Thursday, 13 October 2011

Ink blot Photoshop Brushes

Having cleared the advancing tide of fabric so that I could do the first part of my Mandala collaboration with Shana I took advantage of the space to get some ink out and do a couple of ink blots to make into Photoshop brushes. I've been wanting to do this for ages and oooh, what fun it was to splatter . . . . . I used watercolour paper for this first one but cartridge paper for the second.

 Watercolour paper again for the one above . . . .

and then with just a little ink left in the saucer I dragged a dry fan shaped brush along the paper. I wasn't going to keep this one, didn't really think it was going to give good results but so glad I did.

Once scanned in I desaturated the image and tweaked about with the levels, making a light, medium and dark version - being careful to save each version as well as the original! Pushing the dark end of the Levels takes all the midtones and most of the detail out of course but the heavier version can give some good brush results . . . . I've used all three levels of the same brush on the bottom half of the image above  . . . . all on seperate levels so I can move them about if I need and then using a soft fuzzy brush at about 30% opacity as an eraser to just blend the edges together. 

Here is the long streaky brush . . .  looks way better than I thought especially when layered with another colour

Straightforward inkblots . . . . .

but this is what they look like all together . . . I used  large dark ink brush at the top of the image layering it in black and turquoise. Gotta love the yellow though it's 'out of gamut' which is Photoshop speak for 'Holy Smokes you can't print that!!'

You can see where I've used the brushes in this piece below . . . .  I used the lasso selection tool to make the tall rectangular shapes and the splatter ink blots inside that.  A whole world of possibilities opens up does it not? My busy little mind is thinking of all the other paint/wet media techniques I used to use . . . . . .

In case you want to make some brushes for yourself here is my basic tutorial 
on how to get started and another on building textures with brushes 

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