Friday, February 26, 2016

tips for mandala brushes

Have you wondered what to do with my mandala brushes? Here are some tips for Adobe Photoshop o help you with that and which, of course, you can use with any brushes.

For my demonstration I chose dark paper from my Indigo Dreams collection with Mandala Art brush set.

I loaded mandala brushes #1 and #4 with white color. Thanks to the contrasting values of white and indigo colors, even simply stamped brushes with default settings look beautiful - Picture 1. you can always use them like this - also with blending modes, embossing or other effects applied.
Picture 1

Now, let's explore some other possibilities. Make sure you have windows Brush and Brush Presets open.
Select Mandala Brush #1 in Brush Presets tab and go to modification tab Brush, click Dual Brush and select Mandala Brush #4. Note that you can change the blending mode of the secondary brush, but for this color combination leave it as Multiply - see Picture 2.
Picture 2

Next, go to Shape Dynamics and change values of Size Jitter, Minimum Diameter and Angle Jitter to the numbers you see in Picture 3
Picture 3

Now try "stamping" with the brush to create a cluster. Wait for the cursor to take shape and size of the next randomly generated brush, hover over the area to see if you like it at the particular spot and then click with your mouse/pen to place it there. The cursor will change again. Repeat until you are satisfied with the shape of the cluster. 
You can see that the final cluster looks uneven, almost like distressed, the size and rotation of each stamp varies, it doesn't look "constructed". That's the look we are going for.

Picture 4 shows the same cluster (painted with white in both cases) in two different blending modes applied to the layer.
Picture 4

Next, lower the opacity of your brush (in the main tool panel on the top, Picture 5)...
(with our colors it doesn't matter if the brush is in Normal or Screen blending mode)
Picture 5

...and enable random opacity of your stamp in the Brush tab as you see in Picture 6. Unless you work with a pressure sensitive tablet, leave Control at Off.
Picture 6

In this example (Picture 7), I decorated around edges of my background by repeated stamping:
Picture 7

This next background (Picture 8) was also created by repeated "single" stamping. I stamped with pen on my tablet and for this, I set the Opacity Jitter Control of Transfer feature to Pen Pressure to have the control over opacity myself. Remember, until now it was set to Off.
I stamped lightly all over the paper and with more force around edges. I also added a couple of stamps of my other mandala brushes (at default settings), so there was something that would stand out a little from the rest.
Picture 8

Instead of repeated "single" stamping, try dragging your mouse or pen in one sweep - for that I suggest to set Spacing of the brush to about 100% or even introduce Scattering function (Brush tab).
Play, change settings, explore and find out what works for you.

I hope this tutorial will help you to find new creative possibilities. You can download the PDF version here
Happy stamping.

I also offer the first cluster I created as a freebie, you can download it here (PNG file 300dpi).

Products used:

Mandala Art brush set

Indigo Dreams
  1. Wow! Super tut! I learn many new thing about brushes, thanks!

  2. Great tutorial and ideas Romy, will need to play with this! :)