Photoshop Top 40, Feature #31: The Brush Tool

If you know anything about Photoshop’s brush tool, you know it paints smooth lines in the foreground color. You can control its behavior to the nth degree from the options bar and Brushes palette. And it responds to pressure-sensitive input.

Those attributes alone would earn it a place in the coveted Photoshop Top 40. The fact that it also excels as a masking tool merely cements the deal.

Today marks Part 3 of our 3-part hair mask, first established using Feature #33: Calculations, then enhanced using Feature #32: The Pen Tool, and now completed using Feature #31: The Brush Tool. The trick: Combine the brush with the Overlay blend mode. And then set in painting. It’s remarkably simple and effective.

The base photograph comes to us from Stas Perov of image vendor Fotolia. Click this link for a special deal.

(For a list of all Photoshop Top 40 videos thus far, click this link.)

Incidentally, Photoshop Top 40 is now available as a downloadable podcast from iTunes. Click here to subscribe. dekePod subscribers will get the videos automatically.

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  • Daw what would be without the brushtool…

    Yay great tip, Deke!

    I use this technique for contrast all the time and can’t get enough of it ^^

    What I really love and got to use now since CS4 is Alt+Rightclick-Dragging to change the brush size and Alt+Shift+Rightclick-Dragging to adjust the hardness of the brush. Is feels more fluent and quicker than using the left and right bracket keys to me. But I guess that’s just a thing of being used to it ^^




    “Isn’t it enough to see that a garden is beautiful without having to believe that there are fairies at the bottom of it too?”

    - Douglas Adams

  • Nice feature!!!

    Nice feature!!!

  • It’s the Overlay Stupid…

    Hey thanks Deke.

    I am eagerly soaking up these Top 40 tips. They are great for revision.

    I always have to do a double think to remember to set the brush to Overlay when doing this, usually after the first sweep gives me the undesired result! Then it’s “Oh yea, Overlay Duh!”

    (I guess I should be P’hoshopping more often).

    Keep em coming Boss.

  • Help

    I have just purchased and installed the DKPSCS2 and am trying to install the lesson files which won’t work. I am getting the following screens

    Installing the file to MacIntosh HD:Users:myname:Desktop:Lesson Files-Pscs2 1on1

    when I accept this default I get the following:

    CopyFileOrFolder: Invalid source pathname

    If I try to change where to save the file I get the same result.

    Any advice from anyone out there??

  • Total Training for Photoshop CS2

    Hey Kaiyo Muir,
    If that’s the courses that Deke did for Total Training (which had some wicked intros) I don’t think you can istall them to a computer. I think you need to run them from disc.

    Hope that helps

  • Lesson installs

    These are the lessons that Deke did for Total Training. In the book it says that you have to install the lessons first. And in fact I cannot start the lessons without doing so. Any further words of advice?