Besides applying solid colors to your images, Elements lets you add patterns to your pictures. You get quite a few patterns with Elements when you buy it, and you can also download more patterns from online sources (see Section 17.2) or create your own. You can use patterns to add interesting designs to your image, or to give a more realistic texture to certain repairs.
You can use either the Healing brush or the Pattern Stamp to apply patterns. The Healing brush has a pattern option in the Options bar. The Pattern Stamp shares the toolbox slot with the Clone Stamp, and it works very much like the Clone Stamp, but it puts down a preselected pattern instead of a sampled area.
Elements actually gives you lots of ways to use patterns, including creating a Fill layer that's entirely covered with the pattern of your choice. Fill layers are covered on Section 6.4.
The tool you choose to apply your pattern makes a big difference, as you can see from Figure 9-6. The next two sections explain how to use both tools.
Figure 9-6. The same pattern applied with the Healing brush (left) and the Pattern Stamp (right). The Healing brush blends the pattern into the underlying color (and texture, when there is any), while the Pattern Stamp just plunks down the pattern as it appears in the pop-out palette.
The Healing brush in Pattern mode is great for things like improving ...