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Free Photoshop Brush of the Week #86

This Photoshop watercolour brush “Crispy Blot” is the free brush of the week, you can download it on the free brush page until November 14th after which it will alwys be available in the Shop or as part of the ArtBrushes collection.

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Recently New Photoshop Brushes

New Photoshop brushes added in March 2016
Some New Photoshop brushes added in March/April 2016

Just some of the Photoshop brushes released in the Shop over the last month or so. If you recently bought the ArtBrushes Complete or Multiset: don’t forget you get all new brushes for up to two months with your free membership! These are a few you may not have yet downloaded from the last few weeks.

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Photoshop Ink Wash Brush ‘Mush Agog’

Photoshop Ink Wash Brush 'Mush Agog'
Photoshop Ink Wash Brush ‘Mush Agog’

I added this wet inky Photoshop wash brush to the shop this morning. Start slowly with a soft stylus pressure and build on it by drawing back and forth to add more soggy ink until you have as much ink pooling as you need. Take care not to lift your stylus until you finish your stroke if you want to avoid overlapping edges.  It’s edges sometimes look better in general with a bit of softening using either a blender or an eraser.

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Getting The Most out of Your Photoshop Brushes – Exploring The Low Pressure Range

Sometimes people ask me which brush I used to do the shading in this painting and when I tell them it’s the ‘Ocean Liner‘ brush they usually don’t believe me and I really don’t blame them because this is the stroke most people get when they use the ocean liner brush:

Brush stroke with average pressure applied
Photoshop Brush stroke with average pressure applied

The fact is that most Photoshop brushes have a wide range of looks that you can get simply by varying the pressure of your stylus and sometimes you can find some of the most interesting effects at the very low end of the pressure scale.

By charging the brush size slightly from 20 to 45 pixels and stroking ever so lightly, and lifting my stylus between strokes (this part is important!) I can begin to build up this nice texture.

  • Before-Before and After Shading
    After-Before and After Shading
    BeforeBefore and After ShadingAfter

Now I probably wouldn’t set out to create this with this brush but the point is to not accept your brushes at face value. Experiment and investigate how they behave at the very lowest stylus pressure ranges and you may discover that they, like you, have hidden talents.



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Free Photoshop Brush of the Week – ‘Faint Smatter’ Watercolour brush

Photoshop Watercolor painting done using the 'Faint Smatter' brush

This week’s free Photoshop brush is a soft but grainy watercolor brush you can download it on the free brush of the week page until Monday when there will be a new one. 

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Photoshop Brushes Update – New in November

Some of the New Photoshop Brushes added in November
Some of the New Photoshop Brushes added to the brush shop in November

Here are some scratch pad doodles from the workshop of some of the brushes that are new in the shop this week. I make these when creating and testing new brushes and I am going to start sharing these here and on the blog from time to time. I think it may be a nice and perhaps useful look into what I was thinking when making the brushes and also gives a better opportunity for some of the brushes unique characteristics and strengths to shine.

Once a new Photoshop brush is ready to be published, I try to make brush stroke guides that are consistent and uniform so that you can get an idea of the mechanics of how the brush performs by watching the animated video brush stroke pop ups in the shop.  These act as a kind of digital paint runway audition for the brushes and are intended to be practical tools for comparing brushes.

For the animated previews I usually take each brush through essentially the same moves; I start out with a light touch on the stylus, move to a firmer pressure, do a few turns to see how it handles circles, double back a little to show how the brush strokes act when they build upon each other, then end with reduced pressure again to show how it ramps down at the opposite end of the pressure scale and then perhaps finish with a few single dabs and a quick slash stroke or two. These are useful as benchmarks to compare all the brushes but probably not the best way to show them off, and certainly not the best showcase of what makes them special. Each brush has it’s own features and quirks that make it special and sometimes these little personality traits get lost in the uniform, regimented brush stroke guides. By sharing some of my scratch pads and showing the brushes in the wild, I hope to honour some of the brushes’ personality traits.

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Free GrutBrush of the Week #35 – “Bran Chatter” Photoshop Watercolour Brush

painted with the 'Bran Chatter' watercolour Photoshop brush

This week’s free Photoshop brush is a very fibrous textured watercolour brush called Bran Chatter. You can download it in the shop ( ) or on the free Photoshop brush page ( )  If you want to download the paper texture (PSD file) just click the download button below

You can download this week’s free Photoshop brush until next Monday when, as always, there will be a new brush.

You can watch a video of me painting this here


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Drawing and Painting while combining Multiple Photoshop Brush Types

When making and testing brushes I tend to spend so much time with just one brush that I forget how the much fun comes from combining brushes. Sketching a stick figure outline with an ink brush I gave it some body and shading with a watercolour brush, a fun-fur collar and hat with two strokes of a fuzzy Charcoal brush, then back to ink for some personality by way of a pair of oversized blue glasses.

Brushes used:
Tremble Stem Ink
Slo Rise Charcoal Brush
Hope Lingers Watercolour Brush
GrutBrushes Artists’ Toolset panel plugin

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Painting a Fish with Photoshop Watercolour Brush ‘Creamsicle’

Painting a fish with the watercolor Photoshop brush 'Creamsicle'

Painting a fish with my Photoshop watercolour brush ‘Creamsicle’ You can watch a 15 second video of me painting this below. Unfortunately I paused the recording towards the end so I sadly missed the last 5 minutes of painting which were in a sense my breakthrough moments on this one. I changed the uppermost layer to Normal from multiply which has the effect of muddying the watercolour effect giving me a look I was happy to end the painting on.