Photoshop Fundamentals: Create Custom Brushes for a Unique Texture

Dateline: September 17, 2007
Version: Adobe Photoshop CS2

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Photoshop has its own range of brushes, but you might want to customize your very own. Custom brushes in Photoshop are easy to create, can be extremely useful and they are a terrific tool for personalizing your work. They’re also excellent for making unique textures. If you use a symbol repeatedly, you can define it as a brush for easy access. Custom brushes are designed to create deep, complex backgrounds, decorative borders and textures out of just about any image. Once you have your image prepared, go to Edit > Define Brush Preset. You can then give your brush a name and it will appear in your brushes palette, ready to use.
Begin by downloading brushes.psd, launch Photoshop and open the file. Press F7 to show the Layers palette. Command-click the pink flower layer to make it a selection. Choose Edit > Define Brush Preset. In the resulting Brush Name dialog box, rename the brush “pink flower” and click OK.
Repeat the previous step on every layer until all the flowers have been made into custom brushes. Rename each brush according to their color: purple flower, orange flower, gold flower and blue flower. Choose Select > Deselect (Command + D). Drag all of the flower layers to the Trash to delete them.
Click the Create New Layer button. In the toolbar, click the foreground color sampler. In the resulting Color Picker dialog box, enter C:0; M:80; Y:0; K:0, and click OK. Select the Brush tool (B). In the resulting Options bar, select the pink flower brush from the Brush Preset Picker and use the options as shown. Paint several flowers in a pattern of your liking.
Click the Create New Layer button. In the toolbar, click the foreground color sampler. In the resulting Color Picker dialog box, enter C:64; M:77; Y:0; K:0, and click OK. In the Brush Options bar, select the purple flower brush from the Brush Preset Picker and paint several flowers in a pattern of your liking. Set the Layer Mode to Hard Light and the Opacity to 90%.
Click the Create New Layer button. In the toolbar, click the foreground color sampler. In the resulting Color Picker dialog box, enter C:0; M:60; Y:100; K:0, and click OK. In the Brush Options bar, select the orange flower brush from the Brush Preset Picker and paint several flowers in a pattern of your liking. Set the Layer Mode to Hard Light.
Choose Select > All (Command + A). Choose Window > Transparency (Command + Shift + F10). Click the Options arrow and select Make Opacity Mask from the drop-down menu. Uncheck the Invert Mask button and change the Blending Mode to Soft Light.
Select the Scale tool (S) and option-click the bottom point of the triangle. Use the options in the resulting Scale dialog box and click OK. Choose Select > Deselect (Command + Shift + A). In the Layers palette, drag Layer 3 below Layer 2.
Our final effect is shown at left.

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