Paintbrushes: Learn How To Create And Use

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Some technical details on using Photoshop, while seemingly complicated at first glance, are easy, and this applies to creating custom brushes. The development of a unique brush can make life easier, especially when a single image has to be drawn frequently, or when a custom texture is needed. There are countless possibilities. Here you will learn how to create your own brushes, of any size and with any image. You can resize the brush when you use it, but the higher the brush resolution you create, the higher the quality of the final job. Instead, use large images in the process if you want to use the brush in large jobs later. If you are tired of looking for brushes and want to develop your own, go with it. Let’s learn how to create, set up and use fire and flame brushes in Photoshop.

Creating the Firebrush

1 – Download a fire image from the internet or make yours and open it in Photoshop, what matters is that we have a beautiful flame. Here is the sample image.

2 – If you use Photoshop CS6 up to CC the image must be at most 5000 pixels wide or high. If you use an older version of Photoshop the image must be at most 2500 pixels in height or width. To check the Size go to my IMAGE – IMAGE SIZE / IMAGE – IMAGE SIZE. If necessary decrease the pixel size of the image according to the above specifications and click OK, if it is smaller, you do not have to do anything, just cancel this window.

3 – Let’s make sure the background is completely black, press CTRL / CMD + L or go to the PICTURE – SETTINGS – LEVELS / IMAGES – ADJUSTMENTS – LEVELS menu. Take the dropper that has the black tip and click on the dark background of the image, black from the flames / fire.

4 – After adjusting the background tone, press CTRL / CMD + I to invert the colors. Then go to the PICTURE – ADJUSTMENT – MAP DEGRADÊ / IMAGE – ADJUSTMENTS MAP GRADIENTE MAP menu and choose the gradient from black to white. It is usually the third on the list. In this case the background will turn white and the fire / flame in shades of gray.

5 – Now let’s turn this into a brush. Go to the EDIT – DEFINE BRUSH PRESET / EDIT – DEFINE BRUSH PRESET menu, enter the name you want and click OK.

Configuring the Firebrush

6 – Open the Brushes / Brush window in the WINDOW – BRUSH / WINDOW – BRUSH menu or simply press the F5 screen. Set the Spacing to 10% and the rest leave it as it comes.

7 – Now in the BRUSHES / BRUSH panel go to the DYNAMICS / SHAPE DYNAMICS section. Leave Jitter Size / Size Jitter at most (100%), Minimum Diameter / Minimum Diameter at zero. Angle Treble at 43% and Enable X-FLIP X JITTER SHAFT. Leave all controls OFF / OFF.

8 – Now in the same panel go to the Transfer / Transfer options. Set the OPTIMITY / OPACITY JITTER TREMULATION to 97% and FLOW JITTER FLOW TRIMMING to 100%, in the latter case if you use a tablet, leave with control in PEN PRESSURE / PEN PRESSURE. If you use the mouse, you can leave it off. Also let on the left side skill has Smoothing.

9 – Finally, click the CREATE NEW BRUSH / CREATE NEW BRUSH button to save the brush settings, rename your brush, and then click OK.

10 – Create an empty layer or use the Background / Background, and fill it with the color black. Just hit the letter “D” then press ALT + DELETE

11 – Create a new LAYER and place the name FIRE. Choose a well saturated orange.

12 – Now using the Brush / Brush we created, draw the one you want for FIRE / FLAME. Draw in the empty layer called FIRE, do not go more than 1 time in the same place, because the image will still gain more volume and strength. Try more than once and test what brush size will suit you and your art.


13 – After painting with the brush, with our FIRE layer selected, make another 4 copy of the layer (Press 4 times CTRL + J).


14 – Now you will have 5 leisure with the fire image, select the FIRE COPY layer and FIRE COPY 2 layer and change the blending mode to BRIGHT / VIVID LIGHT. This will make the reddish tones appear better in your FIREPLACE and will give a very nice look.

15 – Now select the FOGO COPY 3 layer / layer and change its blending mode to COLOR / COLOR DODGE EXPOSURE. Then hold the CTRL / CMD key and click the thumbnail of this layer, then click the button to add a mask to this layer.

Finalizing the work

16 – Now select the layer FIRE COPY 4, that is the layer that is at the top of our flame. Select the white color and press ALT / OPTION + SHIFT + DELETE, to replace the color orange with white color. Then change the merge mode of this layer from NORMAL to DIVISION / SCREEN. The image will be a little clearer or less intense than before.

17 – We’re almost there. Now, hold down the ALT / OPTION key and drag the FIRE COPY 3 layer mask onto the FIRE COPY 4 layer. So we’re done with our fire effect.

18 – Your image should look approximately like this.

Okay, we’ve finalized our image, you can quietly select the layers, and merge (CTRL + E) and then apply to other images using blending modes.

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About Author

Sarah Feldman is currently working as a Blogger and Content Manager for Digital Express, a UI/UX Design Company in Dubai. She loves to write about latest trends Graphics and Website Design.