Contrary to popular belief, Photoshop isn’t just for editing photos. It’s also a tool for designers who like to create art from scratch. Using the virtual art tools provided by the program, a skilled artist can craft amazing images and designs with or without the use of a pen tablet. But for many designers, the tools that Photoshop provides are not enough. Fortunately, these artistic brushes for Photoshop are the next best thing to using an actual paintbrush, pencil, or other art tool.
Every designer has unique needs, and you’re ultimately going to use the tools you feel the most comfortable with. But with a collection of brushes this large, there’s a good chance you’ll find the next must-have tool for your toolkit.
Splatter and Spray Brushes
Sometimes being neat and tidy is exactly what you don’t want. These splatter and spray brushes set out to replicate the chaotic textural effects that are lost when paint is made of pixels instead of pigments. From grungy and hip graffiti brushes to delicate splatters, here’s your excuse to get a little messy with your print designs.
Paint Splatters (No longer available)
Paint Stroke Brushes
Many of the Photoshop brushes you find online aren’t actually “brushes” at all. After all, anything can be turned into a brush, even a photograph or vector object. But these paint stroke brushes are the real deal—brushes that actually simulate real painting tools. From bristle brushes to fingers and sponges, if it can apply paint to a canvas, you’ll find its Photoshop equivalent here.
20 Painted Photoshop Brushes (No longer available)
The serenity of watercolors make for a truly remarkable image, but it’s an effect that can be extremely difficult to pull off in Photoshop, where there’s not a drop of real water to be had. These watercolor brushes for Photoshop are the best way to simulate this artistic style without getting your computer wet.
Marker and Ink Pen Brushes
Markers and ink pens almost have a dual nature to them. On one hand, they’re permanent, so we associate them with importance and professionalism (such as signing official documents). On the other hand, they can create fun effects like cross hatching, stippling and even comic book crackles. This collection of marker and ink pen brushes for Photoshop runs the gamut from first-grade fun to serious business.
An authentic pencil effect is one of the hardest things to get right in Photoshop, which is why so many designers have created their own for lineart and other artwork. These Photoshop pencil brushes are best when used with a pen tablet, but even designers who only use a mouse will find something to love.
Mixed Media Brush Sets
Creating “mixed media” in a digital environment is much easier than doing it in real life because you can quickly switch from paint brushes to pens to pencils—all from your computer. That must be why so many designers have created easy-to-download brush sets, each containing brushes made to resemble a swath of different artistic mediums.
What kind of artistic brushes do you use to create digital masterpieces? We’re interested in hearing your thoughts, so leave a comment below!