26 January 2012

Tutorial: Brush strokes

In this post I'll show you how to use the Pen tool to create strokes. It's pretty simple, but you can make awesome effects with it.
Let’s get started.

First, open a new Photoshop document, the size doesn’t matter. Make a new layer and name it whatever you want.

Now, before doing anything with the Pen tool, you have to adjust the tool you’ll be using as the stroke tool. In this tutorial, I’ll be using the Brush tool. So, select the brush tool and select the brush properties.

I’ll make a random brush, but you can play with the options and make all kinds of different strokes.You can use everything in the brush properties, but keep it simple, you’ll see why when you grasp the concept.
I used this settings. That’s a lot of settings, just to show you what the tool can do.

Now select the Pen tool and press Paths in the upper left corner. Now you can start creating your stroke. Select a starting point and start from there. If you click somewhere else it’ll create a straight line to that point, but if you hold it, you will be able to modify the curve and the angle. As you can see, it’s not that complicated. I will make up a random stroke just by using that.

Now, if you want to move a certain point you can hold CTRL and drag and drop the point wherever you want. You can delete it by right clicking on it and pressing Delete Anchor point or just by left clicking on it. You can also change the curve by holding CTRL and one of the dots on the straight line that control the point.

If you got all of that, you can make a stroke. When you have an active path and selected Pen tool just right click anywhere and press Stroke path. Select the Brush tool and see if the Stimulate pressure fits your design. Press OK and press Enter if you’re satisfied with it. You can undo it if you don’t like it.

And that’s it. Now you can experiment with the brush tool to get a really cool stroke!
If you have any questions post them in the comments.


  1. Cool tutorial. Does this work on all PS versions?

  2. I'm not really sure, I think it should.
    It works on all CS versions, tho