Look at the most attention-grabbing Tweets when it comes to Photoshop tutorials and you will see that people are always talking about how to make their own brushes. There are seven million likes on Facebook and that demonstrates that this one of the best platforms for making your own brushes.
You may think that you need to be an expert in order to create your own set of Photoshop brushes, but this really isn’t the case.
Even the most novice of Photoshop users will find it easy to craft their own brushes to grow their businesses. In this tutorial, you are going to learn how to do it.
Step 1 – Create Your Testing Ground
To begin with, you should create a blank Photoshop document in which to work on your new brush. You should use a 200 x 200-pixel document to start with. Go to the File menu and click on New. Here you can set the dimensions of your testing ground.
Step 2 – Starting Your Brush
Select the brush tool and then select a small round brush. The small round brush is the standard brush and is the easiest to work with if you’ve never gone through this process before. The foreground color should be set to black, with the background color set to white.
This is necessary because all Photoshop brushes are set to Grayscale. This means that you can only have black, white, and the various shades of gray that fall between these two colors. If you tried to use anything else, you would have issues with transparency.
Step 3 – Creating Your Brush Presets
With your brush selected, draw a series of horizontal strokes across your document. You should change the thickness of the strokes every so often. You should then be presented with a column of horizontal brush strokes, as shown in the image below.
Now you may be wondering what this has to do with your new brush, but the truth is this is the foundation of your document. Go to Edit>Define Brush Preset, which will open up a new brush. Call it what you like and you will then have your custom brush ready to go.
To open it up, you need to navigate to the brush preset picker.
Step 4 – Making the Changes You Want
You’ll notice that when you try to draw with your new brush it looks pixelated. This is because of the brush strokes you drew earlier. That was to demonstrate how the brush will behave. If you want to modify your brush, you need to return to your brushes panel.
Now you will discover some of the options available to you in order to create practically anything you want. Some of the things you can do include:
Tip Spacing – The more spaced out the brush tips are the bigger the space between the ‘stamping’ motion that occurs when you draw a brush stroke in Photoshop.
Shape Dynamics – This is where you control the angle, the size, and the roundness of the brush tip. Selecting this option will open up another window where you can play around with your brush.
Angle to Direction – Make sure you change Angle to Direction in the Control section of the brushes window. This is where you can get rid of the horizontal brush strokes you created earlier. It allows you far more flexibility over the shapes you can come up with.
Step 5 – Pen Tablets
More and more designers who use Photoshop are moving away from designing directly onto their computer. Instead, they are opting for pen tablet instead. If you want to use your new brush with your pen tablet, you must go to Shape Dynamics. This will open up size jitter and pen pressure.
Set the control to Pen Pressure and you will be able to change the size of your brush with your pen tablet.
The big benefit of using this option is that your brushstrokes will look far smoother and far more natural. You can control everything on the fly, thus making it feel as if you have a brush in your hand.
Conclusion – What Else Can You Do?
This is just an introduction to how to create brushes and some of the options you can take advantage of. You have only just scratched the surface of what you can do with brushes. You can go much further than this, though. Think about the different brushes that you can download online.
You can have shapes set into brushes, so you can stamp things like flowers and barbed wire directly onto your images. It gives you a lot of control and the chance to create something that other people can download as well.
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I am a regular writer for Forbes, Inc., Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Media (among others), as well as CEO and Chairman of Alumnify Inc. Proud alum from 500 Startups and The University of San Diego. Follow me on Twitter @