Tangled in Design Branding Decoration

Tangled in Design is the work of Stephen Greig, currently a Web Designer/Front-end guy in Nottingham, UK.

Read more about Stephen

I wrote a book on advanced CSS3, published by John Wiley & Sons. You should totally buy it…

Buy my book: CSS3 Pushing the Limits

Tangled in Design is the work of Stephen Greig, currently a Freelance Web Designer/Front-end guy in Nottingham, UK.

Stephen specialises in design and front-end development, notably HTML5 & semantics, scalable CSS, along with particular expertise in the experimental, cutting edge CSS3 modules.

Stephen's been in the industry as a full-time professional for over 5 years, during which he has graduated with a First Class BA Honours degree, written a 380 page book on advanced CSS3 and held Senior positions in both New Zealand and South Wales.

He has since moved back to his home in Nottingham where he now works as a Senior Web Designer.

Stephen loves sports and is a keen follower of Hereford FC as well as the Welsh Rugby Union and Football teams.

He also has a deep passion for music and boasts an extremely varied taste, as is evident by his last.fm profile.

He also likes swearing and thinks that talking in third person is cool as fuck.

Want to know more? Tweet me. I'm nice.

Slide Back

Photoshop Tips: The Brush Tool


Photoshop Tips - The Brush ToolThe brush tool in Photoshop is extremely useful and has been used to form the foundations of some breathtaking designs. When I first used Photoshop at about age 14, the program revolved around the brush tool for me and I was of the mindset that you couldn’t really put a design together without the use of countless custom brush sets! Since then, I’ve – erm – matured a little as a designer and it’s fair to say I rarely use custom brushes now.

Now, we all know that there are some amazing and elaborate brush sets out there, but we’re going to take a look at the default brushes in Photoshop and see just how creative you can be with them.

The default brush tool can appear basic at face value and unable to achieve a lot. We’re going to look at how we can expand its capabilities with the Brush palette, which is hidden away by default so can be quite hard to come accross if you’re not already aware of it. To access it go to Window > Brush or hit F5 on a PC.

So let’s have a play around with it…

1. Start with a background

Firstly, open a new document in Photoshop; it doesn’t really matter what size but I’ve made mine 800×600 pixels so we have a nice sized canvas to work with.

Next, we need a basic background – the effect were going to create works quite well on gradients so I’ve used a simple blue gradient.

2. Select your Brush

Now, make a New Layer and select the Brush Tool. Right click on your canvas and select the hard round brush and push the size up to about 200px, as shown below.

3. Tinkering with the Settings

Still with the brush tool selected, you now need to open up the Brush palette. You can see that there are various options you can tick on the left hand side, each with their own settings. Firstly, click on Brush Tip Shape and alter the settings according to the image below.

Now tick the Shape Dynamics option using the following settings.

Next, select the Scattering option and apply the following settings.

Finally, select the Transfer option with the following settings.

4. Start Brushing!

Now we have our brush ready to use. Change your foreground colour to a colour that is slightly lighter than your background – in this case, a light blue. Then click and drag around your canvas until you have something like what you can see below.

Okay, so we’re nearly there now.

5. More Tinkering

Now, you need to make a New Layer and select the brush tool once again. This time, select a soft brush at around 85 pixels.

Open up your Brush palette again and apply the following settings.

Now, you need to select the same options as we did the first time; Shape Dynamics, Scattering and Transfer, all with exactly the same settings as we used the first time.

6. Finishing Off

Next, you need to change your foreground colour to white and in your new layer, click and drag around the canvas with your new brush. Finally set this layer to Overlay in the layers palette.

And that’s your lot! Hopefully you’ve learned something today and your result looks a little like what I ended up with below (click to enlarge). This is a very basic example and this technique can be used to far greater effect.

I hope you enjoyed this Photoshop tutorial! If you did, please help me out by sharing with your friends and followers.

About Stephen Greig

Stephen Greig is a 25 year old Freelance Web Designer/Front-end guy, currently living in Nottingham, UK. Stephen is also the creator of messivsronaldo.net and author of CSS3 Pushing the Limits, a book on advanced CSS3. You should follow him on Twitter where he talks about the web, sports, music and swears a lot. Stephen's also on Google+ if that's more your bag.