I have a pattern that I use to draw arbitrary-shaped curves like this:

example of layer solution

To achieve that I create a layer filled with my pattern and a blank layer, then I "draw" my line erasing the second one. A brush would be much more practical to do that but obviously simply changing the pattern in a brush doesn't work (ignore the fact that it is a square and not circular):

example of brush solution

Is there a way to create a brush that works as the two-layers solution?

Example pattern made with this image.

3 Answers 3


Yes there is setting you could use, but not with the Brush tool. Select the Clone tool instead, then in the Tool Options choose a brush shape, set the Source option to "Pattern", and Alignment to "Aligned", and choose a pattern to paint with from the Patterns dialog.

enter image description here

There's also another technique. You could fill a layer with a pattern, or even just open any image, then add a layer mask, setting the Initialise Layer Mask option to "Black (full transparency)", then select the mask, then paint on it with the Brush tool set to white to reveal the pattern.

enter image description here


Solution similar to @BillyKerr's #2:

  • Add a group
  • Add a first layer, filled with the pattern, set to "Multiply" mode
  • Add a second transparent layer below the pattern layer
  • Paint in white on that second layer

An advantage of this technique is that you can have several layers in the group under the pattern layer, including text layers (that would be complicated to add to the layer mask of another layer).

enter image description here


There has to be a way, since you can choose pictures in the standard brush options (like, the green pepper). I just don't recall the solution but in the past I have used both regular patterns and patterns I created. That's been a while though. Anyway, if the program can use the pepper as a brush, it can use any other picture as well. Try searching the manual on how to create your own brushes, or setting images (or patterns) as brush, maybe there is something in there? Sorry for not being of better help.

  • 1
    The green pepper behaves just like questioner's square - repeated copies are placed along the painting route and that was the unwanted way. He wanted to paint like revealing gradually a full page seamless pattern but without having that full page pattern, the fill should be built from one tileable sample as one draws.
    – user82991
    Nov 17, 2019 at 15:42

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