Discovering Photoshop's Painting Tools

Nothing in Photoshop gives you more precise control of color in your image than using the Pencil tool with a 1-pixel brush. Remember that your image consists of a whole lot of little colored squares (pixels) and that the color of those individual squares is what produces the appearance of a tree or a sunset or even good ol' Uncle Bob. If you zoom in really close on an image, you can paint pixel by pixel — you could even create an entire image, one pixel at a time!

Whether you're using a tiny brush with the Pencil tool or a larger one with the Brush tool, adding color to your image with the painting tools enables you create beautiful or whimsical imagery, such as that shown in Figure 14-1 (with acknowledgment to Picasso's Woman with Pears).

As you work in Photoshop, however, you'll find many very important roles for the brush-using tools other than creating imagery. From touching up dust and scratches in a scan to removing distant power lines from a photo to perhaps adding wispy hairs to soften the outline of a head, you have lots of reasons to paint in Photoshop (many of which you can read about in Chapters 9 and 10). When you're capable and confident using the Brush tool, you might even find it the best way to make selections in your image. Selections with the Brush tool? That's right — painting in an alpha channel creates or refines a saved selection. (You can read about alpha channels in Chapter 8.)

You have 17 tools that use brushes available in Photoshop CS2. Here are just a few of the things that you can do with these tools:

i Add color (Brush, Pencil)

i Adjust tonality (Burn, Dodge)

Original artwork ©2005 Peter Bauer

Figure 14-1: Painting with the Brush tool is yet another way to create in Photoshop.

Original artwork ©2005 Peter Bauer

Figure 14-1: Painting with the Brush tool is yet another way to create in Photoshop.

i Sharpen, blur, and smear (Sharpen, Blur, Smudge)

ii Correct color and texture (Healing Brush, Spot Healing Brush, Color Replacement)

i Copy/paste pixels (Clone Stamp)

In this section, I discuss the primary painting tools and introduce you to some of the other brush-using tools. (Check Chapter 9 for additional information on healing and cloning in your image.)

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