Once you get really comfortable with the Brush tool, you can experiment with changing the way it behaves. Maybe you'd like to change the spacing between brush marks in a single stroke, have the brush apply a texture, or whatever. The Brush panel (see Figure 12-24) gives you an amazing amount of control over your brushes. To open the panel, go to Window→Brush.
The following sections explain in detail the various settings you can tweak in the Brush panel, but here's the basic procedure for customizing brushes: In the upper-left part of the Brush panel, click the Brush Presets button. Then, in the upper-right part of the panel, choose the brush you want to edit by clicking its icon. Finally, turn on the checkboxes on the panel's left side, click the category name to the right of the checkbox, and then tweak the various settings. The preview window at the bottom of the panel shows you how your changes affect the brush in real time.
The next few sections explain the ways you can customize brushes—Photoshop gives you a ton of options. They're divided into the categories listed on the left side of the panel; when you click the category's name (and turn on the checkbox), Photoshop displays the options for that category on the right side of the panel. Once you've got a brush's settings in a particular category just right, click the little padlock icon to the right of that category's name to lock those settings.
Figure 12-24. The Brush panel gives you oodles of options for ...