Photoshop brushes are on my list of favorite uses for Photoshop, after actions of course. :)
Photoshop brushes (.abr) are incredibly useful. They can help you add lighting to an image, work with textures and overlays, and even can be used for photo retouching.
In this tutorial I am going to give you a quick explanation for how to install brushes in Photoshop, and some help with using Photoshop brushes.
How to Install Photoshop Brushes
This is the quickest and easiest method for installing Photoshop brushes, but may not always work perfectly, especially on a PC. Try it, and if it doesn’t work, check out method two.
Open your downloaded folder or file and navigate to the brushes file. It will end in the .abr extension.
Double click the .abr brush file and then open Photoshop.
Once opening Photoshop, navigate to the brush panel. It can be found on the left side by clicking the brush icon.
Then click the drop down where you see the number, this indicates brush size.
Scroll down and you will see the brushes installed.
This method takes maybe 30 seconds longer. The good news is, it has always worked for me on both Mac and PC.
Open Photoshop and navigate to the brush icon in the tools panel on the left side.
Next click the Photoshop Brushes Panel Drop Down, and it will look similar to the screenshot below.
Click the settings icon in the top right of the Photoshop Brush Panel and go down to where it says “Import Brushes”. Once you click this, your folders will open where you can find brush files.
It will open a dialogue box for you, and from there you navigate to your Photoshop brushes, it will be a .abr file.
Then open it and they will install into Photoshop. Showing up at the bottom of the brush panel, like the image below.
Recommend Brushes & Actions
Check out these amazing Photoshop Actions, Brushes, and texture sets! For vintage effects, beautiful light leaks, and more view the products below.
How to Use Photoshop Brushes
Now using Photoshop brushes is the fun part. To do so simply open the Brush Panel, shown in the image above, and click on a brush.
Adjust its size and color all in the Brush Panel. Then change its color by editing the swatches below.
Now click in your document to use the brush.
That is a basic guide to installing and using Photoshop brushes.
You could do a lot with the Photoshop Brush Preset Manager, but that is for a later tutorial.
Consider this a getting started tutorial.