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.


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.
To keep it simple- if you can find your brush presets> choose Load, then import the brush set!

For me, 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.

Need more help? Rather than try to cover all versions, 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 cropped them to 4×6 at 300dpi.

Once your image is ready, add and select a NEW layer. With the new layer active; choose your brush.

Play with your brush settings, you can always command z to go back- or even 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.
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 a folder of .png files 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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18 Responses to How to use a brush in Photoshop

  1. jenna December 29, 2012 at 4:48 am #

    nevermind…just found it :)

    • Persnickety Prints December 29, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

      You can flip them a few ways! Make sure you are stamping your brushes on a separate layer. Changing the arrow/direction in the Brush window is one way. You can also rotate it (when it’s on it’s own layer) by using the move tool (v).
      Have fun!

  2. jenna December 29, 2012 at 4:45 am #

    I prefer to do my project life layouts in PS Elements vs. CS5 and was wondering if there is a way to rotate the brushes in PSE. I absolutely LOVE these brushes and am so happy to have found the…I’d love to be able to use the simple outline one on horizontal photos as well. Thanks!!!

    • Persnickety Prints December 29, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

      One more thing– especially for Project Life (4×6 prints) – make sure to not put really important things right to the edge- we need about 1/8″ bleed

  3. libbywilko July 23, 2012 at 2:07 am #

    Thank you ! Love the brushes.

  4. Cheryl July 20, 2012 at 3:14 am #

    Thank you!!!

  5. Tisa Theresa Irene July 17, 2012 at 9:40 pm #


  6. Shaina Longstreet July 17, 2012 at 5:59 pm #

    These are AWESOME!! Thanks so much. :)

  7. AZK July 17, 2012 at 5:31 pm #

    I don’t use brushes nearly enough. Thanks for these freebies…they may just change that!

  8. Anonymous July 17, 2012 at 2:29 am #

    i am having problems with downloading help

    • Persnickety Prints July 17, 2012 at 2:38 am #

      what kind of problems?

    • Anonymous July 17, 2012 at 2:56 am #

      when i click on download on your face book face it leads me to another page and i click on save but i can’t download. is their another way i can download or am i just silly . i really need some help with computers.

    • Anonymous July 17, 2012 at 7:23 am #

      pleese help me

    • Persnickety Prints July 17, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

      Are you a FB FAN?
      Are you clicking this link?
      Then click “download here”
      You will go to to grab the freebie (this is where it’s hosted)

  9. M Shpindler July 17, 2012 at 1:28 am #

    Awesome!! Thanks!!!

  10. Anonymous July 16, 2012 at 10:44 pm #

    Love these. and the tutorial! THANKS

  11. MIssy July 16, 2012 at 10:09 pm #

    THANK YOU sooo much! You guys are always too generous!


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