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Creating Grass in Photoshop Using Custom Brush Presets

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  1. Creating Grass in Photoshop Using Custom Brush Presets
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Learn how to create grass in Photoshop using custom brush presets with Bert Monroy.
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Foliage is a snap to reproduce with the custom brush presets. Grass is a perfect example.

I used to create grass with polka-dotted brushes that faded out as I stroked across the canvas. This worked, but it created a translucency to the tips of the grass blades. It also required changing of the fade-out rate often to get the resulting grass texture to look random. The new solution—you guessed it—Custom Brush Presets!

The painting shown in Figure 1 is called "blue door" and has a view of ocean dunes visible through the window.

Figure 1Figure 1


The close up shown in Figure 2 shows the detail.

Figure 2Figure 2


The process starts by creating a sketch. In a separate layer, lines are drawn with a small Paintbrush to serve as guides for the shapes of the dunes.

Figure 3 shows the sketch lines for the dunes in the painting.

Figure 3Figure 3


The grasses that cover the dunes require a brush that will draw the grass in a single stroke.

Step one: I created a custom brush shape by generating a clump of three blades of grass using the Pen tool (Figure 4).

Figure 4Figure 4


Step two: The paths are filled with black on a separate transparent layer, selected and defined as a brush (Edit>Define Brush).

It is selected as the brush with the Paintbrush tool. This will make it appear in the preview box in the Brushes palette (Figure 5).

Figure 5Figure 5


Step three: The brush is then given the attributes to make it paint a realistic and believable lawn.

The Shape Dynamics were set as shown in Figure 6. You will notice the Angle Jitter is set to a low percentage. Unlike the previous brush where the leaves went in all directions, blades of grass all need to point up. The low jitter setting will produce a slight variation in angle, while remaining basically vertical.

Figure 6Figure 6


Scattering is kept low to produce a tight grouping of the grass (Figure 7).

Figure 7Figure 7


In the Color Dynamics section (Figure 8), the Foreground/Background Jitter is set to 100% to allow the stroke to switch between the two colors as it is applied to the canvas.

Figure 8Figure 8


Step four: A light shade of a yellow-green is chosen for the Foreground color and a dark green for the Background color.

Step five: By dragging the new brush across the screen back and forth, from top to bottom, I was able to create a lawn that looked believable. Figure 9 shows one of these layers that contained some of the darker shades of grass.

Figure 9Figure 9


Multiple layers were used with different colors within each to get a controllable variety (Figure 10).

Figure 10Figure 10


A total of nine layers were used to create the dunes (Figure 11).

Figure 11Figure 11


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