Dab Stencils

When it comes to Dab Stencils, I think the best way to understand how they render is to think of masking. If you choose a texture, and apply the stroke, the Dab Stencil masks brush strokes before you apply a brush stroke. The potential for creativity lies in what brushes you choose from blenders to watercolor to Impasto and more! The brush mark in essence knocks out areas of the brush dab by making them more transparent as if you were painting around a masked area or stamping with the brush variant. For areas that are elevated more paint is applied and less or no paint at all with the inverted or indented areas of the dab.

Similar to Texture brushes and Glazing brushes you can choose a dab stencil source from a variety of stencil media such as papers, flow maps and textures.

I feel one of the most important panels to use while experimenting with Dab Stencils is the Texture Painting Panel. The greatest control lies in the Strength and Min Strength settings. You can adjust the properties of the dab stencil which will in turn change the look of the brush stroke. When a Dab Stencil is at maximum strength (100%), it is more opaque and makes the dab appear the most transparent in terms of the area that it covers.


Dab Stencils feature differs from grain in several ways. 

  • Dab stencils vary the opacity of the dab before you apply a brushstroke and can be applied only to dab-based brushes.
  • Grain works only with paper textures
  • Dab stencils can use flow maps, paper texture and textures
  • Dab stencils work with methods and subcategories that currently do not support grain. An example would be applying dab stencil to a glow brush


dab stencil



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