This week, on-hand Photoshop Guru Eric Renno, aka Tip Squirrel demonstrates how to add sparkle to images in Photoshop. 

After taking your photograph you may want to add a little sparkle to a reflective edge, there’s a few ways to do this in Photoshop but did you know there’s already a brush to do it?

For this example I’m using this image:


Although this tutorial looks at the very basic Brush settings and use, those with more experience may still pick up a tip or two.

Accessing Brushes

There’s a few ways to get to the Brushes in Photoshop, how you prefer to do this will depend on your workflow and personal preference.

The Contextual Menu

With the Brush Tool selected the contextual menu shows a preview of the brush with a little drop down arrow:



Clicking on the down arrow will open a selection of brushes, by default it will look something like this:


The Brush Panel

Choosing Brush from the Window menu will open up the panel, the options will be available within it:


The Docked Brush Panel

If you’ve already docked the Brush panel in your workspace then just a click on it will open the options:


If you’re unfamiliar with making your own Workspace then here’s a handy introduction

Right Click

With the Brush Tool selected you can right click on the image, the options pop up in place:


Changing the Brush to a Sparkle

Whichever way you choose to change the brush the panel will look the same, what you need to do is:

Click the cog icon in the top right corner


and choose Assorted Brushes from the menu


You’ll then be asked if you’d like to Append (add to the existing brushes) cancel or OK (replace the existing brushes with the new set)


Whichever you choose you should see the new brushes in the panel, including two that looks like a four pointed star (1 & 2), click on either and resize it using the slider (3) or the keyboard shortcuts of [ to make it smaller and ] to make it bigger:


Adding the Sparkle

Choose the colour you’d like the sparkle to be, for white the easiest way is to press D for the default colours, black foreground and white background, and then X to flip them over so white is the foreground colour.


Click the new layer Icon:


Now all you have to do is click down where you want the sparkle:


Reducing the opacity of this layer may help too.

Finishing Touch

To add a second sparkle to the first, rotate the brush in the Brush panel and reduce the size a little:


Click down in the middle of the first sparkle:


Not Happy With The Sparkle?

Next time we’ll look at creating our own sparkle, just the way we like it. See you then!

As always, a big thanks to Eric for supplying this super detailed tutorial. Stay tuned for next week and in the meantime, check out more of his tutorials on his websiteYouTube and you can find him on Facebook and Twitter should you wish to get in touch with him!