Free Photoshop Pencil Brushes

pencil1.jpg

I do all my artwork from start to finish in Photoshop. It’s a very powerful program and overall I enjoy using it. But I’ve never been thrilled with Photoshop’s brushes.

There’s nothing in Photoshop that does a good job simulating the look and feel of a real-world graphite pencil. Painter and Sketchbook Pro are have pretty good pencil brushes, but I’m so used to Photoshop that I don’t really want to go to the trouble and expense of learning a new program. Instead, to simulate pencil I’ve been using the standard hard-brush tool in Photoshop with the opacity set to 30%. That way I get a thin gray line that I can build up with pressure and crosshatching. For rough sketching it gets the job done but it’s really not the same thing. The results are satisfactory at best.

brushes.jpg

Then I discovered these Photoshop brushes (Nagel Series 33) from Dave Nagel at CreativeMac.com that do a pretty good job of simulating graphite and chalk. I’ve only had a little time to play around with them and have yet to try them on a client project, but so far I really like them. It’s a huge improvement over anything that comes standard with Photoshop. My favorite is an 11-point brush called NagelSeries33-CharcoalPencil1. I used it to sketch the doodle up above. The texture looks like a lot like graphite, and you can get a nice range of dark-to-light simply by pressing harder with the Wacom stylus. I think I’ll be using it a lot.

And best of all, the brushes are free. You can download the brushes and get instructions on how to install them here.


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40 thoughts on “Free Photoshop Pencil Brushes

  1. Awesome! Thanks for the link Cedric.

    I’ve tried them out and there’s a couple of brushes that I really like! Will be adding them to the favourite brushes file :)

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  4. Hey Cedric. Jon from Mojo Solo here. Just happened across you site (#1 result for Photoshop Pencil Brushes) — thanks for sharing. Great job on the blog.

  5. I am 13 yrs old. I love to draw One day i would love to be a cartoon artist. I would like information in how to become a cartoon artist.

  6. Hey darling, great website! I genuinely like this post.. I was curious about this for a long time now. This cleared a lot up for me! Do you have a rss feed that I can add?

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  10. When I originally left a comment I seem to have clicked on the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I recieve four emails with the same comment. Perhaps there is an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Thanks!

    • I spent some time poking around my blog settings and unfortunately I can’t find a way to turn off the automatic notifications for an individual commenter. I guess that’s something you’ll have to investigate, maybe you can turn it off using your WordPress or OpenID account? Sorry about that.

  11. GREAT brush set.I’ve been searching for a perfect pencil brush for years,to save me the hassle of drawing+scanning by hand before colouring.Its so close to the real thing…Thank you!

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