^Create and Save Custom Brushes

The previous tip discussed creating custom brush tips. This tip expands on that tip to show you how to create custom brushes. To understand the difference, consider the following analogy. When you decorate cakes, you can use a flower-shaped decorator's tip to create all sorts of flowers. But to create daisies, you have to use the flower-shaped tip, white icing, and a dot of orange in the center. Creating flowers can be done with the tip, while creating a specific type of flower—in this case a daisy— requires the use of the flower tip as well as several additional techniques.

In Photoshop, you can use a flower-shaped brush tip to create a variety of flowers, but to create a string of daisies that scatter in a variety of sizes and opacities, you use a flower-shaped brush tip, plus a variety of other settings. After making those settings in the Brushes palette, you can save the whole package—the tip you used and any settings you made—as a brush preset.

TRY IT To create a custom brush, select a painting tool that uses the Brushes palette, such as the Brush or Pencil. Then, choose Window I Brushes or click the Brushes palette button to the right of the Options bar. Select the brush tip you want to use and make any additional changes to the settings for that brush, such as the spacing and diameter.

Check and uncheck each of the other setting options along the left side of the Brushes palette, depending on which options you want saved with this brush. For example, if you have a pressure-sensitive drawing tablet and you want to make the opacity vary according to the pressure of the pen on the tablet, place a check in the box labeled Other Dynamics and choose Pen Pressure for the control of the Opacity Jitter. The result of your settings is displayed in the preview pane at the bottom of the Brushes palette.

After you're finished adjusting the settings for your brush, click the triangle in the upper-right corner of the palette and choose New Brush. Give the brush a name to help identify its settings, and click OK.

To access a saved brush, click the Brush Presets option in the upper-left corner of the Brushes palette and choose your brush from the list.

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