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Thursday, January 12, 2012

the brushes thing...

if you follow my blog, you can see i´m addicted to textures and - more and more - to brushes... i think that comes from my other love, rubber stamping. brushes are like stamps, but can not only change their color (as with various inkpads), you can also alter the size, rotate their angle, distort them, define their opacity... which gives you lots of possibilities! today i want to give you an easy lesson how to make your own brushes for photo editing. above you see some samples i HAD made for myself (from sources i found in the internet, like registration labels etc) [side note: a few days ago i LOST all these brushes i stamped there because i somehow managed to set my photo editing program to default... arghhh!! i swear i had done NOTHING (as always;))... and i had NOT saved the brushes... now i must try to re-gain all these pictures!! so be warned and make frequent savings... i hear my husband repeating this on and on, but seems i must learn it the hard way;)]

actually i learned the important things by watching kim klassen´s free tutorial about making watermark brushes here:
first you open a > new blank white > file (not larger than 2500 x 2500) then you copy your label, cancellation stamp (or whatever you want to turn into a brush) onto this white file. make sure your picture is b/w and has good contrast (edit it this way before, if you have a colored source like a blue airmail label f.e.) take attention that your picture is not too small (you can enlarge it on your "new file" after rasterizing) --- you also could enlarge a brush that is too small, but it will become blurry... so i better enlarge the source for the brush before. crop your image. if you are happy with your source, the final step is making the brush: edit > define brush preset > name your brush and click ok. (if "define brush preset" does not show up clickable, i create a new layer and it will function) before you click the last ok, you can see the size of your brush by the small number on the left: i try to make them not smaller than 500. --- hope that makes sense for you. you will see, it is easy-peasy when you tried some. it is addictive, to say the least;) so much FUN!!

and here is a new brush i just made: i love muybridge´s photos and they come as copyright free images from dover company (booklets with cd). i turned a stripe with goats into a brush and took a photo of a sunset i recently made (not good quality). set the photo on blending mode exclusion, added nancy donaldson´s new texture "pole1" (90° turning) and decided to let the goats walk through the photo. i like it - and it was not much effort to make:)


  1. Great post, Johanna! I've been intrigued by brushes for awhile now... I'll have to give it a try. I really love your landscape with the goats marching through -- it's so clever!

  2. Super post Johanna! Thanks for sharing this; love your process and results! I'll have to give it a go! xxoo

  3. one day I hope to be able to get the whole digital art's just not my time yet

    what you created with the goats is WOW Johanna! Love it!

  4. This is very cool!! I've yet to try to make a brush, but the idea of using some of my images or copyright free images to make a stamp seems so cool. Maybe I'll give it a try.....yet another thing to try! sigh.

  5. WOW!!! this is amazing!!! thanks for sharing your process, i can't wait to try this!


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