Pixelmator Tip #52 – How To Create Your Own Custom Paint Brush

Ninja Share:

Being able to create your own paint brushes in Pixelmator is one of the basic tools you will use quite a lot as a graphic designer. In this tutorial we will show you how to quickly create you own paint brush from text.

The final image:

Here is what you will create by the end of this tutorial – a “pixelmator” text brush (PXB).



You can also download our free brush set, so that you can play around with some custom brushes.

So let’s get started.

Step 1:

Create a new canvas size 800x600px.

Step 2:

In the tools panel, there are two types of brushes available – the standard brush tool and the pixel brush tool (paintbrush with a pixel). For this tutorial we will use the normal brush tool, and we will do a separate tutorial on the pixel brush tool.


Click on the standard brush tool.


Step 3:

To open the Brush tool panel, there are a few ways. You can select the settings wheel on the canvas and then “Show Brushes”, after selecting the brush in the tools panel – as shown below.


Alternatively, you can go to the View in the main menu, and then select Show Brushes (CMD + 4).


This will open up the Brush tool panel.


Brushes are stored under a brush collection, which can be accessed through the brush tool panel. In the panel you can also select a brush, and adjust a range of settings to get the exact brush effect that you desire.

To change brush collections, click on the setting wheel in the brush panel, which should give you the following menu and a list of options.


Here you can not only change collections, you can also add/duplicate/and remove brushes, you can also remove an entire collection and also import brush collections.

Let’s select the Default brush collection for the moment as the location for our new brush.

Step 4:

We are going to create a text brush, so the first step is to create the text element. We chose to use the word “pixelmator” with a font called Jane Austen. Don’t worry too much about size and color of your text here, as once you convert this into a brush, you can change all of those settings as needed.


Next export this image and save it as a PNG called brush-text.png.

Step 5:

In the brush panel, we are going to use the option “New Brush from Image…” to import our newly created brush text image.


Once it is imported, you should see it in your brush collection.

Now the fun part is to modify the brush settings, and playing around with various combinations until you come up with a setting you are happy with.


Great, you have now finished creating your very own text brush.


And we export the final image.


Using the same technique, you can create your own custom brushes for shapes too.

Step 6 – Importing and Exporting Brushes

To export your brush, all you need to do is select the brush from the brush panel and drag and drop it into the desired location. This will create the PXB brush file.

In order to import your brush, you just need to open the brush tools panel, make sure you have selected the brush collection first, and then select “import brushes” and then select all the PXB files you want to import.

Feel free to download our freebie brush set containing the text, hearts, and ninjas brushes, so that you can import them and play around with the settings.


Awesome, you should now be able to create your very own custom paint brushes in Pixelmator.

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