Survey of free brush sets for Sketchbook Pro

I’m six months in with my new PC, and it’s time to install some of the bits and pieces that were not absolutely vital back in a chilly early January. Should I install that old version of Painter, perhaps? I always wanted to like Painter, the natural media painting software. But it just wasn’t Photoshop. And yet I find that Photoshop, near-perfect as it is, just doesn’t make for a natural sketching application — no matter how many nicely-tweaked custom brushes I load into it.

So I’m taking another look at Autodesk Sketchbook (which you can currently pick up on Amazon UK for a mere £20). It’s not Photoshop either, but it’s much nicer to learn and use than Painter. And it arguably has better brushes, provided you don’t want thick glistening wet gloopy oils.

I was spurred into thinking about 2D sketch/paint software by finding my old Wacom Intuos 2 pressure-sensitive pad and stylus in a drawer. I’d forgotten I’d got the 6″ x 9″ (effective) USB version. So I blew the dust off it, and found there are 64-bit drivers for it that work on Windows 8.1. Just choose the Windows 7 drivers for it, and they work fine…


Many have noted that Autodesk Sketchbook‘s brush range is paltry on its desktop PC version — compared to the iPad version or to the oceans of custom brushes available for Adobe Photoshop. So for others who may hanker after a few more Sketchbook brushes, here’s my little survey of some of the free brush set addons…

Grunge Brush Set by Autodidact


Kami Hair Brushes bby dev-moon


Sketchbook Pro Clouds by jlr-lica


Sky Brush Set by Autodidact


Cross Hatching Brush Set


Bentley Brushes by David Bentley


Wild brushes (inc. a charcoal effect)…


Impressionist brushes


Drafter’s brush kit


That’s it, that’s all I could find that proved to work. There’s a good clear video on how to make your own brushes for Sketchbook, and a comics pro shares his inking brushes settings.

Keep in mind that 18 brush sets is the maximum allowed. After that Sketchbook won’t let you make or import more.


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