Tutorial // Hair Brushes

Time for another tutorial!  I’m going to be showing you how to make hair brushes in Photoshop.  If you’re not looking to make a hair brush specifically, you can disregard the last step.  Ready?!

The first thing you need to do is create a new document and fill it with white (#ffffff) if it isn’t already.  Add a transparent layer on top of that, and set your foreground color to all black (#000000).

With your brush tool selected, make a cluster of dots in varying sizes.  Don’t make them too big or they’ll turn out as weird smudges; don’t make them too small or the strands wont be defined enough when you start drawing hair.  The size of your dots should increase or decrease depending on the size of the document you’ll be drawing hair on – yes, you can make your brushes bigger afterwards, but after a while they begin to get distorted.  Personally, my document sizes are around 3500 x 1750 pixels, so my brushes are around 10 to 40 pixels, which means the dots within my brushes are anywhere from 2 to 10 pixels.  I try to make my dots neither too close together nor too far apart.  If they’re too close your strands will become undefined, and if they’re too far they can be difficult to control once you start drawing.  I’m attaching a sample of a brush I threw together for this tutorial:

Brush Sample

Now take your Rectangular Marquee Tool and select the area surrounding your dots by dragging from one corner to the opposite corner.  Go to the menu on top and select Edit // Define Brush Preset:


After naming your brush, it can be found in the brush panel of your Photoshop window – typically at the bottom.  In case you don’t know where that is:

Window Brushes

If you do plan on using this method to create hair brushes, there’s one final step you need to take – almost done!  With your brush window open and your new brush selected, decrease the spacing from its default 25% down to 1%.  Voila!

Brush Spacing

If your preview doesn’t quite look like mine on the right, it may be because your tablet isn’t plugged in.  Lastly, make sure you save this brush with edited spacing as a new brush, so you wont have to mess with it again.  You can do that by clicking the new brush icon on the bottom right corner of your brush window – the one with the folded edge:


YAY!  You’re all set to start drawing hair :3

– Haiden Highfield

P.S.  PLEASE let me know if and what you guys create with the help of this tutorial in particular;  I would love to see what you come up with!