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3.2 How to Use Texture Brushes

Texture brushes are great for achieving realistic details and more. In this lesson, we'll learn how to apply texture brushes for added realism, grunge effects, and general aging.

3.2 How to Use Texture Brushes

Hello, and welcome back to this course, Ten Tips to Master Photoshop Brushes. Again, my name is Melody Nieves and we'll moving on to our sixth tip, which is all about texture brushes. Let's begin. So how do you use texture brushes and what should you use them for? My eyes have become pretty trained to digital art. And most digital art is easy to spot because of one tiny detail, and that is brush smoothness. What I mean is that digital art has a certain level of smoothness that is completely unattainable in traditional art and the reason is simple. In traditional acrylic, oil or water color paintings, the artist paints on a textured surface. Combine that with the fact that their layers of paint create even more texture, and you've got a completely textural result. In comparison, most people start their work in Photoshop on a completely solid white background. As they paint on top of each layer, the soft and smooth round brushes create a silky result that looks unnaturally soft. Almost like the airbrushed look we often see in photo retouching. Some digital paintings appear cartoonish for this reason. And many love traditional art because its natural texture can lead to more realistic results. Nothing in nature is naturally smooth, everything has a little bit of grit or graininess to it when you look at it closely. So in order to achieve an illustration or design with more realism, we have to incorporate texture brushes. Luckily, there are unlimited options. Texture brushes come in amazing varieties from abstract brushes to traditional ones, that mimic acrylic, oil, or pastel illustrations. Feel free to explore Envato elements to download various packs dedicated to traditional art, light effects, and so much more. You can incorporate texture brushes by either painting with them on the base layers first or using them to apply texture later. In my painting Empathy, I used simple charcoal and texture brushes to create the foundation for the clouds. Then I continued to paint over them with much softer brushes set at lower hardness and opacity values. This combination of gritty texture and soft brushes creates just the right look for a natural cloudy background. See the result? Texture brushes are also great for portraits too. Hair brushes usually appear as a cluster of dots to create long strokes of realistic hair. While skin brushes use tiny dots and specks to mimic the look of pores and dewy skin. Experimentation is key here, so try out different textures to explore the potential of your work. You can also create your own texture brushes, or combine a few together for a more interesting look, but we'll get to that in a later lesson. In collaboration with the brush tool, there are a few other tools you can use to improve your brush work. Let's find out what they are in the next lesson.

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