Adding a paint drip

Paste a copied paint drip into your alpha channel, using the visible composite channel to aid with proper positioning.

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1 I Copy the selected drip and return to your working file. Create a new channel, ensuring that color indicates masked areas (the default setting). Target your new channel and enable the visibility of your CMYK composite channel in the channels palette.

2 I Now that you have your new channel targeted and your composite channel visible, paste the copied art into your new channel. Choose Edit>Free Transform from the menu. Shift-drag a corner of the bounding box inward to reduce the selection contents.

3 I Click and drag outside of the bounding box to rotate the contents as necessary. Click and drag within the bounding box to position your drip over a corner area of your black outline art. Press enter to apply the transformation.

Placing drips

When placing a drip area within the image, try to think of where it would occur realistically. When working traditionally, you know that drips occur because too much paint is applied in a single area at one time. So try to look at areas of the art where a spray can is likely to spend a lot of time. Corners are a perfect place. Actually, anywhere where two lines meet means that the spray can will deposit more paint in that area. Working along these lines will aid in achieving a realistic result. However, don't let the rules of the real world deter you from adding a drip where you think it will look good. Although we're using the laws of nature as our guide here, they certainly don't bind us.

8 I Use this method to copy selected drips from the drips.jpg file and paste them into your alpha channel. Keep the visibility of the composite channel enabled to help you position your drops properly and use free-transform to adjust size, rotation and placement. When you have a number of drips in your channel that sit nicely over appropriate areas of the image, load the channel as a selection.

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9 I After generating the selection, click on the CMYK composite channel at the top of the channels palette to target it. Next, click on the eye icon to the left of your alpha channel to disable the visibility of that channel, causing the red overlay to disappear. Return to the layers palette and ensure that the layer containing your black outline art is targeted. Fill the current selection with black on this layer and deselect. If you haven't changed your foreground color, it should still be set to black. In this case, all that you need to do to fill the selection is to type alt(PC)/option(Mac)-delete. Then type control(PC)/command(Mac)-d to deactivate the selection.

Graffiti Spray Paint Art

Graffiti Spray Paint Art

10 I Select the brush tool. In the brushes palette, choose one of the soft round brush tip presets. Disable shape dynamics because we do not want the actual thickness of the stroke to change. Enable the airbrush option as well as the smoothing option. Leave the brush opacity set to 100% but reduce the flow to 30% in the tool options bar. Try painting a few strokes at various areas on the black layer that surround the outline art. The longer you stay in one place with the mouse button down, the more the paint will build up in that area.

Saving your Tool Preset

When you've hit upon a combination of brush settings you like, you can save the brush in the current state as a preset, to access it again directly at any point later on. Just open the tool preset picker at the far left of the tool options bar. Once the picker is open, just click on the create new tool preset button to add your current tool to the list of presets. From that point on, your brush will reside within the preset picker for immediate access.

11 I Reducing the flow forces the brush to behave like true spray paint because paint is deposited in your stroke at a slower rate. Move the mouse quickly while holding down the button to paint a light stroke or move slowly to paint a darker stroke. The faster you move the mouse, the less paint there is deposited in the stroke because the flow cannot keep up with you, just like real world spray painting. Try creating a stroke very quickly while holding down the mouse button, and then staying completely still at the end of the stroke while continuing to hold down the mouse button. This will cause paint to build up in the area where you are hovering, just like it would if you were using a real spray can.

12 I Use this method to add some primarily lighter strokes around the edges and over top of the black outlines, giving it an authentic look. Also try increasing the brush size and reducing the flow so that it looks as if the spray can was held further away while you were painting on the wall. Continue painting on this layer until you think the black spray paint effect is complete. Also, if you feel that you need some more drips on this layer, use the methods employed previously to add drips as well. Create a new layer and drag it beneath the black outline layer in the layers palette.

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