Welcome back to Part 3 of my month-long series on brushes. Last week we talked about how to use brushes as stamps and I left you off with a quick tip on how to clip paper to your brush for a unique look. This week I’d like to talk about how to use your brush tool to manipulate and create clipping masks using your brush supply.
To begin, I’d like to share this layout I created using brushes from Karla Dudley’s Grunge Essentials 1. In it, I clipped a photo of my son to one of the brushes in the kit:
However, the brush on its own had some issues as a clipping mask for photos. Let’s take a closer look at it to see why.
To begin, this brush has a lot of gaps in it that would not make for a good base for a photo. To demonstrate, let’s clip a photo to it.
As you can see, a lot of the picture is missing and when you look more closely at it, there are too many spots on my son’s face.
Although I love the grunge of the mask, it doesn’t look good on faces. So here is how I would manipulate it:
Step One: With your brush layer active, press CTRL +T (Mac: CMD + T). This brings up the Transform tool that will allow us to manipulate the brush. Grabbing any of the anchors, stretch it out until you get the shape you want.
You can move the mask around by clicking inside the bounding box (the cursor changes to an arrow point only) and dragging the brush where you want it. You can also rotate it by clicking outside the bounding box (the cursor changes to a curved arrow with two points) and dragging it around. I did all three to transform my brush with the photo attached to this:
Step Two: Select your brush. (You can use a basic round brush or a brush with some grungy edges. I actually used the same brush, but reduced its size to 618. This way, when I paint back over the original brush, it will maintain those grunge edges.) With your brush layer selected and your brush sized and set to black, paint over the areas that you want to fill in. I concentrated on painting over my son’s face.
If you are happy with your photo, you could stop here, or if you wanted to add more to the mask, you could proceed to Step Three.
Step Three: Because I want more of my son’s lower body in the photo, I am going to add to the mask. I again selected Karla’s Grunge Brush and increased its size to 1871. I then began stamping on the brush layer where I wanted more of the photo to appear.
We could easily stop here. But, to ensure some variety in the edges of the mask, I am going to rotate the brush a bit and continue stamping. Here’s how:
Step Four: With your brush tool selected, go up to the tool bar and click on the brushes palette.
It will bring up a menu of options. Click on Brush Tip Shape:
This brings up a menu of options.
Click on angle. I typed in 45 and with my brush set to a size of 1900, I clicked again on the mask layer to make more of the photo appear. I did it again with an angle of 160. You can play around with it from here. If you do something you don’t like, you can always undo it by pressing CTRL+ Z (Mac: CMD + Z). Here’s my final image:
This same technique can be used to create your own clipping mask.
Step One: Select your rectangle tool.
Draw out a rectangle shape and rasterize it by right clicking on it in the layers palette and selecting Rasterize.
Step Two: Select a grunge edge brush like Sara Schmutz’s Grunge Edge Border Brush. Size it and line it up with the edge of your rectangle and click repeatedly without moving your mouse until you get the edge you like. You can stop right here, or repeat on as many sides as you like with the same edge or different ones for variety.
To take it one step further, you can proceed to Step Three.
Step Three: Select the Eraser tool.
The shape of the Eraser will depend upon which brush you have picked. I selected a Date Brush from Karla’s Today Brushes. Select your size and stamp on your mask. Since you have the Eraser tool selected, it will erase that portion of your mask.
And here’s the final mask with my photo attached.
Pretty cool, huh? So, I hope you learned a thing or two today. I would love it if you would link me up to some of your creations using the techniques I shared with you today. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to shoot it to me and I will do my best to help you out.
And be sure to join me next week when I finish up by giving you a few more ideas about how to use stretch your brushes! Have a great week!