Decoration and texture brushes
When I said "Your first brush tip" before, I was being serious, because you can apply more than one brush tip. The advantage of this is that you can create, as we will see in the dedicated chapter, a painting brush that doesn't rely on a texture, but only on the mark that makes on your canvas—just like a real brush. As a training ground, I will show how you can use this feature to create decoration and texture brushes that are randomized, giving you a different effect every time you draw.
Let's start with the basics, and ironically, we will start with tool options instead of brush tips. The following figure shows some flower decoration brush tips:
Figure 2.9 – Some book decorations
We will use these flower decoration brush tips as a base. Now, if we add them to the Brush tip tool option, this is what we will see in the brush preview:
Figure 2.10 – This line is a preview of what you will see when you will use the brush
That's absolutely not what we want. To create a distinguishable pattern, we need to go to Sub Tool Detail | Stroke, and we need to check the Ribbon option. This option will give us this effect:
Figure 2.11 – An example of the ribbon effect
Figure 2.12 – As you can see, there is a clear repetition; if you want this effect, you're good to go
Fortunately, we can change this easily—just return to Stroke and go to Repeat method:
Figure 2.13 – The repeat methods you can choose from
If the brush tips are at the wrong angle, just go to Brush tip | Angle and change it there.
Now if we need a brush that has its size linked to the pen pressure, we just need to go to Brush size and click on this little button:
Figure 2.14 – Pen dynamic settings menu
This will open a menu in which we can link the brush size to the pen pressure, tilt of the pen, and velocity, or we can make it random.
Every time you see the pen dynamic settings button, it means that it is possible to link a value to a pen modifier. So, every time you see it, click on it and experiment with the possibilities.
Figure 2.15 – Sub Tool Detail window
But let's say we need to create a more complicated brush, such as a wood texture brush. For this wood texture brush, we need to create a seamless wood texture that randomizes itself every time. No problem, it is pretty straightforward and simple:
- Let's start by creating a simple 10x10 cm canvas; just go to File | New. Remember to change Basic expression color to Gray.
In this way, every time you create a new layer it will be in Gray mode. Now, just take a reference for creating some wood bark:
Figure 2.16 – The basic texture we have created
This is mine. We don't shade it because it would be more problematic to create a seamless pattern. And usually, you need those texture/decoration brushes to have a good base to work on, rather than focusing on the end product. Now we need to tile it.
- Right-click on the layer, and click on Convert layer | Type | Image material layer.
Now, if we go to Layer Property, we will find this:
Figure 2.17 – Object tool option menu
Click on the small cube, then go to Tool property and click on Tiling. This will repeat the pattern in all directions. Now, without changing tool, click on the pattern and move it around:
Figure 2.18 – On the left, we have the original image; on the right, the modified one
- Create a new layer and start drawing where we can see the cut. When you have finished, merge it with the layer below. The result of this fix can be seen in the right-hand example of the previous figure.
Now you just need to re-convert the layer and tile it again.
- After this, move it a little bit or scale it to see whether everything is OK. If everything is OK (usually it is), undo all your movement by pressing Ctrl + Z.
- After that, right-click on the layer window and click on Merge visible layers; check that Expression color in the Layer Option palette is still Gray, because sometimes when you merge the layers it will change to Color.
- Now, register the material as a brush tip and you have your first texture brush tip. Yep, I said first again. You will need to redo this at least 4-5 times…
The preceding method can be used to create a seamless texture based on a photo. But for that, you will need to use the Copy Stamp tool to mask the cut in the texture.The Copy Stamp tool looks something like this:
Figure 2.19 – The Copy Stamp tool
Figure 2.20 – The Sub Tool group for the figure drawing
If we go to Sub Tool Details for Straight line, we can see something familiar… Yes—we have the Brush tip setting; now redo the same thing you've done for the decoration brush. Now that you've done that, use it and create a straight line.
If you need a straight line when using a ruler or Direct draw tools, just press Shift.
Now, what will happen if we convert this line and tiling as we did before?
Instant random seamless wood texture…
Figure 2.21 – Full-fledged random seamless texture
You can use this method to create practically anything that will require a seamless texture where you don't want obvious repetition in your texture. Examples of this could be seafoam, rocks, plaster, and so on.
Now, before continuing, I need you to think about this. A tool that is not directly a brush tool has brush tips, strokes, and spraying effect settings. So…
Every tool that draws a line, such as the Balloon tool or the Stream line tool, has Brush tip settings. Basically, you can personalize every tool that draws something.
A little exercise for you. Take the G-Pen tool properties, go to Ink, and look at Blending mode; now do the same with Hard eraser. Do you see anything strange?
Blending mode in Hard eraser is set to Cancel but for G-Pen it's set to Normal. This means that every brush tool is an eraser, just with a different blending mode. In Photoshop, the eraser and the brush tool are two different tools, but in CSP they are the same, only with different settings.
Another way to erase is using the transparent color; it is the little bar under Main color and Sub color:
Figure 2.22 – Transparent color in the color wheel
- Selecting the icon in the color wheel.
- Color picking anywhere outside your canvas.
- Using a shortcut. You can bind a shortcut to the transparent color by going to File | Shortcut Settings | Options | Drawing Color.
In my opinion, I prefer to use the transparent color rather than an eraser. I find it a lot faster than switching tools and it gives a more organic feeling.
As you can see in the next section, if you master only a few brushes, you can have a brush for every occasion without even changing tool.