50 Must-Have Photoshop Brushes

Advertisement

by Daved Brosche

Having a good collection of Photoshop brushes is essential for any designer. There is certainly no shortage of Photoshop brushes on the Web these days. The problem with Photoshop brushes isn’t in finding brushes, but in finding quality brushes. Below you’ll find a collection of quality brushes that every designer should find handy.

These 50 Photoshop brush sets are ones I find myself using over and over in a variety of projects. This collection is the result of years’ worth of downloads, trials and experiments. I hope this list helps you find some new Photoshop brushes that improve your collection.

Paint Splatters

Paint splatters are an essential set of Photoshop brushes to have. Lord knows there are plenty of them out there, but they are not all created equal. I have a good number of splatter brushes in my arsenal, but these are the ones I find myself calling upon the most for a variety of effects.

Splashes of Paint

Sample

Splatters

Sample

Splatter

Sample

Photoshop Brushes Set 1

Sample

Photoshop Brushes Set 2

Sample

Photoshop Brushes Set 3

Sample

Lucidity Brushes

Sample

Gradiant Splats

Sample

Go Media Brushes

Sample

Massive Splatter Pack

Sample

Brush Strokes

These types of Photoshop brushes are great to have on hand because they can achieve a variety of effects. They can do anything from helping you finish off an edge to grunging of a photo, and endless amount of other tasks. Brush stroke brushes are a commodity in Photoshop. These are some of my favorites.

Simple Smudges

Sample

20 Painted Brushes

Sample

Watercolor Brushes I

Sample

Watercolor Brushes II

Sample

Messy Spraypaint

Sample

Grungy Watercolor Brushes

Sample

Hi-Res Water Color Brushes 2

Sample

Hi-Res Watercolor Brushes

Sample

Fingertips

Sample

Blood

Sample

Textures

While actual texture photos come in handy for adding textures to your work, sometimes a Photoshop brush comes in more handy. For those times, you may want to look into some of the texture brushes I have picked out below. They are great for adding a touch of texture to your latest grunge design.

Concrete Series Vol 3

Sample

Fabric Textures Hi-Res

Sample

Texture Brushes Set 2

Sample

Paint Peel Pack

Sample

Wood Photoshop Brushes

Sample

52 Texture Brushes

Sample

Grunge Brushes

Sample

Hi-Res Dirt Brush Set

Sample

Grunge Brushes Moved

Sample

50 Texture Brushes

Sample

Borders and Edges

While not as multi-purpose as the stroke brushes, these edges and border are nonetheless valuable. I probably have more border and edge brushes in my collection than any other type of Photoshop brush. A good border or edge brush pack can make all the difference in your design. Many of these brushes come in super-large sizes to give you quality results.

Chalk Edges

Sample

Paper Edges

Sample

Torn Edges

Sample

Torn Edges 2

Sample

Sachet Edges

Sample

Torn Paper Brushes

Sample

Dirty Grunge Brush Set 1

Sample

Grunge Corners Brush Pack

Sample

Grunge Grit Borders

Sample

More Borders

Sample

Hand-Drawn Elements

Ok, so these are only really essential if you are trying to create that hand-drawn effect in your design. That said, these are some essential Photoshop brushes that will help you create a design with a hand-drawn look. Most, if not all, of these Photoshop brushes were made from real drawings. You can’t get much more “hand-drawn” than that.

Hand-Drawn Ornaments

Sample

Handwriting Brushes

Sample

Flower Brushes Drawn

Sample

Hand-Drawn Floral Pattern

Sample

Handmade Doodles

Sample

Big Swirly Ornaments

Sample

Old Markers

Sample

Sketchy Circles

Sample

Crayon Stars

Sample

Handmade Doodles

Sample

Smashing Magazine’s Photoshop Brushes

Splatter and Watercolour Brushes For Photoshop

Sample

67 Health and Beauty Brushes

Sample

Grunge Photoshop Brushes Set

Sample

(al)

↑ Back to top

  1. 1

    good stuuf!

    0
  2. 2

    sweet stuff!

    0
  3. 3

    good! thankyou

    0
  4. 4

    All these brushes are certainly useful and convenient, but I’m a bit skeptical about the doodle brushes. They’re nice for sure, but isn’t it far better to draw and scan your own? It doesn’t take that long.

    0
  5. 5

    Great ones! thank you.

    0
  6. 6

    I was waiting patiently for a post like this on Smashing Mag. Great!

    0
  7. 7

    Great collection. And thanks for including one of my brush packs in the list!

    0
  8. 8

    Franz Jeitz |fudgegraphics

    November 10, 2008 3:33 pm

    wow this is a great list. some are new to me. thanks for including 3 my brush sets! you’re smashing!

    1
  9. 9

    Oh, another “best of…” article. It is sad that SM turned into this fast-&-not-necessarily-creative blog :-/

    -2
  10. 10

    Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    November 10, 2008 3:44 pm

    @leszek: you see, we have a really large audience. We try to do our best to offer something useful and/or interesting for as many readers as possible. And we are pretty sure that such posts are quite useful for designers and graphic artists. Are we wrong?

    0
  11. 11

    Great selection of brushes — thanks much! Don’t listen to the haters — posts like this are definitely helpful.

    Thanks!

    Eric
    http://www.thecosmonaut.com

    0
  12. 12

    Awesome post! Some really, really cool brushes here. I like how yall broke it down into categories for easy browsin. Congrats to all featured! Great post!

    0
  13. 13

    Great post and as a designer it’s definitely useful. For those of us in fashion design some must have brushes to add; standard denim, a distressed finish for over logo & screen tees, a translucent ribbed effect!

    0
  14. 14

    @Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz
    You’re far from wrong. I just started new study, Digital communication. And things like this always help me out big time.
    Just stepped into the whole internet thing, but already hooked to Smashing Magazine!

    0
  15. 15

    @Vitaly Friedman & Sven Lennartz

    i totally agree with your comment. Smashing still a reference for graphic designer.

    0
  16. 16

    @ leszek – it amuses me when I see comments from people like you. You obviously see yourself as so far above everyone else in terms of your creativity. As my mum used to say, if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

    If it’s so sad for you, then why don’t you leave this site, and go somewhere you are amongst other people with such high opinions of themselves.

    I’ve been running my own successful design agency for the last 7 years, and this site continues to be a fantastic resource for beginners and professionals alike.

    Vitaly and Sven, keep up the good work!

    0
  17. 17

    good brushes! yahoo!

    0
  18. 18

    hi
    im also beginner here. for leszek “get out of here” I’d says. if u so creative why dont u make for ur own..huh

    ps: nice collection.

    0
  19. 19

    Nice collection of brushes there. One type missing is “Clouds”.
    I have quite a collection of brushes that I use.

    Might be good to note there is a program for windows called “ABR Viewer” Lets you look at the brushes outside of Photoshop and can export them to plain images.

    0
  20. 20

    @ Vitaly and Sven,
    What makes Smashing Magazine unique is the depth and usefulness of lists. Tons of blogs post lists, but very few put as much practicality and usefulness into the lists. Smashing’s list posts certainly stand out to me as they always go way beyond everyone else. As someone who’s written a few similar posts for Smashing I know that I always feel I have a lot to live up to with these posts because of the standard that has been set.

    0
  21. 21

    Nice Collection…

    0
  22. 22

    LOVE this! Thanks!

    0
  23. 23

    Wow, this is fantastic. Stuff like this really helps me as I start to get in to web design. I just wish a zip of all of this were provided.

    0
  24. 24

    AWESOME! i spent most of the day making grunge borders for a site im workin on and here you guys go making life easier once more.. many many thanks!

    0
  25. 25

    Any tech brushes?

    0
  26. 26

    Perfect collection. Great post! Thank you SM

    0
  27. 27

    Now this is some thing useful
    I gotta bookmark this page
    thanx a lot man, I really appreciate this …

    0
  28. 28

    Nice collection as always but are those brushes free for commercial projects???

    1
  29. 29
  30. 30

    down with the haters. just go somewhere else!

    0
  31. 31

    wow. amazing stuff. thanks SM

    0
  32. 32

    I love the handdrawn examples!
    The rest I feel like I’ve seen too many times allready. :)

    0
  33. 33

    Excellent timing – just as I need something special for a new header… :)

    0
  34. 34

    for me, one of the best brushes resource:
    link

    keep up the good work SM!

    Hugo

    0
  35. 35

    its another great list but not really a “must-have”. thanks for this great article again. sm is my nr1 source!

    0
  36. 36

    YELEEEEE:D

    0
  37. 37

    I love it! SM is a really great resource. It’s really great that there are people out there that still share their creativity with others. Thanks again!

    0
  38. 38

    old … and not so “must have” material ….

    0
  39. 39

    You’ve got to take care of your extremely long page loads. This page (50 PS brushes) took 1 minute to load, and you don’t need to know about my bandwidth. It’s the same as everyone else: 7mbps cable broadband. Network conditions are fine this morning. I checked the Safari activity window, and the culprit is your images. They are all hovering around 150-300KB. I don’t think it would be that difficult to crunch them down a little more in PS’s save-for-web feature. These things should be no more than 75KB each…

    0
  40. 40

    Fan-bloody-tastic!

    0
  41. 41

    holy macaroni! now that is what i’m talking about! Thanks a bunch SM! :D

    0
  42. 42

    more grunge? no thanks.

    0
  43. 43

    Great post. As for the long page load… what did you expect when you saw a post for “50 Photoshop Brushes”; a quick list of links? And the crying about the hand-drawn brushes… the same could be said about many of the other styles as well.

    I’ll go find my tiny violin brush set for both you…

    0
  44. 44

    @ Vitaly and Sven,

    Making these lists of brushes is great way to look at the past post without constantly searching or digging up posts in the past. The lists are great!

    0
  45. 45

    This one of the “must have it” material for all of the Adobe Photoshop users. For few years I use special brushes with great capabilities of simulating artist brushes like the watercolor stroke, oil stroke, chalk, dry brush and so on and I know the value of this type of tools.

    So as a official illustrator for the two publisher I highly recomend this topic and all tools diplayed here.

    http://www.letletlet-warplanes.com
    http://www.sreckobradic.com

    0
  46. 46

    Another stunning – and helpful! – compilation. Thanks so much!

    0
  47. 47

    @ Mark – If you judge me after one short comment “you obviously see yourself as so far above everyone else in terms of” psychology ;-*
    I don’t check only this site for inspiration & creativity, but SM was so different from others when I came here. And I really liked this difference. Now in my opinion there are too many “best of” articles (which are indeed useful, but not so useful for me if I have this on X other sites).
    I prefer not-best-ofs at SM so I voiced my opinion – sorry if I said it in wrong way.

    0
  48. 48

    It would be great to see info, which/if presented stuff is compatible e.g. with Paint Shop Pro, or other painters. Not everyone is using PS. ;)

    0
  49. 49

    Thanks for another great collection of “Must Haves!”

    Please DO continue to provide this type of resource — it provides great inspiration and saves so much time whenever Smashing publishes a great collection like this! You guys are providing a great service, and I always look forward to visiting Smashing Mag at the start or the end of my day. Thank you, Vitaly & Sven!

    0
  50. 50

    Tom Ross - PSDFAN

    November 11, 2008 7:10 pm

    Great list. I’m just getting into using brushes more and some of these will definitely come in useful.

    0
  51. 51

    Thks, I like it :’). I will use it for next design. Thk a lot.

    0
  52. 52
  53. 53

    I didn’t like this listing.. Some kind of repetitive work

    0
  54. 54

    Awesome. I love these. Thank you! :)

    0
  55. 55

    AWESOME LIST! Thanks Smashing Mag – totally rockin!

    0
  56. 56

    gracias desde España

    0
  57. 57

    Nice Collection of The Web2.0 , i mean its all about we need.
    Thanks

    0
  58. 58

    Awesome list! Delicioused

    0
  59. 59

    This is great! Thanks

    0
  60. 60

    @ leszek – I’ve been a reader of SM since the beginning. And, like you, not all of the articles are of direct use or interest to me personally, but a large enough selection of them ARE. If something doesn’t tickle my fancy, I just don’t give it a second look. There’s no need to whinge about it. All I was saying was that your comment came across like you were some uber-designer worthy of far superior content than that which most of the other readers here get great inspiration, ideas and learning from.

    0
  61. 61

    Great list, I’m such a brush-a-holic, thanks for giving me my fix.

    0
  62. 62

    I just downloaded almost all of them. Forget the guy who thinks all “top whatever” lists are the same and easy to crank out. He’s obviously never made one before. When the web is filled with massive amounts of junk(brushes included) its simply amazing that people like you are generous enough to sift through it all for us. I for one appreciate that. Keep it up.

    0
  63. 63

    not hatin’, but – many of these brushes have been around the interwebs for years and many are at such a low resolution that they’re essentially useless. I am seeing more and more designers putting out 2500 pixel brushes lately, though. Which is a good thing :)

    thx for the resource – [m]

    0
  64. 64

    Cool… Thx so much for all ur post, they r all very useful to me… Keep up the good work :) Smashing mag Go Go Go!

    0
  65. 65

    *bookmarking this page* :)

    0
  66. 66

    E’ proprio quello che stavo cercando questa mattina…. IWD è sempre un mito!

    0
  67. 67

    this is really good collection. it’ nice collecttion. pick up

    0
  68. 68

    Nice collection.

    0
  69. 69

    very good ThayOU

    0
  70. 70

    Gah! So awesome! I’m going to be sorting and organizing these forever, haha.

    Thanks you, for being you ;)

    0
  71. 71

    Good!thank you.

    0
  72. 72

    Why are these comments showing up in my RSS feed? (Google Reader).

    I’ve never seen it before. It it Smashing or is it Google?

    0
  73. 73

    Hey are your comments Feed and post feed are interchanged since all your comments are coming on your post feeds!!!

    0
  74. 74

    ooops…!!! feed problem!
    smashing article feed accidentally has been replaced by your comment feed

    0
  75. 75
  76. 76

    so nice !

    0
  77. 77

    hi

    thanks … great collection!!

    0
  78. 78

    Nice And awesome collection…..help me in my thinkings..

    i really appreciate the work,,, thnx to the team

    0
  79. 79

    Thank you for your generous spirits; together we accomplish so much more!

    0
  80. 80

    omg ¡¡¡¡¡!!!

    0
  81. 81

    hi!

    these brushes are awesome!!! thanks =D

    0
  82. 82

    Pretty much you are saying, “hey, if you don’t know how to be a real designer, here’s how you can fake it.” How about encouraging people to create their own design tools? Instead you just help everyone become lazy followers who mimic popular trends.

    0
  83. 83

    Superb Collection…

    0
  84. 84

    very good !thank you

    0
  85. 85

    henbang

    0
  86. 86

    Thx for resources..

    0
  87. 87

    Are these brushes compatible with CS4 ?

    0
  88. 88

    Cool stuff, we have most of them already

    0
  89. 89

    naum conseguientender quero em potuguês mais detalhado

    0
  90. 90

    Seems to work beautifully

    0
  91. 91

    很好

    0
  92. 92

    omg it’s amazing!

    Thank you very much!

    0
  93. 93

    Navdeep (www.zanetine.com)

    June 5, 2009 3:40 am

    WOW!

    0
  94. 94

    Navdeep (http://www.zanetine.com)

    June 5, 2009 3:41 am

    Really i like it..will use it

    0
  95. 95

    Jaspal Singh aka jsxtech

    June 14, 2009 6:08 pm

    Thanks for sharing awesome brushes.

    0
  96. 96

    Excuse me…Can I download the brushes…?

    0
  97. 97

    Rock on! Thanks!

    0
  98. 98

    nice collection. cant wait to use them.

    0
  99. 99

    Im doing my early stages of my portfolio…. this is much usefull

    0
  100. 100

    He takes these brushes on the Internet and then want to sell.

    Fuck off !!!

    0
  101. 101

    ebod Djoko kentil

    May 5, 2010 3:01 pm

    if I want to download how to do

    1
  102. 102

    Thank you it is really nice

    1
  103. 103

    someone asked this question already, but it wasn’t answered. Are these brushes free for commercial work? Please let us know!

    0
  104. 104

    Aah, I just went and looked at one of the sets and saw where it says ;free without any restrictions’, so i’m going to assume that means free for commercial work as well but if you could clarify, that would be greatly appreciated!

    0
  105. 105

    Great links! I downloaded pretty much all of the splatter and grunge brushes :)….I think I have too many now lol

    0
  106. 106

    Valew valew, Brigado aew Manolo õ/
    Site bom pacarai :D’
    FUI ‘-’

    0
  107. 107

    Totally essential tools! Thanks for sharing.

    0
  108. 108

    Thnk you! like your collection

    0
  109. 109

    thank you

    0
  110. 110

    Thanks for this! I am a bit of a brush magpie! :)

    0
  111. 111

    Thank you, I have recently been looking for info about this subject for ages and yours is the greatest I’ve discovered so far. But, what about the bottom line’ Are you sure about the source’

    0
  112. 112

    Don’t forget to check out my free brushes :) http://brushchick.com/

    0
  113. 113

    Some links are missed. What a pity : (
    But still thank you very very much ! It’ll be very useful. I just wanna sure it’s all allowed for commercial using ?

    0
  114. 114

    Very useful collection, i use grunge brushes all the time!
    I also create my own high-res brushes and can be downloaded for personal use her http://www.polarpx.com/category/photoshop-brush/

    0

↑ Back to top