Brush Tool in Adobe Photoshop


Brush Tool in Adobe Photoshop, in simple words, is the digital form of our art brushes. As it’s a digital version of the traditional form of art brush, it has numerous advantages over the traditional counterpart.

It’s not only available in different shape and sizes but it also gives us option of creating our own brush preset .i.e., custom brush shape.

Brush Preset Picker:

If you pick the brush tool from the toolbar, the first menu in the options bar you will see is “brush preset picker”.

There we can change the brush tip. This menu shows different types of icons which are different types of brushes available in Adobe Photoshop.

If you click on the small wheel icon on the top right of the preset box you will get different groups of preset brushes.

These brushes are inbuilt with Photoshop. If you want to add any brush preset just click on it.

For example, we chose “Assorted Brushes” then Photoshop will ask you to replace brushes or “append” them. “Append” means Photoshop will add them to the existing list of brushes and if you click “ok” then it will replace all brushes together.

Now, let’s say you have downloaded a set of brushes and you want to add them to your brush preset. For this, you have to click on the option “Load Brushes”.

There are also options for changing the properties of the brush:


Here, you can control the size of the brush.


This option determines the hardness and softness of your brush edge.

If you keep hardness to 0% then the brush strokes will have a very soft edge and if the hardness is at 100% then strokes will have very hard and sharp edges.

And the brush is going to paint whatever the color you’ve set as your foreground color.

{Explanation for foreground and background colors is out of scope for this post. We will create another post for foreground and background color topic.}

We can also apply blend modes to brushes. If we choose “overlay” or “soft light” mode then it will blend the brush strokes with the background image.


If we are making an artwork which needs to have brush strokes with some transparency, then we can manipulate the opacity to get the desired transparent strokes you need.  And the “flow” option determines how much area does the pixels flow when clicking the brush.

There is a shortcut to change the size of the brush tip and it is by pressing the left bracket ( [ ) and right bracket ( ] ) on the keyboard to size down and up respectively.

Brush Panel:

To get a bit more creative with the brush tool, let’s look at some more edit options available in Photoshop. To make that happen, click on the icon up in the options menu next to the brush preset picker and it will open up the brush options panel. There is another way to open it by clicking on the “window” menu and selecting the brush option.

In this panel, at the top list of options, there is “brush tip shape”. We have the same option in this menu that is in “brush preset picker” with few other options such as angle, roundness, and spacing. There are many options which can add more to our brush behavior such as “Shape dynamics”.

Shape Dynamics:

In this option, at first, you will see is “Size Jitter”. Jitter means Photoshop randomizes the feature of the brush as you paint. You can also choose different control such as fade, pen pressure, pen tilt and stylus wheel.  You can see the preview panel at the bottom of the brush panel. Here you can see the changing behaviors of the brush as you change them. There are different “Jitter” options in this menu such as Angle JitterRoundness Jitter apart from Size Jitter. The brush will paint according to how you set different values in this panel.


In this option, you can scatter the brush. We can increase or decrease the count of the brush when we paint and we can set the Count Jitter too.


In this option, we can give texture to the brush. And for that, you have to go to pattern picker and choose any texture you like from the texture menu.

Dual Brush:

In this option, we can use two different brushes at the same time with the help of blending mode. And we can modify their size, spacing, and count.

Color Dynamics:

In this option, we can set the color of our brush in between the foreground and background color. And in this option, we can also change hue JitterSaturation JitterBrightness Jitter and Purity to get the proper output as we’ve desired.


In transfer Option, you can randomize the opacity and flow of the brush.

Brush Pose:

It is the new feature that is able to modify the tilt and rotation of any brush.


In this option, you can use noise to give a noise effect to your brush strokes.

Wet Edges:

It helps to give a bit of natural look to your brush. This option can give a wet watercolor look. So, it is quite effective if you are making an artwork based on watercolor effect.

Build Up:

This option allows you to build up other brush strokes over the previous one in a natural way as if it is done with natural brushes.


This option makes the brush strokes a lot smoother than usual.

Protect Texture:

By clicking on this option you can protect your texture on the images.

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