Post Category: Shop Talk

Photoshop Quick Tips: Adding New Brushes

Guest blog from Kirsten Winkelbauer

We’ve previously discussed how to make a custom logo brush and add it to your Photoshop brush library – but what happens when you find a nice brush online you want to test out?

Loading in new Photoshop brushes is super quick and easy – a lot of beginner users just aren’t familiar with it yet. Once you know about it – and how to find new brushes online – you’ll be adding all kinds of fun tools to your arsenal!

Here are the steps to take if you want to add new brushes to your toolset:

1. First things first, you need to find the brushes you want to add. Like with fonts, there are tons of free or inexpensive resources for Photoshop brushes online. A quick Google search will bring up hundreds of choices, and sometimes your favorite digital artists might even release brush sets they regularly use for their work. This article gives tons of fun options if you’re looking for a place to start.

When you download a set of brushes, they’ll probably be in a zip folder. So when you’re ready, unzip the files, then pop on over to Photoshop!

2. In Photoshop (here, I’m using Photoshop CC 2015), you’ll have several window presets on the right side – these are what came in my default version of the program. We’re going to be using the “Brush Presets” window; if for some reason it’s not already visible, don’t worry. At the top of the screen, click Window > Brush Presets and it should open right up.

The Brush Present Menu is usually here by default

You can also find the menu under the Window tab

3. At the very bottom of the Brush Presets window, there’s a small rectangular icon – when you hover over it, it will say “Open Preset Manager.” Click on that, and a new window will open up. On the right side of that new window, click “Load,” and you’ll then be prompted to select the brush file from your computer. Choose the brush you want to add, and it will automatically be added to your brush list.

Click “Load”

Find the brush you’ve downloaded on your computer

4. Then just hit “Done,” and you’re ready to go! Now when you open a file to work on and drop down your brush list, your new brushes will appear at the bottom!

Just click “Done”!


Now you’re ready to use your new brushes!

When you’re first learning about digital painting, you can still create wonderful finished work with Photoshop’s default brushes. But as you progress, it’s fun to experiment with new brushes – they add interest and texture, and can really make your piece pop. Have fun with it!


Have you found some good resources for Photoshop brushes online? Share them in the comments! And make sure to follow the RB blog for more quick tips!