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5 Drawing and Painting Tools in Photoshop Elements 12

Drawing and painting tools in Photoshop Elements 12 provide you with a huge number of options for adding illustrations, paintings, and effects and modifying brightness and contrast in photos. Don’t think of these tools strictly as tools you use to draw and paint. You can also use them for color correction, contrast adjustments, and other kinds of brightness enhancements.

Brush tools

Several types of Brush tools are tucked away in the Tool Options panel. To view all tools, click the Brush tool and look down to the Tool Options panel to see the additional Brush tools, shown in the figure.

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The tools that are available in the Tool Options panel are

  • Brush: The Brush tool supports a number of different brush tips that you can choose from the Tool Options panel. You use the Brush tool as you would use a brush to apply paint to a canvas. You can paint within type selections, add color to selected areas, paint in selection channels, and more.

  • Impressionist Brush: This tool is designed to paint over a photo to make it look like a masterpiece by Renoir or Matisse. You can set various options that change the brush stroke style. Styles are chosen from a drop-down list in the Tool Options panel.

  • Color Replacement: As its name suggests, you use this tool to paint over areas where you want to replace color.

  • Tablet support: To the right of the three Brush tools, you see two more tools. These tools are only active when you use a tablet and stylus. The tools offer Brush mode (left) or Airbrush mode (right).

Smart Brush tools

The Smart Brush tools, shown in the figure, are located in the Tool Options panel. As you can see in figure, the tools support options that you can select in a pop-up menu.

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Eraser tools

Three Eraser tools appear in the Tool Options panel, as shown in the figure.

  • Eraser: The Eraser tool paints a color on a photo if you’re erasing on the Background layer. The current background color is used when you paint with this tool on the Background layer. If your photo appears on a layer, the Eraser tool behaves like a normal eraser, removing pixels as you drag across a photo.

  • Background Eraser: When you open a photo in the Editor, the photo appears on a background. Certain objects and types are added in layers that appear above the background. Two things happen when you make your first edit with this tool: The background is converted to a layer, and as you drag the cursor, the image data is removed from the layer.

  • Magic Eraser: The Magic Eraser tool sort of combines the Quick Selection tool and the Eraser tool. When you click and draw on a background, the area where you click is selected just as with the Quick Selection tool. Also, the background is converted to a layer, and the selected area is removed from the photo.

    image2.jpg

Paint Bucket tool

The Paint Bucket tool performs two separate actions when you click the tool in a photo. First, it creates a selection similar to the one you create with the Magic Wand tool. After the selection is created, the foreground color fills the selected area.

Gradient tool

You can use the Gradient tool to create a gradient on a layer or within a selected area. You have a number of choices for gradient colors from the Tool Options panel, or you can add custom colors to create the gradient effect.

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