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The 60 best free Photoshop brushes

We've rounded up our favourite free Photoshop brushes, to save you some serious time when adding design flourishes.

Free Photoshop brushes

- Photoshop brushes for painting
- Watercolour Photoshop brushes
- Pen, ink, charcoal and pencil
- Grunge Photoshop brushes
- Hair Photoshop brushes
- Cloud Photoshop brushes
- Tree Photoshop brushes

Photoshop brushes are a fantastic time-saver for digital artists. They enable you to quickly create rich artwork without having to draw all the individual design elements each time – and there are thousands for you to choose from.

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But where to start? There's a huge spectrum of Photoshop brushes available, ranging from grunge and watercolour brushes to leaf designs and fabric textures, and cloud patterns to glass shatters. And while Photoshop CC does ship with a set of brushes pre-installed, they only scratch the surface of what's possible with the brush engine.

We've split our collection into four categories to help you find the perfect Photoshop brush:

Photoshop brushes for painting – for mimicking a traditional art effectNatural brushes – everything from hair to clouds, trees, fire and water effectsGrunge Photoshop brushes – for when you want a distressed or aged effectFantasy and comic brushes – including half-tone brushes and sparkle effects

Whether you're using an older version of Photoshop or have joined Creative Cloud, grab the free Photoshop brush downloads below and start creating stunning design flourishes in your artwork.

Photoshop brushes for painting

01. Woodland Wonderland: Gouache brush

A split-screen image of a fox, bear and pig playing musical instruments. The left is a black-and-white pencil sketch; the right is painted in colour

Designer: RetroSupplyUsage: Free for commercial and personal use

Normally you’d have to pay for RetroSupply’s fantastic Woodland Wonderland pack of natural media-inspired Photoshop brushes. However, we’ve spotted a link to a free sampler pack – which will give you a free gouache Photoshop brush from the Woodland Wonderland pack in exchange for your email address – plus a number of other free Photoshop brushes too. Bargain.

02. Sakimichan – Photoshop Brushes for painting

Designer: SakimichanUsage: Free for commercial and personal use

Deviant Art member sakimichan has made 56 of her favourite custom Photoshop brushes available to download for free in this big bundle. She recommends painting at 70-100% opacity with the pressure option on, and says that the brushes are already set up for this. Bear in mind these brushes were created in PS5 and although they work in CS4 and CS3, she isn’t sure about other versions. (Although the comments on the page suggest they work for CS6 and CC too.)

03. Photoshop brushes: paint

Artist Photoshop brushes

Designer: Aaron GriffinUsage: Free for commercial and personal use

Aaron Griffin is a self-taught illustrator and concept artist known especially for his figure paintings (his work even graced the cover of our sister magazine ImagineFX). He's generously offering up the Photoshop brushes he uses to create his digital paintings free of charge.

04. Photoshop bruses: thick acrylic paint strokes

Thick acrylic paint strokes Photoshop brushes

Designer: Creative NerdsUsage: Free for commercial and personal use

The second instalment of a popular set of free Photoshop brushes from Creative Nerds, Thick Acrylic Paint Strokes volume 2 lets you 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.

05. Free Photoshop brushes: paint lines

Paint lines Photoshop brushes

Designer: env1roUsage: Free for personal use; email him about commercial use

These 24 very hi-res brushes will provide a real-media feel to your design work. Some brushes look like paint tin marks, while others are thicker, meaning there's lots of options within the pack.

06. Dry brush strokes for Photoshop

Dry brush strokes Photoshop brush

Designer: Chris SpoonerUsage: Free for personal and commercial use

A set of 12 excellent free Photoshop brushes from Chris Spooner. These high-resolution dry brushes are fantastically detailed, bristly and texture-rich. Featuring whispy lines and detailed edges, they're perfect for roughing up your artwork or distressing your edges

07. Free Photoshop brushes: dry brushes

Dry brushes Photoshop brush

Artist: Kirk WallaceUsage: Free for personal and commercial use

Artist Kirk Wallace created these Photoshop brushes at home using ink and paper, and offers them to you for free. 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.

08. Dripping paint Photoshop brushes

Dripping paint Photoshop brushes

Artist: LilithDemonessUsage: Free for personal and commercial use

Add realistic dribbles of paint to your digital designs with these free Photoshop brushes. They're the work of DeviantArt user LilithDemoness and there are 14 in the set to choose from.

09. Free Photoshop brushes: spray paint

Spray paint brush

Designer: Creative NerdsUsage: Free for personal and commercial use

Creative Nerds is offering this spray paint effect Photoshop brush set completely free. The pack includes four high-res brushes (2500px each). Use them to add a distressed effect to your paintings.

10. Speedpainting set

Artist: Darek ZabrockiUsage: Free for personal and commercial use

Concept artist Darek Zabrocki has worked for some of the biggest projects and companies in the fantasy art world, including Assassin's Creed, Magic: The Gathering and Halo Wars 2. He's generously offering the set of Photoshop brushes he uses for his speedpaintings for free download.

Watercolour Photoshop brushes

11. Furry watercolour Photoshop brush

Furry watercolour brush

Designer: HeygreyUsage: Free for personal and commercial use

If you're looking to create a soft, hazy aesthetic in your work, try this free Photoshop brush from Heygrey. It is 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 that has been achieved here.

12. Watercolour Photoshop brush: spray

Watercolour paint spray Photoshop brushes

Designer: Creative NerdsUsage: Free for personal and commercial use

This large-scale Photoshop brush is handy for creating a watercolour spray effect in your digital artwork. The creator has achieved an impressively authentic effect, which you can apply to your own artwork with ease.

13. Watercolour shapes and splatters

Watercolour shapes and splatters Photoshop brushes

Designer: ExcentricUsage: Free for personal and commercial use

If you're going for a watercolour feel in your work then these abstract shapes and splatters will help you get the look just right; just don't overdo them. These Photoshop brushes from Excentric are free for personal and commercial use.

14. Watercolour splatter: free Photoshop brushes

Watercolour splatters Photoshop brushes

Designer: pstutorialswsUsage: Free for personal and commercial use

These watercolour splatters were created with the help of professional-quality watercolour paint on cold press watercolour paper. There are 32 high-res Photoshop bushes in the pack – they work with Photoshop 7, CS, CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6 and CC – and you can download the lot for free.

Pen, ink, charcoal and pencil Photoshop brushes

15. Ink brushes

Free Ink Photoshop brushes

Designer: Brittney Murphy Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Introducing designer Brittney Murphy's first set of Photoshop brushes. Among the impressive 192 brushes included in the set, you'll find big slabs, thin strokes, ink splotches and everything in between. Murphy generously offers these brushes for free, with no attribution necessary, however, she does as that they're not redistributed.

16. Pencil Photoshop brush

Pencil brush for Photoshop

Designer: AndantoniusUsage: Free for personal and commercial use

Create the effect of a soft pencil sketch, but without the grubby hands and smudged paper. This pencil-effect Photoshop brush is one of the most realistic we've seen, and you can download it for free on DeviantArt, courtesy of professional digital artist Andantonius, aka Jon Neimeister.

17. Realistic charcoal Photoshop brush

Realistic charcoal Photoshop brush

Designer: WojtekFusUsage: Free for personal and commercial use

Charcoal's an essential part of any artist's toolkit, but it's undoubtedly the messiest as well. Get those soft charcoal lines – without getting charcoal all over your hands and everything else – with these excellent brushes.

18. Real markers: free Photoshop brushes

Real markers for Photoshop

Designer: Eilert JanßenUsage: Free for personal and commercial use

Perfect for fashion illustrations, industrial design and storyboarding, this set of 12 free brushes by Eilert Janßen enables you to create lively imagery that looks like it's been sketched out with marker pens. If you like what you see, Janßen sells a set of 300 marker brushes for just $9.

Next page: Natural brushes

5 must-have tools for creatives

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