Photoshop does so much more than touch up a photograph as I’m sure you know. There are a couple of really useful things you need to know about photoshop that took me a while to discover when I first started out. The first is brushes. Photoshop comes with a set of brushes pre loaded into the program. They also have further sets, that you can load directly. This is easy to do – the short video at the end of this post shows you how to do this.
You do not have to use the standard set of brushes that come with the photoshop package, you can add as many as you like, which can be really useful when creating amazing visuals for your design project.
These are my top ten useful brushes that you can download for free. If you are not sure how it works check the bottom of this post for a quick guide to installing your brushes into photoshop.
All of these brushes are free. I don’t think you should ever pay for brushes as there are so many free ones out there you will eventually find the ones you want.
1. Watercolour splatters – really useful if you are going for a watercolour effect on your visuals.
It is possible to create some really beautiful watercolour style images using photoshop, sometimes along with SketchUp. The following images give you an idea of what can be achieved, all of which can be seen on SketchUpArtists.org where they have tutorials on the production of each one.
2. Bird brushes – great for making your images come alive.
A couple of examples of birds used in architectural graphics.
Image courtesy of Evolo.
Image courtesy of Urban Recycle Architecture Studio
3. Light beams – these can be really effective for interior renders.
Architects love a light beam! If that floats your boat look at some of the images below.
Image courtesy of Europaconcorsi
Image courtesy of Visualising Architecture
4. Cloud brushes – a quick way to a great sky.
5. Trees in the mist – I just thought these were quite cool, although not useful for every project.
6. More birds – you can never have too many birds right?
8. Trees brushes – these trees are pretty good. Always handy to have.
You can never have enough trees! Here are a couple of images to show how they can be used in your architectural graphics.
Image courtesy of Arch Daily
Image from Pinterest – no source shown.
9. Trees – because they are so useful so here are some more!
10. Arrow brushes – these can be good for annotating drawings, site plans for example. Can look quite good if not over used.
Images from Pinterest
A brief guide to install your brushes:
- Download and unzip the file.
- Save the .abr file into a folder (create your own folder somewhere).
- Go to photoshop, select the brush tool.
- Pull down the menu to select your brush and click on the little right arrow at the top of this box.
- This will bring up a menu. Click load brushes. Find the .abr file you saved earlier. Click load. Job done.
If you are struggling in any way with this then watch the video below.
The brushes I used in the tutorial are from MyPhotoshopBrushes.com – free to download and are a good set to add to your collection.
A couple of great photoshop brush libraries include:
Obviously there are hundreds of different brush collections out there, but these are just some good ones to get you started. Have a go at downloading and installing a set of brushes into your photoshop and let me know how you get on. Comment below!
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