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DIY Brushes

Your own brushes are created as grayscale objects, and you can make one by making a selection on an image and choosing Edit > Define Brush Preset, typing a name for it, and clicking OK. If you make a selection on a color image, the brush will be a grayscale version of the selection. Your new brush will appear in the Brush Presets dialog box along with the other brushes (see Figure 9). When selected it is set to what is called Sample Size, which is the size you created it. You can adjust this using the Diameter slider or the keyboard [ and ] keys.

Figure 09

Figure 9 It’s easy to make your own brushes by making a selection on any image and saving it as a brush.

By converting your image to grayscale and adjusting its levels, brightness, and contrast before you make your selection, you can achieve a better-looking brush because you can ensure that it displays a good tonal range.

You should save the set containing your brush so you won’t lose it when you change out brushes. It is a good habit to open the brush set that you want to add the brush to before creating the brush. Click the flyout menu and choose Preset Manager; you can rearrange brushes in the brush collection. Save the set as an .ABR file so you can load it again any time.

Handy brushes to create include a copyright brush that you can use to apply to your photos (see Figure 10). Try making brushes from photos, photo textures, typographical symbols, characters, and dingbat fonts. When you create a brush from a photo you can use it for collage effects, for blending images into each other, and for creating original art. For example, create a brush from a photo and use the brush when creating an artistic rendition of the same photo (see Figure 11).

Figure 10

Figure 10 Create a copyright design in Photoshop and convert it to a brush you can use to add copyright details to your images.

Figure 11

Figure 11 A brush made from the windmill has been used to create a background for a collage of the image.

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