Sometimes GETTING the right brush is more important than knowing what to DO with it.
Adobe Photoshop and Photoshop Elements come packaged with enough “right brushes” to keep you busy for a very long time. But, wouldn’t it be nice to have a clue what brushes are good for what tasks without having to spend hours and hours experimenting?
In this post, I’ll draw your attention to a brush I use on a regular basis—Rolled Rag – Terry.
Rolled Rag – Terry can be found in the Faux Finish Brushes folder. To access it:
- Get the Brush tool.
- In the Tool Options, open the Brush Preset Picker.
- Open the drop-down menu and choose Faux Finish Brushes. (Photoshop: Open the fly-out menu, choose Faux Finish Brushes, and click OK.)
Most of the time I used the Rolled Rag – Terry brush to distress things—like type, shapes, or embellishments.
In the image above I have black type (American Typewriter) on top of craft paper (by Studio Flergs). On its own, the type looks great. I love the font. But, distressing it opens up a whole new world. To achieve this distressed look:
- In the Layers panel, activate the type layer.
- In the Menu Bar, choose Layer > Simplify. (Photoshop: Choose Layer > Rasterize > Layer.)
- In the Layers panel, click on the Lock Transparent Pixels icon.
- Change the Blend Mode to Multiply.
- Press the letter D to reset the Color Chips to the default of black and white.
- Press the letter X to make the Foreground Color Chip white.
- Get the Rolled Rag – Terry brush as stated above.
- In the Tool Options, set the Opacity to 100% and the Mode to Normal. (Photoshop: Also, set the Flow to 100%.)
- Use the Right and Left Bracket keys to change the size of the brush to be around 1/2 the size of the type.
- On the document, click on the type to distress. Do not drag.
Like I said, you can also use the Rolled Rag – Terry brush to distress embellishments. This particular technique makes them look like a distressed stamp.
Because of the way papers and embellishments blend together, you’ll want try different settings to achieve the look you’re after.
Here are some more distressing tips:
- You cannot distress vector layers without using a mask. Simplify (PS: Rasterize) things like shapes and type before distressing them.
- Lock the transparent pixels of the layer you wish to distress.
- Try different Blend Modes for the image in the Layers panel.
- Try different Blend Modes for the brush in the Tool Options of the Brush tool.
This is just one tiny idea in the whole wide world of Adobe. Let me know what you think.
How else would you use the Rolled Rag – Terry brush?
When distressing, what other specific brush within Photoshop Elements do you like to use?