Brush questions for Procreate


  • SVS OG

    I almost hate to ask brush questions because I know brushes can be very personal and newbie questions can be so annoying but I am trying to translate what I am reading about Photoshop brushes for Procreate and am still feeling a little confused. In the Digital Painting video with Shaun Keenan, he uses a round brush for sketching, lays in flat values, and then adds texture with a texture brush.

    1. Are all round brushes alike? Is the round brush in Procreate the same round brush in Photoshop? For those who use Procreate, is that what you use to do your sketching?

    2. I don't remember Shaun saying what brush he uses to lay in flat values. What kind of brush do you usually use to do that? The round brush in Procreate gets darker every time you stroke over it so it's hard to use it to put down an even flat. I've been using a hard airbrush for that stage but is there a different brush or a different brush setting I should be using?

    3. Texture brushes -- here's the real rub. If I am understanding texture brushes correctly, they act as if you are painting on a particular texture and retain that texture no matter how many times you pile up your strokes. If that's the case, I don't think Procreate has any true texture brushes, or am I missing something? (I've been using Will Terry's method of doing texture layers on multiply to get texture but having it in the brush itself would be extremely handy.)

    I've read so much about brushes I feel like I should be understanding this all better but I apparently have a brain block about it. Any help you can give would be very much appreciated.



  • I am using procreate and Ipad almost only for sketching, I bought this brushes for procreate: https://gumroad.com/l/essentialMaxPack but I use almost all the time the texture brush (second from bottom, I have it only in german language, but i think it could be called something like grind, crumble, crush brush).
    The brushes in photoshop and procreate are not the same...so my feeling
    For brushes in photoshop, I would recommend to go through all the brushes form kyle, that are there and play with all of them, than sort the one you like to new folder and after that work on this and reduce, till you have your favorite brushes there. It took me some hours to do it.
    I have to say, that the brushes from procreate have really nice structure in them, If I am drawing my usual flat style, I am using photoshop, till now I am still looking for a brush I really like for it structure and texture...but I have it only in proctreate...there I draw very raw sketchy style...not like my usual photoshop flat style.
    Hope I could help.


  • Moderator

    I use Procreate for everything. I had a Wacom tablet that I could use with Photoshop, but then I bought an iPad Pro and I have rarely if ever gone back.

    The brush "mechanics" are different in Photoshop than they are in Procreate. Some properties are called the same thing and others are not. This makes translating things tough unless you've got a handle on both programs. There are some vids out there that demonstrate how to take a Photoshop brush and translate it into a Procreate brush, but the qualities will never quite be exactly the same. Photoshop's mechanics allow you to tinker with some properties of their brushes that Procreate just doesn't have. Yet.

    Procreate keeps inching its way forward every update and it is rapidly bridging the gap. So many artists use it because it can already do what they need it to do--they don't necessarily require all of Photoshop's bells and whistles, but each artist's process is going to be different and how they use Photoshop's capabilities will be different, too. Rather like composing music with a piano, or sewing a garment together. Each instrument and sewing machine can do different things.

    But to get to your questions:

    I haven't watched the class you're talking about yet. But your instincts are correct--each artist's process and the tools they use are going to be different. The trick is, though, that you can adjust whatever brushes you use in Procreate to emulate the behavior of whatever brush Sean is using in Photoshop. It's not really the brush itself that is the issue--it's what settings whatever brush you're choosing to use has on it already. That's why you're having a challenge with laying in values with your basic round brush--they may look exactly the same but the settings in Procreate are set to make it behave differently than the settings of the brush Sean is using in Photoshop.

    There are a BILLION different ways to change a brush's behavior. For the "Value laying in" issue, I'd go to a particular setting in Procreate to make it change to what you want:

    1. Go to Brush icon image in the Brush menu and swipe left on the icon to make a duplicate copy of it, then tap on that copy's brush stroke icon to open up the properties menus.
    2. Go to the little lightning bolt on the bottom of the menu labeled "Dynamics".
    3. Play with those three settings to see if it starts to behave like you want it to. I suggest tapping "Normal" and see if that fixes things.

    So it's easy to see that the answer to your first question, "Are all round brushes alike" is both Yes and No. You can import your brushes from Photoshop into Procreate, but all you'll get is the rough outline shape--none of the properties from Photoshop actually translate to Procreate. There are vids on YouTube that kinda address this issue, but it's never going to be a one-to-one perfect correlation.

    Personally, I don't use a round brush for sketching. I use one of Procreate's Sketching brushes. And I've made a few, bought a few, downloaded more than a few for free from the Procreate Resources Forum where fellow users post their brush creations. You're going to use whatever brush you need to use for your particular process. If doing illustrations using Sean's methods are to your liking, pick a brush (or adjust a brush) that's as close to it as possible. Sift through the options in Procreate and make copies and play. Really, that's about the only way you can really get a grip on things. And watch a lot of YouTube vids about Procreate Brush tutorials. There are a LOT of them out there.

    To address your third and final question: Textures kind of work the same way in Photoshop as they do in Procreate--you have a texture and a "nib" that the texture shows through, sorta like piping icing onto a cake. The different brush "nibs" create different stroke shapes, and the textures of the icing that the nib puts onto the cake can be adjusted as well.

    Procreate brushes can be set to build up the texture with each stroke and apply it on top of the previous stroke's texture (essentially "layering" stroke on top of stroke on top of stroke) OR they can be adjusted to sorta "reveal" a texture regardless of how many times you stroke. I don't know how to tell you how to adjust that, but I do know there are vids on YouTube that can tell you exactly how to do just that. You can get the brush properties/effects you want. Your brush simply isn't set to do that right now. But you can make it do what you're describing.

    But to throw a sort of wrench into your plan--you can make a brush paint with Multiply on a normal layer by making the brush itself a Multiply brush... hehe... Yeah, each brush can actually paint with the properties of a layer. They can all do that. It's like--"Really? You want to make it more complicated? You're paralyzing me with choice, you know that, right?" Yeah. You go into that same brush menu as above, and instead of going to Dynamics, you go to General. You'll see a Blend Mode in the Brush Behavior section. And you can make your Brush a Multiply Brush.

    I hope this helps. I know it's confusing. But really, experimenting is your best option. Just play around. Make duplicates of your brushes and go to town. Throw away the new one's you've played with so much you can't figure out their settings anymore, and make clean duplicates and start playing again. Here's the Procreate User's Manual that talks about all those different brush settings. And watch some vids. Here's a couple I recommend:

    Art and Design's Brushes in Procreate

    Art and Design's Advanced Brush Settings in Procreate

    Brad Colbow's Creating a New Brush in Procreate


  • SVS OG

    @MichaelaH I will definitely check out those brushes. Thanks.


  • SVS OG

    @Coreyartus Wow, thank you for taking the time to give such a thorough answer. It was very helpful and you are right that part of the problem is that I am paralyzed by all the choices. Getting into designing my own brushes feels like it just expands the already overwhelming possibilities but you have confirmed what I have suspected - I need to really start playing with everything until I get the look I want. And of course, part of the issue is that I’m still not sure what exactly the look is that I want!


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