detail/randomness of my textures.

The best thing to do is to play with the brushes yourself to see what outputs you get from different inputs e.g opacity/size/rotation/hue jitter as well as playing with dual brushes for different effects.

Hope this helps :D and makes sense.

I can send you some of my brushes if you want to see what i mean, but they are all achieveble using various combinations of photoshops default brushes, with some little tweaks to the settings.

Also i havnt mentioned creating new brush shapes either, but its essentially a simple process

Adam R.
08-02-2006, 02:33 PM
For the most part, all the brushes are up to you. Most industry professionals (or, the ones I've read interviews/articles/ect from) simply use the standard default brushes. It's basically like the others stated though, it doesn't really matter what they use. What are you most comfortable with? The soft circle brushes that come standard in Photoshop, the chalk brushes that come standard in Photoshop, or maybe a set of awesome customs found on DeviantART?

It's all personal tastes. It applies to alot of aspects in this manner, too. Dylan Cole uses Curves, I use Levels. Ultimately, depending on the level of skill, the diffrences in contrast come out even.

But, just so I'm not dissapointing you with this reply, as you probally want a more definiate answer: You said you are watching the DVD's from Gnomon Workshop. All I have are the ones from Dylan Cole, he uses the chalk brush and the soft round brush for most of his lectures.

In Landscape Matte Painting, on the first lecture watch as he selects his brush closely. Look at the one he selects, the properties he adds, the rotation degree, ect. Same with Cityscape Matte Painting and Advanced Matte Painting.

If you have volumes from other artists, simply do the same thing. I'm sure they select diffrent brushes throughout their lectures.

- Adam