For many years I had an unsubstantiated fear of Photoshop mainly because I was told by more than one person how difficult this editing software is.   I now understand how completely ridiculous that was!!     Why I ever took that advice to heart is beyond me because normally I do not listen to anyone about anything!  (just ask the hubs)   ‘You never know until you try’  certainly applies here!

Eventually I did recover my confidence and secretively  bravely downloaded a trial version of Photoshop. I purchased the full version within a weeks time & It is the only editing software I ever use . Photoshop (or anything worthwhile) is a process that certainly takes time, effort and commitment but I’m here to tell you it is not difficult at all…in fact once you’ve mastered the basics your good to go!

A couple of notes before we begin:

*any and all shortcuts referred to in this tutorial are for Window users as that is my current workspace. If you Mac it, you will find tons of shortcut key charts online for mac users

*I currently work with version CS5 but I’m sure the basics of this method apply to other older/newer versions as well.


My Brush!!!

Creating Photoshop Brushes:

You can turn almost any image into a PS brush. In this tutorial I will be using an image of my own – but you can also create brushes using drawings or just about any image that has clearly defined outlines.  These brushes can then be used for personal touches to your images or for watermarking your photography.

The very first thing you will need to understand….and I am saying this because I want to save you the time it took me to figure this out.  I would hate to have you go through the same experience of staring blankly at your computer monitor for 20 minutes trying to understand why all of your Photoshop buttons are greyed out. So first things first.

SIZE REALLY DOES MATTER:  You can create brushes up to 2500px. [as far as my understanding of version CS5~this may differ where other versions apply]   If you attempt to create anything larger than that Photoshop will automatically block you from ever using your PS program again…OK that was an exaggeration, but it’s the reason some of the pertinent buttons are grayed out  & also the reason why I had to resort to using an entire bottle of Visine to get the red out.

To begin sizing your canvas you want to start with selecting the FILE.>NEW  button at the top of  your PS


first step

This first step will bring you to a popup window where you will then place pertinent information on size and color of your canvas.  Also you will name your creation here.  I have set mine up in the ‘Grayscale’ mode. You do not necessarily have to do the same and can create your brush using a color photo.  It’s all a matter of preference.  Eventually PS will convert your color image into a gray-scale version as the actual brush.


size & color options window

The following is an example of your blank canvas as it will appear before adding your image that will then become your new Photoshop brush.  With me so far?  Good!  Lets continue….

Blank Canvas

Blank Canvas

To insert your image onto your canvas you will open your image file from the FILE>OPEN option at the top of your PS work station. Your image will open in a new window within PS worspace.  You will now highlight the areas  you wish to include as part of your brush by selecting  the ‘MAGIC WAND’ tool [Or press ‘W’ on your keyboard]  You will then click on the areas of interest within your image.   This step will highlight the areas of your image that will become your brush.  Highlights will appear as little marching ants as in the following photo example:


TIP: In order to select all of the areas you can click and hold down your shift key on your keyboard as you are selecting the areas. be sure to clean up your edges and include every pixel involved

Once you are satisfied with the location of your marching ants~You will now proceed to cut and paste the highlighted areas into your blank canvas.  To do this select ‘EDIT>CUT‘ from your ant infested image :] and head on in to paste into your empty canvas by selecting ‘EDIT>PASTE‘.
Merge your image into your canvas by clicking both ‘CTRL + ‘E‘ keys on your keyboard.

You can now save & close [if you so choose] your original image and work directly with your brush prep canvas

With your image now sitting snugly within your canvas click on ‘EDIT>DEFINE BRUSH PRESET


Saving your brush

Head on into your brush presets  where you should find your very own original Photoshop brush!  Woo Hoo!


It’s right there! Yay!

ImageHappy brush making!!!!  If my instructions seem more like destruction(s)  please feel free to ask for clarifications. I am happy to help!

It’s always great knowing you’ve created something pretty awesome regardless of how difficult others claimed it to be!!!  Believe in yourself!  You can do it!!
Have fun with it!  Create it!  Appreciate it!  Share it!