The History and Art History brushes are the poorly constructed tools in Photoshop. Many times they just don't work. I duplicate a background layer, take a snapshot, choose a paintbrush, create a new layer , try to paint and then...nothing. There is no rhyme or reason to it. Adobe, you need to fix this.
You obviously have no clue as to how to use the History Brush.
Read up on it.
It involves having an image, edit it, take a snapshot, then go back in the History panel to the history state BEFORE your already completed edit(s), THEN select the History Brush tool targeting the snapshot and paint on the image at the state BEFORE your edits.
Your edits will "magically" appear with each brush stroke.
Learn how to use the application before presuming to criticize it.
It never fails: the stronger the rant in the forum, the greater the probability of PEBKAC.
An art history or just history brush should work like a clone brush. The snapshot should set the source and once that is done the brush should paint on any layer above the source. This is the logical function. I have had the brush work some of the time but it is so illogical that I can't get it to repeat. The art history should be the same but with paintbrush effects applied.
I often just get a white color or nothing. The snapshot was selected with a paintbrush symbol. Yea, I may be ranting but its because this doesn't function properly. Even the latest snapshot should automatically be selected but it doesn't. Poor design. I have been trying to use it for two months by the way with varying results.
So I just opened a new picture, copied it and took a snapshot. I then added a new transparent layer. Using the art history brush I can paint into the new layer if the source is the original background but not if I select the snapshot as the source. No other edits were done. The Adobe info clearly states to use the snapshot as the source.