Saving a Single Brush in Photoshop

I found another Photoshop brush I like. You can set the “color dynamics” brush property to mix foreground and background colors as you draw. The mix between a light foreground and dark background color is controlled by the Wacom pen’s tilt, making it possible to sketch with a range of values and easily lay down light over dark. I also like the smeared look it gives. When drawing colors set to gray and white, it kind of feels like India ink mixed with white gouache, and with the light orange and white it I imagine it feels like a thin oil wash.

And, I figured out how to save a single brush in Photoshop, so that when I come up with something I like I can hang onto it! The secret is…

  • Once you’ve tweaked a brush’s settings to your liking, select “New Brush Preset” from the Brushes palette menu to create a new brush that preserves those settings.
  • Then, select “Preset Manager” from the Brushes palette menu; in the resulting dialog, select the brush you want to save — it can be hard because you only have a thumbnail view to work with here.
  • Then click “Save Set”. The resulting set will contain only the brush you’ve selected.

That last bit was the trick. I didn’t realize you could select individual brushes in the preset manager. I though you could only save a set of all the currently loaded brushes. So, easy!

But it would still be cool if you could just drag a brush to the desktop.