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Friday, January 22, 2010

Photoshop Tip: How to Create Your Own Custom Brushes

Photoshop brushes are a great way to enhance your paintings and create interesting and varied backgrounds for your art collections and patterns. But why create your own custom brushes? Well maybe you can't find the effect that you'd like to achieve with the brushes already in Adobe Photoshop or the many brush tips available for purchasing or free on the internet. Or you may want an effect that is totally unique and not available to other artists. Or you just don't have the time to search for that special brush.

Creating your own brush is as easy as painting or importing a black and white image onto a separate layer in Photoshop, select it, go to edit / define brush preset, name the brush, and press okay. However, you probably want to tweak the brush and select some of the many available dynamic options such as scattering, texture, and noise. And knowing which ones to select and experimenting with them can take time. Get some hints on how to create brushes and using brush dynamics by watching Ice Flow Studio's video "Photoshop: Custom Brushes and Brush Dynamics." Also look at fantasy artist Mike Lim's (Daarken) video "Painting Demo: Custom Brushes" to learn how to create brushes for wonderful backgrounds. Mike Lim's website also has a downloadable pdf file on step-by-step instructions for creating custom brushes. Go to his tutorial pull down menu and bring the cursor down and to the left to select custom brushes and click the mouse button.

Note: Many of the sites having free brushes are listed in Kate Harper's blog in the resource section.

Have fun creating your own custom brushes and if you have any suggestions or thoughts about this article please voice them in the below comment section.


  1. You can also make all of your new brushes into a set. Click on your brush icon and then, in the right hand corner of that menu you'll see >>, choose 'preset manager' from the list. Then you'll see a bunch of boxes, choose all of the ones you want (click your first one and then shift-click for the rest,)and then 'save set' to choose a name and then you're all set!

  2. This is a wonderful suggestion Jennifer! It can also be used to group often used brushes so that you don't go crazy looking for them one by one.