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Archive for the ‘Photoshop’ Category

Brush Tips

Posted by PatriciaD on March 8, 2010

This is CS3 but even Elements will be similar

I love brushes.  There is so much more than meets the eye at first glance. 

First select the brush tool-well, duh!  When you click the down arrow in the tool bar next to the currently selected brush (in the tool bar at top)  a list of brushes will drop down.  There’s a little tiny right facing arrow inside a circle next to the Master Diameter slider.  If you click on this little arrow you will see all kinds of more brushes.  The list is at the bottom of this menu.  When you select a set of brushes to load, PS will ask you to select OK, Cancel or Append.  If you choose Append the new brushes will be added at the bottom of the current brushes.

Once you’re done with whatever brush set you’ve selected you can also reset the brushes back to the original set by clicking on that little tiny arrow and selecting Reset brushes and OK.

ALWAYS create a new layer before applying or using brushes.  This allows you to maintain control of your brush once you’ve applied it.  Then you’ll be able to move it, resize it, change the opacity and use your blend modes.

Shortcuts are the most awesomest thing in PS and I encourage you to learn a few as you go along.  DO NOT try to learn all of them at one go.  But rather as you find yourself doing any particular thing over and over learn the shortcut for that particular thing.  For example, brushes have some fantastic shortcuts that make them easier and even fun.  Here are a few.

Resize brushes:  to make a brush smaller click the left square bracket – [ to make a brush larger click the right square bracket – ]

To move to the next brush in the list:  to move to the left use the left arrow – <
to move to the right use the right arrow – >  (hint here – it’s actually the comma and period that you’re using but it’s easier to remember them by the left and right arrows but you don’t actually use the shift key)

Color:  brushes will be either the foreground color or the foreground AND background color.  For example select the Flowing stars (29) brush.  When you make a single click on your “paper” you will get some variation of the foreground color.  But click (or click and drag) on the Grass (134) brush.  When you click this one you will get a combination of the foreground and background color.  You may get a solid foreground and solid background or a merging of the two. 

Single brush or stroke:  brushes can be used as something similar to a stamp by a single click on your digital paper or you may drag the stamp across your paper as with a paint brush and get a flow of laid down brush strokes.  Try it with the star and grasses we’ve already looked at.  Then you might see what a totally different effect you get if you use the Soft Round 100 pixels (100) brush.  Try several, change sizes, maybe colors.

Brush Menu:  To access the brush menu either click on the Window Menu and select Brushes, use the shortcut key – F5.  Click on the Brush Tip Shape on the left of the window.  This brings up a bunch of options.  Use the circle large cross lines through it to rotate the brush or use the Angle percent box to enter a number.  Use the spacing slider to create space between the brushes as they’re laid down. 

 Softer and Harder brush:  Hold the Shift key and click the left square bracket keys to make the edges of the brush softer (blurrier) or the right square bracket keys to make the edges of the brush harder (sharper).  For example choose the Hard Round 19 pixel (19) brush.  This is already as hard edged as it gets.  Click the right square bracket key until the size shows 400 pixels.  Click on your paper (don’t forget to create a new layer).  Now hold the Shift key while clicking the Left square bracket key.  Again, click on your paper.  See how the edges are softer.  Repeat.  This only works up to five degrees of softer or harder edges.

One more tip related to the above tip – click on the “Set to enable airbrush capabilities” button on the brush toolbar.  Now if you click your brush (use the same one as for softer/harder example) your brush will continue to grow as you continue holding the mouse button just as if you were airbrushing.

Posted in Digital Intro, General information, Photoshop | 1 Comment »

Preserving Your Child’s Artwork

Posted by PatriciaD on January 27, 2010

Do you have tons and tons of your child’s school papers and artwork all over the house?  Love that stuff but it sure can be a pain in the ‘you know what’…Here are some suggestions that might help you contain, control and keep the things that are important to both you and your child.

First, as soon as it comes in the door have a plan for it.  Are you gonna post it and where?  If not, where does it go?  Do you look at it, then toss it (only with the consent of the artist), or hold on to it ’till a later date to toss?  Whatever it is you need to have a consistent place to keep the things you’re gonna keep.  A plastic tub is perfect (you can decide the size).

Here’s what I used to do when I had my foster kids:  as papers came in the door we looked at EVERYTHING.  Then I had a cord strung across each child’s wall and it had those small cloths pins on it.  We took a piece down when we added a new one.  I think each string could hold about 6 papers depending on size, of course.  The one we took down either went into their own personal scrapbook as it was or into their tub.   There’s always displaying artwork on the refrigerator and there were acrylic frames that are easy to switch out artword, too.

Alright, sounds ok but what if it wasn’t a paper?  What if it was a woodcraft bird house?  That one we simply hung out on the tree.  But what if it was a clay figurine?  I like taking a photo of the child when they bring it home.  That way if anything ever happens to it we at least know what it was, how it looked and what the child looked like at the time they created their masterpiece.  And, of course we have it for scrapbooking, sharing, etc.

That gives an overall view of the artwork and the child but I also like to take a close-up of the artwork.  With the digital photo then I can add them to digital scrapbook pages.  They can be resized and saved.  Use the photo  then as papers behind other photos – it’s cool to add a photo of the child holding their artwork on top of their artwork.  Cool effect.  Even if you never put the artwork on a scrapbook page you have a digital copy of it.

Well, that’s all well and good but what if you can’t take a really good photo or don’t have a tripod (really important piece of equipment to keep these small things focused)?  Then you scan them.  If they’re too large to scan in one piece you can scan in sections and stitch together in Photoshop as an option.

Another advantage of scanning and/or taking photos of your child’s artwork is that you can send them to grandparents, aunts/uncles, etc. or post on FB or whatever works for you.

Posted in Digital Intro, Digital photos, Photoshop | Leave a Comment »

WOW!! 2010…What will this year bring to your scrapbooking?

Posted by PatriciaD on January 6, 2010

Do you have a plan to put scrapbook pages in your books?  Are you gonna do the 52 pages this year with me?  If so we need to be thinking about that first page for this first week. 

We’ve had a bit more snow here than usual and it’s staying longer and they’re predicting more snow tonight so I am thinking my first layout of the year needs to be about the snow and sledding and snowmen and hopefully NOT getting stuck in it.  Missouri is a far cry from Alaska.  In Alaska it was just your normal winter, here in Missouri it’s like a whole new phenomenon!!  Funny, that!!

Here’s the template I’m going to use…you can download the template if you’d like by going here: which is the Photoshop layered version and this is the jpeg version if you want to see the page but don’t have Photoshop

Let me know what you think and then I’d so love to see what you do…I’ll post mine here in a day or two.


Posted in Photoshop, Templates | Leave a Comment »

Scrapping 101

Posted by PatriciaD on October 23, 2009

The first thing you need to scrapbook whether your scrapping digitally or with paper is photos.
If you’re a digital scrapper or aspire to be you need to have digital photos. The easiest way to get digital photos is to take them with a digital camera. But if you don’t have a digital camera you can take your photos with a traditional film camera and when you take the film in to be developed ask the developer to give them to you on CD. Voila, your photos are digital.
If you want to use pictures that are sitting around your house in boxes you need to convert them to digital. You can either scan them yourself or take them to a print shop type place or whoever you use to develop your film. Most multi-task printers these days can do a fairly decent job scanning your pictures if you want to do it yourself – and it’s free if you already have the scanner.

Posted in Photoshop | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »