How to Install Brushes to Photoshop ( + Learn How to Use with Easy Steps)

How to Install Brushes to Photoshop ( + Learn How to Use with Easy Steps) main article image
Posted on August 22, 2021 by Katrina Frieze
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In today’s tutorial, we will be discussing Photoshop brushes. This is quite useful for beginners and anybody who wants to learn more about how the Photoshop brush tool works.

Contents:

What are Photoshop Brush Tool and Photoshop Brushes?

The Photoshop brush tool is a great tool in Photoshop that allows you to achieve more with your designs. It is the painting tool in Photoshop that gives you control of the lines and strokes in any color when using a brush.

Depending on what kind of design you are going for, I find the brushes to have a wide range of capabilities. Brushes are the perfect add-ons and can be used in many things from digital art and paintings, elements, and customed designs for graphics.

You can create designs from simple doodles to beautiful watercolor arts, the possibilities are endless. Brushes are a lot of fun to play with and they are definitely workflow time savers.

As you learn and progress in using the brush tool, you would also be able to create your own customed brushes, but for now, let’s talk about the basics. Adobe Photoshop has preset brushes that you can explore with but there are plenty of other brush styles you can download for free and others for purchase.

Installing/Importing Brushes

Depending on what version of Photoshop you have will have different installing/importing procedure. I will cover both how to install Photoshop CC 2020 or newer and Photoshop CC 2019 or older versions.

Photoshop CC 2020 or newer

Step 1

The first step is to download some Photoshop brushes. You may either use free or purchased Photoshop brushes.

Step 2

Photoshop brushes are usually packed in a zip file so you will have to extract the contents in a folder on your computer. The brush file that you need to install has an .ABR extension file.

Step 3

Open the Brushes Panel by clicking Window then Brushes. Click the menu on the top right corner, then click Import Brushes. Select the brush file you want to install (ending in .ABR), and click Load.

Open the Brushes Panel by clicking Window then Brushes

Click the menu on the top right corner, then click Import Brushes.

Older Photoshop Versions (CC 2019 and Older)

There are two simple ways to install brushes in the older versions of Photoshop (Photoshop CC 2019 and older)

Step 1

You can simply just drag the brush file .ABR directly into your Photoshop window.

Step 2

The other way is to go to Edit select Presets, click Preset Manager and select Brushes from the dropdown menu. Now add the brushes you want, and click the “Load” button.

 Click to Edit select Presets, click Preset Manager

Select Brushes from the dropdown menu, add the brushes you want, and click the "Load" button.

And there you have it! Now you can play around using the new brushes you installed. This is going to be a really fun part for you, as this opens doors for more creativity.

You can access all your brushes in the brush settings located in the top right as shown in the image below.

brush settings

Using Downloaded Brushes in Photoshop

Now that you have installed your new Photoshop brushes, you are ready to use them. Begin by opening the Brush Panel, click Window, and select Brushes.

The newly added brushes will be in a group folder. You will have to click the folder to view and use the available brushes. Once you have selected the brush you want to use, you can now start drawing and creating awesome designs.

The newly added brushes will be in a group folder. You will have to click the folder to view and use the available brushes.

You can edit the settings for your brush using the options bar at the top of the Photoshop window. This will allow you to control the size, mode, opacity, and flow of the brush. It’s a great way to explore and play around with your brushes. It helps take your creativity to the next level.

control the size, mode, opacity, and flow of the brush

Below is a basic guide to help you understand and use the options bar:

Brush Tip

The brush tip settings allow you to edit the size and hardness of your brush tips. You can either increase or decrease the size and hardness depending on how you want your brush tip to be. This can be done by dragging the size and hardness slider.

Brush Modes

A brush blend mode determines how the brush stroke will apply to the image when you paint using the brush tool. Understanding how blending modes work will help you get your desired effect for your projects.

Opacity

Controlling the percentage of opacity can be done by simply typing the number you want or dragging the slider.

Once opacity is set, the brush, may not exceed this opacity percentage. You need to release your click on your mouse and click again and go over the same area to build up the effect.

Flow

The brush flow controls the speed at which the paint will build up. Every pass of the brush over the same spot will build more effect. This is the difference with opacity, you don’t have to release your click on your mouse and click again and go over the same spot.

And like any other skill, you get better with practice in Photoshop.

While you’re at it, check out these great products that you can add to your designs (The graphics are in PNG, SVG, JPG, PDF, EPS, and DFX formats which makes them suitable for various types of projects):

If you are using Procreate too, check out these easy to use Procreate brush stamps:

I’d also like you guys to check out these free Adobe Photoshop brushes inspired by iconic artist Keith Haring. These are super cool brushes to use and play around with.

Just make sure to follow the steps according to the Photoshop version you have to use these brushes. Use the brush settings to control the size, mode, opacity, and flow of the brush.

Conclusion

Learning how to add brushes to Photoshop is another step closer to becoming a pro in Photoshop. That might sound like a stretch but we all had to start with the basics. So keep practicing and creating!

That’s it for today’s Photoshop tutorial please stay tuned for more tutorials to come!


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