Create Beautiful Procreate Texture Brushes: Ink on Paper to Digital Brush | Liz Kohler Brown | Skillshare

Create Beautiful Procreate Texture Brushes: Ink on Paper to Digital Brush

Liz Kohler Brown, artist | designer | teacher | author

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7 Lessons (28m)
    • 1. Create Beautiful Procreate Texture Brushes: Ink on Paper to Digital Brush

    • 2. Materials and Messes

    • 3. Photography Tips

    • 4. Brush Shape and Settings

    • 5. Test Your Textures

    • 6. Adjusting Your Shapes

    • 7. Naming and Tweaking Your Brushes

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About This Class


In this class, you'll learn how to create Procreate texture brushes using some paper, ink, and found objects that you probably already have at home!


I’ve gotten so many requests from artists and designers around the world who want to see how I create my texture brushes, so I wanted to show you this super quick process that you can do in under 30 minutes.

First I’ll show you how I create my textures from start to finish, and talk about some found objects and techniques that you can use to create dynamic textures that give your work realistic scuffs, scrapes, speckles, splatters, and scratches.


Then we’ll talk about some easy ways to turn your paper textures into digital images, and look at how to turn the texture into a brush shape.

Next we’ll create a brush and test it out on some finished artwork to turn a flat image into a gritty composition with tons of variation.


We’ll look at a few ways to adjust your brush shapes and brush dynamics so you can achieve the exact brush you want to make.

All you need to take this class is your iPad and a stylus.  I’ll be using the apple pencil, but you could use any stylus, or even your finger.  We’ll also be using some ink and found objects to create our textures. If you don’t have any ink lying around, you can just break open a gel pen to get the ink out.

So let’s get started!

You can get the class brush download here.


1. Create Beautiful Procreate Texture Brushes: Ink on Paper to Digital Brush: Hi, everyone. I'm Liz Kohler Brown. I'm an artist, designer and teacher. Today I want to show you how to create procreate texture brushes using some paper ink and found objects that you probably already have at home. I've gotten so many requests from artists and designers around the world who want to see how I create my texture brushes. I wanted to show you this super-quick process that you can do in under 30 minutes. First, I'll show you how I create my textures from start to finish, and talk about some found objects and techniques that you can use to create dynamic textures to give your work realistic scuffs, scrapes, speckles, bladders and scratches. Then we'll talk about some easy ways to turn your paper textures into digital images and look at how to turn the texture into a brush shape. Next, we will create a brush and test it out on some finished artwork to turn a flat image into a gritty composition with tons of variation. We'll look at a few ways to adjust your brush shapes and brush dynamics, so you can achieve the exact brush that you want to make. All you need to take this class is your iPad and a stylus. I'll be using the Apple pencil, but you could use any stylus or even your finger. Will be using some ink and found objects to create our textures. If you don't have any ink flying around though, you can just break open a gel pen and get the ink from the inside. Let's get started. 2. Materials and Messes: So the first thing I'll do is grab all of my materials. The first thing we'll need is some black ink. If you don't have some painters ink or calligraphy ink at home, you can easily just open up a gel pen or an ink pen, and get all of the ink out of that. You can see I just took apart a pen and then I put a toothpick up inside to pull out some of the ink. You can see I am wearing gloves because this is a really messy process, and you may even want to put some paper down on your desk. Next, I just grabbed some materials to rub on the paper. So this can be plastic packages, toothpicks, little pieces of plastic from pens. You can see I used all of the parts of the pens I took apart, and some balled up trash and receipt paper. I had several toothpicks nearby, those are really helpful, and also a little tiny close pen that I found. So I'm just going to rub that close pen around on the paper. I'm trying to do fast marks, a lot of quick movement because you can really see that in the strokes. I'm going really fast here. I'm not trying to make every page perfect, I'm trying to show that quickness, that immediacy, in every single page. You can see I'm also staying away from the edge of the page. I'm doing everything in the center on purpose, because we don't want these brushes to touch the edge of the Canvas. This is going to make your photo or scanning process a lot easier if you just stick to the center. Sometimes I use a single tool and sometimes I use multiple tools. So there's no real rule for this process, just play around. Try a big pile of scraps and trash that you have laying beside you, and just see how many different things you can do with the combination of those elements. You can do some pages that are just single strokes, and then other pages that combine a lot of different strokes and objects. You can use your hands. You can roll something like this toothpick across the page. You can find a lot of different objects that have different textures to them naturally, and just see how you can pull that out on the page. You can see here, I really just wanted to clean my gloves, but it ended up making a really nice mark on the page, so I just stuck with it. Then I pulled in another item, this piece of plastic, and just added a second layer of texture. Here I just rubbed this little plastic lid across the page. Then I just grabbed this coupon that I found and vaulted up, and rubbed it across the page to see what kind of textures I could get with that rough balled up paper look. Then I took the pieces of my pen that I took apart and dipped it in ink and rubbed it across the page. I tried to make a lot of different scratch marks that all worked with each other, and looked really spontaneous. I also added in some splatters and tried a few different marks on the same page. You can see I try to do a lot of things quickly, am really scraping the page and trying to get some quick movement to show all over the surface. If you do things really slowly and carefully, that's going to show in your brush. If you want some spontaneity and some interesting variation, try to just move quickly and let the movement of your hand show in the brush. Sometimes I'll just use objects as a stamp. So whatever you have, just smush it on the page with some ink and see what kind of stamps textures you can get. So let's go ahead and start making our brushes. 3. Photography Tips: The first thing we need to do is take some pictures of each of the textures. So if you have a home scanners, scanning is really the ideal method. I don't have a scanner at home and I wanted to do this really quick and easy, so I just went to a really sunny window, and you don't want to be in direct sunlight, but instead indirect sunlight near a sunny window. Then I just use my iPhone to take some close up pictures. So you can see these are somewhat dark picture, so we're going to pull this into Procreate and brighten them up a little bit. So as you're taking these photos, one thing you want to avoid is hotspots and dark spots. So I want to show you the difference between two different images. One is good and one is bad. So this image is great. It's even all the way across the image. There is some slight darkening over here, but it's not extreme. There's no huge white spots that are standing out, so that's perfect. Now, let's take a look at this image, so you can really see it if I zoom out a little bit, this whole corner is dark. That's because of the way I was positioned in front of the window. So you want to have your face to the window. You don't want to have your side to the window or your back to the window. so I had my side to the window here and that created that little dark spot. So go to a super bright window, put your face in front of the window, but the piece right in front of it, in the shade, not indirect sunlight, and that will let you get a much more even image like this one. So here is my set of photos without any of the shadows in the corners. 4. Brush Shape and Settings: The first thing I'll do is click the plus symbol. Click "Create Custom Size", choose inches as the size, and then select 10 by 10 inches and click "Create". Then I'll click the tool symbol, click "Add", "Insert a photo", and then find one of the textures that I want to use. Next you can decide if you want this to fit the whole canvas, or if you want it to just be a tiny little piece in the center. I'm going to go ahead and pinch outward to make it fit the whole canvas, and then I'll click the "Move Tool" to set that. Next, you can see that the paper has a gray tone because I photographed it with my iPhone and it wasn't in direct sunlight. It's just a little bit dark. I'm going to click the "Adjustments" panel, click "Curves", and then we'll play around with these two sliders until we get an effect we want. You will see at some point switches to black and white rather than white to black. What I'm trying to do is find a happy medium between this gray paper and this pure white in the background and then just some flax as my texture. I want to go with something really light and subtle like this, so I'm going to stick with that. Click the "Move Tool" to set that. Now that I have this image, I can turn it into a brush. I'll click the tool symbol, "Share", "JPEG", "Save image", and then I'll go to my brush settings. This is the brush set that you'll be able to download from the class downloads page. Once you've downloaded that brush, you'll see that it shows up at the top. I'm just going to swipe left on this brush and click "Duplicate". All of your new brushes, you can do that for, so you might just want to go ahead and do that a few times. So you have a bunch of options here to work with. I'll click on one of those duplicates and click on "Shape Source" rather than "Grain Source". I'll click "Insert photo" and select that image that I just saved. Now we have a texture brush created, so you can test it by choosing a color and playing around with it on the Canvas. Something you may want to do is play around with the grain. The grain decides how much of this texture is put down onto the Canvas. If you click "Swap from Pro Library", you can scroll through here and choose different options. For example, if I chose this "Fine Spray", it would let down less of my texture and it's doing it in a light, airy look. Take some time to play around with those. There's really no set rule for this it's just what kind of brush do you want to create and which grain will achieve that for you. Now that we've created the brush, let's go ahead and use it on a finished image. 5. Test Your Textures: I created this image using the process from a few of my classes. All of these little illustrations were made using the process in my class on Folk Art Illustrations. I just added some hand lettering and a little bit of texture in the background. I did that with one of the brushes from my art nouveau class. So I recommend you just choose something that you've already created that looks a little flat and see what happens when you apply some of your own texture brushes to the piece. So one thing I like to do is use my texture brushes as an eraser. So I'll go to my texture brush with the eraser tool selected. There's the new brush that I just created. I'm going to make sure I'm on the layer that contains my text. So this white layer with my text. I'll just, either with your finger, the Apple pencil, go through and just do some swipes to see what little marks do. So you can see I'm getting some really nice texture already with just a little bit of movement. We can also bump up or down the size. If your strokes are too large, you may want to bump that down. I felt like mine where a little small, they weren't quite visible. So I just bumped him up a little bit. Next, I'm going to do the same process on a layer that contains my illustration elements. You can really see how my texture looks on this glue bottle because it has this big solid area. So that's a great way to test your brushes, to use it on a really big solid area to erase, to see what textures you can reveal and show the color behind those pieces. One other thing I might do with this brush is dirty up the background a little bit. The background is just so clean right now. What I'm going to do is click and hold to get the color of one of those dots. I'm just going to go slightly lighter on that spectrum. With my texture brush as my paintbrush, I'm going to go to a layer just above my background layer and just dirty this up. I think I'm going to go even lighter so it's really visible. So that's giving some really nice marks that almost look like vintage scarves. So I'm going to keep going with this texture in the background. So you can see how adding just a little bit of texture made a big difference on this piece. We went from a super flat image that didn't have a lot of grid or movement or chunkiness to it, and we added all these interesting little flakes and scrapes. It just blends the layers together. When you have flat items, they just sit right on top of each other. Whereas when we do this array saying and adding multiple layers of texture, it's like we're combining all the layers together and showing that they are one unified unit. So the next thing I'm going to do is continue the same process with creating brushes and trying them out on this composition. So I'm just going to repeat the same process that we did in the first brush bringing in each and every image that I created and turning it into a brush. 6. Adjusting Your Shapes: The first thing I did was create a new document and this is ten by ten inches, just like the last one. The reason I am making it at that size is because I want to have the flexibility to use this brush at ten by ten inches. If you make your brushes a three by three inches, for example, you can never use it at a size larger than three by three inches. So I go with ten by ten. And you always need these a square image. That is one thing to always remember. I want to use a different type of image this time. Last time we used an image where all of the texture was right in the center. We wanted to use it all the entire black scuff mark. With this image. I only want to use this part over here on the right. The rest of this just does not really fit with what I want do. So use zoom and make sure I get that part that I like in the picture. Click the Move tool to set it. And then I will do my curves process, adjustments, curves until I get that texture looking exactly how I want it to work. What you will notice is the top bar here bumps up the white and the bottom bar, bumps of the dark. You can kind of play around with how extreme you want your texture to be. Now that that looks good, I need to get rid of all that stuff over there, but I do not want to do it with just like a hard brush because then it is going to cut off my texture in a weird way. So what I will do is go to procreate and go to the charcoal set. Because the charcoal kind of looks like that. So whatever texture you have, you want to look for something that has that same look. So I am just going to start with the 6B compressed. And I am doing this with the eraser tool rather than the brush tool. I am just gonna start slowly erasing and making sure that nothing touches the edges. So that is one thing to keep in mind as you are making these brushes. If you have a texture that touches the edge, it is going to have this really weird cutoff work, so you want to just make sure all of your textures in the center of this white square and nothing is fading out onto the edge of your canvas. I am going to click the Move tool and just move that into the middle. And just play around with cleaning up those edges a little bit. I am happy with that shape. I can do the same saving process that we did last time. Then I will go to my texture brush set, go to the next brush that I want to create. Shapes source, insert a photo, and insert that shape.Let us get a different color to see what that is going to look like. That gives a really nice kind of scuffed look. This might be a brush that I tap rather than run across the page. You could see when I ran it across the page it almost created a sort of a pattern. So this would be a good brush to just tap rather than swash across the page. So I will continue the same process with all of my images. 7. Naming and Tweaking Your Brushes: Next I want to name my brushes because it is going to make it a lot easier to use these if you give each one a name as you're working on a piece, or if you want to sell these or give them away as free downloads, you really need to give them some name, texture 1, texture 2 isn't very helpful. What I like to do is make all of my brushes and have them in a nice little set. Then go through and test each one and see what that looks like to me. I'm going to go through each brush I created and using a contrasting color, so I've got a dark blue as my background and a light green as my texture brush. I'm just going to go through and use each of these and then try to name it. That looks like the back of an old library book, it has that scuff of just being worn by other books, so I might call that Old Book Scuff. This almost has a chipped paint look. It looks like the texture you'd see on the side of a railroad car, so I'm going to call that Railroad Car Chipped Paint. This is for me one of the most fun parts of the process, it's just playing with your brushes and seeing what they turn into. You never know when you take this piece of trash and rub it across the page what it's going to look like in the end, and this is the part where you really get to see what it looks like and give it a name so that other people see what it means to you and what it could mean for their artwork. I feel like this just looks like some scuffing that would happen on a painted surface may be like a breakfast table that's been painted on a 100 different times, so I'm going to call this Old Table Paint Scrape. This almost has a look of what a floor would look like if you just shuffled your shoes across it, so I'm going to call this, let's just call it Shoe Shuffle, that's cute. This piece almost looks like an old school desk. You would see a lot of the strange marks on maybe art tables or school desk, so I'm going to call this Scarred Up School Desk. This one looks like the space where your cat has just gone crazy scratching its nails on the wall, so I'm going to call this Cat Scratched Wall. This almost looks like an old desk that has had things pushed across it for all of its life, so I'm just going to call this Old Desk. The next thing I would do is just refine these brushes. I would play with each one in a real composition and see if anything needs to be changed, maybe I can change the grain, maybe I can change the source image a little bit, so I would take a lot of time to do that. I'm going to share my brushes in my next class, so you'll be seeing these brushes later and hopefully I'll be seeing your brushes as well. I hope you enjoyed this class and that you're inspired to start creating your own texture brush set. If you'd liked this class, you may like some of my other classes where I cover a lot more ways to design paint on your iPad, like how to create folk art style illustrations, how to use metallic and procreate, and how to set up your society6 shop and create markups of your digital art. Check those out of my profile if you want to see more. Also share a lot of free downloads on my site, so if you want to get more downloads like the ones you got for this class, check out my website. I would absolutely love to see your texture brushes, so please share what you make. You can do that here on Skillshare or you could tag me on Instagram or Facebook. You could share the images of the brushes themselves, you could share a finished project where you use your brushes, or you could post your link if you make your brushes for sale or maybe you made some beautiful for sale images to go on Creative Market, or maybe even if you made something for society6 with your texture brushes and put it up for sale. Whenever you make with these brushes, I would really love to see it, so please share it with me and the rest of the world. You could also join the Facebook group I created for iPad artists, illustrators, letterers, and digital planners. It's a place to get opinions and advice on iPad, drawing, painting, and digital planning, and get inspired by digital creations from around the world. If you love creating things on your iPad and want to join other people around the world in conversations, sharing ideas and seeing each other's work, check out the group through the link on my website. If you have any questions about the process you learned in this class, please feel free to reach out to me. You can reply to my discussion here on Skillshare, or you can contact me through my website. Thank you so much for watching, and I hope I see you again next time. Bye bye.