How To Make Photoshop Texture Brushes

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

How can you make your drawings look three-dimensional instead of flat? In this tutorial, we will cover the methods you require to customise photoshop texture brushes and create the effects you desire.

If you would like your digital artwork to have a painterly feel without the mess of getting your hands dirty, this tutorial is for you. Follow along and try the exercises in this post to learn what techniques you can use to incorporate into your practice.

This tutorial is not for complete beginners, we go with the assumption that you have a basic understanding of Photoshop. If you would like an introduction to any of the techniques here, let us know.

Get to know your brushes

The purpose of these exercises is to experiment with different types of brushes for different effects.

The brushes palette is under Window > Brushes.

The brushes panel in photoshop is available under the Windows tab.

Browse through all your options. Familiarize yourself with the many options available to you.

Browsing the Brushes panel in Photoshop.

Click on the four lines in the top right corner of the Brushes panel to access the ‘Get more brushes‘ section. You can find other brushes to explore.

Get more texture brushes in Photoshop.

I wish just finding the right brush would help you create the art you want, but it takes practice. Understand your personal artistic style and needs. Do you use thicker or thinner strokes? Do you use a lot of texture or is it only for feature elements? Eventually, you will make choices based on what suits your artistic needs.

Adjust your Photoshop Texture Brushes easily

Need to adjust a brush for a specific effect? Make your own!

We are going to create a Stippling brush for the exercise further down.

Step 1.

Tap F5 on your keyboard to open up the Brushes panel. Select the brush you want to alter from the panel of presets. To create a ‘dotted’ brush, I am picking the Hard Round brush. Reduce the Hardness to 60%, this will soften the edges for an organic feel. Increase the Spacing between each instance to 160%. 

Adjusting the Hardness and Spacing of a texture brush in Photoshop.

Step 2.

Turn on the Shape Dynamics. Increase the Size Jitter to 45%, this function varies each instance of your brush. Adjust your Minimum Diameter to 30%, this controls the distance between each instance of your brush. Roundness Jitter controls the roundness of each instance, so for a handmade feel, we will go with 10%. Minimum Roundness controls the extent of roundness, so we will leave it at 25%. 

Adjusting the Shape Dynamics of a brush in Photoshop.

Step 3.

In the Scattering section, take up scatter to 230%. This controls the scatter of each instant from the midline. Choose Scatter on Both Axes. Count to 2, this increases the number of instances.

Adjusting the scattering of the brush in Photoshop.

Step 4.

You can now save your brush. Hit the four lines in the top right corner of the Brush Settings and Save it as a New Brush Preset.

Adjusting the Scattering of a texture brush in Photoshop
You have now created a texture that you can use in your practise!

Don’t forget to give it an appropriate name that you will remember.

Name the brush created -  Dotted scatter texture brush in photoshop

Adjust and play with the settings to fine tune how you want your textures to appear.

You can use this technique to create any number of brushes. Try it while shading different objects for different textures. Attempt it in the exercises below.

Quick tips for better shading

1. Change the amount of pressure, understand the values you are trying to achieve in each drawing. The harder you press the darker your lines and shading will appear depending on the opacity setting and the pressure sensitivity of your tablet. Lighter strokes will create lighter tones.

Pressure and Opacity of brushes in Photoshop.

2. Texture your form along the planes of the form. This helps explain to the viewer the volume and flow of the object.

A sphere on a table showing the different planes on two surfaces.

I will be covering all the basics you need to know to be able to shade and colour with ease using a reference or from your imagination in this and following posts. If you are on a journey of learning how to draw, digitally or traditionally, consider subscribing for updates on how to improve your craft delivered directly to your inbox.

Create a Gold Glitter Texture in Photoshop

Let us give the brush we just created a whirl. 

1. Shade a sphere on a table with the dot brush we created above. Use different layers to create the value buildup you require to make the sphere look round and complete.

Shading and texturing of a sphere in photoshop.

2. Select the sphere and add a new adjustment layer – Hue and Saturation.

Changing the Hue and Saturation of an object in Photoshop.

3. Select the Colourize option. Choose a golden yellow colour, mid saturation and lightness. Hue 41, Saturation 46, Lightness +12.

Choosing a golden yellow colour for the sphere in photoshop.

4. Let’s duplicate that layer and Turn on the Overlay Blending mode. Mask in the areas that you want to keep lighter. Add in shadows and depth to the sphere. Notice the difference this simple change makes.

Adding shadows and depth to the sphere in Photoshop.

5. Take a soft round brush with a slight opacity and darken the area away from the light for some contrast. Set the Blending mode in the layer bar to Multiply. Adjust the opacity as necessary.

Adding a shadow created by the sphere on the table.

6. Pick white and use our texture brush to create some highlights on the sphere and reflections on the table surface.

create some highlights on the sphere

Texturing Exercises To Try With Photoshop Brushes

Exercise 1

Make a value scale with each texture brush your create. This exercise will ensure that your texturing comes out crisp and you have a clear understanding of how your shading will appear.

Value scale of the dashes texture brush in photoshop
Value scale of a ‘dashes’ texture. Use the method above to create a dashes brush to achieve this effect.

If the scattering of your brush is closer and tighter your textures will be denser. Open and looser will create lighter areas. You can always use a lighter colour for the highlights. Build up your values through light and darks.

Exercise 2

Draw different forms with different types of shading and texturing techniques.

4 types of textures to attempt in photoshop.

Need some help with your artwork? Share your work with me for a free critique lesson!

Tag me in your social media posts and feel free to reach out to me with your queries. I respond to every single one of them.

Pin this guide to your Pinterest boards so that you can return to it and use this method to draw other birds. Please share it on your favourite social media if you know anyone who would find it useful.

I hope this tutorial helps you understand a few of the many methods of shading. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments below. I would love to see how your drawings turn out. Tag me on your favourite social media @drawingwithpri when you use this tutorial.

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