Over the last few years, I have always kept an eye out for collections of free Photoshop brushes. Today – after epic amount of time thinking about it – I actually started to make my own.

Here are some things to lookout for as you setup your custom brushes:

  • Use a grayscale image. The background must be white and the stroke tip black. This image illustrates the kind of thing you want to setup, before you make your marquee selection and select Edit/ Define Brush Preset:
  • There’s scant info in the Help, but it does uh, help. You probably already realize that if you are running an older version of Photoshop, the Adobe knowledge base tends to wither and die on the vine for the older versions (such as CS3). The basic steps ought to remain the same.
  • Save your brushes in your own collections. By saving your custom Brushes to an external .ABR (Adobe Photoshop Brush file), you’ll be able to reload it in case you need to delete your preferences (where the built-in set resides by default). And you will need to delete your preferences.
  • Options in the Brush palette allow you to flip along the X, Y, or both. This allows one Brush to perform multiple duties for variety – you don’t want too much of a rubber-stamped look (unless that is your intent creatively) – but neither is it necessary to save multiple brush orientations.

I was able to quickly put this image together using the above Brush, plus one other similar to it:

For inspiration, make sure to check out free Photoshop brushes at Brusheezy and get cracking!