Correct anatomy, color, and lighting are very important, but you might notice that some very simple drawings made with pencil or watercolors get tons of likes on social media, whereas digital, hyper-realistic artworks may struggle to get the deserved attention.
Did one of your sketches get more attention than the finished artwork too? The reason might be that many people love this artsy, messy look where you can see brush strokes, splattered paint, paper’s texture. And I also think that these things make the painting even more beautiful.
Some artists try to imitate traditional media in their digital paintings, and they are able to do this so well, that it’s hard to distinguish which of their artworks were made digitally or traditionally. They are able to achieve this thanks to proper brushes and textures.
Grutbrushes are the brushes that I personally use with Photoshop (my drawing on the left). I usually start painting with standard brushes, and in the end, I use Watercolor brushes by Grutbrushes and their paper textures to imitate the traditional painting techniques.
Most of the brushes were specifically designed to work with Photoshop, but there are also versions for Procreate, and many of the Photoshop brushes are in the process of being converted/re-created to work with Procreate.
There are even free Procreate brushes available to download (they are placed at the end of the brushes page) – including the ones that imitate watercolor painting.
All the brushes are calibrated for the iPad to be used with the Apple Pencil and to respond to pressure and sometimes tilt where appropriate. They should work with any stylus but they are created with the Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro.
See other artists’ illustrations created with these brushes: #grutbrushes
This set includes over 100 brushes, including new “water brushes”, blending strokes and washes. Additionally, you also receive a PDF brush guide and 5 painting tutorials – also the painting tutorial of the fox featured in the image!
Trailhead Design Co. also created a set of watercolor brushes for Affinity.
This set of Digital Watercolor brushes is created by Tina-Marie, known under the nickname “Sketchwerx“. You can find Procreate tutorials and videos of the painting process, where she demonstrated her brushes on a Youtube channel Tina-Marie -SketchWerx. Here’s video where you can see OMG watercolor brushes:
The set contains 11 brushes, 2 blenders, 7 washes and 3 Paper texture Stamps.
Most of the brushes in this set are pressure sensitive. You can achieve more realistic watercolor effect if you to keep the Apple Pencil in contact with the screen until you have finished painting your shape. And by adding pressure to your stylus when painting, you can change the flow of the paint in order to create lighter and darker areas within your stroke.
4. BIG WET SET: 174 all-new brushes for Procreate!
BIG WET SET is set of 174 wet media brushes created by Matthew Baldwin, an experienced digital artist who (as other artist mentioned here) gives us an opportunity to improve our illustration, by sharing with us his own brushes. You can check his other brush sets on Gumroad.
5. Procreate Watercolor Lettering Brush Kit by LynnhavenDesigns
Details: works on Procreate APP – iPad Pro, iPad Pro 2, or newer iPad models with Apple Pencil technology
A watercolor brush set designed by Brigitte Lynn specifically for lettering.
The brushes are formatted for use within the Procreate App on the iPad Pro or newer models, using the Apple Pencil’s pressure technology.
With brushes, you also receive a 8-page PDF step-by-step tutorial on how to use the brush set. Also, there are included paper texture backgrounds and mockups for displaying your artworks.
Details: works on iPad iOS11 and Procreate 4 Size: >100MB
The Watercolor AdvancedSet is designed by Karin Newport (software developer lettering artist and graphic designer) to imitate Watercolor Calligraphy. Its effects are equivalent to the Modern Calligraphy brush, and it personally attracted my attention by how many different brushes are in this set.
Brushes are divided into 9 types:
Watercolor Calligraphy; Watercolor Round; Watercolor Shine; Wet Paint,Wet Blend; Watercolor Edge, Gradient Edge, Gradient Edge Smooth; Splashes and Drops; watercolor background washes; Fine and Splatter Dots.
You will also get 1 Procreate template with an intricate watercolor texture and optional grid lines to get you started
To see artworks created with these brushes (and other brushes made by Karin) check out their Instagram: Ipadlettering
8. Florals Painting Starter brushes by Karin Newport [FREE]
Karin Newport provides us also with some freebies, like these watercolor Florals Painting Starter brushes!
In this pack, you will find 6 pre-made floral brushes, 2 painting brushes and a watercolor canvas to use for your watercolour composition.
This is an introduction to a bigger set – Watercolor Florals Painting Set, so if you like these free brushes, you should definitely check out the full set!
This set contains 26 watercolor brushes and paper textures. Also, you will receive ready-to-use procreate templates & effects layers, which allow you to create realistic watercolor paintings on your iPad.
What brought my attention is that this set offers Color Duo Brushes. You can set two colors that will change/mix together during the painting, according to the pressure.
*It’s not the only set that has such brushes, but these ones look very realistic:
If you are curious about this brush set, and would like to see them in action, here are some youtube video tutorials: Design MarsalaDigital
Details: Software: Procreate 5 or higher
File Size: 291.44 MB
WatercolorProcreate Kit is a brush set created by an artist Calvin Scott Drews. His goal was the quality, not the quantity, and he decided to focus more on creating really high quality brushes, that will allow you to create anything you want.
I spent weeks developing each brush so you can use them just like you would if you were painting with the real thing. Watercolor is my passion and I created this addon so the results look authentic and the process is intuitive.
There’s also included a paper texture – the texture has two options, so you can paint with a full-screen watercolor background or with just a plain white background.
If I had to point out the one thing in this set that stands out the most among other brush sets, is the huge number of video tutorials dedicated to these watercolor brushes ( at the time I’m writing this, there are 85 tutorials!)
If you want to see how the brushes “behave” and what watercolor effects can you imitate, then you definitely need to check out this playlist: Procreate Watercolor Kit Video Tutorials
Ps. You can find in the video tutorial descriptions some freebies! (free brushes and templates)
Watercolor Procreate Brushes were created by an artist Maja Faber, and were carefully selected from handmade watercolor textures. The textures that the brushes are made of are high-quality seamless patterns, which means that you can easily adjust the sizes of the brush while maintaining the quality of the textures.
Here’s a list of brushes that are included in this set:
9 watercolor brushes
1 blender brush
3 watercolor liners
1 splatter brush
Additionally, in this pack you will also find 1 digital paper texture and 1 Procreate color palette
Here’s a small set of some watercolor brushes. There aren’t many pieces of information provided, just that those brushes were created/uploaded by a Procreate user named Rowwenic.
So, all we can do now is to download the brushes and try them themselves 🙂
15. Free Watercolor brush pack NEW by BasicX [FREE]
This is a “demo” set of Watercolor brush pack created by BasicX (see the full set with 43 brushes). It contains many brushes that will help you to achieve the watercolor effect you desire.
The team has created also other different brush sets for Procreate, you can see all available sets on their Instagram: BacisX_brushes
Here’s a brush set that someone recommended me, created by Uproot Brushes. I actually feel embarrassed that I didn’t find them earlier on my own. The brushes look amazing, there are 92 various brushes in the pack. And honestly, If someone showed me the sample images of these brushes, and photos of “real” watercolor paint strokes, I wouldn’t be able to recognize which strokes are digital.
The brushes can be divided into groups: for Lettering, Effect, Dry, Smudgers, Drops and Splatters, Wet + others, and watercolor paper textures. Please visit the brushes page for a very detailed description of each brush group.
Realistic Watercolor brushes by PicbyKate is a set of 60+ brushes with 4 ready-to-use “paper” canvases to create even more realistic-looking watercolor illustrations. These brushes are made from real watercolor textures.
The set can be divided into several brush types: basic watercolor brushes, wash brushes, texture brushes, blender brushes, and details/splatters.
Kate created the brushes for her own purposes and perfected them to complete a set ready to use by other artists.
You can follow Kate on her Instagram account, or reach out to her if you have any questions: @PicbyKate
19. Watercolor Brushes by Andreaga (for Procreate, Photoshop and Fresco)
Software compatibility: Procreate + there are also 7 brushes for Photoshop and Fresco.
I had the pleasure of checking out Andrea’s gumroad and noticed this brush set. Now, I will be brutally honest at first my thought was that the promo illustrations look more like watercolors + colour pencils or crayons, there was something with the texture that couldn’t fool me that’s a watercolor painting (my main criteria for brushes in this list). UNTIL I saw this one artwork (ok, 2 artworks):
Do you see the hair of the character on the right? This is what made me include this pack in this list 🙂
And of course, the painting of the sweater on the left is also a great example, that’s why I decided that including these 2 paintings would be the best way to show you the true capabilities of this brush pack.
So, what we will find in this pack?
– there are 20 Brushes (soft, texture, mix, transparent, fine, solid, and more). But only 13 are dedicated to Procreate, the rest are brush versions for Photoshop and Fresco users.
– and 1 Video mini tutorial (no voice)
I recommend you to check out also Andrea’s Instagram to see her amazing artworks, she has an interesting art style that works really well with brushes that imitate watercolors or other traditional media. Here’s her Instagram: @andreagaart
Often asked questions
How to download Procreate brushes
If you want to download brushes, you need to open this page on your iPad. Download the file, and tap on the downloaded .brush or .brushset file – and choose ‘open in’ or ‘copy to’ and then choose Procreate.
Can you convert Photoshop brushes to procreate?
Yes, you can import Photoshop brushes to Procreate 5, however, some brushes may not work, or you will have to customize their options so they would have the same effect as in photoshop.
If you want to try importing photoshop brushes to Procrate, here’s a great tutorial by Ghost Paper on how to do this:
Do you know a watercolor brush set that isn’t listed here, but is worth recommending?
If yes, then please let me know in the comments 🙂 Also, feel free to share your opinion, I’m curious which set looks the most interesting to you. I hope this article helped you to find what you need!
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