photoshop creative

4 steps to creating your own custom brushes

Posted in:
Tips & Tutorials, by Mark White
September 11, 2014

Build custom brushes to achieve a unique flair in your artwork

Can’t find the perfect brush? Make one! Using custom brushes of scanned paint strokes is a simple way to add a believable splattered paint edge to your project.

1. Real paint!

Grab a can of real paint and a smooth surface sturdy enough to not warp when painted, for example, a few sheets of heavy card. Add a few brushstrokes with plenty of white space around each.

2. Scan it in

When the paint is dry, scan in each sheet using a flatbed scanner in high resolution. The larger the scan is, the more resolution the brushes will have.

3. Clean it up

The scanned images will need to be desaturated to just grey tones. Also any stray hairs, dust or paint spots need to be removed. Use a Levels adjustment to make sure the background is totally white.

4. Define the brushes

Make a rough selection around one of the paint strokes and go to Edit>Define Brush Preset. You’ll be asked to name the brush, then it will be available to use in the Brush Preset palette.

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