Here is a basic overview on how to use brushes in Photoshop and Photoshop Elements.
Step by Step:
1. Create a blank layer over the layer in your project on which you wish to place your brush. You can do this by using Shift+Ctrl+N (Mac = Shift+Cmd+N) or from your Layers palette.
2. From your tool bar, select your brush tool (B); alternatively you can enable your brush palette by selecting function+F5 or from the Windows drop down menu.
3. Set your foreground color (don’t worry, you can always apply another color to your brush at a later time if change your mind).
4. Select the brush you wish to use and adjust the size before you add it to your canvas. You can hover over your canvas to see the size of the brush relative to your project. It is not recommended that you enlarge your brush after you’ve placed it in your project, so it’s better to err toward a larger size.
5. Now “stamp” it onto your page, being careful to ensure that it is completely captured within your canvas! Left click once to add your brush to your canvas. Feel free to move it around or apply different layer styles (colors, patterns, gradients, etc.) or change the blending options and/or opacity.