If you’ve ever wondered how to add a squiggle or edge to elements in Photoshop, you’ll find this helpful and interesting tutorial to follow. One of the great things about Photoshop is the power of the app, but that can also make it really difficult to learn all the different things you can accomplish with it.
It can be difficult for beginners to create creative images because it seems unintuitive. However, it’s actually quite easy and simple, and in the following pages I’ll show you how to do it. During this process, you’ll learn a little bit about downloading new Photoshop brushes, how to apply a brush to a path, and how to change its appearance with a filter. I’ll also point you to Sue’s great article that explains how to make your own brushes, just in case you get an error for this technique.
- Download a new brush in Photoshop
- Apply Photoshop brush to path
- Make straight lines wavy
Download a new brush in Photoshop
The first step in this process is to load the new brush into Photoshop. For this tutorial, I’ve created a simple little brush that will serve as the base for the wavy edge effect, and you can download it if you want to follow along: wavy-line-border.abr (right click and save target). If you want to make your own brush, check out Sue’s article on making Photoshop brushes.
Assuming you have a blank document open, click the tool Brush in the toolbox is the one with the brush icon. On panel Tool Options now the brush controls are presented and you need to click on the second drop down menu and then on the little arrow icon in the top right corner which will open a new text menu. Choose from the menu Download brushes and navigate to the location where you saved the brush you want to use. You will see it added to the end of all currently loaded brushes and you can click the icon to select a brush.
Apply Photoshop brush to path
Now that your brush is loaded and selected, you need to add the document path. This is easy to do by making a selection and converting it to a path.
Click the Rectangular Marquee Tool and draw a rectangle on your document. Go to Windown † trails to open the Paths palette and click the little down arrow in the top right corner of the palette to open a new menu. Click Create work path and set the parameter Tolerance 0.5 pixel value when prompted. You will see that the selection has now been replaced by a path labeled “Work Path” in the Paths palette.
Right click now work path in the palette Ways and select battle path † In the dialog box that opens, make sure that in the drop-down menu Tool brush is selected and press the button Okay †
In the next step I’ll show you how to create wavy straight lines to complete this effect.
Make straight lines wavy
Fortunately, Photoshop includes a wave filter that gives straight lines a random wave effect.
Just go to Filter † Deformation † golf to open the Wave dialog box. At first glance, this may seem a bit intimidating, but there’s a preview pane that gives a good idea of how the different settings will affect the look of the rectangular border. Your best bet is to try a few different settings and see how the thumbnail preview changes. In the screenshot you can see the settings I chose, so you should get a little hint for a starting point.
That’s all! Because you can create paths from any selection, it’s very easy to apply this technique to all kinds of different shapes.