How to use the art history brush tool in Photoshop tutorial

Learn how to use the art history brush tool in Photoshop CC 2018 2017 2015 CS6 etc - use to create sketches, etc in seconds

Art history tool in Photoshop

How to use the art history brush tool in Photoshop tutorial
  1. Open a document (for the Photoshop art history brush tool to modify) and apply effects etc

  2. Goto the history panel (window menu and history)

  3. Select a history state (left side icon) from one of the applied effects or a snapshot

  4. Select the art history brush tool in the toolbox (normally beneath the history tool)

  5. Select a style such as tight medium for the art history tool as well as tolerance and area

  6. Select a stroke preset and size for the tool and apply

Video tutorial on the subject by (youtube)


You can also modify a number of the settings for the art history brush tool

1) The actual tip used

2) style such as tight short, tight medium, loose curl, loose long etc (they all have their uses and can be used to create amazing designs)

3) blending mode

4) opacity

5) area to be used with the painting - increase this to the max to make far more complex strokes (though it does slow things down)

5) painting tolerance (they can be used to produce interesting variant effects) - adds some reistance to the application of the strokes

6) Via the settings (window menu) to change the color dynamics, shape dynamics, spacing, noise, texture etc


Buy $9.95 10,000 Strokes, all can be used with the AH tool in ABR format gallery


You can use any history state as a source for the tool

1) Create gradients and use those as a source

2) Apply blurs to an image and use those

3) Use patterns etc

4) Use other brush strokes

5) Use other effects

6) Use adjustments and then capture that state as a source for the tool

and many more


The key thing is to select a state in the history panel. You can select that or a snapshot via the panel. The ultimate snapshot being the initial open document so you can use that turn create all kinds of abstract / impressionistic from an image in seconds by selecting a stroke from the presets panel as well as a style. The other really useful setting being the size of the stroke itself (you can create all kinds of different images simply by changing the size of the stroke and a small stroke tied to a loose long can be very different from the artwork generated by the dab style.


A favourite of mine to use with the AH is to apply it to a solid black or white background and the original image can then be added as you apply the AH to the black or white (again, the loose long is very useful here).


The easiest to use style is probably the dab. You can simply apply the dab to the image and the result is fairly localized. If you use the other tools such as loose long style, you will probably find the paint generated extends across the image in very random ways (depending on the settings of size and the brush used and spacing etc)


The AH works well with the default strokes but I would definitely recommend that you explore other strokes / tips etc (such as the ones on the graphicxtras site) as the AH results from a thin tangled stroke is very different from that of a standard general stroke. All kinds of tips for the AH can be created and will result in totally different impressionistic effects. Changing the size as well as the squeeze for a tip will also result in a very different AH stroke with loose long style etc


You can bundle all the settings (the tip, the style, area, blending mode, opacity, spacing, color dynamics, etc) into preset and save it as a TPL file via the far left side presets for the tools. The TPL means that as soon as you select that preset, the AH will be selected in the toolbox and the settings will be restored as before and you can apply your AH in seconds (it does not record the state etc so you will still have to select a snapshot or state from the panel)


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