Tutorial: Installing PhotoShop Brushes

One of the most powerful tools in PhotoShop for artists is the ability to install and use custom brushes.  Here is a handy tutorial that walks you through the process:

STEP 1:  Locate brushes.
There are many great places to find PhotoShop brushes including a Google Search or one of my favorite resources: Deviant Art.

Tip:  Pay attention to the licensing of the brushes you discover. Many brushes are free to use in any way you wish while others require attribution or are for personal use only.

STEP 2:  Download and save the brushes (".abr" files) to your computer. 
NOTE: If the brushes were compressed in a ".zip" or ".rar" file, then after you download it you will need to un-zip the file to find the .abr brush files.

STEP 3: Place the ".abr" brush files in the following location:

Windows Users*:

Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop X\Presets\Brushes

* replace the X with your version of PhotoShop.

Mac Users*:

/Users/{username}/Library/Application Support/Adobe/Adobe Photoshop X/Presets/Brushes

* replace {username} with your username, and change the X above to match your version of Adobe.

STEP 4:  Open PhotoShop and select the Brush Tool (see 4A below).  Next, click on the small down arrow in the Brushes Palette next to the preview of the selected brush (see 4B below).

Next, click the right arrow in the upper right corner and select "Load Brushes" (see below).

In the dialog window that opens, choose the brush you wish to load.

Congratulations, your brushes have been installed!  Use the scrollbar to scroll through the active brushes and click to select your new brush:

Now you are ready to paint!

I hope this tutorial was helpful to you.  If you are stopping by after reading my article in Somerset Digital Studio (Spring 2013) magazine, welcome!

You can see more of my music-inspired digital watercolors (mentioned in the article) here, or check out some of my other tutorials here.

I'd love to see what you create following my tutorials.  Please drop me a link to your art in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

nineteen − four =