Painting Tool in Photoshop


In my previous article you learned about Selection Tools, Crop and Slice Tools, Measuring Tools and Retouching Tools.

  1. Selection Tools in Photoshop
  2. Crop and Slice Tools in Photoshop
  3. Measuring Tools in Photoshop
  4. Retouching Tools In Photoshop

In this article I describe painting tools. The painting tools are divided into the three parts, Brush Tool, Historic Brush Tool and Gradient Tool.

tool panel.jpg

Painting tools

1. Brush Tool (B)

  • Brush Tool (B)
  • Pencil Tool (B)
  • Color Replacement Tool (B)
  • Mixer Brush Tool (B)

2. History Brush Tool (Y)

  • History Brush (Y)
  • Art History Brush ( Y)

3. Gradient Tool (G)

  • Gradient Tool (G)
  • Paint Bucket Tool (G)          


Brush Tool (B)

This tool is used to paint any image, first of all a selected color and size. There are various options of the Brush Tools sizes and shapes that can be found in the options bar.

It is also used on layer masks for showing or hiding parts of the image.

Pencil Tool (B)

The Pencil tool is limited to hard brush tips of any size or shape, and it creates freeform lines using the current foreground color.

The major difference between the Pencil and Brush Tools is that the Pencil tool can draw only a hard-edged line. The pencil tool is a part of the Brush Tool.

The Pencil Tool has a unique feature named Auto Erase that can be used to switch between the Current Foreground and Background colors.

Color Replacement Tool (B)

This tool can be used to change the color, saturation, hue and luminance values. In this tool we apply changes manually with a brush. This tool can also be used to specify mode, sampling, limits and tolerance parameters for a tool. It is different from the Brush Tool since it preserves the original texture when the color is changed.

Mixer Brush Tool (B)

Through the Mixer Brush Tool we can mix colors . You can change the wetness of the brush and how it mixes the brush color with the color already on the canvas. In Photoshop CS5, brushes have more realistic bristles as well, so you can add textures that resemble those in paintings you might create in the physical world.

While this is a great feature in general, it's particularly useful when you're using the Mixer Brush. Combining various bristle settings and brush tips with different wetness, paint-load, and paint-mixing settings gives you opportunities to create exactly the look you want.

History Brush Tool (Y)

This tool works in a similar way as the Brush Tool, except the information that it paints with is from the original state of your image. If you go to "Window" > "History" then you will see the History Palette. The History Brush Tool paints with the information from whatever History State is selected.

Art History Brush ( Y)

This tool can be used to apply paint styles to your image using a history state. This tool is available under the History Brush Tool. There are several options available for this tool that will affect how the pixels will look, the opacity, paint stroke style, fidelity, area, and tolerance. This tool will probably not fool anyone into thinking you have created a watercolor in the traditional way, but it's fun to use and can create nice images.

Gradient Tool (G)

You can use this tool to make gradient colors. It creates a blending of your foreground color and background color when you click and drag it.

Paint Bucket Tool (G) 

This tool fills the area with the Active Foreground Color and Pattern. You can select two options in this tool but before that you must click the Fill List Arrow. The two options are as follows:

  • Foreground: It can be used to fill the selected area with the current foreground color.
  • Pattern: It can be used to fill the area with a pattern.

The Paint Bucket Tool can fill areas with a selected foreground and pattern. The fill area can be controlled by the shift in brightness of image pixels.

  •  Click the Pattern list arrow, and then select a pre-defined fill pattern. This option is available if you select Pattern as a fill option.
  •  Click the Mode list arrow, and then select a blending mode.
  •  Enter an Opacity percentage value (1 to 100).
  •  Select a Tolerance value (0 to 255). The Tolerance value influences the range of the Paint Bucket used to fill a given area.
  •  Select the Anti-aliased check box to create a visually smoother line.
  •  Select the Contiguous check box to restrict the fill to the selected area.
  •  Select the All Layers check box to fill all the color range information from the image's layers.
  •  Click the Paint Bucket Tool on the area to be changed.

 paint bucket tool.jpg

Before                                                 After
 befor.jpg After.jpg