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Customise and Create Brushes in Procreate

Customise and Create Brushes in Procreate main article image
Posted on April 30, 2022 by Becky Liddle
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If you’re a fan of Procreate, you’ll know that it has a really wide selection of preset brushes to choose from. Even without downloading and importing your own, there are 18 versatile and varied brush sets which can be used to draw, sketch, colour, paint and create texture. Your options become even greater if you download brushes or create your own.

In this article, we’ll take a high-level look at editing and customising the brushes which are already within Procreate, alongside creating our own right from scratch using the most key brush settings. This means that the possibilities are almost infinite!

Amending Procreate’s Preset Brushes

As we’ve mentioned, Procreate has a vast array of preset brushes, accessible within the app. There are sometimes occasions where you might want to make a few adjustments to these to really customise your work.

So, let’s take a look at some of the most important and fundamental ways in which we can customise Procreate’s preset brushes.

First of all, choose the brush which you’d like to edit. Swipe left on the brush, and hit duplicate. You’ll then see a copy of the brush appear above it. It’s really important to always create a duplicate so that we don’t lose the original brush settings forever.

Once you’ve duplicated your brush, click on it to open up the Brush Studio. This is where you can customise different elements and alter the appearance.

The first menu which you’ll see – stroke path – is probably one which you’re already familiar with.

Spacing changes the amount of space between each point of the brush, and Jitter offsets the spacing from the stroke line. Streamline stabilises your stroke and creates more smooth lines, whilst Fall Off makes the stroke fade in intensity as you draw.

The next section which can significantly change your brush is the Shape section. All brushes are based on a shape which then repeats to create the brush – experimenting with the options in the Stroke path section shows a little more clearly how brushes behave and are created. The Shape section of the brush library changes how this original shape works when used.

In the Shape Behaviour section, you’ll see the first slider, Scatter. This amends the direction of the shape within the brush. The higher the percentage, the more texture your brush will display.

Rotation literally does what it says on the tin – it rotates the shape.

Scrolling down in this section we can see more options. Toggling the Randomised switch will change the shape at the start of each brush stroke, and Azimuth will follow the angle of your pencil.

The next significant change we can make to brushes is with the Grain section.

So, we’ve looked at the shape, and within the shape is the grain. The grain texturises the brush, and in this section we can customise how it looks.

The movement slider changes how much the grain moves. If it’s set to stamp, the grain remains still, and the stroke will be quite smooth – if it’s set to movement, it’ll look rougher.

Scale and zoom alter the size of the grain, and rotation changes it’s direction. Have a play around with these settings so that you can see them in action.

The final main option for amending our brushes, is the Properties section. In this section, under Brush Behaviour, you can amend the minimum and maximum sizes and opacities – this is particularly useful if you need a brush to be that bit bigger or smaller; it’s always worth checking this menu to see if you can exceed the standard settings.

Of course, the Brush Library is very comprehensive and there are many settings to experiment with, the ones which we’ve gone over are just the key basics, so feel free to spend some time exploring all of the options available.

Creating Custom Procreate Brushes

Now let’s take a look at how to create our own Procreate brushes. The first step is to tap on the brush icon and then selecting the + sign in the top right hand corner of the Brush Library.

The brush menu will appear, scroll down to the Shape section.

In the Shape Editor, select Import and then Import a photo. Select your chosen picture from your iPad’s gallery.

A few notes on your chosen images:

If your image isn’t a simple shape with a transparent background, you’ll need to amend this in Procreate. Unless you want the colour of the canvas to show on your brush, you’re best off making a black background with a white base shape. You can also draw your own simple basic shape to use as a brush too.

It’s also wise to ensure your shape is an even sized canvas – for example, if you upload an image as a brush which is rectangular, the brush tool will distort it – you need to have an even sized image; the vertical and horizontal measurements should be the same, or very close to it.

If you don’t have an image handy, but just want to experiment, please feel free to use my shape below and save it as an image to your iPad to import as a brush. It’s just a rough flower I drew for the purpose of the tutorial.

Once you see your photo uploaded, tap done.

Exit the Brush Library, and try stamping your image – it should appear on the canvas.

Now you can amend the settings we’ve looked at above, to perfect your brush.

A handy way of organising your newly created brushes is to make some changes in the Properties menu.

Tap Properties on the left hand side, and toggle the use stamp preview setting to on – this will ensure that you see a stamped version of your brush as the preview icon, in the Brush Library. Of course, if you’ve created a brush which is intended for use as a paintbrush or pencil, don’t do this! See examples below:

Not using stamp preview

Using stamp preview

You can also change the preview size using the slider, and then amend your maximum and minimum sizes and opacities.

Next, go into the About this brush menu, the last option. Here, you can add your name to make the brush your own, this is particularly useful if you’re planning on sharing your newly created brush.

Lastly, let’s give our new brush a name. In the About this brush menu, double tap on the title – which should currently say Untitled Brush.

We’re all done, and you can now see your new brush in the Brush Library! You’ll see that mine isn’t very organised and it’s been saved under the Calligraphy section, so I’d advise that you create a new folder or move it to a more relevant one.

Procreate’s brush tools are very comprehensive, and there are so many options to make brushes your own – this article has just scratched the surface but gives you a brief knowledge on how to get started with custom brushes. In no time you’ll have your own hand made collections, good luck!


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Comments
4 Comments
Chantel Kruger

May 27, 2022

Awesome going to save as I want to create my own thank-you for sharing

Becky Liddle's profile picture
Becky Liddle

May 30, 2022

Author

You’re very welcome Chantel :)

Veronica K.

May 1, 2022

Awesome. Thank you!

Becky Liddle's profile picture
Becky Liddle

May 2, 2022

Author

You're very welcome :)


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