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How to Use Brush Tool in Photoshop?

  • Last Updated : 24 Jun, 2021

Photoshop is the raster-based image editing software which is developed and published by Adobe inc. in which you can edit images, posters, banners, logos, invitation cards, and several types of graphic designing work. Brush and Pencil tools are the most important tools of Photoshop. These two tools are used for artwork in photoshops. Here’s a thing we should know in Photoshop that it comes with two different tools Brush and the Pencil tool, but actually, the Pencil tool is a sub tool of the Brush tool. That means you can have all the properties and effects of the Pencil tool with the Brush tool.

Brush tool

The brush tool is a very basic but important tool in Photoshop you can think of the Brush tool with respect to a real-world brush that is used for painting the canvas, etc. It does the same thing in Photoshop too. In Photoshop, we have layers that are used as a canvas, and with the Brush Tool, we can draw things or paint that layer as we need.

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How to use the brush tool?

Using the brush tool is quite simple. Following are the steps that show how to use brush tool:

Step 1: Open a document or image in Photoshop.

Step 2: Select the Brush tool from the toolbar. It can be located on the left side of the application as you can see in the image above.

Step 3: After selecting the tool just hold the left click on your mouse and drag over the image or document. It will simply start painting and that’s all you have to do to use it.

Options of Brush tool

The brush tool has some options that are very important for us to know so that we can use it effectively in our artwork. We can see its options in the image below and learn about them one by one.



1. Brush Size

With this property of the brush tool, we can change the size of our brush as per our needs. To change the brush size, click on this brush picker drop-down button or just right-click on the image or document. You will get a pop-up from there move the given slider to make the brush larger or smaller or you can simply put the desired number in the input box. There is a shortcut for increasing or decreasing the size of the brush, i.e., use the pair of brackets on the keyboard for increasing use ( ] ) and for decreasing use ( [ ).

2. Brush Hardness

Brush hardness means that what is the intensity of our brush while painting, it could be sharp-edged which is harder or it could be soft-edged which is softer. In the same drop-down as above, we can have the 2nd slider named Hardness. From there we can make our brush harder or softer.

3. Brush list

In the same drop-down, we can also see a list of different kinds of brushes. Photoshop comes with various brushes, from there we can choose as per our requirements.



4. Brush Settings

After the brush-picker dropdown icon, the next icon is for brush setting, where we can have some additional settings for our brushes and we can play around with these settings to achieve a great result for our artwork.

In brush settings, we have plenty of options to tweak around. For example, here we can control the noise or texture of our brush. Here we also have the softness slider from where we can only change the softness of the brush too.

5. Blend modes

In Photoshop, blend mode is a very vast topic but here, in the brush tool option, we can have it too. So, basically, what blend mode does is that it changes the blending between two different strokes of brushes. In the blend mode drop-down menu, we have a few blending options where we can choose according to our requirements. 

Here is an example of a blend mode dissolve on our brushstrokes as we can see it tries to make the edges rough and tries to dissolve with the existing stroke.



6. Brush Opacity

Opacity helps us to control the visibility of our brush strokes. In the opacity slider, we can change the value from 0% to 100%. High opacity means high visibility and low opacity means low visibility.

7. Brush Flow

Brush flow is another important property for brushes. Simply, it means how much color can flow at the time of painting. If it is high, then more color flows through our brush where it could get messy, so to avoid that, we can have a low flow value where the intensity of our color flow will be low and we can get a better result. Flow also has values from 0% to 100% or we can use a slider too.

Pencil Tool

As we discussed above, the pencil tool is a sub-tool of brush tools. The pencil tool is just a fine thin tip of the brush and, except flow, it shares all the properties that the brush tool has, which are discussed above.

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