Create a Paintbrush Icon in Adobe Photoshop

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In the following tutorial you will learn how to create a simple paintbrush icon in Adobe Photoshop.


Final Image

As always, this is the final image that we’ll be creating:

Create a Paintbrush Icon Final

Tutorial Details

  • Program: Adobe Photoshop CC
  • Estimated Completion Time: 45 minutes
  • Difficulty: Beginner-Intermediate

Step 1

Open Photoshop and hit Control + N to create a new document. Enter all the data shown in the following image and click OK. Enable the Grid (View > Show > Grid) and the Snap to Grid (View > Snap To > Grid).

For starters you will need a grid every 5px, so simply go to Edit > Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices and focus on the Grid section. Enter 5 in the Gridline Every box and 1 in the Subdivision box. Also, set the color of the grid to #a7a7a7. Once you have set all these properties click OK. Don’t get discouraged by all that grid, it will ease your work later.

You should also open the Info panel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 1

Step 2

Set the foreground color to #f2c366, pick the Rectangle Tool and create an 80 x 40px vector shape. Make sure that it stays selected, focus on the bottom side and switch to the Direct Selection Tool. Select the left anchor point and drag it 10px to the left then select the right anchor point and drag it 10px to the right. The Snap to Grid feature will ease your work.

In the end your rectangle should turn into a simple trapezoid as shown in the second image.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 2

Step 3

Make sure that your vector shape is still selected and go to Edit > Transform > Warp. Focus on the control panel, select Bulge from the Warp drop-down menu, check the Orientation button (indicated by the blue circle), enter "-15" in the Bend box and then hit Enter. In the end things should look like in the second image.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 3

Step 4

Make sure that your vector shape is still selected and go again to Edit > Transform > Warp. Focus on the control panel, select Arc Lower from the Warp drop-down menu, enter "25" in the Bend box and then hit Enter.

In the end things should look like in the second image.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 4

Step 5

Make sure that your vector shape stays selected, pick the Pen Tool, focus on the control panel and check the Subtract from Front Shape icon (indicated by the blue circle).

Move to your vector shape and draw several triangles roughly as shown in the following image. Once again, the Snap to Grid feature should ease your work.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 5

Step 6

Focus on the Layers panel and simply double click on your vector shape to open the Layer Style window. Activate the Inner Shadow, the Inner Glow and the Gradient Overlay then enter the attributes shown in the following images. The white numbers from the Gradient Overlay image stand for Location percentage.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 6
Create a Paintbrush Icon 6
Create a Paintbrush Icon 6
Create a Paintbrush Icon 6

Step 7

Set the foreground color to black and pick the Rectangle Tool. Create two, 5 x 65px rectangles and three, 10 x 65px rectangles and place them as shown in the following image.

Focus on the Layers panel and make sure that all these black rectangles are selected. Simply right click on one of those vector shapes and go to Merge Shapes. This will turn your rectangles into a single vector shape.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 7

Step 8

Make sure that your black vector shape is still selected and go to Edit > Transform > Perspective. Focus on the bottom side, drag the right corner 30px to the right then hit Enter. In the end things should look like in the second image.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 8

Step 9

Make sure that your black vector shape is still selected and go to Edit > Transform > Warp. Select Bulge from the Warp drop-down menu, check the Orientation button, enter "-60" in the Bend box and then hit Enter.

In the end things should look like in the second image.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 9

Step 10

Focus on the Layers panel, hold the Control button from your keyboard and simply click on the bottom vector shapes to load a simple selection around it as shown in the first image.

Keep focusing on the Layers panel, select your black vector shape and click on the Add layer mask button (indicated by the blue circle in the following image). In the end things should look like in the second image. You won’t need the selection anymore so simply hit Control + D to get rid of it.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 10

Step 11

Make sure that your masked, black vector shape is still selected, focus on the Layers panel, lower its Opacity to 20% and change the Blending Mode to Overlay.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 11

Step 12

For the following steps you will need a grid every 2px, so simply go to to Edit > Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices and enter 2 in the Gridline Every box.

Pick the Rounded Rectangle Tool, focus on the control panel and set the Radius to 3px. Move to your canvas, create an 84 x 10px rounded rectangle and place it as shown in the first image.

Open the Layer Style window for this new vector shape and enter the attributes shown in the following images.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 12
Create a Paintbrush Icon 12
Create a Paintbrush Icon 12
Create a Paintbrush Icon 12

Step 13

Make sure that your rounded rectangle is still selected and duplicate it (Control + J). Focus on the Layers panel, simply right click on this fresh copy and go to Clear Layer Style. Make sure that the copy stays selected, lower its Fill to 0% then open the Layer Style window and enter the properties shown in the following images.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 13
Create a Paintbrush Icon 13
Create a Paintbrush Icon 13

Step 14

For the following steps you will need a grid every 5px, so simply go to to Edit > Preferences > Guides, Grid & Slices and enter 5 in the Gridline Every box.

Using the Rectangle Tool, create an 80 x 20px vector shape and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this new rectangle stays selected and move to the Properties panel (Window > Properties). Focus on the corners section and simply enter "10px" in the top boxes as shown in the following image.

In the end your new vector shape should look like in the second image.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 14

Step 15

Open the Layer Style window for the vector shape made in the previous step and enter the attributes shown in the following images.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 15
Create a Paintbrush Icon 15
Create a Paintbrush Icon 15
Create a Paintbrush Icon 15

Step 16

Using the Rectangle Tool, create an 20 x 40px vector shape and place it as shown in the first image. Make sure that this new rectangle stays selected and move to the Properties panel (Window > Properties). Again, focus on the corners section and simply enter "10px" in the top boxes as shown in the following image.

In the end your new vector shape should look like in the second image.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 16

Step 17

Open the Layer Style window for the vector shape made in the previous step and enter the attributes shown in the following images.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 17

Step 18

Hit Shift + Control + Alt + N to create a new layer, select it and send it to back (Shift + Control + [ ). Make sure that this new layer stays selected, pick the Paint Bucket Tool, set the foreground color to #edd6c8 and simply click inside your canvas.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 18

Step 19

Focus on the Layers panel, right click on the layer made in the previous step and go to Convert to Smart Object. Make sure that this new smart object stays selected and go to Filter > Noise > Add Noise. Enter the attributes shown in the following image and click OK.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 19

Step 20

Select all the shapes that make up your paintbrush and duplicate them (Control + J).

Make sure that only the copies are selected and turn them into a new smart object. Select it, lower its Fill to 0% then open the Layer Style window and enter the attributes shown in the following images.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 20
Create a Paintbrush Icon 20
Create a Paintbrush Icon 20

Step 21

Reselect the smart object made in the previous step and duplicate it (Control + J). Focus on the Layers panel, right click on this fresh copy and simply go to Clear Layer Style.

Make sure that this new smart object stays selected, lower its Fill to 0% then open the Layer Style window and enter the attributes shown in the following images.

Create a Paintbrush Icon 21
Create a Paintbrush Icon 21
Create a Paintbrush Icon 21

And We’re Done!

Here is how your final result should look.

Create a Paintbrush Icon Final
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