I'll be honest here - I very rarely use brushes to make graphics - mainly because I became addicted to tubes. ;o) But brushes do have their uses, they can be manipulated as much as tubes but to varying degrees. A brush is nothing more than a computerised stamping tool, as you would use to create homemade Christmas and Birthday cards - so you can use brushes to achieve the same on your website!

As with all the things I use in PSP I rarely keep too much on my hard drive because it uses too many resources - and when I first started off I didn't have a large hard drive (3.8gb) so with that came conservatism LOL. Keeping most of my tubes and brushes on floppy until the marvel of recordable CD's! **dances** I've now lost count of how many gigabytes of tubes and fonts I have - and atleast as many megabytes of brushes.

Brushes are like tubes in that one single image can be used repeatedly - the added advantage of brushes being that you can manipulate the colour and texture of the graphic as you can with your flood fill. Being transparent you can merge a brush overlay with almost any graphic, or writing. They make excellent backgrounds - as with the work Pega showed us during the week.

To set up your brushes to be used - follow these very simple steps:

  • Download the file of the brush you want to use - here's an example. This is one I created from a tube.
  • I created a folder in my 'My Docs' folder calling it 'Graphics', then created a sub folder 'unzipped' to unzip the brushes to. So unzip the file and place it in your folder.
  • Click on Brushes and then go to your Tool Options box, (click on the little black arrow to keep the Tool Box open). Under the dark tool bar on the tool box you'll see a little icon, click on that and go to 'Custom' and a little window box will appear - your menu of brushes are hidden here.
  • In the smaller window click on the 'Edit Paths' box and then go to browse in the second level. The first points to your PSP brushes folder - this second one will point to your temp folder in your My Docs. Once you hit browse - go find your My Docs folder and the folder you have created to store you brushes temporarily. Once you have the URL of your C drive entered don't forget to click on all the options under the browsed files. To include any sub-folders you may create later. This is in case you start storing your brushes according to which site you downloaded from.
  • Once you have selected this folder the unzipped file you just downloaded should appear here? You can edit the size of the brush in the tool options box, as well as the opacity etc.
  • Your brush is now ready for use. You can changed the colour and the texture as well as using patterns and gradients with the brush. The choice really is your own.

I have included below a couple of basic samples of brush use, as well as a few good, trustworthy sites you can browse to download brushes from.

Very Basic Stationery
Country Stamping Technique
Background for Page or Stationery
Simple Calling Card

This was really only a basic tutorial on how to set up your brushes folder. On the next page I will show you how to create your own brushes ;o)

Making Brushes

Tutorial © colour-by-numbers designs
November 2002.
All Rights Reserved