• Creating a Line of Circles in Photoshop and Elements

    This week’s tip is the eighth in a series of video tips on using shapes to add interest to your digital projects. We’ve explored a number of shapes from hand drawn squares and offset circles to waves and cut-out type. This week’s tip rounds out the series with instructions for creating a line of circles or other shapes from brushes.


    Get started by opening a new document in Photoshop or Elements. Click the Create a New Layer icon in the Layers panel to create a new transparent layer above the background. Set the Foreground color to a color that contrasts with your background. The color you choose will be the color of the brushwork.


    Get the Brush tool and move your cursor to the Options bar. Choose a large, round brush with hard edges. For the sample, I chose 300 pixels for the size, Normal Mode and set the Opacity and Flow to 100%.


    Next, open the Brush Options:

    · In Elements, the Brush Options icon looks like a paintbrush at the end of the row of icons in the Options Bar.

    · In Photoshop, the Brush Options can be activated by pressing F5 or choosing Window > Brush. Choose the Brush Tip Shape tab.


    From the Brush Options dialog box, change the Spacing to 90%.


    Shift, click and drag out a line of circles. With the spacing set to 90%, the circles will overlap slightly.


    Note: At 100% the circles will just touch. Numbers below 100 cause the circles to overlap. The lower the number, the more the circles overlap. Numbers above 100 will create a space between the circles. The higher the number, the more space will separate them.


    To use the line of circles on your digital project, get the Move tool and drag the brush layer onto your page. You can use the circle layer as a clipping mask to digitally “glue” papers to the circles like the sample.


    Get creative with this technique by choosing a brush other than a circle. You can create a line of stars, hearts, or any other brush you might have in your digital toolkit. Be sure to check out the selection of brushes at the Designer Digitals shop