There are many kinds of element packs available for sale for digital scrapbookers. The variety is endless. This digital scrapbooking tutorial is aimed at the use and function of “brushes” or digital stamps. Photoshop brushes are loosely a variation of a scrapbooking or papercrafting stamp in digital format, where a black and white image can be placed on the layout or background in various ways. A background can change with the use of an image. Specific art stamps can be utilized for a more personal touch to a layout. The possibilities are endless in regards to brushes.
Installation of Photoshop brushes or ABR files is fairly easy and straightforward. This tutorial uses PSCS3 for the sample images.
A brush consists of an ABR file (for Photoshop CS) and possibly an image pack of what is in the ABR file. Sometimes, there is no image pack and it is just an ABR file. Take the ABR file and place it in a folder with all other brushes.
On the toolbar, click on the brush tool, and on the top menu bar, click on the little arrow next to brush. A box will appear with brush diameters. Locate and click on the tiny arrow at the top right, which will bring up a menu.
Select LOAD BRUSHES, which will bring up a box asking for the location of the brush.
Locate and click on the ABR file, then click LOAD.
On returning to the brush menu, all the images in the ABR file will be in thumbnail view in the box.
The type of view can be set to each individual preference.
To use a brush, select and click on the image from the brush box. At the top of the brush box is a slider where you can set the size of the brush. The largest size possible is 2500 pixels. The quality of each brush is dependent on the creator of the brush set. For digital scrapbooking and printing, the bigger the image size, the better, because it can always be downsized. It’s more problematic upsizing an image due to pixilation.
Open a new document and place your background paper as a start.
Create a new layer over the background paper.
Select the color of the brush from the toolbar and then click on your document. The image should appear on the background (in its own layer).
To give it some realism, as if it was actually on the background paper, click on the layer palette and bring up the Layers Style menu. Select the blend mode of choice and the brush will blend into the background. The amount of opacity and fill can also be controlled via the layers palette.
Change the color of the brush by selecting Image>Adustments>Hue/Saturation (CTRL U) and playing with the sliders in the box.
Photoshop brushes can change your backgrounds but it can also be the focal point on an element. It can be used to illustrate a scrap or it can be part of the journaling. Change its color, or color it by filling in the spaces between the lines. Glitter can be added to a brush using a glitter style. Fill it with color and then add a style for more possibilities. There is no limit to its uses.
Thank you to Mish who allowed me to use her layout for the example in this tutorial. She used brushes from the Destination Take 2 collection.
Here are some other brushes that we have in our collections: