Photoshop - Brushes - 3

Here we cover the last few controls within the Brush Engine and finish off with a couple of samples and tips. These last five differ from those previously described as they have no Options - just put a check in the box to apply/unapply the effect.

If you've used the Noise Filter in Photoshop this is much the same thing. This Option adds randomness to individual brush tips. It's most effective when used with soft brush tips.
Wet Edges
This causes paint to build up along the edges of the stroke in much the same as dipping a watercolor brush into a jamjar.
wet edges
This corresponds to the Airbrush in the Options bar airbrush. It allows you to apply gradual tones to an image and the opacity and Flow must be amended within the options bar (i.e. not within the Brush Engine).
This produces smoother curves in brush strokes. Most effective when painting quickly with a graphics pen, however there may be a small time lag in stroke rendering.
Protect Texture
This applies the same pattern and scale to all brush presets that have a texture. Select this option to simulate a consistent canvas texture when painting with multiple, textured tips.

Creating New Brushes

A custom brush is essentially a black and white image. You select the one you want to use from the brush menu, and then use the paint brush or air brush tool to "stamp" one or more copies of it wherever you want on the photoshop canvas. If you have a color other than black selected for the painting tool, then you'll stamp in that color - think of it as inking a real-world stamp from a different color ink pad. Everything that was black in the original image will show up the color you've selected, everything that was white will be transparent and everything that was gray will be some semi-transparent version of the color you've chosen.

Open up a new image. Any size will do (you can always use the [and ] keys to make it smaller/bigger). To be most effective, the shape should appear on a solid white background. if you want to create a brush with soft edges, select gray colors.

Draw/paint your brush. The one to the right is a very simple collection of black dots:

Then go to EDIT...Define Brush. Name the brush and it will be added at the bottom of your default brushes. All that's left is to use any of the aforementioned parameters and paint away!

dot brush


But that is a very, very simple beginning. Custom brushes can be scanned in, be part of an original image (use the unfeathered Rectangular Marquee Tool to make a selection), fonts can be used - anything!

Loading Custom Brushes into Photoshop

The internet has many, many pre-made Custom brushes.  A quick search on Google will usually find what you want.  Download the brushes you want and save them (I usually save to my desktop). In Photoshop, select the Brush Tool Brush Tool, click the down-pointing arrow in the Brush Options bar (1), then click the right-facing arrow (2) and, from the drop-down list, select Load Brushes (3).
Browse to where you've downloaded the brushes and select that file.

Your new brush will appear at the very end of your current brush preview window (4)

Load Brushes
Cloud Brush
One of the most flexible brushes is based on an image of clouds.  Here's how we make one.
Cloud Brush Image

For a simple "grass" effect, select two different greens - one dark, one light for your Foreground/Background colors, select the Dune Grass brush, adjust its size and paint away!

dune grass brush Alternatively, pick two shades of brown (one dark, one light) for "fur".

For a very simple "sparkle" effect, make White your foreground Color, pick one of the Star brushes and "dab on" where you want the sparkle to appear.
sparkleStar brush
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