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Photoshop 202 Handbook
By Richard Rost   Richard Rost on Twitter Richard Rost on LinkedIn Email Richard Rost   15 years ago

This is the full text listing of one of our handbooks. There is a lot more to this handbook. The full-color screen shots have been removed for this page. This text is simply provided so that the search engines will index the course contents. This is so any customer searching for a topic can find what class it's covered in. If you are interested in more about information about our courses, click here for our complete course listing. For details on how to purchase a handbook, visit our handbooks page.

Photoshop 202
Course Handbook Supplement

By Richard Rost

Published By
Amicron Computing
PO Box 1308, Amherst NY 14226 USA

First Printing 11/1/2006
Copyright 2006 by Amicron Computing
All Rights Reserved


Welcome to Photoshop 202 - Intermediate Photoshop.

This handbook is designed to be a supplement to the full 599CD video course for Photoshop 202. We recommend you use this handbook to follow along with the class videos. This handbook is not meant as a stand-alone study guide.

We do recommend that you watch the course videos one time through, paying attention to the lessons covered. Follow along with the course videos using this guide. Take notes on the pages where needed. Then, watch the videos a second time, practicing the examples yourself on your computer.

Table of Contents

Welcome 2
Table of Contents 2
Introduction 3
Getting Started 4
Brush Options 17
Working with Color 26
Manipulating Paint 38
Landscape Picture 1 45
Landscape 2 60
Landscape 3 71
Review 77


Welcome to Photoshop 202, brought to you by I am your instructor, Richard Rost.

Objectives for today’s class:

· Drawing freehand with Brushes
· Make an "authentic-looking' chalk painting

If you visit http://www.photoshoplearningzone.come/courses/202, you can see a sample of a chalk painting and some other sample images made in Photoshop.

The class follows Photoshop 101, 102, 103 and 201. I strongly recommend that you watch all previous classes before you start with this class. We will be using Adobe Photoshop 7 and Windows XP in this class, but the lessons in this class are really common to all versions of Windows.

Getting Started

In this lesson, we're going to work with getting started with Photoshop, restoring the Photoshop default settings, setting up custom workspaces, and we'll learn about brush presets and tips. Let's begin working on Photoshop. As I'm getting started, I want to restore Photoshop's default application settings. Sometimes when I'm moving and changing things around, I change my default settings. But it's important that everything on my screen looks like everything on your screen.

As you open Photoshop, hold down the SHIFT-CRTL-ALT keys - not before you double-click on the icon, but after. Photoshop will ask if you want to delete the Adobe Photoshop Settings File. Click Yes. If you don't see this box - that means you held down the SHIFT-CRTL-ALT keys too soon.

Next, you might see this window, which asks if you want to customize your color settings. Click No.

Because I'm working with a small area, I'm going to move some windows around and save them using a custom workspace setup. So the next time I load up Photoshop, I can say, "Hey, load up my custom workspace," and my windows will show up back where they were. After moving some stuff around, I click on Window - Workspace - and then Save Workspace.

I'll get this little window that asks what I want to save the Workspace as. I'll type in a name and then hit Save.

Let's say I move some stuff around. To restore my Workspace back to the way it was, I just click Window - Workspace - and then the name of the workspace I saved.

Then everything goes back where it belongs. You can set up multiple workspaces for different types of projects.

Now as I said in the introduction, Photoshop is usually used for editing photos. But it's also really good at doing freehand drawing. Let's begin by creating a blank, new file.

I'll call this file, "Rick's Chalk Painting." For preset sizes, I'm going to pick the Default Photoshop Size setting. Then I'll hit OK.

Click on the Brush Tool and notice the different brush options on the toolbar.

If you drop down the Tool Preset Picker, you'll see some preset brush settings. And to use one of them, just pick one.

Let's pick the Airbrush Soft Round 50% flow. A brush with this setting creates the look of an airbrush.

If you look over to the right on the toolbar, you see an airbrush button which you can use to turn it on and off..

As I click and hold down the airbrush, it will appear to spray and fill in. If I turn the airbrush button off and then hold down the mouse button, not much really happens.

The flow increases or decreases how fast the paint flows. To turn it on, just click it's arrow and drag. The higher the percentage, the faster the airbrush will fill an area.

I'm going to step backwards through all of that. Step Backwards is the same thing as Undo. I'm going to click Edit - Step Backward to clear the screen.

Here's the Transparent Red Spray Paint bush in use:

All the preset brushes change the different options available on the toolbar. If I pick Paintbrush Oval 45 Pixels Multiply, I get these results.

If you want to change your brush, click on this button. Changing the Master Diameter setting will increase or decrease the size of your drawing cursor.

You can also pick a different line type, which will also change the size and type of your drawing cursor.

On the brush's drop down box, there's an arrow button that you can click to find additional brush options.

If I click Load Brushes, I can select a brush on my hard drive.

In the upper right side of the screen, you'll see the Brush Palette.

If you click on that, it will drop down its Tools Options window.

The first thing I'm going to do is set my color to blue because that red is just driving me nuts! You can either use the eyedropper or RGB arrows to adjust the color.

Now I'm gong to pick my brush. At the bottom of the window, you can see a little preview of what the brushes look like.

Once you've selected one of these preset brushes, you can click on Brush Tip Shape to change the shape of the brush's tip.

You can change the diameter (size) of the tip and you an also change the angle of the tip.

Next, you can change the hardness of the brush to alter how defined the edges of the tip is formed. Lower percentages create fuzziness as higher percentages produce cleaner, harder edges.

Spacing emulates dabs of paint coming out of a brush. Lower percentages create a consistent line as higher percentages produce individual dabs.

If you want to save this masterpiece of a brush, you can click on the button at bottom and type in a brush name. Hit OK and that'll be added to the Brush Presets.

Returning to Brush Presets, you can find the brush that you just saved.

Brush Options

In this lesson, we're going to look at all the different brush options, as well as the eraser & pencil tools.

Continuing on with our brushes, we also have an Opacity Setting which determines how much I can see behind the paint of a brush. Increasing the opacity percentage creates denser, opaque, less-transparent paint. Decreasing the opacity percentage creates more transparent paint.

One of the special effects that I like is Wet Edges.

With this tool, the edges appear darker than the middle.

There are a whole bunch of different options and the best way to go about learning this stuff is to just play with it. For example, we have Jitter, which means changing back and forth. If I increase the Size Jitter setting, the size of my brush stroke changes while I drag the mouse.

Minimum Diameter is related to Jitter, in that it allows you to set the Minimum Diameter of the size of the brush.

If you have a drawing stylus and a tablet, you can set the Control Setting to control how the Jitter is effected. If you're just drawing with a mouse, you can just leave this set to Off.

Angle Jitter sets how much angle of the pen jitters back and forth. Increasing this setting will cause the angle to go back and forth.

Roundness Jitter sets how round your pen strokes are. But Texturing let's you pick a different texture and apply it to the edges of the brush you're using.

With Color Dynamics, you can increase the Purity Setting and reduce the intensity of a color.

Foreground/Background Jitter will jitter between the foreground and background colors blue and red.

Hue Jitter means the colors are going to oscillate between the colors that are near it.

The Brightness Jitter will darken and lighten. But the Opacity Jitter in Other Dynamics will alter between opaque and transparency. These are all the different options that try to make your brush strokes look real.

Noise will add a graininess to the edge of a stroke. And Smoothing will smooth out the angles of your strokes.

More tips and tricks!

· Let's say you have a different tool on. If you press B on your keyboard, Photoshop will switch to Brush.

· If you need to draw a perfectly straight horizontal or vertical line, hold down the SHIFT key as you draw it.

· Use SHIFT-CLICK to draw between two points. Click to start - move the mouse to where you want it, and then SHIFT-CLICK to draw a line between those two points.

To compliment the paintbrush, we have an Eraser Tool.

The Eraser Tool actually behaves a lot like a paintbrush, and you can erase manually by clicking and dragging and you can set options for it.

You can pick how big you want your eraser to be. You can give it soft edges.

You can give it different shapes like Brush, Pencil, or Block.

You can change its Opacity and its Flow Controls as well. Of course, the Eraser Tool has its own options.

Let's check out the Background Eraser. The Background Eraser Tool erased the background colors. Up top, I'm going to se the Sampling to Once, which means it's going to sample the background color Once - the first time I click.

I'll click on the background and it'll sample the color as a background color.

Now as I erase, it's only going to erase that color. I can move the eraser over the dog, but it's not erasing it.

The Magic Eraser Tool will erase an entire section filled with the background color.

There is also a Pencil Tool (under the Brush Tool) which pretty much has the same options as the Brush Tool - except there's no hardness or soft edge features available.

Working with Color

Lesson 3 is all about color. We'll teach you how adjust your colors, change your blending mode, and set up your swatches.

To change a foreground color, simply click on it.

Inside the Color Picker, you can click on any color that you want or you can slide the arrows to change the rainbow. If you know all the CYMK, red, green, blue, or hue, saturation, and brightness numbers you want, you can type them in here too.

If you click the Only Web Colors checkbox at the bottom., it will only allow you to pick colors that are visible in a web browser.

You can pick the background color and change it the same way by clicking on the background color in the color tool.

Clicking this button here will switch the background color with the foreground color, and vice versa.

This little guy down here will set them to their defaults - which is black on white. You can also hit the X button on your keyboard to toggle between the foreground and background color. Pressing D will set it back to the default setting.

Let's say you want a reddish color. You can slide the arrows up to a red area and click Saturation to adjust how deep the color is.

Click Brightness to adjust how bright a color is.

If you're comfortable with working with colors on a computer screen, and you don't want to work with Hue, Saturation, or Brightness, you can use RGB.

Click R to adjust the redness of a color. Click G to adjust the green-ness of a color. Click B to adjust the blueness of a color.

For those of you who hand-code HTML, you can just copy and paste the figure at bottom into your HTML editor.

This window has a button you can click to change the kind of sliders that you work with - and do a little adjusting as well.

Next to the Color tab, there's also a Swatches Tab. The swatches work just like a box of crayons. Simply click to pick a color. If you want to set a background color from the Swatches window, Hit the CTRL key and then click a color.

Do you have a favorite color that you want to add to the Swatches tab? Click in an empty area on the Swatches windows.

Photoshop will paint that color in that area and prompt you to save it with a unique name.

After saving the color, it will be added to the Swatches.

To delete colors off of the Swatches, press the ALT key and click them (or hit the little trash can).

This little button adds favorite colors the same way, but without asking you to name it.

There are options available for the Swatches too.

You can save Swatches, you can load different swatches, and there's different swatches on the bottom of the options list too.

While you're working on your drawing, you can use the Eyedropper to pick up a color. And as you go back to the brush, you're drawing with the new color that you picked up. As a shortcut, you can just hold the ALT key down and click to pick up a color.

There's an optional Sample Size Setting available when dealing with the eyedropper. The Point Sample means right at the tip of the eyedropper is the color you get. If you want to get an average of the colors around an area, click on 3 by 3 Average or 5 by 5 Average. (A shortcut to the eyedropper by the way is the I key".)

I'm going to clear all this now by clicking the Lasso.

Then I'm going to press ALT + A to select everything, and then Delete. Notice my background is purple.

We can change that back to white by adjusting the background color on the toolbox. Press ALT+A again and then Delete. That will delete everything and change the background color to white.

Now let's talk about Blending Mode. Back to our Brush Tool, we have a Mode option up top.

Let's set this to Normal. When I draw with Normal, I get a simple color. Even if my paint goes over my existing paint, nothing changes.

If I pick up a different color, the red behind it (base color) doesn't affect the new blue color that I'm laying down. The only exception is if you change your opacity.

With the Multiply Setting, it's like painting with Magic Markers. If I take some light blue and I go over it with some red, I get the following. The marker darkens as it passes over the background. Multiply multiplies the colors together.

If you've got two light colors, you'll even notice a difference when you pass over them.

Let's look at the Dissolve Setting. Dissolve means that a random number of pixels don't get drawn.

The Darken Setting basically just draws the darkest colors. But to understand the Lighten Setting, we need to go back to Normal for a second to draw some colors. Lighten will lighten the colors we placed on the drawing.

The Difference Setting will create the difference between a blend color and a base color and subtracts which one is lighter.

Manipulating Paint

In this lesson, we're going to learn how to manipulate the paint. We're going to learn the Blur, Sharpen, Smudge, Sponge, Dodge, and Burn tools.

Let's talk about some of the tools for moving paint around. Photoshop has a Smudge Tool that's good for blending paint.

If you click this tool and use it to drag a color, it smudges the paint in the same direction.

You can adjust its strength....

...for an even stronger smudge.

I can smudge backwards too to bring in some of the background into the image I'm working on.

Another interesting option is the Finger Paint option up top.

Check that on and it will smudge with the foreground color. I'm going to add green as my foreground color and start smudging. It starts smudging with the green.

Along with our Smudge took, we have the Blur and Sharpen Tool. This affects the focus.

Let's say I want to get rid of some of the spots on this dog's nose. I can use the blur tool to blur together the color on his nose to create softer fur.

The opposite of the Blur Tool is the Sharpen Tool. You can use this tool and click and drag it to un-blur an area.

Here's the Dodge Tool.

The Dodge Tool basically lightens an area.

The opposite of the Dodge Tool is the Burn Tool.

The Burn Tool will darken an area.

The last tool in this series is the Sponge Tool.

The Sponge Tool is used to either saturate or de-saturate an area with color. Default is de-saturate, and if I use the Sponge Tool right now, it slowly removes the color. It basically merges it with gray.

To saturate the drawing, select Saturate in the options up top.

Landscape Picture 1

In this lesson, we're going to begin by creating our landscape chalk drawing picture. We're going to do this in layers.

We'll start off with the background - an early morning or late evening blue sky. The easiest way to do this is to pick our background color!

I'll click OK and then hit Delete. That will delete the background and leave us with a nice blue. That's our background layer.

I'll come over to our Layers now to create a cloud layer. On the bottom, click the Create New Layer button.

And we'll call our new layer, "Clouds."

We're going to draw some nice soft puffy clouds on this new layer. So let's get a nice big soft brush and make the diameter really big.

Let's make our Opacity about 30% and make our foreground color white. And then we can draw our base color for the clouds

How about we go a little gray now. (Pick gray from the color swatches.)

Maybe even a little darker gray in spots.

Alright, I've got that picture of the moon from the website and I'm going to open it up in Photoshop. I want to get this picture of the moon in my drawing.

So I'm going to pick the Selection Tool, hit CTRL+A to select all of the moon's picture, and hit CTRL+C to copy it. Then I'm going to click on our cloud drawing and hit CTRL+V to paste the moon onto it. Photoshop will bring it in as a new layer (we can change the name of that layer to "Moon").

That moon is too big for our picture so let's resize it. I'm going to hide the other layers now so all I see is the moon. With the Selection Tool, I'm going to draw a box around the moon. Then right-click it and select Free Transform.

Now I can move the moon around and grab a corner of its edges to resize it.

I can move my mouse to the side of it and drag it to give it a little angle.

Hit Enter to keep that position and then turn the other layers back on.

Now obviously, I don't want the black region around the moon. I'm going to the moon layer and set the layer's mode from normal to lighten.

We can also change the opacity for the moon's layer.

The clouds should really be in front of the moon, right? We can drag the cloud layer up above the moon layer.

I've also got a star picture on the website that I'm going to open in Photoshop. We can copy and drop it in the picture.

We can use the same techniques to resize it and make the background of this star disappear.

While we're thinking about it, now's a good time to save our work!

Let's make a new layer for the grass now. We're going to have two sets of grass: a background layer and a foreground layer. That's going to be in front of everything, so let's drag it up to the top.

For grass, we're going to use the 134 Brush Tool with a small diameter.

Let's pick a green, set the opacity to 100%, and adjust the brush (click Window - Brushes from the menu bar).

Shape Dynamics will give us a Size Jitter (changes the sizes of the grass), Angle Jitter (changes the angles of the grass), and Roundness Jitter (changes the roundness of the grass).

Scattering will give us a Scatter (changes the how close the grass sits together), and Count (changes the number grass strokes).

Color Dynamics will give us a Foreground/Background Jitter (changes the color randomness of the grass), and Hue Jitter (basically does the same thing).

Let's see what happens now.

We can manually change the color to get some different shades. And there's our background grass!

We might even want to add some different types of grass.

We can use this blade and a lighter color to highlight the grass.

Now I want to create a tree. I'm going to make a new layer for my tree outline.

I'm going to pick a real simple brush and change the foreground color to black.

And now I'll draw a tree.

Next, I'll fill in the tree black, with the Paint Bucket Tool.

Now what I want to do is add highlights using a lighter brush. We can do this two ways. We can either paint the highlights right on the tree, or we can put the highlights on another layer.

With our tree layer selected, we can see the Lock button. If I click on that, all the transparent pixels in the tree layer are locked. If you try to draw on the transparent area, nothing will show up. But if you try to draw on the tree, you strokes will show. If I unlock it, I can draw anywhere on the screen.

I don't want to do that, so I'll lock the layer. Personally, I prefer to create a second layer to put my highlights on and group it to the tree outline. Because the layers are locked, I need to click the arrow button to select the New Layer option.

This means that all the transparent pixels of the previous layer are locked too. I can only draw over the tree because those two layers are grouped. The benefit is that I've got the original tree in the background and I can change that without changing the highlights.

Landscape 2

If I zoom into this tree, you can see how it's kind of jagged and rough.

We can use the Blur Tool to blur the jaggedness and roughness away. We can even blur the tree outline. Here's a little trick. You can use the square bracket keys on your keyboard to make the cursor size smaller or bigger.

Now we'll zoom back out and add some leaves. Let's create a new layer above the tree highlights layer and call it "Leaves."

Let's pick the leaves brush and shrink down the size.

We need to change the Flow Setting to 100%. Now we can pick up an appropriate color for fall (orange), turn on the Brush Tool, and click some leaves on there!

We can add some yellow, darker red, maybe add a couple of leaves on the ground.

We can change the size and add some leaves to the foreground.

If you decide you don't like some of these, you can always set your Opacity setting to 100%, and erase them with the Eraser Tool.

Let's add some foreground grass. Make another new grass-foreground layer, and set the Brush Tool to the Single Blade "Dune" grass. With dark green, we're going to drop in some foreground grass.

Let's put a mountain in the background now.

For my brush, I'm going to pick the single pixel brush, which is the same brush I used for the tree. So let's go with a new Mountain layer. I'm going to draw it in the front, and then move it to the back where it belongs. This is just so I can see it in relation to the picture as I'm drawing it.

Next, we can "Paint Bucket" it in.

Now we can blur the edges a little bit with the blur tool.

Now let's add the mountain detail layer and group it to the mountain.

We can go back to the Brush Tool, pick a softer brush, pick a light brown, and brush down the sides of the mountain.

Maybe we can go a little lighter on the brown on top.

Maybe on the top, we'll go with some snow capped peaks.

Now we can smudge all this together with the blur tool. I can pick my smudge tool and add just a little smudging on the side.

Now let's move the mountain where it belongs. The mountain should be behind the leaves, tree, and grass. So we can click the mountain layer and mountain details layer, and drag it down above the tree layer.

Now the mountain is where it should be.

Looks good so far! Now I think the leaves look a little bright. So let's burn the leaves. Select the Burn tool.

Select the leaves layer and burn the leaves a little bit.

Let's go to the mountain details layer and darken in a side of the mountain a little more.

We can even burn a little of the background grass the same way. Then we can do a little dodging the other side of the mountain and the grass too.

Now I'm going to use the Magic Eraser Tool to get rid of the bright green leaf in the picture.

Landscape 3

Let's add a lake layer. For the lake, let's get a hard brush with a deep blue water color. I'm going to draw a straight light across the bottom.

Now I'm going to add in some highlights with the Dodge Tool.

Perfect! Now let's move this layer down where it belongs. This should be in front of the mountain but behind the grass.

Oh look at that! That's gorgeous! Let's click on our Venus Layer and get the Move Tool to move Venus down.

Perfect! Alright - Looking good! But actually, it would be cool if the moon was there instead. Let's see what that looks like.

Let's move Venus up in the sky, select the moon layer, and drag the moon down there.

Oh, I like that even better! I'm going to hide everything except my background, my tree, and my tree highlights layer so I can add some branches. We have to unlock the tree layers so we can draw on the tree layers. I'm going to zoom in with my Zoom Tool and pick a brush that's nice and small. And I'm going to "eyedropper" the color near where I'm drawing to draw some little branches.

Now I'll zoom back out and turn the other layers back on.

I think I'm going to click the foreground grass layer and then slide it down a little bit on the picture because it's hiding too much of the leaves..

Now last but not least, let's make this look like a chalk painting! We're going to add some texture with the texturizer. Click Texture from the Filter menu, and then click Texturizer.

I'm going to pick the Canvas texture and Top Left for the Light Direction. Then hit OK.

It textured the layer that I had selected - the grass. We need to texturize the whole thing. So we can click a layer and click Texturizer (the most recently used filter) from the Filter menu.

I picked the leaves layer and it texturized the leaves in the painting.

I can even click a layer and hit CTRL+F to texturize a layer. I'll just go down the list of layers and hit CTRL + F for each one to texturize them all. Now the whole picture has been texturized which makes it look like it was drawn on a canvas with chalk.


Let’s take a moment now to review what we covered in class.

We learned about drawing freehand using our brushes and all the different brush options.
We learned about working with color, changing colors, and saving swatches.
We learned how to manipulate color with dodging and blurring.
We drew our landscape picture.

Tell us what you think. Log on to and take a short survey about this course.

RICK’S NOTE: I really do enjoy getting surveys from you! Make sure you visit the web page above and fill out the survey for this class. Let me know if I’ve moved too fast, and whether or not I covered material that was helpful to you!

Take your skills check quiz at If you pass, you can print out a Certificate of Completion.

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Don’t forget to visit our Microsoft Windows Forum online at: You can chat with our instructors, other users, and even Richard too. You can ask us all of your Access questions, get answers, and tell us what you thought of our class.

This course, handbook, videos, and other materials are copyright 2002-2006 by Amicron Computing. All rights reserved. No portion of this course, handbook, videos, or other course materials may be reproduced, copied, edited, or otherwise distributed without the express written permission of Amicron Computing. Amicron Computing shall not be held liable for any errors or omissions in this document.

This document may not be used as part of a training course without express, written permission from Amicron Computing and the purchase of an Instructional License. For details, contact:

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PO Box 1308
Amherst NY 14226 USA

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