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20 Useful Free Photoshop Brushes

by | Jan 23, 2013 | Articles, Photoshop, Tutorials | 9 comments

Useful Free Photoshop Brushes

Creating dazzling effects in Photoshop is something that we do as designers everyday. One way that we do this is to use very resource available to help us do our work faster and easier. If you read my previous article: 25 Fantastic Free Photoshop Brushes, then you know that brushes are an essential part of any designer’s workflow. You can create any type of effect imaginable with the right brush. This time I have rounded up a collection of 20 useful free Photoshop brushes that you can use in your next project. Shown below are free Photoshop brushes that fit a wide range of tasks and will add life to any project.




These fur brushes are useful for creating realistic fur effects. You can apply these effects to objects or type. You could also use them in your next digital painting to create a realistic animal. What I like about this brush set is that the author gives you specific instructions on how to use them. This is one of my favorite sets of free Photoshop brushes.



Foliage isn’t easy to paint in Photoshop, but these free Photoshop brushes make it easy to build up a layered landscape painting. There are a few variations of grass and leaves that create an old-world style painting effect.




These free hair brushes are excellent if you are creating character illustrations. Using these hair brushes will allow you to focus on the face and to paint a character from different angles. I like how there are a wide range of characters, both male and female, featured in this set.




Smokes effects are great for abstract backgrounds. You can layer these free Photoshop brushes to build colorful abstract effects for website backgrounds. You could also use them in special effects. Either way, these swirly smoke brushes will come in handy.

Painted Strokes



The painted strokes set is a really nice grungy painting set that is great for blending portraits or images for the quickly-painted look. These free Photoshop brushes create a real sense of action and get a lot of attention. Layering these brushes and using a variety of different ones from the set seem to be the best method for using these brushes at their full potential.

33 Flames



Flames and fire brushes are extremely useful in a lot of advertising. There are a lot of uses for fire and flame effects in your design work. You will get a lot of use out of these free Photoshop brushes during the summer months. You can mix and match these brushes to get the best effect.

Star and Light



If you want to add a little glitz and shine to your work, use these star and light effects. There and several light beam and shine brushes in this set that will make any object stand out.

Ink Swirls



I included this one in the mix, because it will come in handy creating grungy effects. You can build these brushes up. You can also use these when you are drawing or painting in Photoshop. You can also layer them to create really grungy textures as well.

Leaf Brushes



Foliage brushes are always useful. You can use these in a wide variety of projects. You control the color yourself with the brush, so you can create a spring foliage scene or a fall one. Combine these with other foliage brushes and you can create a convincing landscape from scratch. You could also use these to creatively frame a seasonal flyer.

Grunge 2



Heavy grunge and gritty effects always seem to get a lot of attention. These grunge brushes can be used at full opacity, or you could layer these at a lower opacity to create unique textured backgrounds for your designs. You could also use these free Photoshop brushes in a mask on a text layer to create a grungy or destroyed text effect.

Page Curl



Combined with the layer style that is included in this pack, you can create a folder corner effect. I like how the author went the extra mile and included a round one as well. That would be hand for creating sticker mockups for promotional stickers from somewhere like Sticker Mule.

Linear Magic



These brushes are useful for creating magical effects and special glow effects. These effects look great when enhanced with layer styles and glow effects applied to them. You can layer these and combined them with each other to create some interesting work.

Glossy Splatter



The glossy liquid brushes shown above don’t have to be blood red. You can apply any color you want to these free Photoshop brushes and they look like glossy liquid splatter. They could simulate ink, or some other thick liquid, such as paint. You can combine these with photos for some interesting special effects.




This is another set of high resolution fire brushes. They are created from realistic flames and can be combined with each other or used alone. This is useful for any project where you need to make something look hot.

Wood Grain



These wood textures will come in handy when you need to apply a wood grain texture to any surface of your work. They look realistic, and you can brush them in wherever they are needed. There are a wide variety of wood types in this pack, making it very useful.

Tron Grids



Creating grids from scratch can be annoying. You either use paths or guides to create your grid, and even then it might not come out perfectly. This brush set contains 50 grids, all at different angles, giving you the option of adding an element of dimension to your work.

 Watercolor Splatter


Watercolor brushes are always useful. When they are hi-res and textured, you can layer these to create a different textures background every time. You can also use different colors to create interesting effects.

Ornaments 2



Ornamental brushes are great for adding fine details to a piece of work. There are a variety or ornaments here, and you can create some very sophisticated design work by integrating these into your designs. You could also make patterns out of these free Photoshop brushes, making them twice as useful.




Halftone is always useful and if you want to apply this type of effect to your work, this brush set will help you to do that. You can layer them or use them individually for different halftone effects.

152 Graphic Pack



I included this 152 graphic pack, because the shapes are handy and unique. You can use many of these brushes in a variety of ways, and with 152 or them, you can have almost an infinite number of combinations.


It isn’t difficult to find free Photoshop brushes online. They are all over the web, but finding quality ones can be a challenge. Above I listed 20 free Photoshop brushes that will come in handy for most designers. You can create backgrounds for print and web projects, add textures and effects to your work, and you can create almost anything from scratch by using brushes.

Did you find these brush sets useful? Have you found a set of Photoshop brushes that you love? If so, feel free to share them in the comments section below.


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