Here’s a question for all the brush-using PS jockeys out there – how do you use your brushes, once you have them?

Y’see, here’s my problem. I wanted to try a new style for my Dispatches series of maps, so I drew a whole bunch of different brushes – mountains, forests, hills, cities etc. They looked good, and I eventually had them ready to use.

And then I find out that PS regards white areas as transparent, and grey as semi-transparent. So when I start using my new brushset, the brushes are overlapping one another. No problem, I think; I’ll just place each mountain on a separate layer, and erase the overlap to make it look proper.

This method works, and the results look pretty nice, but it takes soooo long to get even a modest-sized mountain range up. Adding hills and foothills slows the process even more, because the transition from mtn to hill needs to be carefully placed, then erased, then placed, then erased.

Next I thought, what about a pattern. I can then cover the whole page in mountains, or hills etc and clear the layer mask where I want them. No luck – the result looked horrendous, and still took ages.

So my question again, do you have any techniques when using brushsets to speed the process up? Or does everyone find this a slow process and I’m complaining about nothing? I’ve included a few samples to show what I mean. Thanks in advance for any tips/advice. (PS. I've just realised this should go in 'How Do I?' I'll try and move it there, but if I can't figure it out, could an administrator please correct this. Sorry for the mistake).Click image for larger version. 

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