In this basic Photoshop CS5 tutorial, we're going to learn how to use the Brush tool.
Launch the Photoshop application.
To ensure that your workspace will be more similar to the screenshots in this tutorial, go to the menu bar and choose Window > Workspace > Essentials.
Create a new Photoshop document by choosing File > New.
The New document window will come up. For the Preset, choose Web. For the Size, choose 640 x 480. For the Background Contents, choose White. Then click OK.
You should now have a new Photoshop document.
Let's take a look at the Tools panel. This panel is usually found on the left side of the workspace. It is a panel composed of different icons that represent the different tools that you can use when editing your images in Photoshop.
If you can't find that brush icon in that spot, you might find one of these 3 icons in its place:
Before we start painting, let's choose a brush preset. Go to the Options bar, and open up the Brush Preset picker.
The preset list can be displayed in any of the following formats (you can click on the image below to enlarge):
Let's go ahead and reset the preset list first. You can add, modify and delete presets. So over time, this preset list tends to start looking different from one Photoshop installation to another. What I have in my list, might be different from what you have. To reset the brush presets, click on the triangle in the upper-right corner of the Brush Preset picker. This will bring up a pop-up panel menu.
Next, click on the triangle again, and choose Small List.
Let's choose the very first preset - the Soft Round preset. Just click on it in order to select it.
Let's now choose a color for our brush. The color of the brush is determined by the foreground color that is chosen. To find out which color is chosen as the foreground color, go to the bottom of the Tools panel where you will find 2 color boxes. The color box on top shows the currently selected foreground color. The one below it shows the currently selected background color.
If you want to change the color, one way of doing so is by going to the Swatches panel. If you're using the Essentials workspace layout, the Swatches panel can be found somewhere in the top-right corner of the workspace.
Click on the Swatches tab in order to bring up the panel. The Swatches panel contains a list of different colors that you can choose from. Simply click on your desired color in order to select it.
Next, go back to the Options bar to set a few more brush settings. Make sure that the Mode is set to Normal, and that the Opacity and Flow are set to 100%.
Now, let's go ahead and start painting. Simply place your cursor inside the document window, and click and drag to make a brush stroke.
If you want to change the size of your brush, you can do so in the Brush Preset picker. Open it up and you can click and drag the Size slider. Drag to the right to increase the size, and drag to the left to decrease the size.
The Hardness slider allows you to adjust how soft or how hard you want the edges of your brush to be. You can apply a value anywhere from 0 to 100 percent.
If you want to erase some of your brush strokes, you can use the Eraser tool, which can also be found in the Tools panel.
Like the brush tool, the eraser tool also has some available presets. To use a simple eraser, go to the Options bar, and choose the Hard Round preset. For Mode, choose Brush, and set the Opacity and Flow to 100%. Also make sure that Erase to History is unchecked.
And that concludes this basic Photoshop CS5 tutorial on how to use the Brush tool. Try painting some kind of scenery or a more complex object so that you can practice what you just learned. Use different colors and brush presets.