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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Adobe Photoshop

How to Make a Heart Brush in Photoshop

Final product imageFinal product imageFinal product image
What You'll Be Creating

If you want to learn how to make a heart in Photoshop, in this tutorial I'll show you a method of drawing a perfectly symmetrical heart shape. This method will allow you to make corrections to the shape of the heart on one half, and automatically apply them to the other side. And then I'll show you how to make a heart brush in Photoshop using this shape!

And if you need some professional heart graphics, you should check out Envato Elements. One subscription gives you access to millions of creative assets, including this Valentine's Day Photoshop Action:

Valentine's Day Photoshop ActionValentine's Day Photoshop ActionValentine's Day Photoshop Action

What You'll Learn in This Heart Brush Photoshop Tutorial

  • How to make a heart in Photoshop
  • How to draw a heart shape in Photoshop
  • How to draw symmetrical shapes in Photoshop
  • How to make a symmetrical heart in Photoshop
  • How to create a heart shape brush in Photoshop
  • How to create heart bokeh overlay

What You'll Need

We're going to draw the heart from scratch, but you're going to need a photo to apply the brush to. If you want to achieve the same effect as me, here is the photo I've used:

1. How to Make a Heart in Photoshop

Step 1

Create a New File with dimensions of 200 x 400 px.

create new filecreate new filecreate new file

Step 2

Take the Rectangle Tool (U), click the canvas, and create a 200 x 400 px rectangle. This will be our placeholder for one half of the heart.

draw a rectangledraw a rectangledraw a rectangle

Step 3

Press Control-T and set X to 100 px, and Y to 200 px. This will center the shape. You can also use the Move Tool (V) to do it manually.

center the rectanglecenter the rectanglecenter the rectangle
rectabgle centeredrectabgle centeredrectabgle centered

Step 4

Right-click the layer and select Convert to Smart Object. Press Control-J to duplicate the layer. Go to Edit > Transform > Flip Horizontal.

Go to Image > Canvas Size. Put the Anchor on the left, and set the Width to 400 px.

resize the canvasresize the canvasresize the canvas

Step 5

Hold the Control key and select both the copy and the Background layer. Select Align Right Edges in the top bar. Now our two halves of the heart are perfectly symmetrical—we just need to draw the actual heart inside one of the halves.

align the rectanglealign the rectanglealign the rectangle
rectangle alignedrectangle alignedrectangle aligned

Step 6

Now, double-click the thumbnail of the original rectangle layer to open it as a separate file. Hide the rectangle layer and create a New Layer.

open the smart objectopen the smart objectopen the smart object

Step 7

Time to draw the half of the heart! Take the Curvature Pen Tool (P), and make sure it's set to Shape.

where to find curvature pen toolwhere to find curvature pen toolwhere to find curvature pen tool
set mode to shapeset mode to shapeset mode to shape

Then, click four times: first in the lower right corner...

place first pointplace first pointplace first point

... then on the left edge, slightly above halfway up...

place second pointplace second pointplace second point

... then halfway along the upper edge...

place third pointplace third pointplace third point

... and then on the right edge, exactly between the two last points.

place last pointplace last pointplace last point

Step 8

Add one more point between the two first ones and drag it towards the center to make a nicer shape.

add extra pointadd extra pointadd extra point

Step 9

Make sure that neither the left point nor the upper point actually touches the edge of the canvas. You can click them and then use the arrow keys to move them very precisely.

fix the edgesfix the edgesfix the edges

Step 10

Press Control-S and go back to the previous file. The heart will be there! It probably won't be perfect on the first try, but since you can see its whole shape now, it will be easier for you to see what corrections you need to make. You just need to use the Curvature Pen Tool (P) to move the points you have, or add more points. Experiment with them to see what improvements you can make. Use the Control-Tab shortcut to quickly move between the two files.

finish the heartfinish the heartfinish the heart

2. How to Create a Heart Brush in Photoshop

Step 1

Now, simply go to Edit > Define Brush Preset and give your brush a name.

create new brushcreate new brushcreate new brush
heart brush exampleheart brush exampleheart brush example

Step 2

This brush will allow you to draw hearts just by clicking, but if you want a brush that creates a whole pattern of hearts, here are the settings you can use. Feel free to adjust them to your liking!

Brush Tip Shape:

  • Spacing: 165%
brush tip shape settingsbrush tip shape settingsbrush tip shape settings

Shape Dynamics:

  • Size Jitter: 55%
  • Minimum Diameter: 0%
  • Angle Jitter: 5%
shape dynamics settingsshape dynamics settingsshape dynamics settings

Scattering:

  • Scatter: 300%
  • Count: 1
scattering settingsscattering settingsscattering settings

Color Dynamics:

  • Apply Per Tip: on
  • Foreground/Background Jitter: 0%
  • Hue Jitter: 5%
  • Saturation Jitter: 20%
  • Brightness Jitter: 10%
  • Purity: 100%
color dynamics settingscolor dynamics settingscolor dynamics settings

Transfer:

  • Opacity Jitter: 60%
  • Flow Jitter: 0%
transfer settingstransfer settingstransfer settings

Here's my end result (you have to change your color, of course):

scattering heart brushscattering heart brushscattering heart brush

3. How to Create a Heart Shape Overlay

Step 1

Now, let's see how to use this brush to create a heart overlay. Open a photo that you want to apply this effect to (I've used this photo of a cute puppy), open the Adjustments menu, and select Solid Color. Use the color #ff59ea, or any other shade of pink/red.

solid color buttonsolid color buttonsolid color button
add solif coloradd solif coloradd solif color

Step 2

Press D and take the Gradient Tool (G). Select Radial Gradient in the upper bar, and apply it to the mask of the Color Fill layer. Lower its Opacity to 40%.

add radial gradientadd radial gradientadd radial gradient
radial gradient on the maskradial gradient on the maskradial gradient on the mask
lower the opacitylower the opacitylower the opacity

Step 3

Create a New Layer and draw some hearts with your new brush. You can draw them one by one, or with a long, scattered stroke. Use the same color as in the Solid Fill.

draw some heartsdraw some heartsdraw some hearts

Step 4

Add a Layer Mask, and fill it with a Linear Gradient.

add gradient to the maskadd gradient to the maskadd gradient to the mask

Step 5

Add a New Layer and drag it under the previous one. Draw another series of hearts—make them smaller this time.

draw more heartsdraw more heartsdraw more hearts

Step 6

Change their Blend Mode to Screen, and lower the Opacity to 50%.

change blend modechange blend modechange blend mode

Step 7

Go to Filter > Blur > Gaussian Blur, and set the Radius to 20 px.

add gaussian bluradd gaussian bluradd gaussian blur

Step 8

Add a New Layer and draw a series of even smaller hearts.

add smaller heartsadd smaller heartsadd smaller hearts

Step 9

Change their Blend Mode to Overlay and the Opacity to 40%.

change blend modechange blend modechange blend mode

Step 10

Add Gaussian Blur to them as well—this time stronger, with 45 px Radius.

add gaussian bluradd gaussian bluradd gaussian blur

Good Job!

Now you know how to draw a heart shape in Photoshop, how to turn it into a Photoshop heart brush, and how to use it to create a heart overlay!

heart shape overlayheart shape overlayheart shape overlay

Photoshop Heart Brushes and Actions

Do you need to add some love to your photos? Check out these options from Envato Elements and GraphicRiver:

Valentine's Day Photoshop Action (ATN, ABR)

Valentine's Day Photoshop ActionValentine's Day Photoshop ActionValentine's Day Photoshop Action

If you want to make the photo more romantic, you'll love this action! It gives you unique results every time you run it, and you can adjust the colors to any color scheme you need!

Hearts Action (ABR, ATN)

Hearts actionHearts actionHearts action

This action will add some real magic to your photos! Just draw simple curves over your photo, and the action will turn these strokes into shiny hearts.

Romantic Photoshop Action (ABR, PAT, ATN)

Romantic Photoshop Action Romantic Photoshop Action Romantic Photoshop Action

Do you want an even more dramatic effect? This action will fill your photo with realistic red hearts, and optionally it will add a background with a blue sky behind your subject.

Love Spread Photoshop Action (ABR, ATN)

Love Spread Photoshop Action Love Spread Photoshop Action Love Spread Photoshop Action

Fill your photo with love using this action! Just select your subject and let the action create a nice border with hearts in different styles and sizes.

Valentine's Brushes Pack (ABR)

Valentine's Brushes Pack Valentine's Brushes Pack Valentine's Brushes Pack

Do you need heart shape brushes for Photoshop? This set contains 45 high-resolution hearts in many different styles that you can apply to your photo just by using the Brush tool!

More Photoshop Brushes Tutorials

If you want to learn more about creating Photoshop brushes, check out these tutorials as well:

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