Despite the deep collection of menus and tools Photoshop has to offer, the brush tool is where most of the painting actually happens. This video explores a way to streamline the connection between your brain and the canvas.
The way the stylus lays down marks in photoshop has a certain 'feel' to it; in the same way that you could say painting with a brush has a different feel than drawing with a pencil. Unlike these traditional tools, you can customize the way your stylus 'feels'. Do you have a soft or a light touch? This video expolres both the Wacom Tablet Properties, as well as 3rd party software designed to customize the stylus experience.
Update 1/29/2012: Apparently the newest Intuos 4 drivers have addressed this issue! Make sure to get the newest drivers if you have an intuos 4.
And reader Dado Almeida brings up a crucial point about tablet wear & tear:
"[This is] really important stuff to know if you deal with a Wacom stylus in the daily basis. Using a hard grip, for months, in the same spot of your Tablet surface could dameage the cover plastic faster. Have you noticed how the center area of our Tablets are more scratched? To make my experience with the Wacom smoother I´m using this tool + a protection plastic (those used in the iPad screens) to cover my little Intuos. This way I can change the cover from time to time without any damage in the original surface."
And, as a reminder, this is unofficial software. It might not give you the results you're looking for. If you have a problem using it - or it screws something up - you can restore the factory defaults by re-installing the Wacom drivers. Good luck, and have fun!
Do you have a favorite few brushes? Do you like to use them with specific flow/opacity settings? "Tool Presets" might be for you! This feature is often overlooked or confused with "Brush Presets", but it is extremely useful for digital painters. This video explains how "Tool Presets" can add a big dose of efficiency and speed to your workflow.
Edge control is a huge factor for painting technique. To properly describe form you'll need to use both hard and soft edges. This video explores a practice routine designed to hone your edge control. I can be tricky learning to observe hard and soft edges, but they are essential.
I encourage you to give this technique a try! Download the lesson file here (it's a .PSD). Have fun!
Digital painting relies on your ability to comfortably wield the Brush Tool. Keyboard shortcuts are a huge part of that, and committing them to memory is an important step in your learning. This video proposes a 'maze' drill for you to hone your brush tool chops. It may seem a bit unusual, but it's not all that different from an athlete running through an obstacle course to improve their agility! Most importantly, have fun with this! And make sure to download the brush maze drill here. And if you want a refresher on the brush tool and its hidden features, check out this digital painting 101 video
The brush tool is the heart of digital painting. It can be a bit confusing, and this video will help familiarize you with the basic components like Opacity and Diameter. Interestingly, the way to make the brush tool more useful is to limit the functionality. In this video I explore the difference between my two favorite types of brushes: Opacity Brushes use the pen pressure on your stylus to control the amount of pigment, and have a fixed diameter. Keyboard shortcuts are used to change the diameter.
Diameter brushes use the pen pressure to control the diameter, and have a fixed amount of pigment. This creates the effect of applying ink with a bristle brush -- you get a varied line weight, but a consistent intensity of ink.