Brush Modes

When certain painting or editing tools are active, the Options bar provides access to Photoshop's brush modes, which control how the colors applied by the tools affect existing colors in the image. Figure 5-35 shows which brush modes are available when you select various tools.

With the exception of the specialized modes available for the dodge, burn, and sponge tools, these brush modes are merely variations on the blend modes described in Chapter 13. Read this section to get a brief glimpse of brush modes; read Chapter 13 for a more detailed account that should appeal to brush-mode aficionados.

You can change brush modes from the keyboard by pressing Shift+plus (+) or Shift+minus (-). Shift+plus takes you to the next brush mode listed in the pop-up menu; Shift+minus selects the previous blend mode. It's a great way to cycle through the brush modes without losing your place in the image.

Figure 5-35: The available brush modes vary depending on which tool is active.
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