The Painterly Digital Brushes Collection:
The main quality I look for in a digital brush is a painterly responsive feel, or brushes that look like they were made with brush strokes, not a hard captured/scattered/ photo/shape.
There are certainly plenty of general texture/brush tip brushes out there. The trick is to find brushes that specialize in a certain purpose ie grass, leaves, water, clouds, stone etc. but still have a painterly feel. These painterly, purpose-specific brushes are also out there, and can significantly speed up your work-flow, but unfortunately you have to hack through miles of evil, stencil-like, scattered leaves to find them. The above screenshot is of my constantly evolving painterly brush set.
These are the best painterly brushes from the pros that I have found:
My Main Painting Brushes:
• DanLuVisiArt / Adonhis brush pack – one of the most popular collections on the net. Amazing basic, plus, great cloud, glow, phenomenal fur/ hair, all painterly, a very good foundation to build your collection)
• Mike Nash’s brushes Look on bottom of the home page for the brush download link. No imitation leaves, just bristle/texture etc. Each brush is perfectly suited for it’s purpose- a small and perfectly balanced collection- almost like a classic oil painting set)
• http://stumpypencil.blogspot.com/2009/08/sumi-brush.html I love this rough sketching brush exceptionally natural and responsive.
• Mar-Ka Brushes / Margarita Sheshukova (bristels and texture, great painterly leaf, grass brushes)
• Imiliea Lush Grass (lush painterly grass brush)
• Fox- Orian Brushes ( nice general shrubbery leaf shapes, great light rays)
http://www.pandemoniumart.net/brushes/ (link to several top notch collections. You can also see their websites for examples of how they used the brushes. – warning: you can spend days on these)
http://theroundtablet.com/2011/06/27/photoshop-brushes-of-the-pros-for-free-skills-still-required/ (great collection- again pro industry artists only)
* For beginners here’s how to load brushes
Collections by Artist:
I am a little crazy over brushes. Here are some of the artists brushes that I have collected over time. I try to collect each one with some sample art that they have done so I have a better idea how they use the brush.
( I know it’s not the brush that makes the picture and.. yada, yada… trala -la… – I still love ’em and yes they make a HUGE difference in terms of speed, a.k.a. $)
Click (twice) for large version if you would like to see the names in my current collection:
Collections by Subject -The Ultimate Tool:
I believe that the real ultimate strategy is to organize all your digital painting assets ( brushes, photos, patterns, scripts, actions etc) by commonly used subject. Give each subject it’s own titled folder in your general art assets folder.
The only way I have found to transfer select brushes from different assorted use, “mixed” sets into a “master subject” set ( for example taking different leaf brushes from various mixed use sets into a master “leaf” set) is to:
a- Have the “master”set open.
b- Load/add the “mixed” set to the master.
c- Use the preset manager to delete the extraneous brushes from the added “mixed” set leaving only the select brushes that you want plus the original master set. Save.
d- Repeat this process/ for every subject/ with every brush set/ one at a time —– very/ super/ duper/ ridiculous – Adobe? Hello! (Even with the abr viewer programs)