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Paintbrush: Part I

For this tutorial we will be creating a paint brush. Once the image has been created, you can export the brush as a tube.

It is recommended that you save your work often in the PSP format or use the "Autosave" feature located under File > Preferences to prevent loss of your work due to program or system crashes.

*Screenshots optimized for faster download times.



Handle

Open a new 550 X 80 image with a white background.

Under the "Styles" section of the color palette set the stroke style to "No Style" and the fill style to "Pattern" by clicking the arrow on each button. Click on the button containing the pattern and choose the "Stained Wood" from the resulting dialog box. Make sure that the size is set to 100% and the angle is set to 0. See screenshot.

The buttons under the "Textures" section should be set to "No Texture" or "Null" and the "Lock" option should be checked.


Creat a new layer. Activate the Preset Shapes tool, with the following settings, and draw an elongated ellipse. See Figure 1. Leave enough room on the left side to add a metal fastener and the brush tip.

Preset Shapes-Tool Options
Retain style: unchecked
Antialias:checked
Create as vector: unchecked
Line width: default
Line style: default

Figure 1
Figure1

"Lock Transparency" for this layer (see screenshot). Choose Effects > 3D Effects > Cutout and apply with the settings shown below.

Choose Effects > 3D Effects > Cutout again, change the vertical and horizontal settings to 1, lower the opacity to 65, and apply.


Cutout Settings
Fill interior with color: unchecked
Shadow color: black
Opacity: 100
Blur: 7
Offset vertical: -2
Offset horizontal: -2
Figure 2

Activate the Magic Wand Tool with the following settings and click on the brush handle.

Magic Wand-Tool Options
Match Mode: All Opaque
Feather: 0
Sample Merged:unchecked


Click on the "Style Switcher" arrows, change the stroke style to "Solid Color", right-click on the color button and choose white from the "Recent Colors" dialog box.

Create a new layer, activate the Draw tool with the following settings, and draw a line along the handle. Choose Selections > Invert and hit the delete key on your keyboard to get rid of excess line. Choose Selections > Invert again, and use Effects > Blur > Gaussian Blur, with a radius of 1, to soften the line. See Figure 3.

Draw Tool-Tool Options
Type: Single Line
Width: 1
Line Style: #1 Solid
Antialias: checked
Create as vector: unchecked
Close path: unchecked

Figure 3
Draw

Blur
Figure4

Press Ctrl+D to clear the selection and hide the "Background". Right-click on one of the visible layers in the layer palette and choose Merge > Merge Visible. Activate the Eraser and carefully use it to round off the right end of the handle.

Metal Fastener

Create a new layer, click on the "Style Switcher", and change the fill style to "Gradient". Click on the style button containing the gradient. Set the gradient to "Metallic" and adjust the settings to the following:

Gradient Settings
Style: Linear Gradient
Angle 180°
Repeats: 0
Invert gradient: unchecked.

Activate the Preset Shapes tool with the following settings, and draw a rectangle on the left side of the handle for the fastener.

Preset Shapes-Tool Options
Retain style: unchecked
Antialias:checked
Create as vector: unchecked
Line width: default
Line style: default

After drawing the fastener, choose Colors > Adjust > Curves with the settings shown below. Activate the Deformation Tool, hold the Ctrl key and pull the top-left corner handle down. You may want to sharpen the piece by choosing Effects > Sharpen > Unsharp Mask. Figure 5.

Color Adjustment-Curves
Channel: RGB
Input: 135
Output: 35


Choose Colors > Adjust > Brightness/Contrast and use the following settings:

Color Adjust-Brightness/Contrast
Brightness: -18
Contrast: 22


Brush

Change the fill style to "Solid Color" and choose #4C3F2C (or a medium to dark brown) for the color.

Activate the "Background" in the layer palette then activate the Preset Shapes Tool with the following settings and draw an ellipse for the brush tip.

Preset Shapes-Tool Options
Retain style: unchecked
Antialias:checked
Create as vector: checked
Line width: default
Line style: default


Activate the Object Selector then click on the "Node Edit" button in the Tool Options dialog box. (You should now see the shape as a series of nodes and curved line segments.) Click on the node on the left and drag the handles of the node to create a sharp point, Figure 6.

When you have the desired shape, right-click on the layer and choose "Convert to raster" from the context menu. Lock the transparency for this layer, activate the Paint Brush Tool, click the Style Switcher, lighten the brown to a beige, and paint some light lines through the brush tip.

Activate the Retouch Tool with the following settings & smudge the colors through the brush. Change the effect setting to "Lightness Down", and darken the area where the brush meets the fastener. Activate to the fastener layer and carefully darken the edge where the fastener meets the handle.

Retouch-Tool Options
Shape: Round
Size: 7
Hardness: 0
Opacity: 59
Step: 1
Density: 100
Retouch Effect: Smudge


The paintbrush is now finished! You can add the name of your site to the brush or some other type of logo to make it more realistic.

You may also want to experiment with various brush tips!

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