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Photoshop Elements 4: The Missing Manual by Barbara Brundage

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The Specialty Brushes

So far you've been reading about brushes that behave pretty much as brushes do in the real world—they paint a stripe of something, whether color, light, or even transparency.

But in the digital world, a brush doesn't have to be just a brush. With some of the brushes included in Elements, you can paint stars, flowers, disembodied eyeballs, gravel, or even rubber ducks with just one swipe of the brush, as shown in Figure 11-9.

You can digitally doodle using the Elements brushes even if you can't draw a straight line. Everything in this lovely drawing was done with brushes included with Elements. The leaves were painted with a brush that paints leaves; the yellow ducks come from a brush that paints rubber ducks, and so on.

Figure 11-9. You can digitally doodle using the Elements brushes even if you can't draw a straight line. Everything in this lovely drawing was done with brushes included with Elements. The leaves were painted with a brush that paints leaves; the yellow ducks come from a brush that paints rubber ducks, and so on.

If you click the arrow next to the brush thumbnail in the Options bar, you'll see the list of brushes in the current category and a pull-down menu that lets you investigate the other brush sets you got with Elements. The brushes used in Figure 11-9, for example, came from several different categories, but you have all of them if you have Elements. Some brushes are sensitive to your pen pressure if you're using a graphics tablet (Section 17.1).

The Specialty brushes respond very readily to changes in the Brush Dynamics settings (covered earlier in this chapter). Your choices there can make a huge difference in the effect you get—whether ...

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