With the inevitable desire for reality in our forever expanding digital world, the request for watercolor Photoshop brushes and the alike has boomed (this isn’t opinion, it’s fact. Look at the google trend!), it’s the same story with handcrafted fonts and hand lettering! And where there is demand, there are people (myself included) that supply. Whether you’re a designer or hobbyist who wants to create your own brushes for a particular project, or a supplier who’s looking to expand their product line, this tutorial will provide you all you need to know to successfully create your own high quality watercolor brushes.
1. Scan your watercolor pieces using the highest resolution possible. There is no reason why I used colored watercolor, in fact, I recommend you use black for a better contrast. If you’re looking for a tutorial that will help you convert your colored watercolor pieces for digital use then follow the techniques in this tutorial, you’ll get really good results.
*Tip when creating your pieces: Solid black will not provide much texture when converted. Usually a nice wash of paint works best, you can always duplicate your layer to strengthen the contrast when desired.
2. Convert the scan to Black and White (Image > Adjustments > Black + White > Auto > OK)
3. Using the Brightness/Contrast options (Image > Adjustments > Brightness/Contrast) make the background as white as possible using the sliders whilst keeping the detail of the watercolor as high as possible.
4. Using the Lasso Tool (L) from the main tool bar, select one of the pieces and Edit > Copy (Ctrl + C).
5. Make a new document, the dimensions of the copied piece will automatically be the dimensions of the new document. Paste the watercolor (Edit > Paste) and select Edit > Define Brush Preset. If you see a box appear, follow step 6. If the Define Brush Preset option is grayed out, then your document is larger than the maximum brush size for your version of Photoshop. Newer versions allow brushes up to 5000×5000 pixels, older versions allow 2500×2500 pixels. Ensure that your image falls within these dimensions by changing the image size (Image > Image Size). Try re-sizing the largest dimension to 5000px, if it is still grayed out, re-size again to 2500px.
6. Type your desired Preset name (This will not be the name for your Photoshop Brush Pack), and click OK. Repeat from step 4 for each watercolor piece.
7. Once you have completed creating all of your brush presets, open your preset manager by selecting your Brush tool. You can find the preset manager by clicking on the drop down arrow to the right of the currently selected brush preset, clicking the settings in the top right of the box, then Preset Manager.
8. Select your lovely brushes whilst holding Ctrl (or Cmd) and click Save Set. A box will appear and this is how you save your brush pack. The name you choose now will be the name for your finished Brush set. That’s it!
Thank-you for following the tutorial, if you found this useful be sure to share it and comment below with your finished pack. I’d love to check them out. Click on the image below to download my brush pack for free.