brushes

Photoshop Brushes editor, tutorial step by step

You can create brushes that apply paint to images in various ways.

You can select an existing preset brush, the shape of a brush tip or create a unique brush tip from a part of an image. You can select options from the Brush Settings panel to specify the way the paint is applied.

Note: Symmetric painting is not compatible with active-tip brushes. Choose a normal brush for symmetrical painting.

Overview of the Brush Settings panel

The Brush Settings panel allows you to modify existing brushes and design new custom brushes. The Brush Settings panel contains the brush tip options that determine the way the paint is applied to the image. The brush stroke preview at the bottom of the panel shows the way the strokes appear with the current brush options.

Panel Pincel de Photoshop

Photoshop Brush Panel – Brush Settings Panel (left) and Brushes Panel (right)
A. Blocked/unblocked B. Selected brush tip C. Preview of the brush stroke D. Brushes panel


Viewing the Brush panel and brush options

  1. Select Window > Brush Settings. You can also select a painting, erasing, hue or focus tool and click the panel button on the left side of the option bar.
  2. Select a set of options on the left side of the panel. The available options for the selected set appear on the right side of the panel.

Note: Click the checkbox to the left of the option set to turn the options on or off without displaying them.

Importing brushes and brush packs

You can import a wide variety of free and purchased brushes into Photoshop, such as Kyle’s Photoshop brush packages. Follow these steps:

  1. In the Brushes panel, choose Get more brushes from the drop-down menu. You can also right-click on a brush in the Brushes panel and choose Get more brushes from the shortcut menu.

2. Download a package of brushes. For example, Kyle’s “Megapack”.

3. With Photoshop running, double click on the downloaded ABR file. The brushes you have added are now displayed in the Brushes panel.

Note:
You can also use the Import Brushes option from the Brushes panel drop down menu to find and open the downloaded ABR file. Once done, the downloaded brushes are added to the Brushes panel.

Creating a brush tip from an image

  1. Using a selection tool, select the area of the image you want to use as a custom brush. The shape of the brush can be up to 2500 by 2500 pixels.

    When painting, you cannot adjust the hardness of the sampled brushes. To create a brush with defined tips, adjust Fade with Zero Pixels. To create a brush with fuzzy tips, increase the Fade setting.

Note:
If you select a color image, the brush tip image is converted to grayscale. Any layer mask applied to the image does not affect the definition of the brush tip.

2. Choose Edit > Set Brush Value.

3. Assign a name to the brush and click OK.


Creating a brush and defining painting options

Select a painting, erasing, hue, or focus tool. Then select Window > Brush Settings.

  1. In the Brush Settings panel, select a brush tip shape, or click Preset Brushes to choose an existing preset.
  2. Select the Brush Tip Shape option on the left side and define the options.
  3. To set other options for the brush, see the following topics:
    * Adding Dynamic Elements to the Brushes
    * Determination of the dispersion in a line
    * Creation of textured brushes
    * Determining how a brush changes dynamically
  4. Drawing or painting with a graphic tablet
  5. To lock the shape attributes of a brush tip (they are retained if you select another preset brush), click the unlock icon . To unlock the tip, click the lock icon .
  6. To save the brush for later use, select New Brush Value from the Brush panel menu

Note:
If you select a color image, the brush tip image is converted to grayscale. Any layer mask applied to the image does not affect the definition of the brush tip. Choose Edit > Set Brush Value. Assign a name to the brush and click OK.

Standard Brush Tip Shape Options

For standard brush tips, you can define the following options in the Brush Settings panel:

Size

Controls the size of the brush. Enter a value in pixels or drag the slider.
Standard Photoshop brush tip shape options
Brush strokes with different diameter values

Opciones de forma de punta de pincel estándar de Photoshop

Use sample size

Restores the original diameter of the brush. This option is only available if the shape of the brush tip was created by sampling pixels in an image.

Flip X

Volteado de X en Photoshop

Brush tip turned on its X axis
A. Brush tip in its default position B. Flip X selected C. Flip X and Flip Y selected

Turn Y

Volteado de Y en Photoshop

Brush tip turned on its Y-axis
A. Brush tip in its default position B. Flip Y selected C. Flip Y and Flip X selected


Angle

Specifies the angle at which the long axis of an elliptical or sampled brush is rotated from the horizontal. Type a value in degrees or drag the horizontal axis in the preview box.

Ángulos en Photoshop

The angle brushes create a chiselled line

Roundness

Specifies the proportion between the short and long axis of the brush. Enter a percentage or drag the points in the preview box. A value of 100 % indicates a circular brush, a value of 0 % indicates a linear brush and intermediate values indicate elliptical brushes.

Redondez en Photoshop

Adjust the roundness to compress a brush tip shape

Hardness

Controls the size of the hard center of the brush. Type a number or use the slider to enter a value corresponding to a percentage of the brush diameter. You cannot change the hardness of the sampled brushes.

Dureza en Photoshop

Brush strokes with different hardness values

Spaced

Controls the distance between brush marks in a stroke. To change the spacing, type a number or use the slider to enter a value corresponding to a percentage of the brush diameter. When this option is not selected, the speed of the cursor determines the spacing.

Espaciado en Photoshop

Increasing the spacing causes brush jumps

Note:
While using a preset brush, press the [to decrease the brush width or the] key to increase the brush width. For sharp circular, diffuse circular and calligraphic brushes, press Shift + [to reduce the brush hardness or Shift +] to increase it.

Bristle tip shape options

The bristle tips allow you to specify precise bristle characteristics and thus create very real and natural strokes. Set the following brush tip shape options in the Brush panel:

Shape
It determines the general disposition of the sows.

Sows
Controls the overall density of sows.

Length
Changes the length of the sows.

Thickness
Controls the width of each sow.

Stiffness
Controls the flexibility of the sows. At low values, the shape of the brush is easily deformed.

Note:
To vary the creation of strokes when using a mouse, adjust the stiffness.

Spacing
Controls the distance between brush marks in a stroke. To change the spacing, type a number or use the slider to specify the percentage of the brush diameter. When this option is not selected, the speed of the cursor determines the spacing.

Angle
Determines the angle of the brush tip when painting with a mouse.

Brush Preview
It shows the brush tip with the changes made in previous settings, as well as the current pressure and stroke angle. Click on the preview window to view the brush from different points. The brush preview window is no longer available in Photoshop 21.0.3 (January 2020 version).

Erasable tip options

Erasable-point brushes work similarly to pencils and crayons, and wear out naturally as you draw with them. You can see the amount of wear by previewing the active brush tip in the upper left corner of the image.

Size
Controls the size of the brush. Enter a value in pixels or drag the slider.

Smoothing
Controls the speed of wear. Enter a percentage value or drag the controller.

Form
Controls the shape of the tip. Choose from a variety of tip options.

Pencil sharpener
Returns the tip to its original state.

Spaced
Controls the distance between brush marks in a stroke. To change the spacing, type a number or use the slider to specify the percentage of the brush diameter. When this option is not selected, the speed of the cursor determines the spacing.

Brush Preview
It shows the brush tip with the changes made in previous settings, as well as the current pressure and stroke angle. Click on the preview window to view the brush from different points. The brush preview window is no longer available in Photoshop 21.0.3 (January 2020 version).

Airbrush tip options

The airbrush tips reproduce the effect of spray cans with a 3D conical nozzle. By using a stylus pen, you can change the length of the spray strokes by changing the pressure of the pen.

Size
Controls the size of the brush. Enter a value in pixels or drag the slider.

Hardness
Controls the size of the hard center of the brush.

Distortion
Controls paint spray distortion.

Level of detail
Controls the level of detail of the paint drops.

Splash size
Controls the size of the paint drops.

Amount of splashes
Controls the number of paint drops.

Spaced
Controls the distance between the drops. If this option is not selected, the speed of the cursor determines the spacing.

Brush Preview
It shows the brush tip with the changes made in previous settings, as well as the current pressure and stroke angle. Click on the preview window to view the brush from different points. The brush preview window is no longer available in Photoshop 21.0.3 (January 2020 version).

Brush pose options

The brush pose options achieve effects similar to those achieved with a pen stylus and allow you to control the angle and position of the brush.

X-tilt
Determines the angle of inclination of the brush from left to right.

Y-tilt
Determines the angle of inclination of the brush from front to back.

Rotation
Determines the angle of rotation of the bristles.

Pressure
Determines the pressure the brush exerts on the canvas.

Activate the check boxes that ignore these options to maintain a static brush pose.

Other brush options

Noise
Adds additional randomness to individual brush tips. This option is most effective when applied to soft brush tips (brush tips containing gray values).

Wet edges
It causes the paint to accumulate along the edges of the brush stroke, producing a watercolor effect.

Airbrush/Concentration
It applies gradual tones to an image, simulating traditional airbrush techniques. The Airbrush option in the Brush panel corresponds to the Airbrush option in the options bar.

Smooth
Produces smoother curves in brush strokes. This option is more effective when painting quickly with a stylus; however, it may produce a small delay in the representation of the stroke.

Protect Texture
Apply the same motif and scale to all the pre-set brushes that have texture. Select this option to simulate a coherent canvas texture when painting with several textured brush tips.

Stroke smoothing

Photoshop performs smart smoothing on brush strokes. Just enter a value (0-100) for Smoothing in the option bar when you are working with one of the following tools: Brush, Pencil, Blender Brush or Eraser. The value 0 is equivalent to the smoothing function inherited from previous versions of Photoshop. Higher values apply increasing amounts of intelligent smoothing to the strokes.

Stroke smoothing works in several modes. Click the gear icon ( ) to activate one or more of the following modes:

Chain drive mode

Paint only when the chain is tight. The movements of the cursor within the smoothing radius do not leave a mark.

pulled-string-mode

Line Updates

Allows the painting to be continuously updated with the cursor when the stroke is stopped. Deactivating this mode stops the paint application as soon as the cursor movement ends.

enable-stroke-catch_up

Update in stroke end

Finishes the stroke from the last paint position to the point where you have released the mouse or stylus control.

catch_up-on-stroke-end

Adjust for zoom

Avoid shaky lines when adjusting the smoothing. Reduces smoothing when enlarging the document; increases smoothing when reducing it.

eraser_smoothing


Brush Dispersion

The brush scattering determines the number and location of marks in a stroke.

Dispersión de pincel en Photoshop

Brush Scattering in Photoshop
Brush strokes without dispersion (left) and with dispersion (right)

Dispersion and Control
Specifies how brush marks are distributed in a stroke. When both axes are selected, the brush marks are distributed in a radial direction. When Both axes is not selected, the brush marks are distributed perpendicular to the stroke contour. To specify how you want to control the variation of the spread of the brush marks, choose an option from the Control pop-up menu

Disabled
It does not specify any control over the variation of dispersion of the brush marks.

Transition
Blurs the dispersion of the brush marks from maximum dispersion to no dispersion in the specified number of steps.

Pen pressure, Pen tilt, Stylus rotation, Rotation
It varies the dispersion of the brush marks based on the pressure of the pen, its tilt, its rotation or the position of the pen rotation.

Quantity
Specifies the number of brush marks applied in each space interval.

Note:
Increasing the number without increasing the space or dispersion values will decrease the paint performance.

Variation of the amount and Control
Specifies how the number of brush marks varies for each space interval. To specify the maximum percentage of brush marks applied in each space range, enter a value. To specify how you want to control the variation in the number of brush marks, choose an option from the Control pop-up menu:

Disabled
It does not specify any control over the variation in the amount of brush marks.

Transition Blurs the number of brush marks from the Amount value to 1 in the specified number of steps.

Pen pressure, Pen tilt, Stylus rotation, Rotation
Varies the number of brush marks based on pen pressure, pen tilt, pen rotation, or pen rotation position.

Clearing brush options

You can delete all the options that were changed for a preset brush (except the brush shape settings) at once.

  1. Choose Clear Brush Controls from the Brush Settings panel menu.
v3_brush-settings-panel-menu

Brush Settings Panel Menu