How to use the Brush Tool in Photoshop

In this lesson,you`ll learn all about the Brush tool and how to use it in Photoshop.

I`ll speak about its many options and features and I`ll show you how to install brushes on your computer.

Presenting the tool

The brush tool is one of the most useful tools in Photoshop , with an excellent range of features available. It has a very comprehensive options bar and a lot of options,this being the reason why you may feel a little bit lost when you use it.But don`t worry.One after another.

The brush tool may be selected by pressing the “B” key or by clicking the brush tool icon from the tools sidebar.


Once the tool is selected,its options bar appear on the top of the screen.


The options bar offers 4 major options:Brush,Mode,Opacity and Flow.

  • Brush has its own menu with two second options:Master Diameter,from where is set the diameter of the brush and Hardness,used for increasing and decreasing the hardness of the brush,making it softer or harder.


    In the top right of the menu,there`s a play button.Here you`ll find more options about how to display the brushes and,the important thing,here are the brushes.


  • Mode sets the painting mode in which the brush will be used.
  • Opacity sets the opacity of the brush.
  • Flow sets the flow rate of the tool.
  • And if it wasn`t enough,the brush tool has some more options,other than those explained till now and more let`s say “professional” than them.Controlling and managing those options gives you the possibility to become a great digital artist.


    All of these settings are reasonably self explanatory with a little experimentation but I`ll present you some of the most important options of this menu:

  • Shape Dynamics modifies the shape of the brush while you paint.
  • Scattering dictates how rigidly the brush marks stick to the line of the stroke. It is expressed as a percentage of the brush size.
  • Color Dynamics progressive modifies the color of the stroke,creating some nice effects.
  • Dual Brush creates a duality between an independent brush and the standard brush-the line.You may see in the next image how this option works:
  • 61

    Here`s an example of combining those options and applying them:


    The Brush tool is certainly a fantastic instrument, and if all those options are put in use,can be a greater asset to to create some nice stuffs.Next I`ll show you how to install brushes in Adobe Photoshop.

    Install brushes in Adobe Photoshop

    Adobe Photoshop has a folder named Brushes where you may store the new brushes.To find the folder,go to the folder where you installed the Photoshop application and open the Presets folder.Here is the Brushes folder.

    The path to the brush folder is Folder_where_you_installed_Photoshop/Presets/Brushes.

    So,if you have a brush set and want to use it in Photoshop,copy the brush set in this folder and open the Photoshop application.Then find the respective brush in the options bar of Brush tool.


    Then press the “Play button” situated in the top-right of the menu:


    It will be revealed all your brushes installed in Photoshop.


    Select the desired brush and use it in Photoshop.

    The brush tool is one of the most important and essential tool that I use in my works.Almost all my tutorials have elements created by brushes.For example,the Unreal underwater scene and The fantasy illustration tutorials are in a big part created only with brushes.

    The unreal underwater scene:


    The fantasy illustration tutorial:


    If you let your imagination work there`s no doubt that you`ll succeed in creating some great stuff,using this tool and combining it with other tools.

    That`s all for now!I hope you learned something today.See you next time for another lesson!

    Bye bye!

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    Madalin Tudose

    A web developer with a crush on SEO. Having my skin in the game of website development and digital marketing for more than 10 years already, you might consider me an expert. At least this is what people call me. Honestly, I HATE that term. I prefer to describe myself as a person who takes action and risks. I test every hypothesis, document every step of the process, and implement what works.

    Join the discussion

    1. fluffy on July 31, 2009 at 3:52 pm Reply


      Thanks for the great tutorial. It’s really helpful. I’m a real beginner for photoshop.
      I wanted to asked a question about the tutorial in ‘clone stamp’, but I found no reply part there. So I’m using this post. Hope it’s ok to ask my problem here.

      My problem with ‘clone stamp’ function is, I tried many times “alt+click” and click and drag (with no alt) into the right empty space to copy the source image. But, in some reason which I don’t know, my programme doesn’t work, keep saying “Could not use the clone stamp because the area to clone has not been defined (Alt-click to define a source point)”.

      Do you have any idea where was wrong? I really appreciate it if you can help me out.

    2. Vilyanur on January 24, 2010 at 9:30 am Reply

      Nice tutorial.
      Thanks for it.
      I am a newbie for photoshop and it helped me a lot to build my techniques in photoshop.

    3. Maxi on February 25, 2010 at 2:35 am Reply

      Good tutorial .

    4. mike on June 30, 2010 at 6:05 am Reply

      Very cool tutorial.THanks.

    5. shirelly on July 13, 2010 at 8:13 pm Reply

      yes,very useful suggestions,it can be use in our job!

    6. jani on August 21, 2010 at 2:32 am Reply

      I always love to learn things about adobe photoshop and this tutorial is one of the best i have ever read. I loved the way you explain the use of brushes

    7. Microsoft Templates on September 9, 2010 at 5:57 pm Reply

      No doubt this is a wonderful and full of information tutorial. Thanks for sharing this dude.

    8. Affiliate on October 7, 2010 at 5:31 am Reply

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    9. FusionHost on March 12, 2011 at 6:06 pm Reply

      Very cool photoshop tutorial, thank you for sharing it!

    10. Porno on April 26, 2011 at 10:48 am Reply

      I think Mandy once said she’d have me when monkeys flew out her butt…

    11. abdrey on July 30, 2011 at 11:59 pm Reply

      This post is too good for complete beginners. Talk about getting some free advice on internet. Its better than lynda IMO

    12. Sam G on September 5, 2011 at 2:24 pm Reply

      Nice article. Thank you for posting it here.

    13. Sara on October 17, 2011 at 9:48 am Reply


    14. Tapan Bhattacharyya on April 27, 2012 at 9:05 am Reply

      I have put some text in a microscopic image using ImageJ and set it permanently using their command Edit/Draw. There is no command in Image J to change or delete this text. I want to change this text. Somebody told me to bring it ti Photoshop and use brush tool to delete the text. How can I do that ?
      Thanks for your help.

      1. Sumaiya on August 7, 2012 at 10:32 am Reply

        Just open the image in photoshop and use the CLONE STAMP tool over the text you want to remove..then select the TEXT tool and type in the new text and save as a .jpg
        check this out it explains better..

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