Step 4: Making a Custom Brush with Softer Bristles
At this stage, I built a custom brush with more bristles and a softer feel. Beginning with the Flat Blunt Short Stiff, I made changes in the Brush panel Bristle Qualities area as follows: For denser bristles, I increased the Bristles from 27% to 34%, leaving the Length at its default 33%. I increased the Thickness from 23% to 25%, and for a softer feel I decreased the Stiffness from 80% to 10%. Finally, I left the Angle at the default setting of 0°. Figure 11 and Figure 12 show the settings for the default brush and the new custom brush, respectively. As I adjusted the settings, I made test strokes, and when the custom brush looked the way I wanted it, I saved a new preset. (I named my new brush Flat Blunt Soft Medium.) To save your brush preset, click the pop-out menu on the upper right of the Brush Presets panel and choose New Brush Preset. In the Brush Name dialog, name your brush, and then click OK to close the dialog box. You can see my final practice strokes with the Flat Blunt Short Stiff (top) and the new Flat Blunt Soft Medium (bottom) in Figure 13.
Figure 11 The Brush panel shows the default settings for the Flat Blunt Short Stiff brush preset.
Figure 12 The Brush panel,showing my custom settings. I increased the Bristles and the Thickness; for a softer feel, I decreased the Stiffness. The brush preview shows the denser, softer bristles.
Figure 13 Sample brushstrokes painted using the default Flat Blunt Short Stiff brush (top) and the new denser, softer version (bottom).