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Learning the brush tool:- Loading new brushes In Photoshop and creating new ones

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Learn Photoshop CC With Pictures

“Loading new brushes In Photoshop and creating new ones” is part of my Photoshop book “Learn Photoshop CC With Pictures”, which is more revised and covers more concepts than the online tutorials, feel free to check out the book by visiting my Learn Photoshop CC With Pictures Book Page.

This is the 3rd and last lesson of Photoshop brush tool in this series, after finishing this article, you will have a strong background on how to use the brush tool more effectively.
One of the most powerful features of the brush tool is that you could change the brush you are using. And choose among various brushes available in Photoshop. You could also download more brushes online and even create your own. Making your brushy world unlimited in space and capabilities.
To change the brush you are using, just right click anywhere on the canvas, and then select one of the brush you would like to use. You could also do that by opening the brushes preset panel by selecting Window > Brush Presets.
The brushes dialog, where you can change the brush you are using
The brushes dialog, where you can change the brush you are using
The brushes presets panel
The brushes presets panel
Play around with the various brushes to see how many things can be done with them. Here are 6 examples of some of the brushes that come with Photoshop:-
Brushes Example 1 Brushes Example 2 Brushes Example 3 Brushes Example 4 Brushes Example 5 Brushes Example 6

Loading new brushes in Photoshop from presets.

Photoshop comes with more brushes it displays in the brushes option dialog or the brush preset panel. But you have to tell it to load them for you. 
  • Click on the triangle at the corner of the brushes option dialog or the brushes preset panel. You see a various set of brush presets you could load.
Click Here On The Brushes DialogClick Here On The Brushes Presets Panel
  • Select the preset you want to load, I selected the M Brushes preset just now
Loading new brushes in Photoshop that come with the program
  • Photoshop asks you if you want to replace the current loaded presets with the one you are loading. If you choose “OK”, Photoshop will unload all the brushes you have and only keep the preset you are currently loading. Which is not what we want to do. So select “Append” to load the new reset to the brushes panel. And keep the ones we already loaded.
Replace Or Append Brushes Dialog
Et Voilà, the brushes will be there in the brushes dialog or the brushes panel. Ready for you to use~

Loading new brushes in Photoshop after downloading them from the web

The online world is full of brushes you could use. Usually for free. There are many sites specialised in brushes where you can download tons of them. For this part of the tutorial
we are going to download and add the Starfields Brushes from
Brushes Download Example
  • Unpack the zip file you downloaded
  • On my computer, simply clicking on the resulting file adds the brushes to Photoshop. But just in case, I will explain how to add the brushes to Photoshop manually
Downloaded Brush File Icon
  • Click on the triangle at the corner of the brushes option dialog or the brushes preset panel. You see a various set of brush presets you could load.
Click Here On The Brushes Presets Panel Click Here On The Brushes Dialog
  • Select Load Brushes from the menu, which will open the Open dialog
Load Brushes 
  • Locate the brushes you downloaded in the file system, then press ok.
  • And we are done, the brush(s) will be available to you just like any other brushes, ready for you to use them.


Here are some sites where you could download more brushes:-

About downloading brushes online and copyrights issues

The person who created the brushes is the one who choose how the copyright terms goes. He can give it away or sell it for a certain amount of money. While in most cases you are going to use these brushes for personal things. Chances is that you will use them for commercial things.
The terms are different based on the site you got the brushes from.Some are free to use for non-commercial purposes. But you will have to pay for them to use them cmmercially. Some requires you to give attribution to the author when you use them.
Brusheezy term for a certain brush, the creator states that the brushes are free of royalties. Meaning you won’t have to pay to be able to use them
Copyright Terms
Some brushes has terms associated with them, like having to pay for them for use in commercial purpose. So you have to check the site you download the brushes from just in case
The  Starfields Brushes we added to photoshop just now are free for both personal and commercial purpose. 
The  Starfields Brushes we added to photoshop just now are free for both personal and commercial purpose.

Creating your own brushes in Photoshop

One of the best things about brushes in Photoshop is the ability it gives you to create your own brushes. Giving you an unlimited range of abilities. Right now, we are going create a double brush, brush that simply create two parallel strokes instead of one.
  • Create a new Photoshop document (select File > New from the main menu)
  • Select the brush tool.
  • Add two strokes that are side by side, like what you see here:-
  • Select the two strokes using the Rectangular Marque Tool Mark
  • Select Edit > Define Brush Preset from the main menu
  • A dialog appears asking you to name the brush, let’s call it “Double Brush”
  • Click OK And we are done, and the new brush will be available in the brushes dialog or the Brushes Presets PanelCB-4-2
  • Now let’s try the new brush, as you can see, it creates two parallel strokes instead of one :D

Playing with various brushes

Creating a space using the star field brushes, I did two example, one that’s simple that represents a simple and tranquil space. And the other which represents a glamorous one.
For those learning Photoshop to create signatures and banners. I created this simple banner using few brushes that represent plants. And also used some butterflies brush. If you looked carefully, you will notice that I applied the colour dodge at the middle of the border to make it a bit lighter. More tweaking of the banner, plus applying a bit more of other Photoshop tools, can make this banner look even better :D

Grasses Owl:- With the grass brush, I hid this cute owl behind some grasses, the contrast between the colours in this brush is what I like about it

In this seemingly complex example, I added a new grass on the sides of the road, I played with the fill of the brush tool, and I applied the hard colour blending mode frequently. 
To give the grasses a more natural look, I drew simple shades using black. And again, with small fill value of the brush. I also applied a little white using the soft light blending mode to brighten the picture a little bit.
New Grass
And now we are done with the brush tool. While I didn’t cover everything related to this powerful tool. I taught you enough to do tons of things as a good start.
In the next lesson, we will start to explore some of the other tools provided by Photoshop. The tool I am covering in the next two lessons are probably the most two important ones.

Would you like to learn Photoshop?

Check my Photoshop book Learn Photoshop CC With Pictures which contains a full course on how to use Photoshop in the simplest way possible.

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I am an anime artist, and huge fan of digital art. I love drawing with pencils too. But I rarely do that anymore nowadays. Since some aspects of digital art can be tricky, I try my best to explain the concepts as easily as possible.

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