67 of the best free Photoshop brushes
Free Photoshop brushes offer a great way for digital artists, illustrators and other creatives to expand their bank of resources or different projects. They allow you to quickly achive the look you need without having to create a new brush from scratch, and, crucially, without having to part with cash.
A wide range of Photoshop brushes covering different textures and effects gives a lot more flexibility for your artwork or designs, allowing you to add some visual flair beyond the brushes that come already installed. There are so many free Photoshop brushes available online that it can be hard to know where to start or where to find the Photoshop brushes that you’re looking for, so in this roundup we’ve picked out a large but manageable collection of 66 of the best free Photoshop brushes covering a wide variety of styles and textures.
We’ve divided our picks into sections to make it easier to navigate and find what you’re looking for, whether that’s pencil and charcoal Photoshop brushes, landscape and nature Photoshop brushes, grunge brushes or special effects. So whether you need a brush that’ll help you with smoke or dust particles or just plain old watercolours, you should be able to find a free Photoshop brush in this list that will do the job. Just check the licence conditions on each brush because not all of them are free to use for commercial and personal use.
If you’re not sure how to install Photoshop brushes, skip to the bottom of this roundup for an explanation of the process. And if you haven’t yet downloaded Photoshop make sure you see our guide to the best Adobe Creative Cloud discounts to get started, or download the software on a free trial via the link below.
Getting started with Adobe Creative Cloud can be somewhat daunting, so if you’re unsure of how it works, see our piece on how to download Photoshop. Once you’ve got the software installed, get up and running with our pick of the best Photoshop tutorials, and make sure you can try out the best Photoshop Shortcuts to speed up your workflow.
If you decide Adobe’s subscription package is too pricey, you can always consider one of the best Photoshop alternatives. And if you’re building up your bank of Photoshop brushes and you have the full Creative Cloud package, you might also want to add to your Illustrator brushes too.
The best free Photoshop brushes
We’ve divided our pick of the best free Photoshop brushes into sections to help you find what you want. Use the section links above to skip straight to the section you want, or scroll down to browse. We’ll start with free Photoshop brushes for paint effects, from oil to spray paint.
Photoshop Brushes for painting
01. Canvas Collection Photoshop brushes
While this collection might be small with only eight Photoshop brushes, it sure is mighty. With a pencil, pastel and charcoal texture, this brush set is sure to give your project an authentic canvas feel. You can also use several canvas effects from streaky to triangle.
02. Digital oil painting brushes
If you’re looking for a digital oil painting style, then you’re in luck. This Photoshop brush set offers a high-resolution oil painting texture. Just note that this brush set created by Martina Palazzese is only available for personal use only.
03. Kyle T.Webster’s Adobe brushes
Over on the Adobe website, you can stock up on a range of free Photoshop brushes. Kyle T.Webster’s brush set is part of Adobe’s seasonal drop. Our personal favourites are the Runny Inkers and Copier sets, which give a nice earthy look to projects. You’ll need to have an active Photoshop or Adobe Fresco subscription to access the brushes.
04. Concept art brushes
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 made a 35-minute video explaining how he uses them. Check it out for some helpful tips.
05. Painting textures
These Photoshop brushes allow you to create a range textures. They’re great for backgrounds and for experimenting with different effects. 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 available for just $3.
06. Photoshop Illustration Brush Set
This Photoshop 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 to create a natural feel and a range of textures. You can get this set for free or make a donation.
07. Wavenwater Photoshop brushes
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, but there are lots of options here to add some serious flair to your artwork.
08. Sakimichan Photoshop brushes
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 per cent opacity with the pressure option on, noting that the brushes are set up for this.
09. Digital painting Photoshop brushes
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 a selection of the Photoshop brushes he uses to create his digital paintings free of charge.
10. Thick acrylic paint strokes
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
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 edges.
12. Flower brushes
The artist Milka, aka Oxana Kuznetsova, is behind this beautiful botanical-inspired 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
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 repeating effect. You can also paint with them.
14. Spray paint
Creative Nerds has this spray paint effect Photoshop brush set available for subscribers (it’s free to subscribe). The pack includes four high-res brushes (2500px each) that you can use to add a distressed or street arty effect to your work.
15. Speedpainting set
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 a set of the Photoshop brushes he uses for his speedpaintings as a free download.
16. Deharme traditional painting set – sample
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
Our next pick of the best free Photoshop brushes will allow you to mimic a watercolour style in your digital art and designs.
17. Watercolour brushes #2
This extensive pack of watercolour Photoshop brushes comes from the freelance web designer and front-end developer Snezhana Switzer. It contains 40 Photoshop brushes, which all serve to mimic watercolours for digital painting.
18. Soft Furry Watercolour Photoshop brush
If you want to create a soft, hazy aesthetic, try the free Soft Furry Watercolour Photoshop brush from Heygrey. You can use these to create a range of hazy backgrounds. We’re especially impressed with the realistic watercolour effect achieved here.
19. Watercolour Paint Spray Photoshop brush set
This Photoshop brush set 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 they had fun creating this brush set.
20. Edgedestroys Watercolour brush pack V
This is the fifth watercolour set created by xedgewolfx, so if you love this pack then there are plenty more to experiment with. There might only be seven brushes in this pack, but we promise they’re worth the download.
Pen, ink, charcoal and pencil brushes
Moving on, we’ll next turn to free Photoshop brushes that you can use to create the effect of pen, ink or charcoal.
21. Illustration brush set
This charcoal brush set is small but mighty. It’s only a demo of Jermshaw’s full charcoal set, but if you like the brushes, then there is also a full set available for purchase. You can use these brushes for personal and commercial use, though.
22. Free Ink brushes
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
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
Charcoal’s an essential part of any artist’s toolkit, but it’s one of 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
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).
Photoshop skin, fur and feather brushes
The next free Photoshop brushes in our guide can be invaluable for when it comes to drawing people, from Photoshop hair brushes to skin.
26. Fur Photoshop brushes
These brushes will help you to create realistic fur for your projects, whether for animals or clothing. The designer asks that you do not redistribute them, but you’re free to use them in commercial and personal projects.
27. Skin Photoshop brushes
Freelance Polish artist and illustrator Marta Dahlig has been creating digital brushes for years. She specialises in portraits, and her set of skin Photoshop brushes offers a fantastic boost to any digital artist’s arsenal. Read Dahlig’s recommendations on how to customise the brushes to get the most from them in this Photoshop brush tutorial she wrote for us.
28. Eyelash Photoshop brushes
DeviantArt user eriikaa has shared 22 free Photoshop brushes for drawing eyelashes at different stages of the eyes being open or closed. She asks for a credit if you use them, and to let her know if – and how – you use them.
29. Feathers Photoshop brushes
This pack of Photoshop brushes features feathers from the likes of ostriches, peacocks and more. There are both plain and patterned feathers. The set is free for personal and commercial use as long as you can credit the artist, but if you can’t then you can buy a licence for just $4.
Weather and cloud Photoshop brushes
Weather effects can be very hard to get right, especially things like rain, so these free Photoshop brushes could really help you out.
30. Cloud Photoshop brushes
This collection of crisp clean cloud brushes should fulfil all your Photoshop cloud needs. The set comes with 14 high-res cloud brushes, plus two rays and sunbursts. They’re ideal for adding more detail to a scene.
31. High-res sunshine Photoshop brushes
This set of 15 high-quality photorealistic sunshine effect brushes can add natural and realistic light to help brighten up a scene. These hi-res brushes have a resolution of 2500px, making them ideal for both print and web projects.
32. Snow Photoshop brushes
Add some winter chill to your designs with a flurry of snow from this pack of free Photoshop brushes. This pack contains 15 snow effects, which you can mix up to create realistic variations in your scene. Make sure you follow the attribution instructions on the download page if you use them commercially.
33. Rain Photoshop brushes
Rain is notoriously tricky to draw and paint, so these brilliant free rain Photoshop brushes from Deviant Art user amorphisss could save you a lot of work. There are four brushes in this set. For each one, you can decide which way you want the rain to fall and use the Motion Blur filter to emphasise the motion effect.
34. Electrifying Lightning Strikes Photoshop brushes
Electrify your work with this collection of stunning lightning strikes. They’re tileable and available as patterns and JPEG images as well as Photoshop brushes. There are 18 to choose from in this set – all free.
Landscape Photoshop brushes
Add detail to landscape designs with these free landscape Photoshop brushes, from tree and leaf brushes to water brushes.
35. PS Brush pack
This PS Brush pack went down a storm when it was released on Behance by designer Lynn Chen. Offering a huge range of flora and fauna-themed brushes, the pack is split into categories including animals, foliage and nature. These brushes are intricate, pretty and super-arty – and they’re totally free to use.
36. Plant Photoshop brushes
Want to create beautiful plants with ease? This set of 23 high resolution plant Photoshop brushes from graphic designer and illustrator B Silvia will help you do just that. These are free for both personal and commercial use, but please remember to credit the owner.
37. Leaf Brushes
When it comes to creating organic textured backgrounds, this set of high-resolution leaf Photoshop brushes is great for drawing leaves. It features seven isolated leaf images with intricate details and textures. They’re free for personal and commercial use, but make sure you attribute them according to the Creative Commons guidelines – you’ll find full details on the Brusheezy site.
38. Grass or fur brushes
This set of 10 brushes is ideal for adding grassy details to your Photoshop paintings. There’s a variety of styles to choose from, so you can create everything from scrubby dry patches of grass to lush meadows. A bonus tip from the creator is that if you switch the colours, they can also make great fur.
39. Nature silhouettes Trees and Grass Photoshop brushes
This is a really useful set of 19 different nature silhouettes, each featuring a different plant. The options range from trees to grasses. These brushes are free for personal and commercial use, although the designer says that any references back to her website would be highly appreciated.
40. Environment brushes
This massive set of free environment Photoshop brushes should have you covered for all your environment painting needs. The brushes are high-res and specifically suited for creating realistic natural environments in Photoshop.
41. Water brushes Vol. 4
Water can be tricky, but there are 20 high-resolution water Photoshop brushes in this pack, including splashes, spills, ripples and water drops. Webdesigner Lab also has three other popular sets of water effect brushes, so if you can’t find what you want in this pack, check out the others via the link above.
Fabric Photoshop brushes
42. Fabric brushes set
The Argentine photographer Josh Laiho includes seven fabric brushes in this Photoshop brush pack. These should be useful if you need to add textures to dresses or other clothing in your work.
43. Tie-dye Photoshop brushes
The 15 brushes in this set are based on real tie-dye shapes, with a mix of solid and transparent areas. We think they could make fun backgrounds for all sorts of projects.
44. Simple fabric brushes
These straightforward fabric textures can be used to add natural-looking surfaces to your work. At high resolution (2500×2500), they’re fit for both print and digital uses.
Grunge Photoshop brushes
This page in our ultimate collection of free Photoshop brushes lists the best free grunge brushes the internet has to offer. You can use these brushes to add age, depth and experimental distressed effects to your artwork.
45. Rough paint strokes
If you’re looking for a rough paint stroke, these grunge Photoshop brushes from Creative Nerds should do the job. High res and free to download, they can be used for both personal and commercial work. You’ll need to subscribe to Creative Nerds (for free) to access them.
46. Shattered glass
This set consists of 12 free, high-resolution (2500px x 2500px), high-quality Photoshop brushes for creating an intricate shattered glass effect. They can easily be customised to edit the opacity, blending modes or to mask out different parts of the brushes to create textured effects.
47. Distressed halftone brush strokes
Can’t decide between a distressed brush stroke and a halftone brush stroke? Then why not have both? This set of 21 free Photoshop brushes can be used to add a convincing vintage, worn or retro effect to your work.
48. Mixergraph Grunge Brushes
Handmade, digitised and individually edited by Marc Pallàs, this set of five grunge brushes will transform your illustrations and designs with a gloriously rough-and-ready look. They can allow you to make designs that look like they’ve come straight off the photocopier.
49. Sponge party
Sponge party is a collection of eight medium-resolution Photoshop brushes that offers some beautiful textures, including some great sponge brush marks. These are brilliant for adding timbre to collage work (here are our favourite collage maker tools to help with that).
50. Scorched and burned
Scorched and burned is another great set of brushes from WeGraphics. This pack features realistic scorch and burn effects in 10 different designs. You can use them to create literal burn marks or put them to use in a more abstract way to add a distressed look to your artwork.
51. Scar face
Scar face is a collection of 12 textured Photoshop brushes that can allow you to add scarring to portraits. However, you can also use them simply to generate beautifully textured background elements that add age and depth to your work.
52. Grunge and smooth floral brushes
This is a strong set of crisp, clean mixed-media Photoshop brushes with a grungy floral theme. Created in Photoshop 7, the brushes range in size from 800px to 100px wide and have both grungey and smooth effects. DeviantArt member KeepWaiting says these are free for non-commercial use only.
53. Antique postcards
This brilliant collection of six hi-res antique postcard designs provides an excellent starting point for further design work. Each brush can be used as a template, featuing text and a delightful patina.
54. Spray splatter
This is a great collection of 12 spray splatter Photoshop brushes. High-res at 2500px, these brushes offer a range of spray patterns suitable for generating dirty backgrounds and textures or for bringing typography to life.
For a really grungy look, this high-resolution set of free Photoshop brushes recreates the look of cracking, flaking and rusting metal. You could use them to add rust to digital art, but these are also useful for creating rough, deteriorating textures and backgrounds.
Sci-fi, comic book and other effects
If you’re looking for free Photoshop brushes to add a fantasy, sci-fi or comic book-inspired effect to your work, we’ve got you covered. Scroll down for our favourite smoke and star Photoshop brushes, particle effects, blood drips, halftones and more.
56. Smoke Photoshop brushes
Designer Niño Batitis is the man behind this set of smoking hot free Photoshop brushes. Including 13 high-quality smoke brushes, these will make a great addition to any designer’s toolkit to create smoky, misty or hazy effects.
57. Dust particle brushes
This is a really useful set of dust particle brushes. They can be used to add instant sparkle, depth and richness to your designs – ideal for creating a fantasy effect.
58. Dynamic light brushes
This set of brushes, again from Nathan Brown, allows you to create lighting effects. You can use these Dynamic light brushes in combination with layer blending modes such as screen or vivid light to create special effects.
59. Star brushes
Here are six high-resolution star Photoshop brushes from DeviantArt member DemosthenesVoice, aka Austin Pickrell. You can use them to create whole galaxies of stars. “Just have fun,” says the artist. “I would love to see what people do with them… and if you make millions from your piece, I want a helicopter.”
60. Stardust brushes
This set of 20 Photoshop Stardust brushes can add a sprinkle of diffused light orbs to bring a Disney-esque magic sparkle to your work. These hi-res brushes can be used for personal and commercial work, just make sure you follow the instructions on the site for giving attribution.
61. Night sky brushes
This Night Sky Photoshop brush set comprises 13 different night sky elements, including space dust, stars and moons. They’re particularly good for fantasy scenes or simply to add some sparkle to your artwork.
62. Magic spells
Created by DeviantArt member TreehouseCharms, Magic Spells is a quirky set of 21 Photoshop brushes, each related to an overall lunar theme and mythological inspirations. These could be useful for adding some whimsy to your designs, or for adding accents to original illustrations. Donations are appreciated.
63. Blood drip brushes
These mildly gory blood drip brushes are perfect for a bit of comic-style horror and murderous artwork. Whether you’re looking for drips, drops, splats or spurts, you should find something here. They’re free to use return for credit and a link.
64. Blood splatter Photoshop brush
Turn up the gore further with this free blood splatter Photoshop brush set. It includes a range of different large-scale brushes that you can use to incorporate realistic bloodstains into your designs. These brushes are free for personal use, or $10 for commercial use.
65. Circular halftone brush set
If you’re painting comic art, this free halftone circular brush set could come in super handy. You can use it to add quick comic-style shading to your designs. This high-res brush collection can be used for commercial and personal projects. You’ll need to subscribe for free to access these Photoshop brushes.
66. Sketchy cartography brushes
Create a Hobbit-style map with these sketchy cartography Photoshop brushes from DeviantArt user StarRaven. The pack includes all sorts, including mountains, buildings, trees, grasses and a range of symbols. As well as a brush file, the download includes a transparent PNG file containing all the images.
67. Bokeh Photoshop brushes
- Designer: Redheadstock
- Usage: free when giving credit. Licences are available if it’s not possible to give credit
- Download Bokeh from DeviantArt (opens in new tab)
This pack includes various bokeh designs (and if you’re wondering what bokeh is, it’s that glittery like shape you sometimes get when areas of a photo are out of focus, like lights in a background). A bokeh effect can help draw the eye to the subject of a photograph. This set includes several brushes for painting your own bokeh and some already made in scattered groups. It includes both blurred and non-blurred circles and polygons.
How do you install Photoshop brushes
You can download the Photoshop brushes in our guide above as .abr files. Once you’ve downloaded them, you’ll need to open Photoshop and go to “Settings” menu icon in the top-right. To add your new Photoshop brushes, simply click “Import Brushes”, and then in the “Load” file selection window, choose the .abr brush file that you downloaded. Click the “Load” button to install the Photoshop brushes.