How to fix Photoshop brush tool not painting

How to fix Photoshop brush tool not painting. Question: “My brush/pencil tool isn’t working in Photoshop CS5…when I try and use it it just makes a dot and doesn’t allow me to draw a continuous line…” Check out this article to see how to fix the error.

How to fix Photoshop brush tool not painting
How to fix Photoshop brush tool not painting


The Brush Tool is a commonly used tool in Adobe Photoshop. The Brush Tool (with shortcut key B) is like a brush on the Layer, using the Foreground color (the color box on the toolbar).

Brush Tool
Brush Tool

But then suddenly open Photoshop to use the Brush Tool but it doesn’t work, doesn’t produce any shapes, doesn’t show  Brush in Photoshop.

This problem will be quickly fixed in the next part of the article, let’s get started!


1. Fix Photoshop brush error

Case 1: You are drawing on Layer Mask

– Use the Brush Tool to erase on the  Layer Mask but it doesn’t work because you clicked the wrong Mode. In the upper toolbar under Mode, check what mode you are working in.

Enter Mode and see which mode you are working in

Case 2: The Blending Mode part (blend mode) is not Normal

–  Some Modes may prevent you from using the Brush Tool  > Click to switch the Mode back to Normal .

Change Mode to Normal to be able to use Brush

Case 3: You are working with a certain Channel 

–  Check if you are working with any mode of the Channel  by clicking on the Channel item .

Check your Channel again

Case 4: You are on Quick Mask Channel

– If you see a  Quick Mask Channel item, press the Q key to exit this mode > You can already use Photoshop’s Brush Tool normally.

If you are working on a new Quick Mask, press the Q key

2. Fix Photoshop brush not painting color

While you want to fill color, erase selection, sample, etc. suddenly Photoshop does not display the highlighted points on the working area.

How to fix:

– Step 1:  Go to Select > Deselect (Ctrl+D) to remove any selection with the Marquee Tool, which you forgot or couldn’t see.

Go to Select -> Deselect (Ctrl+D) to remove the selection

Step 2: Open Channels in the  Layers panel, double check all the layers to make sure we’re not working with Quick Mask Channel or any other Channel mode.

– Step 3:  In the opposite case, proceed to combine Channel RGBIf you are in Quick Mask mode, just press Q to be able to use the Brush Tool as usual.

3. Fix Brush Tool stuttering, lag by increasing hardware speed

– Step 1:  Go to Edit > Preferences > Performance

Go to Edit – Preferences – Performance

– Step 2: Under Graphics Processor Settings > find and select Advanced Settings

Find and select Advanced Settings
Find and select Advanced Settings

– Step 3:  Change Drawing Mode > Basic > OK and restart Photoshop and you’re done.

Change Drawing Mode

Other solution

The solution I have found is that once you find it’s not working in Photoshop, simply switch to another program, like TextEdit, or Excel or whatever you might have open and select some things in that program.  Like, I might select some text or even just tap in the text section.  Then come back to Photoshop and it works.

I think this is a seriously annoying problem.. and a ridiculous workaround.  I’m using the Intous5 Wacom tablet on Yosemite.  It did this to me on the previous OS for mac as well, using the same tablet.    And it’s been doing this for the last 3 versions of Photoshop that I can remember.  I keep waiting for an upgrade in the Wacom software or in the adobe software to fix the issue.

Ngolongtech hopes this article would help you! 
Visit to update the most practical and useful tips for Mac and Windows!

Sponsored Links: