Creating a Custom Brush

Creating a Custom Brush

Photoshop CS6 Tutorial


How to BuildĀ a Custom Shape Brush in Photoshop



You can create brushes in Photoshop with any imaginable shape. To create the shape, start with a white background, then add your black or grayscale image. Once it is converted to a brush, the paint is applied based on the grayscale values. In other words, paint is thickest in the black areas and the light areas apply little or no paint.

In this example we will create a brush using a Custom Shape. You can also create brushes from photographs, textures, scans, brush strokes or text.


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 Custom Shape tool, set the options to Shape, Fill to black, then choose a shape for your brush.

Step Three

Click-drag while holding the Shift key to add your new shape. The shape should be at least half the size of the document.

Step Four

Select the Rectangular Marquee tool (m key) and draw a selection that encompasses the shape.

Step Five

Choose Edit > Define Brush Preset and name your new brush.

Step Six

Turn off the visibility for the shape layer and add a new blank layer at the top using the Create a New Layer icon in the Layer palette.

Step Seven

With the top layer selected, click the Brush tool (b key) and choose a new Foreground Color.

Step Eight

Choose your new brush by opening the Brush Presets panel (Window > Brush Presets).

Step Nine

In the Brush panel (Window > Brush), click Brush Tip Shape and drag the Spacing slider so you can see the individual shapes. Once you are finished, reset the Spacing back to 25%.

Step Ten

Use the Bracket keys ([ or ]) to decrease the size of the brush.

Step Eleven

You can either click or click-drag to add multiple shapes to the document.

Varying the Color

Try selecting Color Dynamics in the Brush panel to add some variation to the shapes. Set the Brightness Jitter to 60%. The new shapes vary in brightness as they are added with the Brush tool.

Mixer Brushes

Custom Brushes work with both the Brush tool and Mixer Brush tool.

Custom Brush Max Size?

Custom brushes can be up to 5,000 pixels by 5,000 pixels.


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