Brush Options - What do they all mean?

Hi there everyone! Ona here to bring you a tutorial featuring the gorgeous brushes from Captivated Visions.

I thought  Rachel's recent article Brushes Verus PNG Files  was very interesting and I must say that sometimes I go ahead and use a PNG file because it is quick and easy to use. However, as Rachel has noted, using a brush can give you a lot more control and a lot more creative options so I thought it would be fun to explore the brush dynamic settings and explain just what they mean and how they can be used.

Loading a brush:

So let's start with loading one of Rachel's brushes.

TIP: Just a word about loading brushes. Loading all of your brushes into either PSE or PS will slow down the program considerably so use this handy tip: Create a folder in your file explorer and simply move all your .abr files into it, you may want to create sub folders for different designers as well so that you can find the brushes easily. There is no need to have 100+ brushes in your program when you won't be using them all for one layout anyway. It is far quicker to just load the brush you want as you work.

To Load a brush quickly:

A. Either click on the brush tool or press the letter B on the keyboard to open the brush toolbar - then click the small down arrow (marked below at A).

B. On the right hand side of the dialogue box you will see two small arrows pointing off to the right - go ahead and click on them to open a drop down menu with more options (marked below at B).

C. Select the Load option (marked below at C).

D. Now navigate to the folder you have created which contains the brushes (marked below at D).

E. Select the brush you want to use (marked below at E).

F. Then click the Load button (marked below at F).

G. The brush is loaded and ready for use (marked below at G).


To load another brush simply start at Step A again - it might seem a long process but it only takes a couple of seconds.

Brush Settings:

To access the brush settings you need to click on the Brush Dynamics icon, in PSE10 this is where it is situated and what it looks like.


The settings are shown down the left and side and at the bottom as well. Like most settings in PSE or PS you can use the slider to increase or decrease the effect or type in a number if you need to be more specific. Let's take a quick look at what each setting actually means first.

Fade: When using a brush to draw a stroke, the fade option will control how quickly the 'paint flow' fades to nothing at the end of the stroke. A lower setting fades the stroke more quickly than a higher setting.


Hue Jitter: This sets the rate at which the color of the stroke switches between the foreground, background, and random colors in between. A higher setting causes more frequent changes than a lower setting.


Scatter: This setting determines how far away the “paint” lands from the line of your stroke. A low value produces a denser stroke; a high value results in a large scattering. The black horizontal line shows the amount of scatter above and below it.


Spacing: This controls the distance between the individual brush marks in a stroke. Increasing the spacing makes the brush skip. Spacing is described as a percentage of the brush diameter. So, for example, to create a dotted line, you’d simply set the Spacing for a hard round brush to more than 100 percent.


Hardness: This adjusts the size of the brush’s hard center, and affects how sharp or feathered the edge of the brush is. Not all  brushes support this setting.


Angle: The Angle adjustment lets you rotate the brush. Changing the angle of a round brush will have no effect;  however the ability to rotate other types of brushes—for example, a corner embellishment— is invaluable. To adjust the angle of a brush, either type in a new angle (in degrees), or click and drag the circle and arrow graphic clockwise or counterclockwise. Angled brushes create a chiseled stroke, similar to a calligraphy pen.


Roundness: Adjusting Roundness affects the shape of the brush tip—that is, how round, thin, or thick the brush is. To adjust it, enter a percentage (the ratio of height to width), or drag one of the dots at the edge of the circle graphic away from or toward the arrow. With a round brush, a value of 100 percent indicates a circular brush; a value of 0 percent indicates a linear brush.


This is my finished page, using a variety of brushes with different settings.


Credits: Wiser, Not Older!! [Mixed Media Kit], Mish Mash - Stamp Stash 06, Mish Mash - Stamp Stash 08, A Gesso Of A Mess 03 [Paint Stamps], Mish Mash : Frame Stash 01 [Worn & Torn Frames], Artful Intentions: Sunshine In My Soul, Another Man's Treasure - Value Bundle, Artful Intentions: Papillon Place [Value Bundle], Today is a Struggle Bundle, Walk Away Bundle, Bubblegum Pop: Kit,

Captivating Sista Brigitta also had a play and this is her page "I used a butterfly brush from I Became Somebody Else twice. I clicked Wet Edges on bigger, and I used same color without wet edges in smaller."


Credits: I Became Somebody Else You Are Worth It

Take some time out, grab a new page and just play around with the brush settings to see what effects you get - remember to create a new layer when using a brush and I hope you have some fun!

till next time

Ona xxx