Free Photoshop brushes are ideal for artists looking to improve your workflow and give your projects that extra flair without having to break the bank. Having a wide range of brushes to work with is essential for creatives because they allow you s much more flexibility while creating. Not only do they give your work that extra pizazz, but they help you to create digital art efficiently. There are lots of brushes already built into the Photoshop app, but expanding your collection will help your work to stand out, and other brushes may suit your needs better than what Adobe has to offer.
However, we know that there are thousands of options out there on the internet, which can be a little overwhelming for those artists who aren’t sure where to start looking. That’s where we come in. We’ve rounded up 66 brilliant free Photoshop brushes of every painting style and texture to suit a range of projects. To help you navigate your way around our post, we’ve even split it into categories so you can jump straight to what you’re looking for.
Whether you need a brush that’ll help you with dust particles or just plain old watercolours, we have something on this list to suit your needs. Before you use any of the brushes though, make sure you check the licensing as not all brushes are available to use for commercial and personal use.
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We know that even though it’s one of the best editing software out there, it still can be pretty pricey to download and run Photoshop. And if it’s just a little out of your budget right now, then don’t worry, perhaps one of the best Photoshop alternatives will suit you better. Or if you’re quickly realising you’re in the totally wrong place and you were actually on the hunt for Illustrator brushes, then don’t worry, you’re probably looking for our roundup of the best Illustrator brushes instead.
Free Photoshop brushes for painting
01. Canvas brushes collection
There are eight useful canvas effect brushes in this collection (Image credit: Radical Madder)
While this collection might be small with only eight brushes, it sure is mighty. With a pencil, pastel and charcoal texture, this brush set is sure to give your project an authentic feel. Plus with this set, you can also use several canvas effects to really add that element of authenticity. From streaky to triangle, this will look just like you’ve actually applied brush to canvas with this set.
02. Digital oil painting brushes
Martina Palazzese’s digital oil painting brushes are free for personal use (Image credit: Martina Palazzese)
If your forte is digital oil painting then you’re in luck. This brush set allows you to create high-resolution oil paintings with a texture just like the real thing. This brush set created by Martina Palazzese is only available for personal use though, so be careful which project you use them on.
03. Kyle T.Webster’s Adobe brushes
There are a range of free brushes over on the Adobe site (Image credit: Adobe)
Over on the Adobe website, you can stock up on a number of brushes. Kyle T.Webster’s brush set is part of Adobe’s seasonal drop, so you can keep up to date with all the hottest digital art trends with this brush set. When having a go with a number of brush sets, we decided that our personal favourites are the Runny Inkers and Copier sets that give a particularly earthy look to projects.
04. Concept art brushes
This set includes a helpful commentary (Image credit: Jeremy Fenske)
Jeremy Fenske is a concept and visual development artist working in Los Angeles. As well as sharing this set of Photoshop brushes for free, he’s also included a 35-minute video explaining how he uses them. Check it out for some helpful tips.
05. Painting textures
Get a range of textures with this freebie (Image credit: Obsidian Dawn)
These Photoshop brushes are actually textures, meaning you can create some interesting effects that are…well… textured. They’re great for backgrounds and for experimentation in general. Check the terms (opens in new tab) for all uses as you’ll need to credit the artist. But if you can’t provide credit, a commercial licence is just $3.
06. Photoshop Illustration Brush Set
There are over 20 brushes in this brilliant set (Image credit: Matt Heath)
This simple brush set is jam-packed with over 20 brushes, perfect for any beginner or anyone looking to expand their collection. The brushes were created using an 8B Staedler pencil. You can get this set for free or contribute any amount you like to get the set.
07. Wavenwater Photoshop brushes
This set features lots of options
freelance concept artist and illustrator Michael Guimont put together this comprehensive set of Wavenwater Photoshop brushes based on his own personal collection of brushes and tool presets. We haven’t counted exactly how many brushes are included in this set, but we can say there are certainly lots of options here that can add serious flair to your artwork.
08. Sakimichan Photoshop brushes
These brushes work best at 70-100 percent opacity
Deviant Art member sakimichan has made 56 of her favourite custom Photoshop brushes for painting available to download for free in this big bundle. She recommends painting at 70-100 percent opacity with the pressure option on, and says that the brushes are already set up for this.
09. Digital painting Photoshop brushes
Griffin is a pro illustrator and concept artist offering the brushes he uses himself
Aaron Griffin is a self-taught illustrator and concept artist who’s especially known for his figure paintings (his work has even graced the cover of our sister magazine ImagineFX (opens in new tab)). He’s generously offering up the Photoshop brushes he uses to create his digital paintings, free of charge.
10. Thick acrylic paint strokes
Quickly add authentic paint strokes to your work
The second instalment of a series of popular free Photoshop brushes from Creative Nerds, Thick Acrylic Paint Strokes Volume 2 allows you to quickly add an authentic paint effect to your illustrations. The brushes are free for both personal and commercial work, but you’re not permitted to redistribute or modify them for resale.
11. Dry brush strokes for Photoshop
These brushes are amazingly detailed
Dry Brush Strokes is a fantastic set of 12 free Photoshop brushes from Chris Spooner. These high-resolution dry brushes are superbly detailed, bristly and texture-rich. Featuring wispy lines and detailed edges, they’re perfect for roughing up your artwork or distressing its edges.
12. Flower brushes
Floral-inspired brushes for packaging and other designs (Image credit: Milka)
The artist Milka, aka Oxana Kuznetsova, is behind this beautiful botanical collection. It consists of 15 high-quality Photoshop brushes, inspired by roses, lilacs, dandelions and other flowers. It’s perfect for stationery, packaging, printouts or other floral designs.
13. Dry brushes
The dry brushes are dynamic
Artist Kirk Wallace created these Dry Brush Photoshop brushes at home using ink and paper. Perfect for creating rough, harsh textures, they’re also dynamic – you can click and drag to span larger areas without getting an ugly repeat effect, or you can paint with them.
14. Spray paint
These brushes can add a distressed, street art look to your designs
Creative Nerds is offering this spray paint effect Photoshop brush set to subscribers (it’s free to subscribe). The pack includes four high-res brushes (2500px each) that you can use to add a distressed effect to your paintings.
15. Speedpainting set
Give the illusion of speedpainting with these free brushes
Concept artist Darek Zabrocki has worked on some major projects in the fantasy art world, including Assassin’s Creed, Magic: The Gathering and Halo Wars 2. He’s offering the set of Photoshop brushes he uses for his speed paintings as a free download.
16. Deharme traditional painting set – sample
(Image credit: Deharme)
This is only a sample of Lecouffe Deharme’s full set of traditional painting brushes for Photoshop, but it provides a range of options, including oil, paint, charcoal and smudge brushes. If you like the sample, the full set of textured dynamic brushes is available on the designer’s website for $6.
Watercolour Photoshop brushes
17. Watercolour brushes #2
Mimic watercolours with this set (Image credit: Snezhana Switzer)
This extensive pack of watercolour Photoshop brushes comes from Snezhana Switzer. It contains 40 Photoshop brushes, which all serve to mimick watercolours in digital paintings.
18. Furry watercolour Photoshop brush
Soften things up with this choice of brush
If you want to create a soft, hazy aesthetic, try this free furry watercolour Photoshop brush from Heygrey. It’s described as a ‘furry watercolour brush’, and the creator suggests using it to create hazy backgrounds. We’re especially impressed with the realistic watercolour effect achieved here.
19. Watercolour Photoshop brush: spray
A handy brush for creating a watercolour spray effect
This Photoshop brush is handy for creating a large-scale watercolour spray effect in your artwork. It generates an impressively authentic effect, which you can apply to your own digital paintings with ease. Its creator says this brush was a pleasure to create.
20. Edgedestroys Watercolour brush pack
There are stunning watercolours brushes in this set (Image credit: xedgeworfx via DevianArt)
This is the fifth watercolour set created by xedgewolfx so if you love this pack then there are plenty more where that came from. There might only be seven brushes in this pack in particular but we promise they’re worth the download.
Pen, ink, charcoal and pencil Photoshop brushes
21. Illustration brush set
One of the charcoal brushes in the set (Image credit: jermshaw)
This charcoal brush set is small but mighty. This is just a demo of a full charcoal set, but if you like the brushes then there is also a full set available for purchase. You can also use these brushes for personal and commercial use – bonus!
22. Ink brushes
Big slabs, thin strokes, ink splotches and everything in between
This set from designer Brittney Murphy contains a whopping 192 ink Photoshop brushes. You’ll find big slabs, thin strokes, ink splotches and everything in between here. Murphy generously offers these brushes for free, with no attribution necessary, as long as they’re not redistributed.
23. Pencil Photoshop brush
This brush is one of the most realistic out there
Create the effect of a soft pencil sketch without getting your hands and paper dirty with smudged lead. This pencil-effect Photoshop brush is one of the most realistic we’ve seen, and you can download it for free from DeviantArt, courtesy of professional digital artist Andantonius, aka Jon Neimeister.
24. Realistic charcoal Photoshop brush
Get the effect without the mess with this digital charcoal
Charcoal’s an essential part of any artist’s toolkit, but it’s undoubtedly the messiest as well. With this excellent charcoal brush set, you can get those soft charcoal lines without getting charcoal all over your hands and everything else.
25. Real markers
Real Markers is a perfect set of brushes for fashion illustrations, industrial design and storyboarding (Image credit: Eilert Janßen)
Perfect for fashion illustrations, industrial design and storyboarding, this set of 12 free real marker brushes from Eilert Janßen enables you to create lively imagery that looks like it’s been sketched with marker pens. If you like what you see, you can buy more of Janßen’s brushes on his website (opens in new tab).
Next page: Natural brushes
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