• Cycling to Next or Previous Brush in Photoshop and PSE

    Brushes and stamps are wonderfully powerful tools in your digital arsenal. Because they can be used in a variety of ways, they are some of the most versatile products for use in Photoshop and Elements. In the next few tips, we'll look at some tricks you can use to work with brushes in ways you may not have tried before.

    When you are working with a set of brushes, there’s a quick way to cycle to the next or previous brush in the set. Here's how:

    Begin by loading an ABR brush file into your software, then open a digital document. For the sample, I used Artsy Christmas Trees Brushes and Stamps No. 2.

    • Get the Brush tool and click the Foreground Color Chip at the bottom of the Tools Panel to select a color. This will be the color that the brush will stamp on your document.
    • Next, create a new layer by clicking the Create a New Layer icon in the Layers panel. You’ll stamp the brush onto this new layer.
    • Click once on the document to stamp the first image. Then press the right angle bracket key > on the keyboard to load the next brush image in the set. Or press the left angle bracket key < to load the previous brush image in the set. You can cycle through the entire brush set by pressing the angle bracket keys to find the image you want to use. Once the new image is chosen, click on the new layer to "stamp" the brush image. Note: For maximum flexibility, stamp each image on its own transparent layer.


    This technique allows you to see the outline of the brushes in the set as you are working on your digital project. There's no need to interrupt your flow to move the cursor to the brush picker to try a different brush image.
    I especially like using this tip with Splatter brushes and Watery Spots brushes to get a more realistic, randomly painted effect.