The 60 best free Photoshop brushes

Photoshop brushes are a fantastic time-saver for digital artists. They enable you to quickly create rich artwork without having to draw all the individual design elements each time – and there are thousands for you to choose from.

So where to start? There's a huge spectrum of Photoshop brushes available, ranging from grunge and watercolour brushes to leaf designs and fabric textures, and cloud patterns to glass shatters. And while Photoshop CC does ship with a set of brushes pre-installed, they only scratch the surface of what's possible with the brush engine.

We've split our collection into four categories: 

  • Photoshop brushes for painting – for mimicking a traditional art effect
  • Natural brushes – everything from hair to clouds, trees, fire and water effects
  • Grunge Photoshop brushes – for when you want a distressed or aged effect
  • Fantasy and comic brushes – including half-tone brushes and sparkle effects 

Whether you're using an older version of Photoshop or have joined Creative Cloud, grab the free Photoshop brush downloads below and start creating stunning design flourishes in your artwork. 

Photoshop brushes for painting

01. Woodland Wonderland: Gouache brush 

A split-screen image of a fox, bear and pig playing musical instruments. The left is a black-and-white pencil sketch; the right is painted in colour

  • Designer: RetroSupply
  • Usage: Free for commercial and personal use

Normally you’d have to pay for RetroSupply’s fantastic Woodland Wonderland pack of natural media-inspired Photoshop brushes. However, we’ve spotted a link to a free sampler pack – which will give you a free gouache Photoshop brush from the Woodland Wonderland pack in exchange for your email address – plus a number of other free Photoshop brushes too. Bargain. 

02. Sakimichan – Photoshop Brushes for painting

  • Designer: Sakimichan
  • Usage: Free for commercial and personal use

Deviant Art member sakimichan has made 56 of her favourite custom Photoshop brushes available to download for free in this big bundle. She recommends painting at 70-100% opacity with the pressure option on, and says that the brushes are already set up for this. Bear in mind these brushes were created in PS5 and although they work in CS4 and CS3, she isn’t sure about other versions. (Although the comments on the page suggest they work for CS6 and CC too.)

03. Photoshop brushes: paint

Artist Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: Aaron Griffin
  • Usage: Free for commercial and personal use

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

04. Photoshop bruses: thick acrylic paint strokes

Thick acrylic paint strokes Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: Creative Nerds
  • Usage: Free for commercial and personal use

The second instalment of a popular set of free Photoshop brushes from Creative Nerds, Thick Acrylic Paint Strokes volume 2 lets you 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.

05. Free Photoshop brushes: paint lines

Paint lines Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: env1ro
  • Usage: Free for personal use; email him about commercial use

These 24 very hi-res brushes will provide a real-media feel to your design work. Some brushes look like paint tin marks, while others are thicker, meaning there's lots of options within the pack.

06. Dry brush strokes for Photoshop

Dry brush strokes Photoshop brush

  • Designer: Chris Spooner
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

A set of 12 excellent free Photoshop brushes from Chris Spooner. These high-resolution dry brushes are fantastically detailed, bristly and texture-rich. Featuring whispy lines and detailed edges, they're perfect for roughing up your artwork or distressing your edges

07. Free Photoshop brushes: dry brushes

Dry brushes Photoshop brush

  • Artist: Kirk Wallace
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Artist Kirk Wallace created these Photoshop brushes at home using ink and paper, and offers them to you for free. 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.

08. Dripping paint Photoshop brushes

Dripping paint Photoshop brushes

  • Artist: LilithDemoness
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Add realistic dribbles of paint to your digital designs with these free Photoshop brushes. They're the work of DeviantArt user LilithDemoness and there are 14 in the set to choose from. 

09. Free Photoshop brushes: spray paint

Spray paint brush

  • Designer: Creative Nerds
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Creative Nerds is offering this spray paint effect Photoshop brush set completely free. The pack includes four high-res brushes (2500px each). Use them to add a distressed effect to your paintings.

10. Speedpainting set

  • Artist: Darek Zabrocki
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Concept artist Darek Zabrocki has worked for some of the biggest projects and companies in the fantasy art world, including Assassin's Creed, Magic: The Gathering and Halo Wars 2. He's generously offering the set of Photoshop brushes he uses for his speedpaintings for free download.

Watercolour Photoshop brushes

11. Furry watercolour Photoshop brush

Furry watercolour brush

  • Designer: Heygrey
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

If you're looking to create a soft, hazy aesthetic in your work, try this free Photoshop brush from Heygrey. It is 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 that has been achieved here.

12. Watercolour Photoshop brush: spray

Watercolour paint spray Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: Creative Nerds
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

This large-scale Photoshop brush is handy for creating a watercolour spray effect in your digital artwork. The creator has achieved an impressively authentic effect, which you can apply to your own artwork with ease.

13. Watercolour shapes and splatters

Watercolour shapes and splatters Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: Excentric
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

If you're going for a watercolour feel in your work then these abstract shapes and splatters will help you get the look just right; just don't overdo them. These Photoshop brushes from Excentric are free for personal and commercial use.

14. Watercolour splatter: free Photoshop brushes

Watercolour splatters Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: pstutorialsws
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

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 – they work with Photoshop 7, CS, CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6 and CC – and you can download the lot for free.

Pen, ink, charcoal and pencil Photoshop brushes 

15. Pencil Photoshop brush

Pencil brush for Photoshop

  • Designer: Andantonius
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

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

16. Realistic charcoal Photoshop brush

Realistic charcoal Photoshop brush

  • Designer: WojtekFus
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Charcoal's an essential part of any artist's toolkit, but it's undoubtedly the messiest as well. Get those soft charcoal lines – without getting charcoal all over your hands and everything else – with these excellent brushes.

17. Real markers: free Photoshop brushes

Real markers for Photoshop

  • Designer: Eilert Janßen
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Perfect for fashion illustrations, industrial design and storyboarding, this set of 12 free brushes by Eilert Janßen enables you to create lively imagery that looks like it's been sketched out with marker pens. If you like what you see, Janßen sells a set of 300 marker brushes for just $9.

Next page: Natural brushes

On this page of our ultimate free Photoshop brushes collection, you’ll find a wide range of natural and nature-inspired resources to add realism and depth to your artwork. 

From Photoshop brushes to help you draw people (think: hair, skin and eyelashes) to brushes for drawing weather (cloud Photoshop brushes, snow, rain and lightening), landscapes (trees, grass, flowers) and water, you’ll find nearly every nature-inspired brush you can think of on this page. And the best part? These Photoshop brushes are all free.

Photoshop brushes for hair and fur

18. Hair brush set

Hair brush set of Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: para-vine
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Create realistic hair effects with this set of free Photoshop brushes. Mix them together for extra variety and to create different effects. This set comes courtesy of digital artist para-vine, aka Lee Alex Pearce.

19. Hair brushes set 1

Hair Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: Falln-Stock
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use if you credit the designer

Great for providing touch-ups on model photography, this set of free Photoshop brushes includes detailed textured hair in a variety of falling styles. As well as straight styles, there are brushes for creating wavy hair and tight ringlets.

Skin Photoshop brushes

20. 11 Human skin Photoshop brushes

Close-up of a human face smiling

  • Designer: env1ro
  • Usage: Free for personal use; contact env1ro about commercial use

There are 11 texture-like tools in this collection of free Photoshop brushes for painting human skin. Polish artist env1ro, who created them, says they’re compatible with Photoshop PS7 and upwards, and they’re “great for retouching and make-up”. 

21. Skin Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: Marta Dahlig
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Freelance Polish artist and illustrator Marta Dahlig has been creating digital brushes for years. She specialises in portraits, and her set of skin Photoshop brushes is an amazing boost to any digital artist's armoury.

22. Eyelash Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: eriikaa
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use with a credit

DeviantArt user eriikaa has shared 22 free Photoshop brushes for drawing eyelashes at different stages of the eyes being open or closed. She asks for a credit if you use them, and to let her know if – and how – you use them. 

Weather and cloud Photoshop brushes

23. Cloud Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: Sklar113
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

We can’t tell you much about these free Photoshop brushes for drawing clouds by Deviant Art user Sklar113 – being that most of his page is written in Russian – but the mock-up images look fantastic. Most importantly, the commentary below the download link is full of happy users, so we’d recommend taking a look if you’re struggling with clouds.  

24. High res clouds Photoshop brushes

Cloud Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: FudgeGraphics
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

This is a really useful set of 17 Photoshop brushes for creating clouds. Each features a different cloud design that can be used to make light work of cloud-based sky scenes in your images. The brushes are between 2300px to 2500px, making them ideal for both print and web projects. 

25. 8 Cloud Photoshop brushes

Cloud brushes

  • Designer: Brusheezy
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use, with a credit

This pack contains eight different cloud brushes, all high-res. Use them to add some weather effects to your digital artwork. There's a commercial licence included so you can use them in your marketing materials if you so wish – just make sure you follow the attribution instructions on the page.

26. Snow Photoshop brushes

Snow Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: Brusheezy
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use, with a credit

Add a chill to your designs with a flurry of snow. This pack of free Photoshop brushes contains 15 effects, which you can mix up to create realistic variation in your scene. Again, make sure you follow the attribution instructions on the download page if you use them commercially.

27. Rain Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: amorphisss
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Rain is notoriously tricky to draw and paint. That’s where these fantastic free rain Photoshop brushes from Deviant Art user amorphisss come in. There are four brushes in this set, and for each you can determine which way the rain is falling, and use the Motion Blur filter to emphasise the motion effect. 

28. Lightning strikes

Lightning bolt Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: SparkleStock
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Electrify your work with this collection of stunning lightning strikes. Tileable and available not only as Photoshop brushes but also as patterns and JPEG images, there are 18 to choose from in this set – all free.

Landscape Photoshop brushes

29. Environment brushes

  • Designer: Sylar113
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Deviant Art user Sylar113 has shared this collection of free Photoshop brushes for painting environmental features – some have been made by her; some by other artists. You’ll find leaves, grass and all kinds of handy brushes for creating landscape features in your work.

30. Tree Photoshop brushes: borders

Tree borders brushes

These brushes are perfect for trees
  • Designer: ForestGirl
  • Usage: Free for personal only

This is a nice set of Photoshop brushes that enable you to introduce tree and bush silhouettes to the edges of your composition. DeviantArt user ForestGirl, aka Julia Popova, asks for a link to any personal work you use them in.

31. Leaf brushes

Leaf Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: jschill
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Great for creating organic textured background, this set of Photoshop brushes for drawing leaves features seven isolated leaf images with intricate details and textures. They're free for personal and commercial use but make sure you attribute them according to the Creative Commons guidelines – you'll find full details on the Brusheezy site

32. Grass or fur brushes

Grass or fur Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: s1088
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

This set of 10 brushes is ideal for adding grassy details to your Photoshop paintings. There's a variety of styles to choose from, so you can create everything from scrubby dry patches of grass to lush meadows. A bonus tip from the creator is that if you switch up the colours, they also make great fur. 

33. Nature silhouettes

Nature silhouette Photoshop brushes

There are 19 free nature Photoshop brushes in this pack
  • Designer: pinkonhead
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

This is a really useful set of 19 different nature silhouettes, each featuring a different plant, ranging from trees to grasses. They're free for personal and commercial use, but the designer says that any references back to her website would be highly appreciated.

34. Environment brushes

Environment Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: Syntetyc
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

This massive set of free Photoshop brushes should have you covered for all your environment painting needs. All are high-res, and all are specifically suited for creating realistic natural environments in Photoshop.

35. Fire brushes

Fire brushes

  • Designer: Niño Batitis
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Digital artist Niño Batitis has been kind enough to release 13 high-quality Photoshop fire brushes for free. Perfect for firey art projects, these will allow you to experiment with flames, characters and landscapes.

Water Photoshop brushes

36. Water brushes vol. 4

Water Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: Webdesigner Lab
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

There are 20 high-res water Photoshop brushes in this pack, including splashes, spills, ripples and water drops. Compatible with Photoshop CS3 and above, these realistic water tools aren't the only free Photoshop brushes released by this designer. He also has three other popular sets of water effect brushes, so if you can't find what you want in this pack, check out the others using the link above. 

Assorted effects

37. Feathers and birds

Feathers and birds brushes

  • Designer: Discopada
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use, with a credit

There’s a total of 12 individual Photoshop brushes for drawing birds and feature effects in this pack from DeviantArt user Discopada. Each brush comes with a stand-alone piece of artwork, ranging from detailed feather illustrations to whimsical birds-on-a-branch.

38. Simple fabric brushes

Simple fabric brushes

Add some natural surfacing to your work
  • Designer: Bitbox
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Straightforward fabric textures, these free Photoshop brushes are high resolution (2500×2500) – so they're great for use in both print and web. You can use them to add some natural surfacing to your work. 

Next page: Grunge Photoshop brushes

On this page of our ultimate collection of free Photoshop brushes, you’ll find the best free grunge brushes the internet has to offer. You can use these brushes to add age, depth and distressed effects to your artwork.

39. Standard Issue Subtle Texture brushes

Standard Issue Subtle brushes cover image - textured type on a grainy black background

  • Designer: RetroSupply
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Normally you’d have to pay $15 for RetroSupply’s game-changing collection of grunge Photoshop brushes, the Standard Issue Subtle Brush kit. But the illustration resource site is giving away one of its best-selling grunge Photoshop brushes from the Standard Issue Subtle Brush kit for free, over on the RetroSupply website. All you need to do is sign up for the newsletter to get it – and you’ll get a host of other premium free Photoshop brushes too. 

40. Rough paint strokes

Rough paint stroke brushes

  • Designer: Creative Nerds
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

If you're looking for a rough paint stroke, these brilliant grunge Photoshop brushes from Creative Nerds should do the trick. They're high res and free to download, and can be used for personal and commercial work. 

41. Shattered glass

Shattered glass brushes

  • Designer: UCreative
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

This set consists of 12 free, high-resolution (2500px x 2500px) and high-quality Photoshop brushes for creating an intricate shattered glass effect. They're easy to customise – you can edit the opacity, blending modes or mask out different parts of the brushes to create textured effects.

42. Distressed halftone brush strokes

  • Designer: Designer Candies
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

If you can't decide between a distressed brush stroke and a halftone brush stroke, why not have both? This set of 21 Photoshop brushes is perfect for adding a vintage, worn or retro effect to your work.

43. Mixergraph Grunge Brushes

Mixergraph Grunge Brushes

  • Designer: Marc Pallàs
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Handmade, digitised and individually edited by Marc Pallàs, this set of five grunge brushes will transform your illustrations and designs with a gloriously rough-and-ready look, making them seem like they're hot off the photocopier.

44. Sponge party

Sponge Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: Melissa
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Some beautiful textures make up this collection of eight medium-resolution Photoshop brushes, including some excellent sponge brush marks – great for adding timbre to collage work.

45. Scorched and burned

Scorched and burned Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: WeGraphics
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Another great set of brushes from WeGraphics, this pack features realistic scorch and burn effects in 10 different designs. You can use them directly to create burn marks, or in a more abstract way to distress your artwork. 

46. Scar face

Scar face Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: NatalieHijazi
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

This pack of 12 textured Photoshop brushes is ideal if you want to introduce some scarring to portraits. But you can also use them simply to generate beautifully textured background elements, and add age and depth to your work.

47. Grunge and smooth floral brushes

Grunge and smooth floral brushes for Photoshop

  • Designer: KeepWaiting
  • Usage: Free for personal use

This is great set of crisp, clean mixed-media Photoshop brushes with a grungy floral theme. Created in Photoshop 7, the brushes range in size from 800px to 100px wide. DeviantArt member KeepWaiting says they're free for non-commercial use only.

48. Bokeh brushes

Bokeh Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: UCreative
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

The term Bokeh is of Japanese origin and refers to the appearance or feel of the out-of-focus areas of a photograph. Add this cool effect to your imagery with this free set of high quality Bokeh Photoshop brushes

49. Antique postcards

Antique postcard Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: BitBox
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

This wonderful collection of six hi-res antique postcard designs provides an excellent starting point for further design work. Each brush can be used as a template, and features text and a delightful patina.

50. Spray splatter

Spray splatter Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: Dimitar Tsankov
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

This is a brilliant collection of 12 grunge Photoshop brushes that, happily, are high-res at 2500px each. This set features a range of spray patterns suitable for generating dirty backgrounds and textures, or bringing typography to life.

Next page: Sci-fi and comic brushes

Whether you’re looking for free Photoshop brushes to add a fantasy, sci-fi or comic book-inspired effect to your work, we’ve got you covered here. Scroll down for our favourite star Photoshop brushes, particle effects, blood, halftones and more.

51. Dust particle brushes

  • Designer: WeGraphics
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

This is a really useful set of dust particle brushes from WeGraphics. They can be used to add instant sparkle, depth and richness to your designs, and are ideal for creating a fantasy effect.

52. Dynamic light brushes

Dynamic light Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: WeGraphics
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Create special lighting effects by using these brushes in combination with layer blending modes such as screen or vivid light.

53. Star brushes

Star Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: DemosthenesVoice
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

Here are six high-resolution star Photoshop brushes from DeviantArt member DemosthenesVoice, aka Austin Pickrell. "Just have fun," says the artist. "I would love to see what people do with them… and if you make millions from your piece, I want a helicopter."

54. Stardust brushes

Stardust brushes

  • Designer: Brusheezy
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

This set of 20 Photoshop brushes will add a sprinkle of diffused light orbs and bring a Disney-esque magic sparkle to your work. These hi-res brushes can be used for personal and commercial work, just make sure you following the instruction on the site for giving attribution.

55. Night sky brushes

Night sky Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: WebdesignerLab
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

This set of Photoshop brushes includes 13 different night sky elements, including space dust, stars and moons. Compatible with Photoshop CS3 and above, they're particularly good for fantasy scenes or adding sparkle to your artwork.

56. Magic spells

Magic spells Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: TreehouseCharms
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use, with a credit

DeviantArt member TreehouseCharms created this quirky set of 21 Photoshop brushes, each related to an overall moon theme and featuring a mythological bias. They're great for adding some whimsy to your designs, or accenting original illustrations.

57. Fairy tales brush set

Fairy tales brush set

  • Designer: raysheaf
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

This is a useful collection of fractal renders at up to 2500px, gathered together under the theme of fairy tales due to their other-worldly appearance. These free Photoshop brushes are suitable for quickly creating fantasy backgrounds and textures like rocks, cave and catacomb walls and alien metals.

58. Blood splatter Photoshop brush

  • Designer: AnnFrost-stock
  • Usage: Free for personal use, with credit

Add a splash of gore to your digital paintings with this free blood splatter Photoshop brush set. It includes a range of different large-scale brushes you can use to incorporate realistic blood stains into your designs. They're free for personal use, or $10 for commercial use.

59. Circular halftone brush set

Circular halftone Photoshop brush set

  • Designer: CreativeNerds
  • Usage: Free for personal and commercial use

If you're painting comic art, this free halftone circular brush set will come in handy: you can use it for comic-style shading in your designs. This high-res brush collection can be used for commercial and personal projects. 

60. Sketchy cartography brushes

Sketchy cartography Photoshop brushes

  • Designer: StarRaven
  • Usage: Free for personal use; ask permission for commercial use

Create a Hobbit-style map with these sketchy cartography Photoshop brushes from DeviantArt user StarRaven. The pack includes mountains, buildings, trees, grasses and a range of symbols. As well as a brush file, the download includes a transparent PNG file containing all the images. 

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