Lesson 5: Procreate Brushes Library Basics

Say Procreate brushes library Lesson 5 with brush library open on ipad
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We’re on to Procreate Brushes!

It’s time to break down the the basics of the Procreate Brushes Panel which comes with quite a lot of amazing brushes to help bring your imagination to life, so let’s not waste any time and get right to it!

Here are the lesson in case you need to jump back to earlier lessons for a refresher:

To get started, tap the Brush Icon near the top right to open up your Procreate Brushes Library. A panel will open up with 3 columns.

  • The first column contains Symbols.
  • The second column contains the names of the Brush Folders associated with those symbols.
  • The last column holds the Brushes in the folder you’ve selected.
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To move a brush to another location just hold it down then drag it to a new spot in the library OR you can move it to a different folder by dropping it on top of that folder.

You can also move your folders around using drag and drop.

Adding a Brush & Brush Folder

  • To add a new Procreate Brush Folder tap the + at the very top of your list.
  • Import a new brush by tapping the + at the top of your panel on the right.
  • You can also Duplicate a brush (I’ll show you how in a bit) and change the settings in the Brush Studio to create a new brush.
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Original Procreate Brushes vs Ones You Add

I’ll Start with the Original Procreate Brushes…

Original Procreate brushes and folders have their own unique symbol like an airbrush icon or nib icon and you won’t see these symbols on the individual brushes on the right.

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When you swipe left you can Share, Duplicate, and Reset it to the original settings if you’ve made any changes to them.

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If you tap the Brush Folder the only option you have is Duplicate.

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Brushes & Brush Folders You Create & Add…

These Brush Folders will have the Procreate icon for their symbol. You’ll also find it on your brushes at the top right.

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When you swipe left you can share, duplicate, and delete your brush. Remember that with the original Procreate Brushes you can’t delete it, but you can reset any changes you’ve made to it.

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If you tap the Brushes Folder you’ll see you have more options than the original Brush Folders. You can Rename, Delete, Share, and Duplicate.

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The Brush Studio

If you want to create a new brush or change the settings of an existing brush tap the layer to open the Brush Studio. I like to make duplicates when I do so I always have the original.

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I won’t be covering the Brush Studio now as it’s a bit more advanced, but I encourage you to play around with the setting using duplicate brushes to get a feel for what they are capable of.

Use the Brush Pad to test out your new settings. Tap ‘Drawing Pad‘ to clear your pad, change the color and preview size of your new brush settings.

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I do want to mention Streamline which can be found by tapping Stroke Path. This will adjust the flow and smoothness of your Apple pencil so your brush moves in a way that is most comfortable for you. Use the slider to find the sweet spot for your brushes.

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The Smudge Tool & Eraser Tool

The same brush library is also found in your Smudge Tool (A) and Eraser Tool (B).

Location of the smudge and eraser tools
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Experiment with different brushes using your Smudge Tool to soften, smudge, and blend colors and textures.

Heart smudged with the smudge tool. Arrow is pointing to smudge tool.
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Use them with your Eraser Tool to erase parts of your artwork or to create interesting effects by playing with textures and opacity. Or use it to simply erase!

Arrow pointing to Eraser tool and a heart with eraser used on it with different brushes and opacity
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Remember that you can use the Side Bar on your canvas to control the size and opacity of your brush.

Take some time to play around with your Procreate Brushes to get a feel for what they can do. Select a brush and change up the size, opacity, as well as the tilt of your Apple pencil or stylus. You’ll notice that you can get a handful of different effects from just one brush.

By the way, if you’re using any stylus other than the Apple pencil that’s totally alright. But, you may want to invest in an Apple pencil at some point just for the pressure sensitivity… I really don’t think there are any styluses out there that can compare.

It’s a bit more expensive, but I thinks it’s totally worth the investment. I’ve had mine from the get go and now have two because I use love and use it so much and always want a backup for when the battery runs low. Even then, it doesn’t take that long to charge.

So Before I Go, Here are a Few Little Tricks Worth Noting.

To create a straight line, draw your line and hold until it straightens out. Let go where you want the line to end. You’ll notice nodes on the ends of your line and you’ll be able to drag and drop them to change the length and location on your canvas.

Straight line with nodes
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You can also do this with other shapes using the same method. Procreate will do its best to refine the shape. ‘Edit Shape‘ will pop up at the top and you can select your shape. You can also tweak your shape by moving the nodes around.

ellipse drawn on canvas with nodes
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We’ve reached the end of this tutorial so have fun experimenting with your Procreate Brushes, and until then I’ll see you in the next Lesson!

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Remember to pin this Procreate Lesson!

Brushes panel open in Procreate