If you’re a beginner artist or if you’re new to digital art, you might find the sheer number of brushes available for use overwhelming.
Aside from the default brushes you can find available in Procreate upon download, you’ll also see many artists creating their own brushes. Freya made her own oil brushes and just recently released her new Better Marker brush set!
Just like other art materials, digital brushes also have different purposes depending on their style. As you go through your digital art journey, you may find yourself leaning towards specific brushes for specific works, and that’s okay. After all, it’s your work, so feel free to use whatever feels right for you.
But for now, in this article, let’s look at how Freya uses them, what her favorite brushes are, and how we can use them in our own works.
You have guessed it right, as its name suggests, the sketching brushes are used mainly for sketching or quick drafts. This brush set contains different styles of pencils, pastels, crayons, and chalk.
These brushes can also be used for coloring, just like colored pencils, or for adding details. If you like some texture and imperfections in your work, you will love these brushes.
Freya typically uses the Soft Pastel brush for her sketches, then finalizes the outline using Peppermint since it has a cleaner look compared to Soft Pastel.
I like sketching my ideas or my drafts using the 6B Pencil because it mimics actual pencil behavior perfectly. Freya also uses this brush often.
The inking brushes are smoother compared to the sketching brushes. These are usually used for creating lines and line art because of this. The brushes are good for people who like working with pens and markers.
This set of brushes is good for drawing your outlines and then filling them with color afterward. If you notice, these brushes usually have a tapered end. So if that’s something you’re looking to add to your work, you can use these brushes.
Freya mostly uses the Technical Pen from this set.
The brushes under this set can be used to add light and shadows to your work. You can also use this for adding details and texture to your work.
This set includes a combination of wet and dry mediums that’s great for quick studies. Eagle Hawk is Freya’s most used in this set.
Procreate’s calligraphy brushes are good for writing text. They are pressure-sensitive, except for Monoline, and streamlined to allow artists to write clean and smooth calligraphy.
This set of brushes also comes in different textures so you have great options to choose from. Aside from writing, you can also use these brushes for outlines. They would also look good for line work, although you might find some resistance depending on the brush’s streamline amount.
This set is great when recreating traditional painting styles.
Procreate’s painting brushes are patterned from actual paint, like Acrylic, Oil, and Watercolor. They also included different brushes that mimic different brush behaviors such as the Flat Brush, Jagged Brush, Old Brush, and Dry Brush.
These brushes are also pressure-sensitive and can range from solid to more transparent colors, depending on how you hold your Apple Pencil.
Freya suggests having one painting brush that you like, and two more handy ones. She mostly uses the Tamar Brush and the Hard Brush in her Procreate Masterclass.
This brush set is used to quickly add texture to your work. This is especially helpful if you have a large area to cover and you don’t want to paint each stroke one by one.
You can use these brushes to add personality to your work. Use the Painting brushes to add color to your work, then use these Texture brushes to make it more interesting. Use it to add shadows, highlights, or some other details as you see fit.
There are many more brush sets included when you download Procreate, but let’s focus on these ones for now.
Try using them for yourself to see which ones you like using the most. As we mentioned earlier, although there’s a general rule and reason as to why these specific brushes are used, your work would still depend on your preferences.
This is not a clear-cut guide on how to use your brushes, but I hope this helps you overcome the overwhelm and gives you a head start.
Experiment with the brushes and get a feel of what you like, then try exploring third-party brushes, be free or paid. And maybe in the future, you can also collect and form a set of your favorite brushes.
In the next part of this series, we’ll talk about Freya’s brushes, her favorites, and how she uses them.