Create Crayon Effect Drawings In Photoshop

    Jennifer Farley

    Photoshop’s brushes are extremely versatile. You can customize everything from the shape tip to the color dynamics of a brush. In this tutorial, we’ll take a look at how to customize a brush so that it gives the impression of a crayon drawing when used.

    1. Create a new blank document. I set mine to 600 x 600 pixels.

    2. Select the Brush tool (B) from the toolbar and in the tool options at the top of the screen, find the spatter brush, size 24 pixels in the drop down menu. You can pick a smaller brush diameter if you want it to look like a thinner crayon.


    3. Open up the Brushes palette by choosing Window > Brushes.

    Click on the words “Brush Tip Shape” on the left hand side and drag the Spacing slider to about 25%, so your brush looks like this in the preview area.


    4. Click on the words “Shape Dynamics” and set the Size Jitter to 20%, Angle Jitter to 100%, Roundness Jitter to  50% and Minimum Roundness to 25%.


    5. Click on the words “Color Dynamics” and set the Saturation Jitter to 50% and Brightness Jitter to 15%.


    6. Click on the words “Other Dynamics” and set the Opacity Jitter to 50%. If you are using a pressure sensitive pen table, set the Control to Pen Pressure to really get the most out of this effect.


    Now you should now have a crayon effect brush on your hands. Almost as good as playing with real crayons. You can vary the size of the brush by clicking on the Brush Tip Shape and changing the diameter there.


    Once you’ve made a brush like this, you can save it by clicking on the Create New Brush Button at the bottom of the Brushes palette, then give it a suitable name.


    As well as drawing freehand with the brush, it also works well when used to stroke a path. Here’s an example.

    1. Select the Custom Shape tool in the toolbox.


    2. On the Tool Options bar at the top of the screen, make sure Paths are selected. Then on the Shape dropdown box choose any shape you like. I’ve picked the Right Foot shape. If you can’t see this in the dropdown box, click on the triangle in the upper right corner of the drop down box, and from the menu choose Objects. You will be asked if you want to Replace or Append. Choose Append. This just adds the Object Shapes on to the end of the shapes you already have.


    3. Drag out the foot shape on your document. Hold down the Shift key to contrain the proportions.


    4. Now open up the Paths palette. Choose Windows > Paths. You should see a thumbnail of the foot shape you just drew.

    Click on the context menu at the top right of the Paths palette and choose Stroke Path. Check the Simulate Pressure button to get a varied brush thickness around the path, then press OK.


    Your crayon foot should look a little bit like this: