Step-by-Step Guide: How to Make Procreate Brushes Easily and Effectively
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


1. Understanding Procreate Brushes

2. Creating Procreate Brushes from Scratch

3. Modifying Existing Brushes

4. Organizing and Managing Your Brushes

5. Tips and Tricks for Making Procreate Brushes

Are you ready to level up your digital art game? Look no further! This step-by-step guide will teach you how to make Procreate brushes easily and effectively. Not only will you learn the basics of Procreate brushes, but you'll also discover how to create, modify, and manage your own custom brushes. So, grab your iPad, open Procreate, and let's dive in!

1. Understanding Procreate Brushes

Before we jump into creating our own brushes, it's important to understand the basics of Procreate brushes, their types, settings, and properties. This foundation will help you create more effective brushes and enhance your overall digital art experience.

Different Types of Brushes

Procreate offers a variety of brush types to suit your artistic needs. Some common types include:

  • Painting brushes: Great for creating smooth, fluid strokes, like you would with traditional paints.
  • Pencils and charcoal: Perfect for sketching and shading, providing a range of textures and values.
  • Calligraphy and inking: Ideal for creating clean, crisp lines and beautiful lettering.
  • Special effects: These brushes add unique elements to your artwork, like sparkles, fur, or even rain.

Understanding the different types of brushes will help you choose the right one for your artwork and give you a starting point when creating custom brushes.

Brush Settings and Properties

Each brush in Procreate comes with a unique set of settings and properties. These settings determine how the brush behaves when you use it on the canvas. Some key properties include:

  • Opacity: Controls the transparency of the brush.
  • Size: Determines the thickness or width of the brush stroke.
  • Spacing: Adjusts the distance between individual brush marks.
  • Flow: Controls the rate at which the brush lays down color or texture.
  • Smoothing: Helps reduce jitter and create smoother, more fluid lines.

Knowing how to adjust these properties will give you more control over your brushes and allow you to create more dynamic artwork.

Default Brushes vs Custom Brushes

Procreate comes with a wide selection of default brushes, which are pre-made and ready to use. They're designed to imitate traditional art mediums and techniques, but you might find that they don't always suit your specific needs or style. That's where custom brushes come in!

Custom brushes allow you to tailor a brush's properties to your liking, giving you the perfect tool for your digital art. Plus, creating your own custom brushes can be a fun and rewarding process! So, let's move on and learn how to make Procreate brushes from scratch.

2. Creating Procreate Brushes from Scratch

Now that we've got a solid understanding of the basics, let's dive into the exciting world of creating Procreate brushes from scratch. By following this step-by-step process, you'll soon learn how to make Procreate brushes that perfectly match your artistic vision and style!

Determining Brush Shape

The first step in creating a custom brush is to determine its shape. This is the core structure of your brush and will greatly influence its overall appearance. To create a brush shape, you can either:

  1. Draw your own shape: Sketch or paint your desired shape on a new layer in Procreate. This allows for complete creative freedom and ensures that your brush is truly unique.
  2. Use an existing image: Import a photo or image with a shape you'd like to use as the basis for your brush. This can be a great option if you're looking to replicate a specific texture or pattern.

Once you've chosen your shape, simply save it as a black and white image, and you're ready to move on to the next step: adding texture with brush grain.

Adding Texture with Brush Grain

Texture plays a vital role in making your brush feel more realistic and dynamic. In Procreate, this is achieved through the use of brush grain. To add texture to your custom brush, follow these steps:

  1. Create or select a texture: Much like with the brush shape, you can either draw your own texture or use an existing image. Keep in mind that high-contrast textures tend to work best.
  2. Import the texture: In the Procreate brush settings, navigate to the "Grain" tab and import your texture by tapping the "Import" button.
  3. Adjust the grain settings: Experiment with the scaling, rotation, and depth settings to find the perfect balance between texture and brush performance.

With your texture in place, it's time to fine-tune your brush by adjusting its dynamics.

Adjusting Brush Dynamics

Brush dynamics are the key to making your brush feel responsive and natural. They determine how your brush reacts to factors like pressure, speed, and tilt. To customize your brush dynamics, head to the "Dynamics" tab in the brush settings and explore the following options:

  • Pressure: Adjust the sensitivity of your brush to the pressure applied with your stylus. This can affect properties like opacity, size, and flow.
  • Tilt: Customize how your brush behaves when you tilt your stylus. This can create more realistic shading and drawing experiences.
  • Speed: Control how your brush responds to the speed of your stroke. This can be especially useful for creating expressive, gestural lines.

Now that you know how to make Procreate brushes from scratch, don't hesitate to experiment and iterate until you find the perfect combination of shape, texture, and dynamics for your artistic needs!

3. Modifying Existing Brushes

Now that you've learned how to make Procreate brushes from scratch, you might be wondering how to modify existing brushes to better suit your needs. Good news! Procreate makes it easy to tweak and customize the default brushes or even those you've already created. Let's explore the different ways you can modify brushes to create your perfect digital toolbox.

Duplicating and Editing Brushes

Before diving into modifying brushes, it's always wise to create a duplicate of the original brush. This way, you'll preserve the original settings, and can always revert back if needed. To duplicate a brush, follow these simple steps:

  1. Select the brush you'd like to duplicate in the Brush Library.
  2. Swipe left on the brush to reveal the "Duplicate" option.
  3. Tap "Duplicate" to create a copy of the brush, ready for editing.

With your duplicate brush in hand, you can now safely dive into editing its settings without worry.

Tweaking Brush Settings

Editing an existing brush is similar to creating a new one, but with the added benefit of a starting point to work from. To modify a brush, open its settings by tapping on it in the Brush Library. From there, you can experiment with various settings, such as:

  • Shape and Grain: Change the brush shape or grain by importing new images or tweaking existing ones.
  • Dynamics: Adjust pressure, tilt, and speed settings to create a more responsive and natural feel.
  • Properties: Modify properties like spacing, scatter, and rotation to further customize your brush.

Remember, the key to finding the perfect brush is experimentation. Don't be afraid to play with settings and make adjustments until you're satisfied.

Importing Custom Textures

Another way to modify existing brushes is by importing custom textures. This can help you achieve a unique look without starting from scratch. To import a custom texture, follow these steps:

  1. Open the brush settings and navigate to the "Grain" tab.
  2. Tap the "Import" button and select the texture you'd like to use.
  3. Adjust the scaling, rotation, and depth settings to achieve the desired effect.

Importing custom textures can add depth and variety to your brushes, making them more versatile and suited to your artistic needs.

With a good grasp on modifying existing brushes, you're well on your way to mastering how to make Procreate brushes that cater to your specific needs. Next up, let's learn how to organize and manage your ever-growing collection of brushes.

4. Organizing and Managing Your Brushes

As you continue to learn how to make Procreate brushes and expand your collection, organizing and managing these brushes becomes increasingly important. A well-organized brush library enables you to work more efficiently and find the right brush for any artistic situation. Let's discover some practical ways to keep your brushes in order and make your digital art experience even smoother.

Creating and Using Brush Sets

Brush sets are a handy way to categorize and organize your brushes based on their purpose, style, or any other criteria that make sense to you. Creating custom brush sets not only keeps your brushes tidy, but it also helps you find the right brush quickly when you're in the middle of a project. To create a new brush set, follow these steps:

  1. In the Brush Library, tap the "+" button in the top-right corner.
  2. Name your brush set according to its intended purpose or theme.
  3. Drag and drop brushes into your new set for easy access.

Feel free to create as many brush sets as you need to keep your workspace organized and efficient. You can even rearrange the order of the sets to prioritize the ones you use most often.

Exporting and Importing Brushes

Exporting and importing brushes allows you to share your creations with others, transfer your brushes between devices, or even create backups of your favorite brushes. Here's how to export and import brushes in Procreate:

  1. Export: Swipe left on the brush you'd like to export, then tap "Share". Choose a file format (usually .brush or .brushset) and save the file to your desired location.
  2. Import: In the Brush Library, tap the "+" button, then choose "Import". Locate the brush file on your device and tap to add it to your library.

By exporting and importing brushes, you can ensure that your hard work in learning how to make Procreate brushes is preserved and accessible whenever and wherever you need it.

Sharing Brushes with Others

Sharing brushes with fellow artists is not only a great way to collaborate and learn from each other, but it also strengthens the Procreate community. To share your brushes, simply follow the export steps mentioned earlier and send the brush file to your friends or colleagues. When they receive the file, they can import it into their own Procreate app using the import steps outlined above.

Remember, sharing is caring! Don't hesitate to exchange brushes and tips with others as you continue to hone your skills in making Procreate brushes.

Now that you have a solid grasp on organizing and managing your brushes, let's dive into some tips and tricks that can take your brush-making skills to the next level. As you become more proficient in how to make Procreate brushes, these advanced techniques will help you unlock your full artistic potential.

5. Tips and Tricks for Making Procreate Brushes

Now that you've learned the basics of how to make Procreate brushes and organize them, it's time to explore some tips and tricks that will help you create even more dynamic and unique brushes. These advanced techniques will allow you to unleash your full artistic potential in the world of digital art.

Experimentation and Iteration

One of the most important aspects of learning how to make Procreate brushes is to embrace experimentation. Don't be afraid to try new things, mix different brush settings, and play around with various textures. Remember, there's no "wrong" way to make a brush, so feel free to let your creativity run wild!

Iterating on your brushes is also a key part of the process. Take note of what works well and what doesn't, and continue to refine your brushes until they meet your specific needs. You might find that even the smallest tweak can make a world of difference in your artwork.

Using Blend Modes

Blend modes are a powerful tool that can add depth and variety to your brushes. By experimenting with different blend modes, you can create unique brush effects that interact with the colors and textures of your artwork in interesting ways. Some popular blend modes include:

  • Multiply: darkens the colors beneath the brush stroke.
  • Screen: lightens the colors beneath the brush stroke.
  • Overlay: combines the colors and textures beneath the brush stroke for a more natural blend.

Remember to test out different blend modes to see which ones work best for your specific brushes and art style.

Customizing Stroke Properties

Another way to enhance your brushes is to customize their stroke properties. This can help you create brushes that mimic the behavior of traditional media, such as pencils, paints, or charcoal. Some stroke properties you can modify include:

  • Size: Adjust the size of your brush to achieve different thicknesses and line widths.
  • Opacity: Tweak the opacity of your brush to create more subtle or more pronounced strokes.
  • Spacing: Control the distance between brush marks to create smoother or more textured strokes.

Experimenting with these stroke properties will allow you to create an even wider range of brushes and artistic effects.

In conclusion, learning how to make Procreate brushes is a fun and rewarding skill that can greatly enhance your digital art experience. With the tips and tricks shared in this guide, you'll be on your way to creating a unique and diverse brush library that perfectly suits your artistic style. So go ahead, start experimenting, and watch your digital art flourish!

If you found our step-by-step guide on making Procreate brushes helpful, we highly recommend exploring the workshop 'Procreate Basics: Making Digital Art' by Sameera Maruvada. This workshop will further enhance your understanding of Procreate and help you unlock your full potential in creating stunning digital art.