Painting with the Pattern Stamp Tool

Thanks for joining me here to find out how to use the Pattern Stamp Tool and make a painting within Photoshop CC.  Our goal here is to help you learn what can be done with this wonderful little tool to create your own beautiful artwork.  Let’s get started 🙂

Step One

First, what we want to do is set up your pattern.  So, pick out an image that you would like to change.  For this tutorial I’ve picked out an image that I took with my phone.  With the pattern stamp tool, it’s easy to make an image look like a painted piece of art.  And this is what we are going to be working with here with the pattern stamp tool.  

town elevator pattern stamp tool

After you’ve picked out your image, go to Edit>Define Pattern…. now name your pattern after the image you have opened up.  I’ve named mine “town elevator”.   The benefit of starting a pattern this way your pattern will be the exact same size as your document.  This will help give your document that beautiful painted look.   This is a very important step if you want this look.

Step Two

Next, go to the side tool bar and scroll down to the picture with the clone stamp tool.  

Click and hold it down until the pop-out expands out to the side.  There, you will find the pattern stamp tool.  Click on that.  On my computer the default pattern stamp brush size is 21.  But, I think I’ll change it to a bit higher for the background and then scroll back down to around 21 as I start painting on the elevator.  Keeping it larger for the background clouds will give it a nice look and make the work quick and more effectively.  I actually took my brush size up to around 131 for the clouds.  I took it down to around 89 for a little more detail in the clouds and gave it a softer look with the larger sized brush.  Then I took the brush size down to 9 and 13 for the elevator itself.

Make sure that up in the top bar that you double check your pattern – you want your pattern to be the same as your image.  Then check to make sure the Aligned and Impressionist boxes are both checked that are to the right of the stamp image selector.  image options pattern stamp tool

If you’ve got a pressure sensitive stylus you will see that you can press soft and your strokes will be light and gentle on your image, and if you press harder, your strokes will be thick and heavier.  That may be something that you will want to look into is getting yourself away from a mouse as you paint on the computer.  Personally, I love the Wacom tablets…I’ve had a Wacom Intuos 3 for over twelve years, if not more, and it’s still going strong!

Step Three

layers panel pattern stamp tool

Now, create a new layer by going to your layers panel.  Mine is down at the bottom right of my interface.  But, you may have yours elsewhere.   You will find the “Create a New Layer” button down at the bottom right corner of the layers panel.create new layer pattern stamp tool

Add a new layer and name that one “Black”.  You can double click beside the little icon picture where the name is and then type in your new name for that layer. Turn the opacity down to about 80% for that layer.

fill layer pattern stamp tool

You can do the next step in two different ways.  You can use the fill bucket tool and fill the entire layer with black.  Or you can go to Edit>Fill Layer and fill this new layer with black.

You should still be able to see the layer underneath with this new layer set at 80%.  So, you can use this new layer like tracing paper.

Step Four

Add a another layer and name it your “Art” layer.  On the ART layer, start painting with the pattern stamp tool.  You can use smaller strokes and brush size for the finer details and larger strokes and brush size for the larger detailed parts.  Don’t worry about making mistakes.  Because this layer is its own layer, it’s nondestructive.  So if you need to erase anything, go ahead and do it on that layer.

extra layers pattern stamp tool

Step Five

Once you’re finished, you can bring the black layer up to 100% opacity.  You can give yourself a little border as well as you do this.  Put a mask on your black layer and paint on the mask to erase the black without destructive results.  You can use different opacities and strengths to give your border a nice look.  Also play around with your brushes to give it some texture if that’s what you’d like to do.  But, remember to use the paintbrush and not the pattern stamp tool as you’re doing this.  

painting with the pattern stamp tool

Then you can use the blur tool.  Go to Filter>Blur>Gaussian Blur.  I set mine to 37.8.   Then I took down the opacity of the layer.  And this was what I came up with.

border with mask pattern stamp tool

After I did this one, I wasn’t too fond of it and so I decided I would crop it a bit.  Go to your tool bar and use the crop tool. crop tool pattern stamp tool

I’m pretty happy with this one.   I hit ENTER and confirmed that this was the move I wanted to apply. 

And this was my final picture.painting with the pattern stamp tool

Yep, I like the way this turned out.  I like the clouds and how soft they are.  And I love the way the elevator turned out.  It looks very much like it’s painted.

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