Creating a Brush Preset Using a Photograph in Photoshop

Here is the type of brush I’ll show you how to create:

Here, I have a photograph that I took of a butterfly. I made a selection using the lasso tool around the butterfly, and put in onto its own background. I could have also just erased the background with the eraser tool in the tools palette. It’s important to have a white background because the background becomes transparent when I create the brush:

The eraser tool and the lasso tool are located in the tools bar:

Now I’ll make a selection around the image. The selection doesn’t have to be exact, as long as I get my entire butterfly in without clipping any of it:

Now I’ll go to Edit / Define Brush Preset:

Now the Brush Name dialog box comes up. In the box to the left you can see how the brush will look. Right now the box has named the brush “Sample Brush 1”. I’ll rename it to “butterfly”. Then I’ll click OK:

Now I’ll go to the brush tool in the tools bar, and click on the brush icon:

I’ll go to the menu bar at the top of the screen and drop down the brushes menu. The butterfly should be the last brush on the list:

Here is the brush. I could make it larger or smaller using the bracket keys { } on my keyboard:

Here is another example. I have a picture of a flower that I took in my studio:

I erased the background, but when I go to Edit / Define Brush Preset, it’s grayed out. The reason is that the file is too big:

What I have to do is make this file smaller. Here’s how. I’ll go to Image / Image Size:

Here the Image Size dialog box comes up. Here are the dimensions it shows for this image:

I’ll make the largest dimension width or height 1024. So, whichever number is the biggest, I’ll change to 1024. Then I’ll click OK:

Now I can see that the image is much smaller. I’ll make my selection around the flower, and now when I go to Edit / Define Brush Preset, it’s ready to use:

Here the brush is last in the brushes menu:

This is a fun way to create brushes. You can do this with any photograph. You can even create people brushes — close ups of faces. You can even create a brush of your favorite pet.

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Have fun playing with Photoshop! Here’s just one last example of my favorite pet:

2 thoughts on “Creating a Brush Preset Using a Photograph in Photoshop”

  1. Awesome! I have various different websites and this is yet another cool tool to use to personalize any photo manipulations/backgrounds, etc. you want. Thanks.


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