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Brush Stroke a Path

Here’s where I’m going to end up today using the easy stroke path command. Path13

So first off I need a path, now I could use the pen tool and the what-not, but I’m not going to. Instead I’m going to work from text. If you don’t know how to get a path from text then take a look here.

So I have my path now I want to brush along it, well that’s easy.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

I’ll make a new layer to work on. (Shift+Ctrl+N)

I click on the Path tab, or if it isn’t there I could choose ‘paths’ from the ‘Window’ menu.


Now there’s my path, called Work Path. I may want to keep this for later so I’ll name it by double clicking it and typing in the dialogue box.


Next I’ll go to the bottom of the palette and choose the second icon from the left, which has the tool-tip; stroke path with brush. As this is exactly what I want to do, I’ll click it


Now the thing is this, this function used the last brush that was used, in my case this was a round soft brush. Thus, the result really wasn’t what I was after. Ctrl+z to go back

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

So, I’m going to load a new brush, for this example I’d like a leaf and Photoshop comes with quite a nice one.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Now I’m going to alter a few bits and bobs in the brush palette.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Size of the brush always catches me out, so I’ll do that first. I have to remember that, in this case at least, the path curves around and goes back. So I need to make sure there will be a gap between the two stroked paths.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Now on the shape dynamics I want it to be quite random so Size and Angle Jitter up to 100

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Next up, the Scattering. Again I have to bear in mind that the path runs parallel to itself, so I have to keep the scatter pretty minimal.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

Finally in this palette I’ll do a 100% jitter between the foreground and background color. In my case I’ve set each to a shade of green.

More:  Working with type on a path


Now when I strole the path again I get a far more pleasing, and for squirrels at least, a homely look.

The path still shows, but thats ok, it isn’t really there. Just clicking off of the path layer will hide it.

Click to Enlarge

Click to Enlarge

I could of course add more leaves just by stroking the path again, or maybe a few times.

Here I’ve done just that, but changed the Foreground and Background colours to shades of brown and added a touch of Drop Shadow to each layer.


About Eric Renno (420 Articles)
Eric’s background in video editing with Adobe Premier led to his interest, and then obsession, with Photoshop. Starting TipSquirrel.com as a hobby he is proud to have gathered together and be a part of The Photoshop Nuts. Known as only “TipSquirrel” for two years, Eric ‘went public’ when he was a finalist in The Next Adobe Photoshop Evangelist competition. He’s also been a finalist in Deke’s Techniques Photoshop Challenge. While still taking on some freelance work, Eric has recently become a Lecturer at Peterborough’s Media and Journalism Centre where he enjoys sharing his knowledge as well as learning new skills. This realisation that he loves to teach has made Eric look at altering his career path.

2 Comments on Brush Stroke a Path

  1. Newt Green // 02/12/2015 at 6:17 pm //

    Any ideas as to why when using a path in CS3, I cannot get the shape dynamics to create the bi-tapered line?

  2. Newt Green // 02/12/2015 at 6:20 pm //

    Hi Thanks,

    Never mind! Figured it out.

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