Thursday, November 19, 2009

AEDM-Day 19, Owl and Photoshop Tutorial

I am trying to draw at least one bird every day, but it is sometimes difficult to even find that little bit of time to sit quietly and concentrate on that small task. Here is an owl that I sketched some time in the last month or so that I haven't shared yet. I like him, but certainly could have done a better job on his eyes. But I will share him here, anyway:

I did find time to sit down and write a tutorial for stroking a path in Photoshop. I hope you find this to be as much fun as I do.

File < New

Edit < Fill Choose a color for your background. You can leave it white if you want.

Now let's get our brush ready. I am going to set the foreground color to the color I want my brush to be by clicking on the top color chip in the bottom of the tool bar and selecting a color when the color picker opens.

I then choose a brush. I want to make a dotted brush so I am choosing a small round brush and then I open the brush palette to make some adjustments.

I set my brush diameter at 7 and used 160% for the spacing. You can use whatever settings give you the look you want in the preview window.

Also click on shape dynamics and set all choices to 0% and Control to Off.

Next, you have to decide what you want to stroke. I chose some text. So I typed the text that I wanted...

This isn't the text I want to stroke, just part of the finished product.

This is the text I want to stroke so I made sure to type it on its own layer.

Now you want to make a new blank layer to put the stroke on so that you can manipulate it afterward if desired.

You can see my empty layer above the "dotted line" text layer in the layers palette.

Now, if you Control click (that's right click on a PC) on the blue part of the layer that you want to stroke you will get a menu that includes "make work path". That is what you will choose.

Make sure your new blank layer is selected (blue) and then go to the paths palette and click on the work path to make it active. Then go to the round circle at the bottom or the palette and click. If you hover over each of the choices at the bottom of the palette and have "tips" turned, text will appear to tell you what the button is for.

At this point you can see the dotted brush stroke (you may need to click on this picture to make it larger).

Now let's delete the path (we don't need it any more).

As a last step go back to the layers palette and put the text layer that you stroked into the trash. And here is what I have:

NOTE: when I first typed dotted line, the letters were the same size and spacing as the "Sign on the" layer above. To make the stroking stand out more, I changed the horizontal spacing in the Character palette.

I hope you liked this tutorial and if at any point in your attempt to follow along, you get confused, please email me or leave a comment and I will try to make it more clear.

Here are a couple more little things I played while in Photoshop:

This is more "text on a path" like the tutorial of a couple of days ago.

I need to choose less complex shapes to add text to. I tend to get overlap in the tight corners, but I so love birds.

And what would playing in Photoshop be without a new pattern???

As an aside, the patterns I have made make lovely wallpaper and because they are seamless repeating pattterns, choosing tile covers the whole desktop no matter the size of your screen seamlessly. Tada!!

Here is a current screen shot of my computer:

Time for a second mug of coffee and get in the shower to get this day started. One of the blogs I read is written by a very fine artist, Kal Barteski. If you don't know her, you owe it to yourself to go look at her art work, especially if you love birds. She ends most of her posts with Go! and I so love it, but I don't know that I particularly want to downright copy someone else. So, since that one is already taken, I think I will use Get Moving! What do you think??? (big smile grin)


  1. i like that you give yourself one theme to work on...
    and you've got me thinking about photoshop in a whole new way. thanks!

  2. I'll have to give this a try. I've always wondered how to make these dots!