Using Custom Brushes for More Painterly EffectsFirst, here are the downloadable brushes in zip format. You'll need an unzipping program to extract these: Windows users can use WinZip and Mac users can use Zipit.
Together in this zip file, you will find two files: design.abr and nature.abr. You should extract these files to your Photoshop/Brushes directory. To load a brush set in Photoshop, open the Brushes Palette (Windows > Palettes > Show Brushes). Select Load Brushes from the flyout menu on the Brush Palette.
Sometimes using a different tool will spur you onto trying more creative approaches to your work. I put these brushes together because I was tired of using pattern fills to add texture to images, and I wanted a way to add something a little more subtle.
As an example of some of the simple effects possible with a single brush, the two images shown here were all created using the same brush from the Nature brush set. Remember that in addition to painting, you can use a brush shape as a pencil, eraser, airbrush, or smudge shape. Don't forget that you can also experiment with the brushes' Opacity settings and Apply modes, too. The number of ways that you can use a brush expands when you add the effects that can be achieved by using Layers and the Layer Masks, too.