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A brush tool is one of the basic tools found in graphic design and editing applications. It is a part of the painting tool set which may also include pencil tools, pen tools, fill color and many others. It allows the user to paint on a picture or photograph with the selected color. The size of the resulting stroke or line and the color can be selected from predefined options, or in some applications the user can create custom definitions. The shape of the brush tool can also be changed to square, circle, oval, and so on, according to preference.
Graphics and image editing programs make extensive use of various painting tools that help in creating new pictures or editing digital images. A brush tool can be used to paint on an image just as a brush is used in reality to paint on a canvas. A brush stroke is made as the user moves the cursor over the image after the necessary selections have been made.
The brush tool is usually found along with the other editing tools under the main toolbar in such applications. The size of the brush strokes is set by specifying the diameter value or by selecting from the predefined set of options from a drop-down menu. The diameter value is expressed in terms of pixels. Larger sizes may cause pixelation.
Certain applications allow for the customization of the texture or hardness of the brush strokes as well. By utilizing all the given options in a suitable manner, the brush tool can be used effectively to mirror the real brush strokes of a painting.
In addition to the traditional brush style that draws strokes, certain graphic design applications may also provide additional brush styles such as calligraphic brushes, natural brushes, wet media brushes, square brushes, special effect brushes, faux finish brushes and many more.
Some other features of a brush tool include its mode settings, spacing, opacity, flow, airbrush and several other advanced settings that can control the flow, color dynamics, scatter, style and many other properties of a brush stroke.