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Photoshop - Paint Bucket Tool - G

Access the paint bucket tool in Photoshop by pressing the G key on your keyboard.

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Paint Bucket Tool - G:

Paint Bucket Tool - G

The paint bucket tool serves one main function; it fills or "paints" an entire selection. Activate the paint bucket tool by press G. Let's run through a very quick, very dirty paint bucket tool demonstration.

Paint the Canvas:

  1. Open a new Photoshop Creation, any size will work.

  2. Paint the Canvas

  3. Set the foreground color to anything besides white.
  4. Click anywhere on the canvas to coat the canvas with a new color or press Alt+backspace (Option+backspace).

  5. Black Canvas

Instead of covering the entire canvas, you may also fill or "paint" just a selection of the canvas by first making a selection with the magic wand tool or marquee tool.

Fill a Selection:


  2. Make a Selection


  4. Fill a Selection

Photoshop - Use Alt+Backspace or Option+Backspace

Switching between tools for simple fills like this can be cumbersome. Instead, use the keyboard short cut Alt+Backspace or Option+Backspace to quickly fill a selection with the foreground color.

Photoshop - Paint Bucket Tool Options

There are numerous options available to the paint bucket:

  • Tool Presets
  • Pattern Filling
  • Gradients
  • Blending Options and Modes
  • Opacity Setting

Learn how to customize your paint bucket tool using the options bar located near the top of the Photoshop screen.

Photoshop - Paint Bucket Tool Options Bar

Following the little paint bucket icon at the top of the options bar is a little black arrow. Clicking this arrow opens up the paint bucket tool presets palette. Inside you will probably find an empty list of possible tool presets. On the right hand side of the palette you will find two more icons, clicking the arrow brings up a drop down listing of options for this palette while clicking the blank page creates a new tool preset.

Create a new tool preset:

  1. Activate the paint bucket tool G and change the opacity to 50%.

  2. Preset Settings

  3. Open up the paint bucket tool preset palette and click the blank page to create a new preset.

  4. Blank Page Icon

  5. Name the new preset as you wish.

  6. Name a new preset

Your paint bucket tool now has an opacity fill of 50% meaning the color is now semi transparent, also because we created a new tool preset, this preset will now have an opacity setting of 50% and you can access this via the tool preset palette instead of adjusting the opacity setting each time.

The concept of tool presets is that as you customize your tool, you may save the settings to be used later on or for another Photoshop creation. Save tool presets when you find a paint bucket tool setting you enjoy.

Photoshop - Fill with a pattern

As we slide down the line on the paint bucket options bar, you will come to a drop down list with two options: foreground and pattern. The examples above outlined what happens using a foreground setting. Now let's fill a selection with one of Photoshop's built in patterns.

Pattern Filling:

  1. Activate the paint bucket tool G.
  2. Set the Fill: option to pattern.

  3. Pattern Fill

  4. Pick a built in pattern from the list.

  5. pick a pattern

  6. Click anywhere on the canvas to fill it with the pattern.

  7. Pattern Filling

Photoshop - Built in Patterns

The pattern palette offers only a handful of the patterns available More patterns can be appended (added) to the palette in the following manner.

More Patterns:

  1. Open up the pattern palette again and click the little arrow located toward the top right of the box.

  2. Magic Arrow

  3. Select one of the pattern groups located toward the bottom of the new menu.

  4. Pattern Groups

  5. Select the append option to add the new patterns to the palette. Simply pressing "OK" will replace the current palette with the new one.

  6. Append!

You should have a great overview of the capabilities of this tool after that quick follow along. Play around with these patterns, and get to know them. Later on we'll talk about how to create your own patterns presets like the built in patterns.

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