Can I sketch, draw, etc., using patterns?

Embarrassed to be asking this but have tried to figure out what I’m doing wrong in trying to use patterns. I want to use a large brush, for example, the “charcoal” one, to give a grainy stroke, but instead of it being a uniform “color” I want it to be a pattern or image. (I have photographs of a number of fabrics and want to “paint” using that as the “color” – a rich texture and vibrant colors.)

Is this something doable?

If so, what do I do to set up my patterns (they are currently full color jpgs) and use them in a brush preset?

Thank you.

Animated and Stamp Brushe could be what you are looking for

And of course you can use nomal patterns for a brush, however they are usually in grayscale otherwise you couldn’t pick colors anymore (but colored patterns are possible too but with limited usefulness when applied to a brush).

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It would be useful and interesting to see the photographs that you want to make use of.
Can you upload a couple of examples and tell us what the original size is?

I hope these uploaded. I’d probably use a swatch of this rather than the whole image, but I want to “paint” using those as the colors…if possible! :slight_smile:

Depending on what you want to do, you can make an RGBA brushtip from one of these, or you could just fill a layer with the pattern you want, and paint a transparency mask for that.

Something to bear in mind is that all those patterns are someone’s intellectual property and probably subject to copyright if you can buy them printed onto material.

The array of bees is particularly distinctive and identifiable.
Having said that, it’s ideal for further processing to make a variety of tileable patterns but I’d never suggest that anyone should do that.

For the more abstract patterns, some extracts used as stamps or as component images of an animated ‘image hose’ brush may be a good way to use them.
Experiments and tests and quite a bit of work will be needed and you first need to convert them to .png images before you start doing that.

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I couldn’t resist playing with the easiest one and it’s a bit rough:

I won’t be touching the bees though, except maybe in private, purely as a technical experiment for personal learning purposes.

I’d be very curious if this IS a violation of copyright. How would this differ from making a collage, or even making clothing for sale, if the pattern is intellectual property…? If I make a shirt or a skirt from that fabric and sell it…is that a violation of the intellectual property? I don’t think so. If I take the design, copy it, and market it on fabric myself, I think that might be. But it’s not a trademark issue, I don’t believe.

Does anyone out there know if this IS an issue of IP violation? Curious, though probably off topic.

So you say “You played with it” – could you share the process you used to get this into a brush? That would be very helpful. It’s definitely the kind of thing I’m hoping to do. So if you could explain what you did, step by step, that would be great. I don’t think in my case that the pattern (even the bees) would ever be identifiable, as I’ll be layering and mostly using it for color. But right now I just have no way to import this into a usable form like what you’ve shown.

Thank you!


Fabric is sold for the obvious and well known purpose of making curtains, shirts and skirts etc. and so there is implicit permission for you to do that. The finished curtains/shirt/skirt would involved creative effort by yourself and that is what you would be selling.
However, I am not a lawyer so I’ll leave it up to someone else to discuss the details and possible complications of that aspect of things.

Using a selection, I selected a narrow vertical strip image from your photo and then had to rotate the selection slightly to get a good selection aligned with the pattern, then a copy-paste to a new layer and rotated the layer to get the strip vertical again. Then exported it as a .png image.

I imported the .png image as a brush tip and as a pattern. The pattern is not very tileable/seamless because I did it quickly and roughly.

Using the brush tip image as a brush tip on the Basic-2 Opacity brush, I set it to Brush Mode: Colour Image.
Then I did a variant that has no rotation and another variant that had rotation with drawing angle.

For the pattern, I flood filled a layer with it then added a black transparency mask, Then painted in white on the transparency mask with two different brushes, one of them a heavily textured brush.

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This is sometimes not so easy to answer. Generally just because you are allowed to use a design for one thing, that doesn’t mean you can use it for everything. For example you can not use a paw print for pretty much any clothing or you will get sued by Jack Wolfskin which happened many times, they even go after hobbyists but you can use them for (some) artworks (although they sued a movie company once too because of a logo with a paw). For fabrics it’s similar. You can use the fabric itself to create something from it, that probably would count as creating a derivate work but that does not automatically give you the rights to use the pattern for an artwiork.

Have you checked Clone Brush too? It’s the brush with some weird technical wooden ruler as an icon. It has more options in the Brush Editor so make sure to check it out. You can activate it on one layer and paint on another.

Thank you, Takiro. Yes, I agree. It’s quite complex and in the example you state the key thing is that I’m assuming Jerk Wolfskin has trademarked that as a logo. And just like Coca Cola has a logo trademarked, yeah, that would seem to be something that could be infringement. If someone used cut pieces of that fabric in a collage? I can’t imagine that anyone would try to claim that’s not doable due to copyright. And if it’s a digital artwork, where would the line be drawn? (Anyway…thank you for the info.)

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