Photoshop CS5 features a number of interesting improvements to painting and brushes. The new brush tips, found within the Brushes panel, are designed for more lifelike painting, allowing you to simulate the effects of painting with a variety of brush tips, from a round fan brush to a flat angle tip.
The Bristle Quality options allow you to customize the length and thickness of the bristles along with several other new attributes. Not only are these new options a lot of fun to play with, but they really do provide a realistic painting experience. I predict we’ll see a large number of brush strokes as page accents and calligraphy-type treatment gracing magazines, advertisements and Web sites over the next year.
These brushes really come to life when used with a graphics tablet, which allows you to control the brush pressure as well as the angle of the brush tip (which mirrors the angle of the stylus.) Together, these tools provide artists a lot of freedom to experiment. I’ve been trying to find a good photographic use for these specialized brushes and I have to say, I haven’t yet found one, though that doesn’t mean I haven’t had fun trying.