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Photoshop Brushes Series 26

15 downloadable bristle brushes for Adobe Photoshop CS and Elements By Dave Nagel
Several graphics programs out there create "bristling" effects with their brushes by taking any given nib and simply stretching it over the length of a path. This has its drawbacks though, as the quality of the bristle is in direct proportion to the length of the path. In Photoshop, though, you can use bristle brushes that maintain a constant bristle quality regardless of the length of the stroke, but whose shapes and other characteristics can vary over the course of a stoke through various parameters. Here we present a collection of 15 such brushes for Adobe Photoshop CS.

The brushes
Our free collection this week comprises 15 individual bristle brushes designed to resemble the sort of paint strokes you might achieve using chemical-based paints. By necessity, these strokes will appear somewhat "dry" in comparison with other applications that can use bristle-style brushes, including Synthetik Studio Artist, Corel Painter and even Adobe Illustrator. However, next week I'll walk you through a process for adding apparent depth and wetness to images you paint in Photoshop. In the meantime, each of the brushes in this collection includes an assortment of different dynamic properties to help you achieve various appearances form your brush strokes, from stiff bristles to clumpy bristles. Most are designed to follow the direction in which you're painting so that you don't get a ribbon-like effect when painting with them. And, of course, you're free to modify them to suit your needs.
Here's a sampling of some of the brushes in this week's collection. Some of these examples use a single stroke to show the bristle patterns of the brushes, while others use two or three strokes to show how the bristles will interact when painted over one another.

Nagel Series 26-15

Nagel Series 26-09

Nagel Series 26-03

Nagel Series 26-13

Nagel Series 26-14

Nagel Series 26-07

Read on for download and installation instructions. And remember that you can find our previous downloads by clicking here.

Download and installation
This week's brush collection is compressed in a Zip archive, which can be decompressed using any Zip utility. (Simply double-click the file in Mac OS X to decompress it.) These brushes support Photoshop CS in Macintosh and Windows environments and will not work in Photoshop 7 or below. They will also be supported by recent versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements.

Download: Nagel Series 26 Brushes (108 KB)

Once you download the brush file (, expand it. (The expanded file will be called NagelSeries25.abr.). Then move the .abr file into the Brushes directory in your Photoshop folder (/Adobe Photoshop CS/Presets/Brushes).

Then launch Photoshop. Open your Brushes palette, and click on the flyaway menu at the top right. There you'll find the new brush collection, which you can install simply by selecting it. After you select it, the new brushes will appear at the bottom of the list of available brushes.

If you have any questions, be sure to visit me in our Adobe Photoshop forum here.  And remember that you can find our previous downloads by clicking here.

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Related Keywords:adobe photoshop, bristle brushes, free brushes, download brush presets, bristle, paint

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