How to Make a Grass Brush in Photoshop
Ever wanted to know how to make grass in Photoshop? In this tutorial, we’ll walk through how to make a grass brush in Photoshop. Follow this step-by-step process, and you’ll have your own custom brushes in no time.
What You’ll Learn in This Grass Brush Photoshop Tutorial
- How to create a custom Photoshop brush
- How to save your custom Photoshop brush
- How to use Brush Settings to customize your Photoshop brushes
We’ll use this example illustration to test out our Photoshop brush:
You are welcome to download this illustration and follow along. Otherwise, you can use your newly created grass brush on any image of your choice. These concepts will transfer.
1. How to Make a Grass Brush in Photoshop
Let’s begin by creating a new document in Adobe Photoshop. Go to File > New to begin.
In this case, I’m going to work with a document that is 750 pixels tall by 750 pixels wide. However, you could work at any size you prefer. According to Adobe, 2500 x 2500 is the maximum recommended size for your custom brushes.
Once you’re happy with your chosen dimensions, click Create.
Begin by opening up your Layers panel. Do so by going to Window > Layers.
Then, create a New Layer. We can do so by clicking on the plus sign at the bottom of the Layers panel.
Now, we’ll create our first blade of grass on this new layer.
We need to create our artwork in black. Begin by selecting the Foreground Color in your Tools panel. Select black with the color picker, and then click OK.
Our goal is to create a single blade. You could do so with Shape tools, Pen Tools, and Direct Selection tools. However, I personally prefer to draw this content by hand, using a drawing tablet.
I used a Hard Round Brush to draw a single stroke.
Next, I refined the stroke, so it looks more like a blade of grass. I used the Eraser Tool to do so. The goal is to get the stroke looking organic and natural. We want it to taper at the top and have more width at the bottom.
Try to create a shape that looks something like this. If your curvature or width is different, that’s fine. The goal isn’t perfection, but rather something natural.
Once you’re happy with your single blade of grass, it’s time to create your initial brush.
Make sure the layer with your grass artwork is selected. Then, go to Edit > Define Brush Preset. Photoshop gives us a preview of our new brush. Give your brush a name, and then click OK to proceed.
Test your brush out in a test document (you can create a new document for this, if you like). You’ll notice that it looks like a long, streaky brush. It doesn’t look like grass just yet.
This is why we need to go to our Brush Settings. You can open them by going to Window > Brush Settings.
Looking at our Brush Settings, let’s start with the Brush Tip Shape.
Increase the spacing here. I set my Spacing to 55%. Notice how this places more space between each instance of the brush. It doesn’t look like a single line any longer.
I also set the Angle to 5%. You can change the angle here to anything you prefer—this is an easy way to change the tilt of your brush.
Next, let’s look at the Shape Dynamics. These settings affect the shape of our brush. We want to add some variety here, so the blades of grass don’t look uniform. Try out these settings:
- Size Jitter: 95%
- Minimum Diameter: 15%
- Angle Jitter: 5%
Notice, in the Brush Preview, that our brush looks a lot more like a line of grass now. Each blade has a bit of a different angle and tilt to it.
Now, let’s take a look at the Scattering settings. Set the Scatter to 50%, and set the Count to 2.
Again, keep an eye on the Brush Preview, at the bottom of your Brush Settings. This is a quick and easy way to see how these settings affect your brush. You can also test your brush while you adjust these settings.
Let’s also adjust the Color Dynamics. Try out these settings:
- Foreground/Background Jitter: 45%
- Hue Jitter: 0%
- Saturation Jitter: 2%
- Brightness Jitter: 2%
- Purity: 0%
So, what does this setting do? The brush is going to use both the foreground and background color when you draw.
For example, I set my foreground color to a light green and my background color to a darker green. Notice, in this test example, how I get a series of different greens in my grass brush now. This is Color Dynamics at work.
Finally, I like to toggle Transfer settings on and set the Control to Pen Pressure, especially if you plan to paint with a drawing tablet. This means how hard you press with your pen will affect the brush stroke. Toggle Smoothing on too.
Also, with your Brush Tool active, take a look at your Options, at the top of the software. I like to lower my Opacity and Flow, so my strokes feel more natural and sensitive to my pen.
Here’s a look at what these settings achieve. I lowered my brush size and toggled between light and dark greens to create this sample.
Now, make sure to save your brush—we don’t want to lose our settings. To do so, click on the plus sign in your Brush Settings. Name your brush and click OK to continue.
2. How to Add Grass to a Picture in Photoshop
Next, let’s look at how to add grass to a picture in Photoshop. We’ll use our newly created grass brush on this sunset illustration, created by artist ddraw.
If we’re going to add some grass, we need to take the colors here into consideration. I’ll start by adding some grass to one of the fields. Using the Eyedropper Tool, I selected colors directly from the illustration—a darker greenish brown, and a lighter beige color.
Enlarge the brush, and paint along the bottom of the illustration.
To give the grass some depth, consider layering colors. As an example, I adjusted my colors to draw some lighter grass on top of the darker grass here.
To do this, lighten your foreground color, and then draw more grass with your grass brush.
We can also add grass elsewhere in the composition. Let’s try adding some to the fields.
Use your Eyedropper Tool to select colors that match the space. I went with a lighter beige that matches the existing grass. Then, my background color is a darker green. Remember, because our grass brush uses Color Dynamics, these color choices matter.
We can blend the base of the grass in better using our Eraser Tool. Using a Soft Round Brush, erase some of the base of your grass. Then, it will better blend into the space.