bRushes:: digital stamps

The world of digital brushes will change your life. Really!
They are amazing.
Rhonna Designs of digital brushes in our Digital Section. 
**note: Not all kits will have the ABR brush files in them, so be sure to read the kit description carefully!**
There’s also a lot of to learn about them.
I don’t overwhelm you, so I’ll start out with the FAQs I’ve been asked many times:
Q: “I downloaded a brush kit & it has both .abr files & .png files?
What’s the difference?”
A: .ABR files are the actual brushes. Adobe Photoshop (PS) & Photoshop Elements (PSE) can support .ABR files. You load them in PS or PSE (more on that later). You can change colors in the Color Box, rotate, space, etc. all in the Brushes Palette.
Not all programs can support the actual .ABR files, so, over at Rhonna Designs, I offer the image sets as .PNG files. 
.PNG files can be dragged & dropped over something because they retain their transparent qualities. You can re-color them, too.(another tutorial will follow on that info)  You can not load them as .ABR files, so don’t try it!
But, you can create your own brushes. I.e. You can create your own brushes in older versions of PS or PSE and in Paintshop Pro (PSP), you can create a ‘stamp’ out of the .PNG files.
Notice: If you load the .ABR files, & they say ‘not compatible’, it is because the brushes were created in a newer version of PS and most likely, you are using an older version of PS or PSE. So, you would just need to open up your .PNG files & create your own brushes.(more on that later)
Note: PNG files can work with any program that will support & open PNG files. (word processing programs, photo editing programs, etc.)  Rhonna Designs ABR brush files are ONLY compatible with PSE7+ & PSCS5+. Not compatible with older versions of PSE & PS, hence, the PNG files so you can make your own brushes out of the PNG files.

 Q: "I still don’t get it. What are brushes?"
A: Think of the brushes as stamps. You 'dip' your brush/stamp into a color & then brush/stamp/click it onto your digital canvas. All brushes are different designs...some of my brush creations are borders, frames, swirls, alphabets, designs, pictures, shapes, words, etc. 

Q: “How do I load my brushes?”
A:  Once you’ve downloaded & unzipped your kit, double click/right click on your ABR brush file & voila! they appear in your Brush Palette at the bottom!
If that doesn’t work:
Select the brush tool on your toolbar in PS or PSE.
Select the arrow on the drop-down Brushes Menu and then select LOAD BRUSHES.
Find your downloaded ABR brush file, then click LOAD.
The new brushes will appear at the bottom of your Brush Palette.

Q: "How can I change colors? "
A: If  you have the ABR brush file loaded, you can simply click on the color box & change the color of your brush/stamp. 
If you are using the PNG files, there are various ways to change color.  For a black PNG file, you’ll need to change the black PNG file to a Layer Style/color overlay & you can choose any color you want!
In PS to create a Layer Style:
1. Open your PNG file.
Select the Color desired.
Note:This method will give a flat color. You will lose all texture or patterns, unless you use the Light Modes to Blend the color.

Q: "What can I do with Brushes?"
A: Design, create, explore. Let's say you have a swirl that you want to stamp onto your Christmas card, or photo, or blog banner. You choose blue, but you may want it to be subtle underneath the greeting/photo/text.  So, you create a New Layer, then click/stamp the brush in blue.  You can adjust the Opacity to make it appear like vellum...a soft look. Then, on another New Layer, you'd click/stamp the brush in blue, pink or another color on top of it & you'd have a very interesting look!
This is how I create most of my art.  All the brush work you see in my art is done on separate layers, colors & adjusting the Opacity to make it interesting! 
Q: "How can I make my own brush?" 
A: This is another amazing part of the world of brushes!  You can make a brush out of anything you want! ...a photo you've taken, your signature, a drawing you've made...etc!  This also works for those that use an older version of PS of PSE that is not 'compatible'' with the brushes I sell. ( I create in PSCS3 & so the brush files are only compatible with PSE6+ or PSCS+ as noted above.)
Creating Brushes:
Open your image to create your brush. (photos, PNG, whatever) Go to SELECT>ALL. 
Go to EDIT>DEFINE BRUSH. Name your brush when the box prompts you.  Voila! You've created a brush!  **This doesn’t mean your brush is saved. You may still lose it unless you save it. 
Saving Brushes:
1. Select your Brush Palette. Notice the arrow.
Select the arrow & you will see the drop down menu.
2. Here, you will see where you can Reset, Load, Save, & Replace your brushes.
Hit Save & you’ve saved your brush.
There’s tons more to the world of brushes, but this is a start.
**for a little video tutorial; check out this!


Hi Rhonna
Thanks for such a terrific post! I will defitely use this. It's probably the push I need to learn more on my new PS program. You're the best!
Hope you're feeling better

Deborah said...

Oh how I love you! Thank you thank you thank you!!! **blows a million kisses** Deborah

Deborah said...

Oh how I love you! Thank you thank you thank you!!! **blows a million kisses** Deborah

StudioB said...

THANK YOU for posting this information. I was just checking out the House of 3 store and was wondering about brushes.

Rhonna, I have an iMac and use PSE6. How can I upload your brushes permanently? They always seem to disappear.

Any suggestion how to organize all of this digi-stuff so it is more usable? I have a hard time finding what I'm looking for and forget what I have.

Thanks so much.

Heather said...

Thank you! I love using brushes! I hope you feel better :)

Heather said...

Okay I use PSE 7. One day I had brushes and now the little button to click on (the little brush) to use them has disappeared. Do you know how to get it back?

Heather said...

Okay I am leaving you 20 comments! I must love you! Well I just found the answer to my question, but I am posting it here cause this has given me grief for so long! Here is the link where I found the solution--
Love your blog and ideas!

Heather, glad you found that. yes..sometimes it can be the simplest thing & you can NOT figure it out. there are no such things as 'dumb' questions!

connie: unfortunately, brushes are not made to be uploaded permanently. When you power down most likely you'll have to re-load the brushes. PS usually defaults to the regular PSE brushes.

as far as organizing, I organize all of my things in Bridge. Do you have that?

Amber said...

Hi Rhonna.
Just wanted to let you know that I have PSE 5 and I can use your brushes just fine. You, Heidi and Janet creating together was the best news! My very favorite artist together in one place - can't get much better than that!

:) Tiff said...

Hiya. I have the same question as Connie so I'll quote her.

'Any suggestion how to organize all of this digi-stuff so it is more usable? I have a hard time finding what I'm looking for and forget what I have'

and to ask a question to you of the answer you gave to her.
'what is bridge' ???

thanks so much for the info.

marta said...

merci. oh i loved this, thank you. i love your stuff and have purchased your products on two peas. then my sis, heidi ballou says she knew you in real life! hooray hooray. it's such a small world.

anyway, thanks for this tutorial. love all the expert tips. am off to make my own brush now. thank you.

Hi Rhonna!

For some reason, I can't load these into my PS (CS3)....when I bring up the brush palette, everything is grayed nothing is clickable...=(


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