Custom brushes can help you to both speed up your Photoshop workflow and help you create beautiful effects from scratch. Aaron demonstrates how to turn any shape into a custom brush as well as how to add randomness as you paint, which is perfect for creating realistic atmospheric effects like rain, fog, or snow.
Best of all, our new custom snow brush is included in the sample image download so you can start painting right away!
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Creating a Brush
Nearly any shape can be turned into a brush in Photoshop. To make a brush, the shape or pattern you wish to use needs to be black and over top of a white background.
In our example, Aaron makes a snow brush by starting with a white background and then painting black with the Brush Tool, creating a soft, random shape that looks similar to snow. The brush isn’t ready just yet, however.
Most of the power of custom brushes exists within the Brush Settings Panel, which gives us full control over how the shape is used and repeated as you paint on the canvas. If you paint with the snow brush now, you’ll notice immediately that the custom pattern repeats so frequently that it almost looks like a normal soft brush. By adding some randomness and variation to how the shape is applied, we can create a realistic snow effect that simulates the random scatter of snow in nature.