Photoshop Brushes

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Photoshop Brushes

So, after my last question about the use of textures, I got some amazing responses. I just can't wait to get started on that.

Now for a new question. While digging through free resources, I ran across free unique brushes of specific photos. I've never tried to use something like this before. Do any of you out there have any suggestions on how to get started. Also, I'd love to see some examples of your work. Below is a link to some of the brushes that I'm talking about.

Shadow House Creations Brushes

This takes you to Flicker

If you use the following address you will get to Shadow House Creations

Hi Janet,

The Shadow House Creations has a unique collection of Brushes, Pictures, Textures, plus. A nice site to check out.

Here are a few other sites where you can find brushes.

Brushes are great to add that extra touch to a layout.
Does anyone have layouts that they used a brush?

Some of the sites I've found myself going back to time and again for brushes:
Pixels & Ice Cream : Wonderful hand-drawn style brushes and shapes (some for sale, lots are free).
StarSunFlowerStudio , who has loads of great vintage resources of her own (some for sale, lots are free), and also compiles what's probably my favorite weekly list of freebie resources!

I'm also always astounded to see how many free brushes are available on people's DeviantArt pages - but while personal use is fine, many users there don't make it clear if commercial usage is or not. Still, for personal scrapping, there's all kinds of awesome!

Most of my layouts, I can't even remember which I used brushes and which shapes - when I started in Photoshop years ago, free brushes were maybe 100 pixels in size at most, often only 20 or 40..resolution has just exploded across the board since then! smiley I used to do a lot of using textural/grungy brushes around the edges of photos, to add either a bit of a glow-edge, or a darker vignette...not that I can find any of those right now. hm. But this one has a swirly-border brush, that I did a soft overlay of the photo edges with:

This is going to seem like a dumb question...but I truly wouldn't ask it if I didnt know.
Ive seen people use brushes like stamps on paper. Literally, they can use a brush and somehow fill it so that it looks like a stamp, cut out, clip art-if you will.
How is that done?

@Cipriana - I don't think I'm 100% clear on your question, but there are "stamp" brushes like these at Brusheezy or any number of places on the web.

Is that what you mean or do you mean just the shape of a stamp like a square with notched edges that you would make with the Custom Shape tool (the one that looks like a splotch)?

If you click the link in my original post (that led to flicker), I think that's what Cipriana is talking about. She's asking the same question that I originally asked. How do people use the unique brushes that are almost like stamps.

Basically you just use them like you would use a stamp in real life. For this layout I used several "stamps" including clipping a paper to the world map stamp.

When working with brushes, you may want to create a new layer and paint to a new layer. This way if you are not happy with the look you can delete the layer or hide it and try another brush on a new layer. It is a great way of comparing different looks to a layout.

Judy, I like the idea to paint to a new layer... I have to admit I haven't used a wide variety of brushes much... usually just the standard come with Photoshop brushes but I've started a little collection of brushes over the last couple of months and I'm thinking about trying some of them out... I have a scrapbook of my family vacation from this summer that I'm gonna try to make for my mom for Christmas... that might be a good time to try out some different brushes. And thanks to Melissa, Judy and Janet for the links... I'm checking them out now.

Got a tutorial on brushes here:

Hi, all! I can help on brushes. You can create a brush from almost any image.

You will have to desaturate the image, first, to change it to blacks, greys and whites, as those are the only shades that will save with a brush.

Then, you want to emphasize the contrast. 'Curves' or 'Levels' or, even, 'Contrast', are all good for this. You want all the contrast you can get.

When you have a good contrast between the darks and lights in your image, you can go to 'Edit'> 'Define Brush Preset'. You want to keep the size down below 2500px, as this is the maximum brush size prior to CS6.

When you go look in your Brushes, the brush you created with be the last brush in the list.

I have some experience with Photoshop. I currently have CS6, so, I can help with that, as well.



Thanks Su,
I will have to try it.

Thank you for this tip Su, I try it later too.

Thanks! this is so helpful.

I checked them both out, and I love StarSunFlowerStudio.

Wow thanks so much for the info. They're very helpful!

The above posts definitely answer my question. Yet another thing I'm going to have to experiment with. I love the idea of using them as clipping masks...I should have thought of that! So many things to try out, so little time. smiley

Wow, I did not think of even using brushes. You gave me a lot to think about.

Thanks Melissa, both web sites are great.

I posted a tutorial on my blog that shows how to create a brush from a vector image. If you do not know it, vectors can be opened and used in PS and Elements as they are Adobe as well. Here is an example from the tut:

I also show some other uses for the same images, like a pattern and an embellishment. I hope this helps to see how easy it is to take any image and come up with a neat brush to be used in a myriad of ways. Thanks for your interest! Any questions, just ask and I'll help all I can!

The Tutorial -

I did create a set of brushes from the vectors I found if you want to download them, rather than create your own. They are available in the same post.


Thanks Su, I took a look and you put together a nice tutorial. I do have a lot of vectors that I use not only for scrapbooking, but also for my Cricut cutting machine.

Thank you, Judy. Finding out about vectors in PS sure opened up a wealth of new material and possibilities, eh?

Thanks Su! I have lots of vectors, but somehow I never thought of opening them straight into photoshop (duh). That will make a fine evening of experimenting! smiley

Hi, there! I posted a tutorial on opening Vectors in PS here, if you are wondering about that -

Great thread--thank you so much! I've seen a lot of people talk about brushes, but I didn't really understand the benefits of them (beyond using as a regular paintbrush). This has been so helpful.

Thank you, Su! I have stayed away from vectors because I haven't really figured them out for PS. I'm looking forward to checking out your tutorial!

Thanks for the tut, Su!

I think I've gotta watch more tutorials on PSE ... I'm new to the program! I've never used brushes before or really even know what vectors are ... smiley I'm a little confused!

Thanks, I am trying to use brushes more effectively on my pages and all these info will help.

Thanks for the brushes. They are lovely.

Since it came up in this thread, there are pixel images and there are vectors. Pixels are fairly easy to understand. The image is made up of a bunch of tiny dots which, when all together, make the image. Pixels are also referred to as 'rasters'. A vector is the result of an equation, more or less. (Remember graphs with the 'x' axis and the 'y' axis in school?) Because it is created by selecting parameters via the equation, then filling it, the image is even all over. The vector image may be resized and never lose resolution like pixels do. Illustrator is a well known vector program.
Also for your information, fonts are vectors, too. So, if you wanted to use a dingbat for an element, you can resize it all you like! Dingbats are fonts in the shape of an image or an object, rather than text. Most font sites have them.