Articles, Blog

Use REAL PAINT to Create Brushes in Photoshop

February 6, 2020

Hey, I’m Hunter from Skillthrive and in
this tutorial you’ll learn how to use a brush like this to create custom brushes
that you can use in Photoshop. Before we get started make sure you become a free
member on Skillthrive so you can download the course files and follow
along with me today. There’s a link in the description that will take you to a
registration page where you can join. With that said, let’s go ahead and get started. Alright, so what we have here is just a cheap acrylic, and I put some acrylic in
both of these containers. This one, I put some water in it just to water it down. I’m actually going to use this to create some splatter marks. This
one’s just the regular acrylic that I’m going to use to do some standard
brush strokes. Let’s go ahead and start with the the watered-down acrylic
paint. I’m going to take my brush here and I’m going to kind of–
see how it’s this dripping–I’m just going to drip some of that onto this
sheet here. Get it to a point here and just let it drop, and it doesn’t have to be perfect. We’re just getting some different splatter
marks like that. Then what we can do is come back to the actual acrylic and
with another brush here, which is just kind of like a standard brush, we can
come in and get some some paint on our brush. Then just do some actual paint
strokes. Then, I also have another brush here,
which is like this little sponge brush. Again, I can get some some
paint on this and come around and get some different looks going on
here. Don’t worry if they’re too close to each other, you can come into
Photoshop and really fine-tune your selection. So don’t worry if you get them
kind of close to the other ones, just make sure you don’t overlap anything–
that’s what’s really important. I might come and use this brush
and come into the regular acrylic. Get some acrylic on that like that
and do some smaller ones. I’m just getting some of the
free space right now–that’s what I’m doing. Then we can literally turn each of these into their own brush in Photoshop. Before we do
that, we actually have to scan this. If you have a scanner I would
suggest that you use that because you’re going to get a better quality scan. But
assuming that a lot of you don’t have scanners, we’re actually going to use
our cell phones and use an app that you can download both on iOS and Android to
actually get this onto your phone and then onto the computer. The app that I’m going to use to scan
this into my phone is going to have a hard time distinguishing this white paper
from this white tabletop. If you don’t have a white tabletop or a light
tabletop, you probably won’t run into this issue, but because I do I need to go
ahead and add something like a piece of cardboard behind this painting that we
did. Now, the app is going to have an easier time scanning this in because
there’s contrast there. The app that I’m using is Adobe Scan–it’s absolutely free and it’s available for iOS and Android. Let’s go ahead and open that up, and on this camera, go ahead and click on that
to create our scan. Now we can go ahead and save this PDF. Then we can share it. You can email this to yourself, or in my case, I’m actually just going to
airdrop it to my MacBook Pro here. And just like that, now it is on my MacBook Pro. Now I can open it in Photoshop to create the custom brushes. With Photoshop already opened, I’m
going to come into where I actually saved my scan. I’m going to right-click and
just open with Photoshop CC 2018. Now you can see that our scan is nowin
Photoshop. There’s just a couple adjustments that I need to do to this
scan before actually creating the custom brushes. The first thing I need to do
is actually go ahead and unlock this and name this “scan.” Then I’m
going to come in and add a black and white adjustment layer. Then I’m going to come
in and add a levels adjustment layer to add a little bit more contrast
here. You can see that the white point is nice and we don’t really need
to adjust that, but there’s a little space here to move the black point over
to add a little bit extra contrast. I’m just going to move that over just a
little bit. Now you can see if we turn this on and off that we just added
a little bit more contrast, which is going to help with the brush when we
actually create it. Let’s go ahead now and collapse this, and I’m going to just
go ahead and group these, so command G. Name this “scan.” Let’s go and
expand this. I noticed after I scanned this that some of these splatters
are a little streaky. It’s caused by being watered down. What
we can do is come in with a black paintbrush and just paint in some of
this. Let’s go ahead, and above the levels layer, let’s go ahead and add a new
layer. We can add this black color and hit B to switch to my brush tool. I
have a nice soft round brush and on the color here I just have it set to pure
black. Then I’ll click OK. Let’s go ahead and set the opacity to 80
and the flow to 80. I’m going to paint in some of this here on some of
the splatters that I actually want to use. Now, with that said, I’m not going to use
all of the brushes here. I’m just picking some of my favorite ones, and
then we’ll use those to actually create the brushes that we can use in Photoshop. I think this one right here is
cool. Now that the centers are nice and black, what we can do is start to create the brushes. To do that, I’m going to go ahead and collapse this scan grouping. Then I’m going to hit M to bring up my marquee
tool. You’ll see over here in my Photoshop toolbar that if I hold this
that I have rectangular and elliptical, so you might need to go ahead and switch to the rectangular if you’re on the elliptical for instance. Make sure
that you have the rectangular selected, and then come in to one of the
ones that you like. I like this one right here. I can just go ahead and make a
selection here with my marquee tool. Then I can come in to select, and I
can come in to transform selection to fine-tune that. Then I can go ahead and
hit enter/return. Then I can come up to edit, and then define brush preset. I
can go ahead and name this so “st-brush-1.” Click OK. Then command D to get rid
of that marquee tool. Now just repeat this process on all the brushes that I
want. I went ahead and selected some of my
favorite brushes and saved those into my brush presets. Now what I can do now is
create a new document. So come in to create a new doc. I’ll just set
this to 1200 by 1500 and click create. Go ahead and unlock this. Then I’ll hit B
and go into my brush tool. If I come into this and select my brushes, you’ll see
that I have all these brushes that I just created. Let’s go ahead and just select one of them. For instance, like this, I can
pick a cool color here that I want to use. Maybe, like a color like this. I can click. Now you can see now that we applied that brush. That will work
for all the brushes that we just created into Photoshop brushes. These work just like any other brush. You can come in and make them bigger and smaller, adjust the opacity, the flow. You can come into your brush presets here and change
things like shape dynamics, scattering. You can add a texture, which you can get
some really cool effects and do a lot of different things here. This isn’t a
tutorial on how to really use this brush tool and play with your brush settings,
but I hope you had a lot of fun creating your own work and then turning those
into brushes that you can use in Photoshop. You can find a lot of brushes, splatters, and stuff like that on the web that you can use. But
what I really love about this process is that you’re actually creating
your custom brushes. No one else in the world will have these unless you’re
giving it to them. That wraps up how to take the scan and create custom
brushes in Photoshop! Congrats on finishing this course! If you liked it, give it a thumbs up and please subscribe! And don’t forget you can still become a
free member on Skillthrive to download the course files that we created today.
Again, I’m Hunter from Skillthrive and I’ll see you in the next one!


  • Reply Jordan Newsom November 15, 2018 at 1:01 am

    Nice tutorial man. Very useful!

  • Reply Moizes Gabriel Mendes Macedo November 15, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    Love it. Thank you!

  • Reply Daniela Argandona Lowe November 29, 2018 at 7:30 pm

    thanks a lot! I have just done my own painting for brushes 🙂 regards from Uruguay. Just a doubt, I have seen that when I do the same as you, with a long brush, part of the page shows, kind of stamp more than a brush, shouldn't you use a transparent, layer somewhere?

  • Reply Anna Perez April 16, 2019 at 8:30 pm

    Thank you for this useful tutorial! Can I use brushes scanned like this on printing artwork? will the resolution be hight enough?

  • Reply Mary Davis August 25, 2019 at 5:08 am

    Amazing tutorial, now trying to figure out how to use as a mixer brush for my digital paintings

  • Leave a Reply