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Drawing and Painting in Photoshop Touch

Creative Painting in Photoshop Touch

As far as I know, Photoshop Touch offers much the same wide range of tools, whether you have a tablet, phablet or phone, whether Apple or Android.

Tower
Painting in Photoshop Touch. Tower.

Of course, like its famous desktop counterpart, Photoshop Touch is not really made for painting. Photoshop Touch is a photo editor for mobile tablets and phones.

All the same, sneak behind the scenes and it’s surprising what you find in this really rather amazing application.

Hunt out the basic Photoshop Touch paintbrush and you don’t find anything fancy. Just a standard circular brush tip dab.

* Correction added in June 2014. Things are really looking up! You now have a menu of 24 brush tips – chisel, flat, spray and other kinds of fancy. More about the new Touch brushes here.

In addition you can vary not only brush size and opacity. There are sliders for Hardness and Flow.

* Other sliders now allow you to adjust vertical and horizontal spacing. (Horizontal spaces your brush marks out like a string of beads. Vertical allows your mark to jump up and down.) 

Choose Edge Aware and your brush will obligingly stick within a boundary you are tracing. This is very useful, particularly if you’re using a blunt instrument like your finger or a squashy stylus. If you’re lucky enough to have a pressure sensitive stylus, you can choose whether stylus pressure influences size, transparency – or both or neither. You can of course choose colour, RGB or HSB. Try the FX brush. This paints with effects. Pencil gives interesting results. Besides the FX brush you have a spray can, otherwise known as an airbrush.

Mountains
Mountains Painted in Photoshop Touch

All the brushes above apply colour. There are also a couple of brushes that work on existing colour: Blur and Smudge. These can give seductive watercolour effects. Of course, these drawing and painting tools are only the start. Ludicrously, Photoshop Touch may cost around a hundredth of the full all-dancing Photoshop, but it offers a range of tools that at first may seem overwhelming.

You have all kinds of selection methods. I particularly like the Scribble Selection pen, which makes short work of the boring and exacting task of outlining a subject to pick it out against a background. This would otherwise be particularly difficult, even with the help of pinch zoom, when working with a finger or squashy stylus on a small screen.

Photoshop Touch does of course offer  layers.  These you can stretch, shrink, rotate and otherwise distort.  A long list of blend modes transforms your work in a wild variety of ways. A text tool with some 30 fonts. Fine tuning and special effects.  The list of Photoshop Touch capabilities goes on. Luckily there are some good introductory tutorials to get you started.

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Valerie Beeby

We used to say 'Seeing is believing'. Now it's more like 'Believing is seeing'. We see what we expect to see. Look again and who knows. Does it really match what's actually there? ...I've always been fascinated by how our minds work. As a writer and artist, I'm particularly interested in new research into how we perceive this extraordinary world we live in, where things are not always what they seem.

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