Adobe Photoshop CC 2018 comes with a revamped brush panel. Unfortunately, there are just four default brush panels, meaning photographers and digital artists may feel short changed.
However, one of the “hidden” goodies is from Kyle T. Webster. If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud membership then you can download and use the 1000-brush strong megapack made by the international award-winning illustrator. Then, there are tons of free Photoshop brushes you can find on the web.
In this article, we uncover Photoshop brushes specifically made for photographers.
Bokeh is a photography effect that is created by an out-of-focus background. Portrait photographs commonly rely on these blurred specular highlights behind the headshot. A good bokeh needs a lens with at least an f/2.8 aperture, but what if you want to add a bokeh in post-processing?
You can create a blurred background in Adobe Photoshop. Or you can use this free bokeh brush set to manufacture a creative effect. This freebie set of 92 brushes is free for commercial use.
The grunge effect harks back to the early days of tintype photography and film which followed it. The vintage effect can be easily re-created in Adobe Photoshop with layer masks and a tintype texture.
You can use these free subtle grunge brushes to give your photos an aged look. The brushes can be used to frame the photos or add subtle textures.
If you are looking for more grunge brushes, then this set of vintage grunge brushes by alex16 on Deviant Art isn’t bad either.
This single category of Photoshop brushes that imitate different sources of light may justify an article of its own. There is such variety. Take your pick from lens flares to sunbursts, from light swirls to lightning bolts.
For now, we will just download and use these free lens flare brushes. The 15 high quality lens optical flares and stars brushes are 2500 pixels+ in size and should be just right against a dark background. Just remember to use them with attribution.
Have you ever tried to take a photograph of a lightning bolt? It’s an exercise in patience and precision. Lightning is unpredictable. And you must think about your own safety first. The easier option is to use a stroke of a lightning brush on your photo. It’s not as rewarding though.
These 40 high-resolution lightning bolt Photoshop brushes are good enough. And they might help you apply realistic effects to your photos.
5. Skin Brushes
You can use these to change skin tone, airbrush any blemishes, or even add stubble. But use them subtly for retouching portraits or any other photograph. The combination pack has three brush sets and is meant for non-commercial use. You can also download the three sets separately.
6. Hair Brushes
Like skin tone brushes, hair brushes are also useful for subtle retouching. Hair selections can be difficult. So try a hair brush to finetune your profile photo in Photoshop. For instance, you can use a specific brush to create facial hair. Or retouch parts of a headshot masked from its background.
You can create your own hair brush in Photoshop too, but these free downloads give you a starter pack to work with. The 10 high-resolution graphics can be used in any color. Use them for free with attribution. Also, look around the site for other hair brush sets.
Long tendrils of wispy smoke against a black or white background makes an eye catching image. It’s one of those cool project ideas for newbie photographers. You will need gear like an external flash, tripod, a reflector, a black cloth, and a few incense sticks to make it happen. But it’s too much bother when you need to add a quick smoke effect.
These 10 smoke brushes for Photoshop can get you there for the price of an email signup.
8. Fog Brushes
This set of 106 fog brushes can be used as transparent overlays with any image. You can give them any color with Photoshop’s color tool. Use them on landscapes or even for double exposure portraits.
The set is available on Gumroad and is free for commercial use. You can also name your own price and help the developer.
A sunny landscape photo always looks more beautiful with a few patches of clouds. Clouds can also lend mood to landscape photos or be the objects of attention if you want to try some exposure blending.
This photorealistic set of nine cloud brushes hosted on Deviantart offer a nice mix of heavier puffy clouds as well as wispy, mist-like clouds.
This set of 17 free high-resolution cloud brushes on FudgeGraphics.com is worth a download too.
10. Tree Brushes
When we are talking about landscape photography, then why leave out the more natural elements. Adobe Photoshop CC has a cool Tree Filter that adds realistic trees. But flatter tree brushes can not only help you frame a shot but also create interesting silhouettes.
The brush set has nine different brushes and can be useful for making flat wallpapers as the artist intends. If you are looking for more variety, then try a search on 123Brushes for their free tree brush packs.
11. Logo Brushes
You can take a neat font, any shape, or a calligraphic brush and create a cool logo in Photoshop. You can search for vector shapes too. But logo brushes for Photoshop are a shortcut if you don’t want to make your own custom logo brush.
You will find a rich set of logo brushes that will give you more options to play around with. Pick one and make your own custom watermark for your images. Another alternative is to search for a brush with the kind of shape you are looking for.
Create Your Own Photoshop Brushes Now
Custom brushes are used mostly by digital artists. But as the above roster shows, photographers can also find a few benefits.
The sheer variety of free Photoshop brushes on offer across the web is because it’s not too difficult to create your own. So why not create your own custom Photoshop brushes and share them on the web so that others can use them in their work.