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How to create patterns using Photoshop brushes tutorial

photoshop brushes create patterns

A quick guide to creating patterns using Photoshop brushes in CC 2017 2015 etc. A guide to using Photoshop brushes as a Photoshop patterns in CC CS6 CS5 CS4 etc and elements. You can use any brushes as a great source for instant Photoshop patterns and seamless tiles.


You can take any source brushes presets and define them as a new pattern via the edit menu.


You can add effects to the Photoshop brushes and use that as a new source pattern. You can use the offset filter to create interesting patterns and seamless tiles from Photoshop brushes. You can use the brushes to create amazing colorful patterns as well as black and white pattern designs. This tutorial shows you how to create amazing pattern designs using Photoshop brushes


The key commands in all of this is

  1. edit menu

  2. define pattern

A quick shortcut to creating patterns, use our PNG brushes included in the sets

arrow brushes for Photoshop and psp create patterns using brushes

There is a quick shortcut to creating a pattern if you are using our brush sets. The brush sets often contain PNG images that can be used in many other applications such as PSP, Photo-Paint and GIMP. If the set does not contain the PNG images then you can always quickly create a new PNG by using the strokes in the ABR and creating a dab for export to a PNG image.


The PNG images can be converted also to other formats so if you want JPG or TIFF then use a conversion tool such as irfanview (free tool) or PSP (trial can be found via the website) or a free application such as the excellent Krita which can be found on the website


To use them as a pattern

  1. Open the brush file in Photoshop

  2. edit menu

  3. define pattern

Source brush for the pattern and adding effects and distortions before you start

The source brush can be manipulated before you start creating the pattern. Open the PNG file or apply the brush to an open document and then use effects such as blurs or perhaps tools such as the blur tool to manipulate the design (in this case, an arrow but it could be a car or train or skyscraper or some other image) and then re-define that as a brush via the edit menu brush command. This can be done whether the source is a PNG file or an actual brush stroke.

Create pattern tiles using Photoshop brushes

arrow brushes with transparency creating patterns

Use the brushes to create pattern tiles or distortions in Adobe ® Photoshop®

  1. Select brush tool

  2. Select color via toolbox / foreground color or perhaps via the swatches panel.

  3. Apply dabs as required (avoiding the edges of the image)

  4. Filter menu and Other menu and offset (set to 1/2 height and 1/2 width) to shift design for tile

  5. Apply more dabs (again avoiding the edges of the image)

  6. edit menu and define pattern command

You can also use blending modes and opacity to create many variant tile designs. You can also create variant strokes by adding effects to the strokes and then re-defining the stroke and adding those to the image. In that way, you can add perhaps rough / distressed / blurred variants. You don't have to use the same stroke to define the artwork either, you can change the stroke by selecting different presets in the panel.


You may also wish to just create the brush dabs on a layer and then delete the background layer and then define the pattern. The one on the right was created by using a layer made of a blue arrow brush added to a black filled layer and that was then duplicated and used to fill a space which was then defined as a pattern from those brushes. You can then manipulate the layers and positions and the color of the layers of the brush strokes to create an infinite number of patterns from the same basic set of layers.

Smart objects and creating infinite variants of the patterns using the same brush

add smart effects and blurry and layer effects to brush stroke

Smart objects are a useful way to create a near infinite number of pattern variants from the same brush

  1. Open a brush file or create a new document and add a brush stroke to a new layer (layer menu)

  2. Go to the layer menu

  3. smart objects

  4. convert to smart object

  5. apply a smart filter via the filter menu such as blur (avoid applying the effect beyond the seams of the document)

  6. apply a layer effect such as bevel etc

  7. edit menu

  8. define pattern

  9. go to the layers panel

  10. click on the effect or effects associated with the brush stroke

  11. modify the setting of the blur etc effect

  12. click OK

  13. edit menu

  14. define pattern

  15. double click on the smart object thumbnail

  16. edit the original brush design such as adding an additional brush stroke or changing the color etc

  17. exit the edit mode by closing the PSB file

  18. edit menu

  19. define pattern

and so on. You have then 100s of new patterns to use in your projects and these can be saved to a new patterns file PAT via the patterns panel and the right side menu save command

Photoshop brushes and combining with effects to create even more patterns

photoshop brushes and patterns create effects

You can also quickly create all kinds of amazing unique patterns using Photoshop brushes when you combine the work with effects. In this case, there is no need for smart objects and smart filters

  1. Apply a selection of brush strokes in black (or any color) to a layer or the background in Photoshop

  2. Go to the filters and other and offset and set the values to -500 and 500 and wrap (if the document is a 1000 x 1000 etc, basically half)

  3. OK

  4. Continue to add brush strokes to the new design with the offset

  5. Now go to a new document (create one)

  6. Add the same brush stroke

  7. Apply an effect to the brush stroke such as blur or analog efex pro effect etc but make sure the effect does not extend to the edge of the image

  8. edit menu and define brush

  9. Go back to the previous document and continue adding brush strokes with the new effect brush

  10. repeat effects etc to create new brushes and add to the document as well as use offsets

  11. Define pattern

Related sets

1. arrow brushes