I know this maybe quite basic, but I feel one of the most important things in Photoshop – that and Layers and Masks.
Load up Photoshop and make a new document – I chose 1024×768 x 300 ppi. A higher ppi means you will have smoother brush. Make a new Layer called brush. We wont need this right away, so you can ignore it for a while.
Now we can make a brush out of anything – but the important thing to remember if that it will be monochrome. So if you are making a brush out of a photo it is always best to increase the contrast of the photo. As such we open a photo – I chose one from http://www.imageafter.com/image.php?image=b17diederik023.jpg.
Using the Pen tool extract the flower from the photo. You do this by tracing around the flower using the Pen Tool set to paths in the option bar. Once you have finished right click on the path and select “Make selection” from the popup menu. Finally choose the default options from the Make Selection dialogue box. Copy the flower to our original documents Brush Layer.
Now we have the flower extracted and on our original document we want to adjust the Levels ( Image>Adjustment>Levels>) move the white point slider to the right increasing the contrast of the flower.
We now want to define the shape as a brush. First we make sure we are on the Brush Layer we created earlier then we go to Edit>Define Brush Preset. Add a Name to the dialogue box that appears I chose Flower.
We can now choose the brush we created by selecting the Brush Tool and using the brush picker in the Option Bar. This brush can be used as if we would any other brush, although at this stage it is more of a “stamp” than a brush.
Next time we will look into making the brush dynamic.
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