How to use a brush in Photoshop

Photoshop Brushes are fun, and easy to use. Don’t be afraid!
No Photoshop? 
No Problem.
We always include .png files in our free brush sets.

How to Load .abr Brushes in Adobe Photoshop

1. Open Brushes pane & preset manager

Depending on your version of photoshop (CS series or elements), and if you are working on a mac or a pc; there are a few ways to install brushes. I am on a mac and working on Photoshop CS5. I simply drag and drop my .abr brush set into photoshop, or just double click and they are installed.

Rather than try to cover all ps versions in one post, here are some simple online sites that should help-


For the free brushes that we are giving you today, it is best to use them with 4×6 images.
I shot these photos in RAW format, so they are much larger than they need to be. I first cropped them to 4×6 at 300dpi.

Create a NEW layer above your 4×6 image. With the new layer active; select B to choose your brush.

Play with your brush settings, you can always command z to go back- or  delete the layer the brush is on.
You can change the direction of the brush (great for arrows!). Experiment with the opacity, the texture and the size.

Remember to create a NEW Layer for each new brush.
3. Flatten. Save. Done!


  • .png stands for “portable network graphics” and was developed mainly to deal with shortcomings of the .gif
  • .png files have a transparent background which allows you to change the color, opacity &  texture without influencing other elements.
  • MOST photo editing programs will support .png formats. (my memories suite is one)
This free brush download also includes the .png format and is available at
Please do not share the download link with others. You are however, welcome to point them here.


 *Persnickety Prints, inc. is not affiliated with Adobe. Please visit the adobe support page for software help.

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