You can select faces by pressing CTRL+SHIFT and clicking, or CTRL+ALT+SHIFT and click to add/subtract faces from your selection. If you're still confused, check the shortcut list or preferences to see which keys exactly are bound to face selection, it's possible you've set something that chagnes it.
The 'J' key cycles through selection indication methods - wireframe and tint, tint, wireframe, none. You can't see which faces are selected in the wireframe or no indication modes, but those let you see the true texture applied to the brush. Just mash the J key a few times, riceplant.
[Edit: corrected a techinical error.]
Last edited by wedge2211; 09-02-2005 at 02:33 PM.