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Using Brushes in Photoshop and Elements to Create Custom Borders

Using Brushes in Photoshop and Elements to Create Custom Borders

I love collecting brushes for Photoshop.  I use them to create artistic effects with my photography.

Watch the video tutorial to learn how to use brushes to create your own, customized clipping masks in Photoshop/PSE collections.   Using these clipping masks, you can produce images with varying shapes, outlines, and photo densities – the perfect way for scrapbookers and photographers to create borders and frames for their images.   In addition, I will show you how to create artistic effects.


Use masks to transform the image above  into this:

The key principles in the lessons in this video are:

1) When creating a mask, create the mask as a separate layer from your background and your target photograph.

2) To create a clipping mask, place the mask  layer under your photograph, depress the ALT key on a PC (or option key on a Mac) and keep it depressed, and then click on the line separating the photograph and the mask.

3) Make sure your mask encompasses all of your important photographic elements that you want to emphasize.  Want to see more of your photograph?, Add to the mask.

4) Use the opacity slider on layers to vary your photographic effects and color bleed through.

5) The sky is the limit!  Using your own brushes, the combinations that are possible are endless.

Creative Framing Techniques with custom masks


Have fun putting your Photoshop brushes to some new uses!!

Heather VR, the guest blogger for this article, is a photographer with Little Black Dog Studio.

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  1. sue
    October 3, 2011 at 11:59 am — Reply

    I love the distressed brush that was used on the full barn photo. Where can I find it?

  2. October 3, 2011 at 1:47 pm — Reply

    Photoshop brushes article is help me to do my job, thanks

  3. October 4, 2011 at 9:07 am — Reply

    Great article. I’m going to have to play around with this!

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Using Brushes in Photoshop and Elements to Create Custom Borders