Custom Paint Brushes

I wanted to play around with making some new custom brushes in Photoshop and I’ve been reading and watching a lot of X-Men recently, which lead to a couple of paintings of members of the X-Men to trial them, this being one of them.

Obviously this is Wolverine, in his brown or ‘2nd’ costume (the best one to my mind). As for the other images of Beast and Rogue, they turned out okay, but not as well as I hoped, so to save blushes they won’t be appearing anywhere.

Custom paint brushes in Photoshop can be a really powerful tool and it is something I am endeavouring to master. So far I have noticed three distinct ways custom brushes are created for Photoshop:

#1 An image or shape is made into a ‘Stamp’, a very simple process that seems to be also the most commonly found for downloading or advice on creation.

#2 A shape being made into a brush tip, the result giving the brush a soft, hard or shaped edge when applied to the page in a stroke.

#3 A shape that is made into a brush tip as in #2, however the custom settings are also applied making the brush tip act in different ways, for example the pressure of the tablet pen can affect how hard you push down on the ‘virtual’ brush with Photoshop, in effect acting like a real paint brush.

The third, which I have found to be the least commonly available (to download or find advice on creating), is also the most powerful and takes a lot of time and investment from the creator to manufacture. Interestingly, these types of brushes are jealously owned and their creation methods closely guarded by the makers, often reminding me of a fantasy story where only one person holds the truth behind the making of the special weapon to defeat the bad guys. I am now becoming one of these people, and also understanding just why their secrets are so closely guarded.

In my opinion, and remember it is only mine, it is not the time and the effort spent, it is the skill that is crafted within the creator through the discovery of the learning process. These are cherished and very personal tools that have been crafted and honed by the makers over what can be a long and frustrating period of time.

So for those guys who just want a quick and easy path, amongst your haranguing and battering of an artist whom you are petitioning for their secrets, spare them a thought for work they have invested into the creation of their tools, and remember, they have earned the right to jealously own these secrets that they have forged through hard work and steel resolve, have you?


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