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67 brilliant free Photoshop brushes

Photoshop brushes - The photoshop logo on a painted background.
(Image credit: Brusheezy/Adobe)

Free Photoshop Brushes are a brilliant way to enhance your Photoshop experience without breaking the bank. They are super useful for creatives as they allow you to create digital art quickly and efficiently. There are lots of brushes pre-installed on the Photoshop software, but if can't find exactly what you are looking for, there are thousands of free third-party Photoshop brushes available online that will expand your tool kit. 

In fact, it might even be a little overwhelming when it comes to finding your next brush because there are so many options out there – but that's where we come in. We've gathered up the best free Photoshop brushes available, and divided them into different categories to help you navigate your way around this guide. 

On our list of free brushes, you should be able to find something totally suited to you and your project. We have collected every sort of brush from watercolours, to pencils, to spray paints, as well as element texture brushes for flowers, water and grass. While all these brushes are free, make sure you check the licensing for each brush, as not all of them are available for both commercial and personal use. 

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If you aren't sure where to start when it comes to Photoshop, then make sure you have a look at our guide on how to download photoshop. Once you've downloaded the software, then check out our roundup of the best Photoshop tutorials and Photoshop Shortcuts to help you get to grips with the basics. If you are not sure if Photoshop is right for you, then see our list of the best Photoshop alternatives. If you get to the end of this list and decide that you haven't found the right brush for you, then head over to our list of Illustrator brushes where you might find what you're looking for. 

Free Photoshop brushes for painting

01. Canvas brushes collection

free Photoshop brushes: canvas

There are eight useful canvas effect brushes in this collection (Image credit: Radical Madder)

This collection of 8 brushes might be small, but their authentic pencil, pastel and charcoal textures genuinely look like they were applied to a canvas. With this set you have the option to use a number of different realistic canvas effects, from streaky to triangle, that will make your work look as though you have drawn directly onto textured paper. 

02. Digital oil painting brushes

free photoshop brushes: oil brushes

Martina Palazzese's digital oil painting brushes are free for personal use (Image credit: Martina Palazzese)

Looking to create high-resolution oil paintings? Then these stunning brushes are the ones for you. This set designed by Martina Palazzese will give you the ability to create beautiful textures that look like realistic oil paintings. Make sure that when create with these brushes you are only using them for personal use. 

03. Animation and illustration brushes

Photoshop brushes: Matt's painting setpainting

Animation background and illustration painting in Photoshop (Image credit: Mateusz Urbanowicz)

This brilliant set of free Photoshop brushes was created by Mateusz Urbanowicz based on the ones he uses for animation background and illustration painting. They emulate the way traditional animation backgrounds are painted, layering opaque poster colour paints with not-so-sharp brush strokes. They work best on larger 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.

04. Concept art brushes 

Photoshop brushes: Free brush pack

This set includes a helpful commentary (Image credit: Jeremy Fenske)

Jeremy Fenske is a concept and visual development artist working in Los Angeles. As well as sharing this set of Photoshop brushes for free, he's also included a 35-minute video explaining how he uses them. Check it out for some helpful tips.

05. Painting textures

Photoshop brushes: Painting textures

Get a range of textures with this freebie (Image credit: Obsidian Dawn)

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'll need to credit the artist. But if you can't provide credit, a commercial licence is just $3. 

06. Abstract painting

Photoshop brushes: Abstract brushes

Have fun with this messy brush set (Image credit: Darrian Lynx)

This abstract paintbrush set offers a good range of options to explore. Many of them are perfect for creating a bright, messy, modern paint effect. This brush set is free for non-commercial use only.

07. Wavenwater Photoshop brushes

Photoshop brushes: Wavenwater

This set features lots of options 

freelance concept artist and illustrator Michael Guimont put together this comprehensive set of Wavenwater Photoshop brushes based on his own personal collection of brushes and tool presets. We haven't counted exactly how many brushes are included in this set, but we can say there are certainly lots of options here that can add serious flair to your artwork. 

08. Sakimichan Photoshop brushes

Photoshop brushes: Sakimichan

These brushes work best at 70-100 percent opacity

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. 

09. Digital painting Photoshop brushes

Photoshop brushes: paint

Griffin is a pro illustrator and concept artist offering the brushes he uses himself

Aaron Griffin is a self-taught illustrator and concept artist who's especially known for his figure paintings (his work has 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. 

10. Thick acrylic paint strokes

Photoshop brushes: Thick acrylic paint strokes

Quickly add authentic paint strokes to your work

The second instalment of a series of popular free Photoshop brushes from Creative Nerds, Thick Acrylic Paint Strokes Volume 2 allows you to 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.

11. Dry brush strokes for Photoshop

Photoshop brushes: Dry brush strokes

These brushes are amazingly detailed

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

12. Flower brushes

Photoshop brushes: Flowerbrush

Floral-inspired brushes for packaging and other designs (Image credit: Milka)

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. It's perfect for stationery, packaging, printouts or other floral designs.

13. Dry brushes

Photoshop brushes: dry brushes

The dry brushes are dynamic

Artist Kirk Wallace created these Dry Brush Photoshop brushes at home using ink and paper. 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.

14. Spray paint

Photoshop brushes: spray paint

These brushes can add a distressed, street art look to your designs

Creative Nerds is offering this spray paint effect Photoshop brush set to subscribers (it's free to subscribe). The pack includes four high-res brushes (2500px each) that you can use to add a distressed effect to your paintings.

15. Speedpainting set

Photoshop brushes: speedpainting

Give the illusion of speedpainting with these free brushes

Concept artist Darek Zabrocki has worked on some major projects 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 as a free download.

16. Deharme traditional painting set – sample

free Photoshop brushes

(Image credit: Deharme)

This is only a sample of Lecouffe Deharme's full set of traditional painting brushes for Photoshop, but it provides a range of options, including oil, paint, charcoal and smudge brushes. If you like the sample, the full set of textured dynamic brushes is available on the designer's website for $6.

Watercolour Photoshop brushes

17. Watercolour brushes #2

Photoshop brushes: watercolour

Mimic watercolours with this set (Image credit: Snezhana Switzer)

This extensive pack of watercolour Photoshop brushes comes from Snezhana Switzer. It contains 40 Photoshop brushes, which all serve to mimick watercolours in digital paintings. 

18. Furry watercolour Photoshop brush

Photoshop brushes: Furry watercolour brush

Soften things up with this choice of brush

If you want to create a soft, hazy aesthetic, try this free furry watercolour Photoshop brush from Heygrey. It's 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 achieved here.

19. Watercolour Photoshop brush: spray

Photoshop brushes: Watercolour paint spray

A handy brush for creating a watercolour spray effect

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 own digital paintings with ease. Its creator says this brush was a pleasure to create.

20. Watercolour splatter

Photoshop brushes: Watercolour splatters

There are 32 high-res brushes in this pack

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 

21. Illustration brush set

This set of free Photoshop brushes was created by designer Matt Heath using an 8B Staedtler pencil and custom settings, creating 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 appreciated, of course, and if you like these, you can get a huge set of art brushes from Heath here.

22. Ink brushes

Photoshop brushes: Free Ink

Big slabs, thin strokes, ink splotches and everything in between 

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

23. Pencil Photoshop brush

Photoshop brushes: Pencil brush

This brush is one of the most realistic out there

Create the effect of a soft pencil sketch without getting your hands and paper dirty with smudged lead. This pencil-effect Photoshop brush is one of the most realistic we've seen, and you can download it for free from DeviantArt, courtesy of professional digital artist Andantonius, aka Jon Neimeister.

24. Realistic charcoal Photoshop brush

Photoshop brushes: Realistic charcoal

Get the effect without the mess with this digital charcoal

Charcoal's an essential part of any artist's toolkit, but it's undoubtedly the messiest as well. With this excellent charcoal brush set, you can get those soft charcoal lines without getting charcoal all over your hands and everything else.

25. Real markers

free photoshop brushes: real markers

Real Markers is a perfect set of brushes for fashion illustrations, industrial design and storyboarding (Image credit: Eilert Janßen)

Perfect for fashion illustrations, industrial design and storyboarding, this set of 12 free real marker brushes from Eilert Janßen enables you to create lively imagery that looks like it's been sketched with marker pens. If you like what you see, you can buy more of Janßen's brushes on his website.

Next page: Natural brushes

Rosie Hilder is the deputy editor of Creative Bloq. Before joining the CB team in 2018, she worked on a range of print titles, including Time Out Buenos Aires, Computer Arts, 3D World, Paint & Draw and Mac|Life. Her interests lie in branding and illustration, tech and sexism, and plenty more in-between.