Thursday, October 16, 2008

CoffeeShop Tutorial: Creating Custom Brushes to make a Watermark or Simple Logo

This is a tutorial on how to make your own custom brushes, which you can use as a watermark on your images or as a simple one-color logo on stationary/businesscards/etc. This tutorial will work in both Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.


1. If you want to put a custom image in your brush, you can either draw it on a white piece of paper and photograph it or scan it in OR draw it directly in PS or PSE with your black brushes on a white background. Or if you are like me and can't draw, open an image of something you want to trace. I am going to make a watermark with this lovely flower.


2. Use your lasso tool to carefully select the flower. I start with the magnetic lasso to make a quick and dirty selection and then I use the regular lasso to clean it up. There are little buttons on the top left of your lasso menu where you can make the lasso add or subtract to the selection. Play with these, they really make your job easier if you know how to use them.


3. Add a new blank layer over your image and make sure it is selected, and then click on your paintbucket (set your foreground color to black) and click on the photo. Your selected image should now be filled with black.


4. Drag your background to the trash.


5. Make a new file. File, new blank file, and make it 6 inches wide, 2 inches high, 300 dpi, with a white background. This will make a brush that will watermark a fairly large image, but you can always make your brush bigger if you want by making your blank file bigger. This is a standard size I use, and I can't tell you why! It just has worked for me so far.


6. Drag your selected black image over to the new file. Ctrl-T to transform it to the correct size. Either just drag the arrows or go up to the top and change the width and height to the percentages you wish (constrain proportions so it changes the same percentage both ways). You can also rotate your image while transforming it.


7. Add black text to taste.


8. Select, all and then Edit, Define Brush from Selection.


9. Name your brush and click on OK.


10. Your brush should be the last brush in the brush pull-down menu.


11. Open your image you want to watermark. Make your foreground color the color you wish your watermark to be, and then B for brush and select your new brush from the brush pull-down menu. Adjust the size and opacity of the brush to taste. Then just click on your image! If you don't want the brush to be directly on the image then make a new blank layer and click on it.


12. Your image is now watermarked!


Here is another sample. I used a free brush set from (Lizard's swirl brushes by Elizabeth H.B. 2007 for PS7) for the swirl. I started with a new blank file as above, clicked on a new blank layer with this brush in black, 100% opacity, then finding the brush too light I duplicated the brush layer. Then I added the text and used the marquee box to draw the rectangle and filled it with black. Then I selected all and saved it as a brush. This one was watermarked with a low opacity brush.

You don't need to flatten your image before making a brush. And you can get great free fonts from .

Hope you have fun making brushes!


gnubee said...

Rita, you have been busy! This is great, can't wait play around with it. Thanks again so much for being so generous.

Cara said...

Thanks for the tutorial, I wanted to learn how to make a watermark.
I really enjoy your blog!

:) Tiff said...

do u have the new CS4. I dont recognize the computer screen layout in your shoots.
very curious how u find it.

Vicki Knitorious said...

Terrific tutorial. Thank you so much.

Michelle said...

I think I love you :)

Jenn said...

Oh my word! The amount of time this is going to save me is amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise. I just want to say how much I enjoy your blog and your actions.

angie201 said...

Thanks for such a useful tutorial! have to go and check the rest of them out now that I have PSE and can actually use them.

Angie :)

Amanda said...

I LOVE these effects! They are my favorite tools right now!

Anonymous said...

New photographer in need of a logo/ watermark ... this was just the tutorial I needed.

Thank you

Tina said...

Thanks so much for this tutorial. Ive just begun doing my own photography and it was a pain to drag and drop my watermark to each picture. This makes it so easy!

kerri said...

Thank you soooo much for everything that you do and all the actions you create! This watermark tutorial was invaluable! thank you thank you thank you!!

Dave and Natasha said...

I loved your tutorial! I made a couple watermarks, but on one of them I am having trouble, when I go to save it as a brush it is not available to save it as that. The only thing it will let me save it as is a pattern. I am so confused! I did it before and have played around with it and can't figure it out! Any thoughts? How would I use it as a pattern if I could do it that way?

Heather said...

This is the best tutorial I've found yet for making watermarks. Thank you so much for posting it! It's already made my life so much easier!

Heather said...

Thank you so much for posting this tutorial; it is the simplest, easiest tutorial of it's type I've been able to find. It has already made my life so much easier!

latifa said...

I've been wanting to learn how to do this. thanks Rita!

Just Me said...

I was wondering what everyone's thoughts were on Watermarks. I hear that they are either a great idea or a really bad one. I am trying to sell my photos on ETSY and I was told you should not do it there, but since I have no sales I am wondering if people are just downloading them? Any thoughts? Thanks

Elisabeth N. Smith said...

I know I am a day late and a dollar short but is there a place to find the photos to go with each step???

Tara said...

Thanks so much for this!

Anonymous said...

Rita, thanks for all that you do. You have some awesome stuff on your site!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the WONDERFUL tutorials! I truly appreciate your generosity and the time you spend to help others! I find these immensely helpful, as a new Photoshop user! Thanks so much! ~Crabcakes

Glenn said...

Rita, I have learned so much by just following this blog. In fact, the liitle that I know about PSE 8. I learned from here. Thank you so much. I am a newbee. I have a question, how do you get to the measuring/ruler part?

Elisabeth Joy Photography said...

thank you so much! this just saved me HOURS of work!

Anonymous said...

Do you have this tutorial in cs5 I would totally love it?


Anonymous said...

This was awesome. Thank you so much for putting this up.

Alena said...

Thank you so much for this! The tutorial was simple and easy to follow. Really appreciate it!!