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. 

(The other important time-saver is having access to the best possible creative hardware and software. That's why we're busy curating the best Black November bargains – see if you can pick up a hot Black Friday deal on design kit once you've found the perfect Photoshop brush.) 

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 CS3 or have joined Creative Cloud, grab the free Photoshop brush downloads below and start adding amazing design flourishes to your work.

Painterly brushes

01. 25 watercolour brushes 

This set of 25 watercolour brushes is a great way to create natural-looking work in Photoshop; use them to better effect by combining them with a realistic paper texture.

Limitations: none

02. Real markers

These amazingly realistic marker brushes are completely free

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. Ultimate Paint

Make a mess with these hi-res paint splatters

Jonas Stoltz created this set of 30 Photoshop brushes in the best possible way: by simply splashing paint onto white boards and scanning the results in high resolution. The results are lovely and splattery – perfect for adding a bit of imperfection (or a full-on Jackson Pollock vibe) to your work.

Limitations: none

04. Watercolour shapes and splatters

Get that watercolour look with these free brushes

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

These dry brushes are great for rough, harsh textures

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. Photoshop brush set

Free Photoshop brushes Matt Heath

For textured brush strokes, look no further

This cool set of Photoshop brushes was created by designer Matt Heath, who used an 8B Staedtler pencil and custom settings to give a natural feel and wide variety of textures.

Limitations: none

07. Splashes of paint

Free Photoshop brushes paint splashes

These splashes of paint have been vectored and modified in high-resolution

A collection of 30 big brushes, this set features spray paint patterns suitable for generating dirty backgrounds and textures. For use with Photoshop CS2 and above.

Limitations: none

08. Doodle brushes

Free Photoshop brushes doodle

There are 30 different doodle brushes in this free Photoshop set

This free brush pack features a collection of 30 random scribbles, suitable for projects such as greeting cards, web page headers and more.

Limitations: none

09. Dry brush strokes

Free Photoshop brushes dry brush

This free pack of Photoshop brushes features 12 bristly dry brush strokes

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

These brushes were made from old technical drawings

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

Details are no problem with this very high-res brush set

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

 Natural brushes 

12. Realistic charcoal brush

All the great looks of charcoal, without the mess

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

13. Plant brushes

These are ideal if you need a load of plants in a hurry

If you need to quickly add some greenery to a project, this set of 23 high resolution plant brushes will let you do just that with the minimum of effort.

Limitations: none

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

free Photoshop brushes nature

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. Coffee stain brushes

free Photoshop brushes coffee stain

These coffee stain brushes have an abstract feel to them

These excellent brushes are intended to mimic coffee or tea drips, but would pass equally well for daubs of ink. These stain marks add a nice degree of life-wear to your images, instantly ageing them.

Limitations: none

17. Vintage wooden brush

free Photoshop brushes vintage wooden textures

Create stunning vintage wooden textures with this brush set

This simple brush offered by Creative Nerds brings a wonderful, rich flaking wood texture to your brush arsenal.

Limitations: 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 that add instant dirt and richness.

Limitations: cannot be redistributed

19. Grass and plant brushes

free Photoshop brushes plants

Create realistic nature imagery with this free Photoshop brush set

10 different brushes each featuring different grass and plant designs and ranging in size from 500px to 2500px.

Limitations: attribution under some circumstances

20. Ornamental butterflies 2

free Photoshop brushes butterflies

There's a total of 35 brushes in this stylish set

A beautiful set of butterflies and other plant-based ornamentation that can add a sophisticated touch to corners and borders.

Limitations: none

21. Hair brushes set 1

free Photoshop brushes hair

These brushes don't work in PS7 or lower

Great for providing touch-ups on model photography, this set of free brushes includes detailed textured hair in a variety of falling styles.

Limitations: attribution necessary under some cirumstances

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