We’ll be using a bunch of techniques that involve making a new brush. Okay, technically, it’s called defining a brush preset, but many people refer to it as making a brush since it also can involve tweaking the settings in the Brushes palette. You start with a photo or paint a shape, make a selection, and then choose Edit>Define Brush Preset. Here I made a small selection in a photo (shown in Quick Mask mode, just so it’s easier to see). After choosing Edit>Define Brush Preset, I named my brush and then clicked OK. In order to make the new brush more interesting, I used the Brushes palette (docked in the Palette Well by default) to change some settings. I used the Brush Tip Shape options to rotate the brush slightly and increase the spacing. In the Shape Dynamics options, I changed the Size Jitter to 3% and increased the Angle Jitter to 29%.

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I created a new blank document and, using the Brush tool with my new brush shape, I clicked once on one side of the new document. Then while pressing-and-holding the Shift key, I clicked on the other side of the document. This painted a straight line but as you can see, the brush rotated and changed size slightly based on my settings in the Brushes palette.

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Another way to make a brush shape is to start with a blank document and create a painted shape. Here I used a standard brush to paint a few lines in black, applied several filters (Motion Blur, Glass, and Dry Brush), and then finished it off with Threshold and a little Gauss-ian Blur. (I’m deliberately not giving you step-by-step instructions here because I want you to start experimenting and making brushes.) Once you’ve created a shape you like, again use Edit>Define Brush Preset to create the brush shape, and then if you like, tweak the settings in the Brushes palette.

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Any suggestions, ideas? Feel free to comment on this article!

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