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The 66 best free Photoshop brushes

Best free Photoshop brushes
(Image credit: Martina Palazzese)

Brilliant free Photoshop brushes are all over the internet, providing you with a useful tool to elevate your digital art. But there are so many around that finding the right brush for your needs can be a confusing and arduous task, especially if you're just starting out. To make things easier for you, we've found the best free Photoshop brushes available today and posted them here. 

Of course, Photoshop does come with a decent set of brushes pre-installed, but that is only a small taster of what's actually out there so it's an excellent idea to explore third-party Photoshop brushes to expand your toolset.

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You may be searching for Photoshop brushes that evoke the feel of traditional media, such as pencil or watercolours. Maybe you're trying to replicate the texture of specific elements like grass or weather effects, or perhaps you want to push the boundaries by using brushes like experimental grunge. Whatever your needs, you're sure to find a brush on this list to suit you. But do make sure you check the licence terms of any brush you're using so you aren't using anything illegally.

Need some help getting started with Photoshop? Then check out our list of top Photoshop tutorials. Meanwhile, if you're not sure you want to pay to download Photoshop, see our list of the best Photoshop alternatives. Or for something different, try these Illustrator brushes.

Free Photoshop brushes for painting

01. Digital oil painting brushes

  • Designer: Martina Palazzese
  • Usage: Free for personal use
  • Download here

These beautiful brushes will enable you to create high-res oil paintings on Photoshop. With a range of gorgeous textures, you'll be treated to an authentic experience and a stunning result. Free for personal use only.

02. Animation and illustration brushes

Free photoshop brushes: Matt's painting setpainting

(Image credit: Mateusz Urbanowicz)
  • Designer: Mateusz Urbanowicz
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use but please link to original download
  • Download here

This brilliant set of free Photoshop brushes was created by Mateusz Urbanowicz based on those he uses for animation background and illustration painting in Photoshop. They emulate the way traditional animation backgrounds are painted, layering opaque poster colour paints with not-so-sharp brush strokes, and work best on bigger canvas size files such as Full HD files. The set is free for personal and commercial use, but Mateusz asks that you link your artwork back to the original download if possible.

03. Concept art brushes 

Free photoshop brushes: Free brush pack

This set includes a helpful commentary (Image credit: Jeremy Fenske)
  • Designer: Jeremy Fenske
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use
  • Download here

Jeremy Fenske is a concept and visual development artist working in Los Angeles. And recently he's generously shared his latest set of Photoshop brushes, for free. Not only that, he's included a 35 minute video explaining how he uses them, and some helpful tips about doing so yourself. 

04. Painting textures

Photoshop brushes

Get a range of textures with this freebie (Image credit: Obsidian Dawn)
  • Designer: Obsidian Dawn
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use but see terms
  • Download here

These Photoshop brushes are actually textures, meaning you can create some interesting effects that are...well... textured. They're great for backgrounds and for experimentation in general. Check the terms for all uses as you need to credit the artist. But if you cannot provide credit, then a commercial license is only $3. 

05. Abstract painting

Photoshop brushes: Abstract brushes

Have fun with this messy brush set (Image credit: Darrian Lynx)
  • Designer: Darrian Lynx
  • Usage: Free for non-commercial use
  • Download here

There are a range of options to explore in this abstract paintbrush set. It is totally free for non-commercial use and perfect for creating a bright, messy, modern paint effect. 

06. Wavenwater Photoshop brushes

Photoshop brushes: Wavenwater

This set features lots of options 
  • Designer: Michael Guimont
  • Usage: Free for personal use (contact artist for commercial licence)
  • Download here

This comprehensive set of Wavenwater Photoshop brushes comes from freelance concept artist and illustrator Michael Guimont. We haven't counted exactly how many brushes are included in this set, but there are lots of options to add serious flair to your artwork. 

07. Sakimichan Photoshop brushes

Photoshop brushes: Sakimichan

These brushes work best at 70-100 percent opacity
  • Designer: Sakimichan
  • Usage: Free for commercial and personal use
  • Download here

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 percent opacity with the pressure option on, and says that the brushes are already set up for this. 

08. Digital painting Photoshop brushes

Photoshop brushes: paint

Griffin is a pro illustrator and concept artist offering up the brushes he uses, for free
  • Designer: Aaron Griffin
  • Usage: Free for commercial and personal use
  • Download here

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

09. Thick acrylic paint strokes

Photoshop brushes: Thick acrylic paint strokes

Quickly add authentic paint strokes to your work
  • Designer: Creative Nerds
  • Usage: Free for commercial and personal use
  • Download here

The second instalment of a popular set of free Photoshop brushes from Creative Nerds, Thick Acrylic Paint Strokes volume 2 lets you 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.

10. Dry brush strokes for Photoshop

Photoshop brushes: Dry brush strokes

These brushes are amazingly detailed
  • Designer: Chris Spooner
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use
  • Download here

Dry Brush Strokes is a set of 12 excellent free Photoshop brushes from Chris Spooner. These high-resolution dry brushes are fantastically detailed, bristly and texture-rich. Featuring wispy lines and detailed edges, they're perfect for roughing up your artwork or distressing your edges.

11. Flower brushes

Free Photoshop brushes: Flowerbrush

(Image credit: Milka)
  • Designer: Milka
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use 
  • Download here

The artist Milka, aka Oxana Kuznetsova, is behind this beautiful botanical collection. It consists of 15 high quality Photoshop brushes, inspired by roses, lilacs, dandelions and other flowers. Perfect for stationery, packaging, printouts or other floral designs.

12. Dry brushes

Photoshop brushes: dry brushes

The dry brushes are dynamic
  • Artist: Kirk Wallace
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use
  • Download here

Artist Kirk Wallace created these Dry Brush Photoshop brushes at home using ink and paper, and offers them to you for free. Perfect for creating rough, harsh textures, they're also dynamic – you can click and drag to span larger areas without getting an ugly repeat effect, or you can paint with them.

13. Spray paint

Photoshop brushes: spray paint

These brushes can add a distressed, street art look to your designs
  • Designer: Creative Nerds
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use
  • Download here

Creative Nerds is offering this spray paint effect Photoshop brush set completely free (you just need to subscribe – also free). The pack includes four high-res brushes (2500px each). Use them to add a distressed effect to your paintings.

14. Speedpainting set

Photoshop brushes: speedpainting

Give the illusion of speedpainting with these free brushes
  • Artist: Darek Zabrocki
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use
  • Download here

Concept artist Darek Zabrocki created this speed painting set of brushes. The artist has worked for some of the biggest projects and companies in the fantasy art world, including Assassin's Creed, Magic: The Gathering and Halo Wars 2. He's offering the set of Photoshop brushes he uses for his speed paintings for free download.

Watercolour Photoshop brushes

15. Watercolour brushes #2

photoshop brushes: watercolour

Mimic watercolours with this set (Image credit: Snezhana Switzer)
  • Designer: Snezhana Switzer
  • Usage: Free for personal use 
  • Download here

This extensive pack of watercolour Photoshop brushes is by Snezhana Switzer. It contains 40 Photoshop brushes, which are all perfect for mimicking watercolours in your digital paintings.  

16. Furry watercolour Photoshop brush

Photoshop brushes: Furry watercolour brush

Soften things up with this choice of brush
  • Designer: Heygrey
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use
  • Download here

If you're looking to create a soft, hazy aesthetic in your work, try this free furry watercolour 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.

17. Watercolour Photoshop brush: spray

Photoshop brushes: Watercolour paint spray

The creator says this brush was a pleasure to create
  • Designer: Creative Nerds
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use
  • Download here

This Photoshop brush 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 owndigital paintings with ease.

18. Watercolour splatter

Photoshop brushes: Watercolour splatters

There are 32 high-res brushes in the pack
  • Designer: pstutorialsws
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use
  • Download here

These watercolour splatters were created with the help of professional-quality watercolour paint on cold press watercolour paper. There are 32 high-res Photoshop bushes in the pack, and you can download the lot for free.

Pen, ink, charcoal and pencil Photoshop brushes 

19. Illustration brush set

  • Designer: Matt Heath
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use
  • Download here

This set of free Photoshop brushes was created by designer Matt Heath using an 8B Staedtler pencil and custom settings, giving a natural feel and wide variety of textures. These are available from Heath's Gumroad page – simply enter $0 to get them for free. Donations are of course appreciated, and if you want more you can get a huge set of art brushes right here.

20. Ink brushes

Photoshop brushes: Free Ink

Featuring big slabs, thin strokes, ink splotches and everything in between 
  • Designer: Brittney Murphy 
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use
  • Download here

Designer Brittney Murphy's set contains a whopping 192 ink Photoshop brushes. You'll find big slabs, thin strokes, ink splotches and everything in between here. Murphy has generously offers these brushes for free, with no attribution necessary, as long as they're not redistributed.

21. Pencil Photoshop brush

Photoshop brushes: Pencil brush

This brush is one of the most realistic out there
  • Designer: Andantonius
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use
  • Download here

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 Andantonius, aka Jon Neimeister.

22. Realistic charcoal Photoshop brush

Photoshop brushes: Realistic charcoal

Avoid the mess but keep the effect with this digital charcoal
  • Designer: WojtekFus
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use
  • Download here

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 charcoal brushes.

23. Real markers

  • Designer: Eilert Janßen
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use
  • Download here

Perfect for fashion illustrations, industrial design and storyboarding, this set of 12 free real marker 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, you can buy more of Janßen's brushes on his website.

Next page: Natural brushes