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Tutorial: Art History Brush (JB Caffrey)

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  • Tutorial: Art History Brush (JB Caffrey)

    I thought I'd give Photoshops art history brush try on a portrait I took of my grandaughter this Easter.

    I opened the photo file and added a new layer which I filled with a canvas like color. Then I went to the History pallet and checked the filled layer and activated the base layer.

    I selected one of the wet media brushes from the brush pallette and, using the art history brush, painted on the filled layer to reveal the base photograph. You have to use a very small brush size to maintain any detail at all.

    When I had revealed as much of the photo as I cared to, I added a new duplicate layer and used smart blur to add a little more detail. On yet another blank layer, I used the normal brush (still set to wet media) to touch up small details. The before and after images are attached.

    I sort of like this technique because it offers more control than a filter and the results are less photographic than other techniques.

    Attached Files

  • #2
    Well, that looks nice, so you made those large brush strokes? I could imagine them smaller.
    Nice backgrnd, how did You do that?


    • #3
      Originally posted by fugitive

      Nice backgrnd, how did You do that?
      greg [/B]
      I guess you mean the photo background.

      A while ago I decided I needed a bunch of portrait backrounds for pictures of my grandchildren. I simply started with a base color, in this case a greyish blue, and kept adding layers with different blotches of color randomly placed. I used the opacity slider to blend the colors together. I got some usable ones but this one is the best of the lot and my favorite.

      Yup, I chose that brush size. On the face, I used a two pixel brush and on the hair, background, and dress, I changed to the 5 pixel version of the same brush. It's sort of hard to control, but since I was trying to get away from a photographic look I was ok with the result.


      • #4
        Another History Brush example

        Inspired by Jim (and his recent tutorial) I started playing with the history brush.

        Here's a before/after based on a techniqued described in the Photoshop 6 (or 5.5.) WOW Book, (Dayton, Davis). The fundamentals of each tutorial are similar, while demonstrating on different images.

        Techniques I thought were interesting:
        * Use "Natural Brushes" vs. the standard "round ones" that are installed by default.
        * Use smaller brush sizes for detail.
        * PSP folks: Did you know if you rename a Photoshop .abr brushset to .jbr, they work!
        * Photoshop folks: Did you know if you rename a PaintShopPro .jbr brushset to .abr, they work!
        * There are gobs of custom brushes available for free download on the net. Search on "photoshop" and "custom brushes".
        * Apply different brush strokes / use different brushes on different layers, then blend using layer masks.
        * Apply additional filters/affects to an Art History layer, e.g., Dry Brush.
        * History Brush opacity: Set to 75%-85% to get more of an overlapping effect.

        More food for thought. Let's see what you come up with! Post your experiments!

        Off to the Eagles concert. Happy PhotoShopping!

        Attached Files


        • #5
          Great tips Danny. Especially the renaming of PSP and PS brushes. I never knew that. Love the effect you got on your example. Nice work.


          • #6
            Art History Brush Tutorial links

            See this thread for several Art History Brush tutorials.

            Last edited by DannyRaphael; 07-04-2002, 02:35 AM.


            • #7
              Danny, thanks for the great links on this.



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