Procreate for iPad has revolutionized the world of illustration, with beginner artists and professional illustrators alike drawing all kinds of creative projects. While the standard Procreate brush pack that comes with the app is usually enough to get started, there are also options for finding new Procreate brushes to add to your digital art kit.

Since there are so many to choose from, we’re here to give you a few suggestions on what brushes to try, when it’s time to consider making your own, and how to use different brushes to transform your artwork. 

Where to Find Procreate Brushes

Free Procreate Brushes

procreate ipad
Procreate has hundreds of brush options to choose from.

If you’re new to the software, looking for free options is the perfect way to dip your two into the waters of custom Procreate brush sets.

There are thousands of free options on the web, and you can find them anywhere from online marketplaces to the App Store. You can even find brushes to download in Skillshare classes!

Different fonts, textures, stickers, and even 3D modeling brushes that work with Procreate 5.2 are all available for you to download and use in your own artwork.

Where to Buy Procreate Brushes

While free options are great, buying a specific brush set for the project (rather than reviewing every option in a free bundle) can save time.

You can search for Procreate brushes by either the type of medium you want it to look like (like pen, gouache paint, or watercolors), or by the overall look and feel of your project (like calligraphy, florals, or geometric shapes). 

Artists all over the world frequently make Procreate brush packs that they use themselves and then upload to platforms like Etsy and Creative Market for others to buy. 

Some creative agencies or freelancers also sell their brush sets. So, if there’s someone whose work you admire, look at their site to see if they have anything available for purchase.

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Types of Procreate Brushes

Watercolor Brushes

Procreate watercolor brushes

Watercolor brushes give your artwork a loose and fluid texture. Most brush packs will come with several options, like basic watercolor brushes, wash brushes, and detail/splatter brushes. 

Pixel Brushes

pixel art
Source: instagram
A pixel brush

A Procreate pixel brush is used to create pixelated-style art. There aren’t any default brushes for this type of design, so you’ll need to find brushes online or create your own. 

Blending Brushes

pink square on ipad
A Procreate blending brush

This brush style is used to create a blurred or smudged effect, as if you’d run your finger through drying ink or paint. There’s a default smudge tool in Procreate, but a blending brush will give you more precision and control to achieve different effects.

Painting Brushes

flower drawing
Procreate painting brushes created this beautiful flower.

Just as there are different types of paint and brushes you can use on a canvas, you can find many options for Procreate painting brushes in the digital world. From watercolor to oil to gouache and more, any style of painting can be turned into a custom brush.

Hair Brushes

drawing hair
A hair brush

Drawing hair is always a challenge, and you might be wondering how you can make it look believable when you’re sketching on a digital surface. Different brush sets will provide their own interpretations, but most should give you the option for a smudged look for cartoon-style drawings and loose strands for a more realistic finish.

Line Art Brushes

procreate lines
Procreate line art brushes

Most line art uses a simple ink pen to create intricate artwork, and that’s no exception on an iPad. Procreate line art brushes are usually sets that include a single ink pen style with multiple nib thicknesses—from very fine to thick.

Inking Brushes

procreat drawing on ipad
Procreate inking brushes

Line art brushes may be for a specific type of drawing, but inking brushes in general are a great way to expand your pen-based Procreate toolkit. They’re often inspired by ink pens of all kinds, like fountain pens, markers, and fine liners. 

Texture Brushes

procreate brush texture swatches
Procreate texture brushes

Texture brush packs are incredibly varied and can look like almost any kind of surface you can think of! From dried ink on paper, chalk, or cardboard, to crayon, coloring pencils, or even bone-dry paintbrushes, explore them all yourself! 

Fur Brushes

llama drawing
Procreate fur brushes

Like hair, fur can be a tricky skill to master, but Procreate fur brushes can make this process much easier. Since most fur has a darker undertone, you’ll find that these brushes often have a dark base that builds up to a lighter tone on the top.

Lace Brushes

portrait with watercolor brushes
Procreate lace brushes

Procreate lace brushes are useful for creating different kinds of lace effects, from small and detailed patterns to bigger, more open finishes. These are generally used when you’re making clothing and homeware design images or adding borders to custom cards and prints.

Star Brushes

galaxy painitng
Procreate star brushes

Star brush sets are more like stamps than brushes. Like lace, they’re great for adding details to custom print projects like holiday cards or posters. Having a collection of go-to stars that you like to use will always be an excellent addition to your Procreate brush pack.

Lettering Brushes

fancy calligraphy
Procreate lettering brushes

Calligraphy has seen a resurgence in popularity in recent years, which makes it incredibly easy to find lettering-style brushes. They provide you with the crisp lines and smooth curves that are so distinctive in this style, without requiring knowledge of professional-level calligraphy.

Sketch Brushes

sketch of old man sailor
Procreate sketch brushes

Procreate sketch brushes are for the true traditionalists, doodlers, or anyone who likes to draw with a simple pencil. These brush packs typically have your standard, go-to pencil looks, such as rough or smooth pencil lines. Since pencil sharpness in real life will alter your artwork, these packs often give you several sharpness options too. 

Stipple Brushes

tiny dots brush
Procreate stipple brushes 

A stipple brush is used to make small dots on your drawing in a random order, with some brushes featuring dots with clean edges and some with fuzzy or blurred edges. Instead of having to make individual dots each time, a stippling brush will give you a handful in one simple movement. 

Line Brushes

Procreate line brushe

Similar to line art brushes, these brush packs are more minimalist and straightforward than some of the others that you can buy or use. They generally feature ink or pencil textures that help you to create simple lines, with different thicknesses and saturations to create unique effects.

Chain Brushes

gold chains brush
Procreate chain brushes

Much like a stipple brush, Procreate chain brushes allow you to create a repeating, chain-like pattern with one movement. Instead of needing to draw out the pieces of the chain pattern every time, you’ll easily be able to carry this through your artwork with consistency and speed.

How to Create Procreate Brushes

Want to try creating your own brush? It’ll be a bit different for each style and texture, so check out Skillshare tutorials for instructions on how to make different types of custom brushes

Otherwise, read on to learn how to make an ink pen—one of the easiest for beginners. 

Step 1: Edit an Existing Brush

scribbles with brush
Make use of the default brushes in Procreate where you can.

If you’ve never made a custom brush before, open one of the existing inking options that comes with the default pack in Procreate. Play around with the different settings until you find something that you like. From there, you can save that style as a new brush type.

Step 2: Use Real-World Tools as Inspiration

Adding your own custom brushes can give you additional textures that the defaults don’t offer.

Particularly for inking brushes, the details in the texture can make a big difference. Take a real ink pen that you want to replicate digitally and draw out a few lines on canvas or paper. Once it’s dry, scan this into your computer and crop out a section to use as the Shape Source for your Procreate brush.

Step 3: Adjust the Settings

different brushes
Adjust the settings until you’re happy with your brush

Once your design is uploaded, you can then tweak the different spacing, opacity, pressure, and tip settings until you’re happy with the final product. There you have it—you’ve just made your first inking brush in Procreate!

How to Install Procreate Brushes 

How you install your new brushes will depend on whether you’re purchasing a file or using an app add-on. Let’s take a look at how to add brush packs you’ve bought online to your Procreate library.

Step 1: Download Your Files

saving images in folders
Save your brush files somewhere that will be easy to access.

Save anything you’ve purchased or found for free to your cloud software. 

Step 2: Import the Brushes to Procreate

different brushes
Importing your new brushes is quick and simple on your iPad.

Open a new canvas and tap on the paintbrush tool in the top right menu. Hit the + sign and select Import, which will open up the iPad’s file interface. Navigate to the folder where you’ve stored your downloads, and click on the brush you’d like to install. This will take you back to the Procreate app where everything will be loaded for you.

Alternative Step 2: Create a New Set First

different brushes
Sets make organizing your brushes much easier, especially when you want to reuse them!

If you’re planning to install a number of different brushes that fall under one set, you can easily add these as a new set of their own.

Drag the file that you have your brush files saved in to the dock using the Edit Home Screen function. Open Procreate, then swipe up from the bottom to reveal the dock. Tap and hold the folder and drag to the right side of your screen. This will allow you to have both Procreate and the file open simultaneously.

Click on the New Set option under the Brushes tab. Name the set and drag your brush files over from the right side, and they’ll appear in this newly created set.

How to Use Procreate Brushes 

Using Procreate brushes is straightforward, whether you’re working with the default packs or your own custom or purchased brushes. 

Step 1: Find Your Brush

different brushes
Both default and imported brushes will be saved under the Brushes tab in Procreate.

All of your brushes, both the defaults and imported, live under the paintbrush icon in the top right menu in Procreate. Here is where you’ll find all of the sets that you’ve created, and you can easily scroll through everything to find the brush type that you’re looking for.

Step 2: Start Drawing

Once you choose your brush style, you’re ready to create!

With a blank canvas in front of you, grab your Apple Pencil and begin sketching. If you need to erase something, use the eraser tool to remove whatever you need to. There’s also an eraser sizer that appears on the left side once you’ve selected this tool.

Get Creative With Procreate Brushes 

There are so many creative ways that you can use Procreate brushes. Download free options or build your own custom brush designs, and you’ll be well on your way to creating digital artwork that’s uniquely yours.

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Written By

Holly Landis

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