The 60 best free Photoshop brushes

Photoshop brushes are a fantastic time-saver as they enable you to quickly create rich artwork without having to draw all the individual design elements. 

So where to start? There's a huge spectrum of brushes available, ranging from leaf designs to fabric textures, and cloud patterns to typography. 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.

So whether you're using an older version of Photoshop or have joined Creative Cloud, grab the free Photoshop brush downloads below and start adding amazing design flourishes to your work.

Painterly brushes

01. Furry watercolour brush

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.

Limitations: None

02. Real markers

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, Eilert sells a set of 300 marker brushes for just $9. 

 Limitations: none 

03. Pencil brush

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 Jon Neimeister.

Limitations: none

04. Watercolour shapes and splatters

If you're going for a watercolour feel in your work then these shapes and splatters will help you get the look just right; just don't overdo them.

Limitations: free for personal use; contact for commercial use

05. Dry brushes

Free Photoshop brushes dry brushes

Artist Kirk Wallace created these brushes at home using ink and paper, and offers them to all for free. Perfect for rough, harsh textures, Wallace uses them in his own fruit prints. 

Limitations: none

06. Dripping paint brushes

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. 

Limitations: Free for commercial use

07. Watercolour splatters

These watercolour splatters were created with the help of professional-quality watercolour paint on cold press watercolour paper. There are 32 hi-res bushes in the pack, and you can download the lot for free and use them without attribution in your work.

Limitations: None

08. Artist brushes

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

09. Dry brush strokes

Free Photoshop brushes dry brush

A set of 12 excellent brushes from Chris Spooner. These high-resolution dry brushes are fantastically detailed, bristly and texture-rich.

Limitations: none

10. Technical brushes

free Photoshop brushes technical

A beautiful set of 10 illustrative brushes in a technical-drawing theme, including wonderfully detailed cross-sectional designs.

Limitations: none

11. Paint lines

free Photoshop brushes paint lines

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, providing lots of options within the pack.

Limitations: none

12. Realistic charcoal brush

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.

Limitations: none

Natural brushes

13. Snow

Add a chill to your designs with a flurry of snow. This pack of free Photoshop brushes contains 15 effects, which you can mix up to create realistic variation in your scene.

14. Lightning strikes

Electrify your work with this collection of stunning lightning strikes. Tileable and available not only as Photoshop brushes but also as patterns and JPEG images, there are 18 to choose from in this set.

Limitations: none

15. Nature silhouettes

There are 19 free nature Photoshop brushes in this pack

This is a really useful set of 19 different silhouettes, each featuring a different plant, ranging from trees to grasses.

Limitations: none

16. Hair brush set

Create realistic hair effects with this set of free Photoshop brushes. Mix them together for extra variety and to create different effects. This set comes courtesy of digital artist Lee Alex Pearce.

Limitations: none

17. Blood stains

Add a splash of gore to your digital paintings with this free Photoshop brush set. It includes a range of different large-scale brushes you can use to incorporate realistic blood stains into your designs.

Limitations: Requires a social interaction (tweet, Facebook Like) to download. Cannot be redistributed.

18. Dust particle brushes

free Photoshop brushes dust particle

This free dust particle Photoshop brush set is stunning

A really useful set of dust particle brushes from WeGraphics. These can be used to add instant dirt and richness to your designs, and are ideal for creating a vintage effect.

Limitations: Cannot be redistributed

19. 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 up the colours, they also make great fur. 

Limitations: Do not redistribute.

21. Hair brushes set 1

Great for providing touch-ups on model photography, this set of free brushes includes detailed textured hair in a variety of falling styles. As well as straight styles, there are brushes for creating wavy hair and tight ringlets.

Limitations: Credit required.

22. Tree borders brushes

free Photoshop brushes trees

These brushes are perfect for trees

A nice set of brushes that allow you to introduce tree and bush silhouettes to the edges of your composition.

Limitations: non-commercial use only

23. GreenPack random brushes

free Photoshop brushes green pack

These free Photoshop brushes were inspired by the Whole Foods Market

Four green-themed brushes that are mainly worth the download for the excellent tree illustration that's included!

Limitations: none

24. Water brushes vol. 2

free Photoshop brushes water

These brushes are fantastic for all sorts of design projects, from brochures to Twitter backgrounds

12 large brushes that include splashes, ripples and water drops. An excellent set for backgrounds as well as foreground design elements.

Limitations: none

25. Five simple fabric brushes

free Photoshop brushes fabric

Add some natural surfacing to your work

Straightforward fabric textures, great for backgrounds in both print and web designs as they're high resolution.

Limitations: none

26. Floral swirls

free Photoshop brushes floral swirls

These swirls are compatible with Photoshop 7 and up

Useful set of floral swirl brushes ideal for building up rich borders and textures in both print and web designs.

Limitations: none

27. Fabric Textures

free Photoshop brushes fabric

These brushes were created from a collection of fabrics

A useful selection of nine different fabrics that show off the weave and pattern of the material with a scratchy realism.

28. Hi-res clouds

free Photoshop brushes clouds

Add cosmic and nebulae elements to your designs with this brush set

This is a really useful set of 17 brushes, each of which features a different cloud design that can easily be used to add interest to your images

Limitations: none

29. Cloud brushes

Free Photoshop brushes cloud brushes

There are 24 different cloud Photoshop brushes in this free pack

Here are 24 cloud brushes, at quite impressive sizes, all from artist by Mila Vasileva. "Mushroom cloud included."

Limitations: none

30. Moon brushes

free Photoshop brushes moon

There are 10 moon brushes in this set

This excellent set provides 10 different phases of the moon in brush format!

Limitations: none

31. Leaf brushes

free Photoshop brushes leaf

These leaf brushes are stunning

Great for creating organic textured background, this set features seven isolated leaf images with intricate details and textures.

Limitations: none

32. Fractal brushes

free Photoshop brushes fractal

12 fractal brushes, all in different shapes

An excellent selection of fractal-based brushes that look futuristic – great for web design.

Limitations: none

33. Feathers and birds

free Photoshop brushes feather

These feather brushes are fantastic

A total of 12 individual brushes, each of which includes a stand-alone piece of artwork ranging from detailed feather illustrations, to whimsical birds-on-a-branch.

Limitations: attribution under some circumstances

Next page: Grunge, sci-fi and fantasy brushes