Bristle Brushes

Bristle Brushes

Photoshop CS6 Tutorial


How to Create and Use a Photoshop Bristle Brush



Bristle Brushes are similar to the brushes you would use in an art studio. The bristles can be lengthened, made bushier, softer or stiffer. They come in a variety of shapes and can even control the thickness of each of the bristles.


Step One

Open a new 1,024 pixel x 1,024 pixel document with a white background in Photoshop (File > New).

Step Two

Click the Create a New Layer icon to add a new blank layer. You can experiment with your Bristle Brushes on this layer.

Step Three

Select the Mixer Brush tool and open the Brush palette by clicking the Brush palette icon or choosing Window > Brushes.

Step Four

Also open the Tool Presets panel by choosing Window > Tool Presets.

Step Five

From the Tool Presets panel pull-down menu, select Artist Brushes. Click the Blunt - Round Opaque Dry brush and paint in the workspace.

Step Six

Once you select the brush, a preview image of your brush appears in the upper left corner of the document. If you don't see the preview, click the Toggle the Live Tip Brush Preview icon at the bottom of the Brush panel.

Step Seven

Select the Brush Tip Shape option in the Brush panel.

Step Eight

From the Shape pull-down menu you can choose from ten different brush shapes. Whenever you change the shape, the preview image at the bottom of the panel and brush sample panel update.

Step Nine

The Bristles slider controls the amount of bristles in your brush.

Step Ten

Use the Length controls to set the bristle length.

Step Eleven

Thickness is used to set the thickness of the individual bristles.

Step Twelve

To set the brush softness or hardness, change the Stiffness values.

Step Thirteen

The Angle slider rotates the brush around its center point.

Step Fourteen

Bristle Brushes are created from a series of small shapes. To see the individual shapes, adjust the Spacing slider.

Step Fifteen

Return to the Mixer Brush Tool Presets panel and experiment with the various brushes and familiarize yourself with the brush options.

Saving Your New Brush

By starting with a preset Bristle Brush, you can modify the settings, then choose New Brush Preset from the Brush palette pull-down menu. You can also save your brush by clicking the Create New Brush icon in the bottom of the Brushes panel.

Brushes Work With Many Tools

In addition to the Brush tool, the Bristle Brushes also work with the Art History Brush, Blur, Burn, Clone Stamp, Dodge, Eraser, History Brush, Mixer Brush, Pattern Stamp tool, Pencil, Sharpen, Smudge and Sponge.

A limited round brush version is available with the Healing Brush tool and Spot Healing tool.


Stock Photos from 123RF