I get so many questions about how I create Procreate my brushes, I thought it would be a great time for a brush making post. I’ve pulled together all my brush making tips and tutorials so you have them all in one place!
Why would you make your own brushes?
Obviously, it’s fun to make your own brushes, but what about the real-life applications? When you start making your own brushes you could choose to use them only in your artwork to create a unique feel in your work, or you could sell your brushes on a design resource site like Creative Market. You could even give your brushes away as free downloads to your email list or social media followers.
Let’s start with some brush making essentials.
Brush Making Essential Tips
1) Always make your brushes at a large size (like 10 x 10 inches at 300dpi). Otherwise they’ll be blurry when you use them.
2) Always use a square canvas or your brushes will be distorted.
3) Always use pure black and white if you want to create an opaque stamp or texture. Using gray or another color will result in a semi-transparent brush.
Procreate 5 Update: Source/Shape/Grain
Important Note! Procreate 5 brought some updates to the brush making panel, so the brush making section that used to be called Source is now broken into 2 sections: Shape and Grain. So when you want to input a stamp shape, go to the Shape section. When you want to input a texture brush grain, go to the Grain section.
Creating your own texture brushes is one of the easiest ways to start adding 100% unique grit to your work. Why would you even need texture brushes? Take this illustration for example. See how much more depth and visual interest this illustration has with texture on it?
When you make your own texture brushes, there is literally no one in the world with textures like yours in their artwork. So using your own brushes is a great way to define your style and set yourself apart from the crowd!
In this class on creating texture brushes in Procreate, we’ll pull out our analog art supplies like ink and paint to create some messy, gritty textures. Yes, this process is messy, but real textures like these are so much more unique and realistic than digitally made textures!
The brushes you’ll make in this class aren’t seamless (meaning they are better to tap on the canvas, rather than to do an overall swish across the canvas), but you can easily make them seamless in Procreate. Go to lesson 3 at the 4:05 mark in this class where I show how to make seamless texture brushes.
You can also use Procreate’s new handy-dandy clone tool to clone parts of your texture to other areas on the canvas. The clone tool is super simple! Just tap the Adjustments menu, put the clone circle on the area you want to clone, then start drawing on the canvas.
The circle determines what area will be cloned, so move that little guy around to clone different areas of the canvas.
Scatter brushes place repeated elements around the canvas, so you don’t have to re-draw the same shape over and over. In this illustration I used my scatter brushes to have the same tree shapes repeat at different sizes around the canvas:
Go to lesson 11 at the 4:00 mark of this class to learn how to make your own scatter brush. These look great with plant forms like leaves, trees, and branches, but you could really use any shape at all!
Stamp brushes are perfect for repeating the same shape over and over at different sizes, or the same size each time. You can see how I like to use my stamp brushes in the video below. Go to the 3:26 mark of lesson 12 on this class to see the easy process for making stamp brushes.
Pattern brushes are great for filling the canvas with a bold background pattern or adding pattern to your illustrations! Go to video 5 on this class to learn how I create pattern brushes and start making your own!
All the Other Brushes
What about the other kinds of brushes that aren’t mentioned here like watercolor brushes and color changing brushes? Here is the only tip you need to learn how to make any brush: find a similar brush and then look at the brush settings, shape and grain.
Procreate has tons of beautiful brushes that you can draw inspiration from! Just open a brush and look at the settings and play around with the sliders. You can even duplicate the brush, then make it your own by changing the grain, stroke, and settings.
Although most of these classes are filmed in the older version of Procreate, the steps are very similar so you should have no trouble following along. Remember that in Procreate 5 you have to insert the shape or grain, you have to click on the brush, click Shape or Grain (depending on which type of brush you are making), tap Edit, at the top of the screen, then tap Import.
Still having trouble? Join my Facebook group where you can ask questions and share your work with other iPad Artists/Designers around the world.
Share Your Brushes!
If you make some brushes using these techniques, I’d love to see them! You can share your brushes with me and the rest of the world on Instagram and tag me @lizkohlerbrown