Do you have the best Photoshop brushes in your collection? It’s an important question for any designer or illustrator. The right Photoshop brushes will dramatically speed up your creative process, enabling you to produce rich artwork, faster – but only if they’re well made.
Finding high-quality Photoshop brushes can be a time-consuming process, though, so we thought we’d share some of the best Photoshop brushes in our personal collection. These are our go-to brush sets – the ones we find ourselves coming back to time and time again.
In this list you’ll find everything from halftone Photoshop brushes to gouache and stippling brushes, and a lot more. Some have been crafted by us – you can see our huge collection of incredible Photoshop brushes elsewhere on this site – while others have been made by other first-rate creatives.
We’ve also got a bonus freebie for you right here. Click the link below to get some of our best Photoshop brushes for free.
You can use these brushes in your work however you like – whether it’s a commercial or personal project.
And now, read on for our collection of the best Photoshop brushes…
When it comes to the best Photoshop brushes, Woodland Wonderland is where it’s at. You get 31 diverse Photoshop brush presets in this pack, including gouache, pens, pencils, and conte – and if you choose the Deluxe option, you’ll also get some more unconventional brushes like Wax Rollers and texture brushes.
Inspired by Golden Book illustrations, we use these brushes regularly here at RetroSupply. All three packages of the Woodland Wonderland Brush Pack come with a quick reference guide to each Photoshop brush and free updates for life.
With the Premium and Deluxe options, you’ll also get the PSD file for the image above, plus four tutorials from Brad Woodard of Brave the Woods and a time-lapse. In them, he walks through how to create the illustration and shares a series of pro tips and tricks for creating better artwork.
And with the Deluxe pack, you’ll get a recording and transcript of a 60-minute webinar, too, held by Brad Woodard and RetroSupply founder Dustin Lee.
Compatibility: Photoshop CS4+
Designer: Alex Dukal
You get three best-selling Photoshop Panel packs - AD Impasoshop (includes 70-plus Photoshop brushes); the Brutus Symetry Plugin for painting with symmetry, and Plastasine Lab – in this sweet bundle.
Compatibility: Photoshop CS4+
Designer: Sivioco (Sam Jones)
One great set of Photoshop brushes in our collection is this pack from Sivioco. Brush Lab contains over 90 Photoshop brushes, from 100-1600px in size, to help you ‘paint’ texture onto your canvas.
When it comes to creating authentic mid-century effects, this mega pack of Photoshop brushes is your one-stop 1950s print shop. These are some of the best Photoshop brushes you’ll find – we use this pack almost every day.
So what’s so good about it… It comes with 25 high-quality Photoshop brushes to add ink textures, subtle paper textures, and distressed textures to your work, plus nine paper textures that give a tactile analogue quality to digital designs.
And where it gets really good is all the non-destructive extras. The bundle also comes with seven fantastic actions that add retro print effects in seconds. These include authentic registration errors, powerful ink roughening effects, rugged monotones, instant halftones, ink starve, photorealistic illustration effects, and more.
This pack gives you 20 pieces of authentic stock art from the 40s and 50s, too. And best of all, you get 10 video tutorials walking through how to use each action – and how to create the effects of each action manually. That way, if you want to make your own effects, you can.
Compatibility: Photoshop CS6+
Designer: True Grit
Another set of solid Photoshop brushes is this pack of over 200 distressed halftone brushes. They can can be painted-in just like a digital acrylic, gouache or oil brush, and they’re available for Procreate, too.
Compatibility: Adobe CC+
Designer: Nice To Must Have
Before we started using Alex Dukal’s amazing AD Stippling brushes, below, we would turn to this set of 48-plus brushes (14 Photoshop brushes) when we needed to create a quick stippling effect.
Photoshop brush wizard Alex Dukal crafted this incredible Photoshop brush set, which makes recreating stippling effects in your illustrations insanely easy.
The AD Stippling pack comes with over 50 Photoshop brush presets, split into the following categories: single stipple, stylographic, shading, freehand, cluster, mottled, stick stipple, subtle, big stipple and color dynamics (also known as Impressionist stippling or Pointillism).
These brushes are amazing. If you want to add old-school stippling effects with rich texture and depth to your designs, then these are the only Photoshop brushes you need.
Designer: Liam McKay
This great pack of 50 Photoshop brushes is another solid set for when you need to build convincing, realistic textures. There’s a super helpful video for installing them, too, if you need it.
There are 15 high-res Photoshop brushes here for adding texture and a distressed look to your illustrations. These brushes are quality – they're a great addition to your creative toolset.
You get 30 hand-crafted photocopy textures in this PSD and Photocopy Brush set from Australia-based illustrator and designer Andrew Fairclough of Kindred Studio.
Full disclosure: when it comes to adding worn out, gritty, photocopy textures to our artwork, we now use our own awesome bundle of 75 Photoshop .abr brushes and bitmap TIFFS - The Photocopy Hate Machine.
But before we made it, we were huge fans of this kit. You get seven photocopy toner grit Photoshop brushes, plus 30 photocopy textures and transparency Photoshop action, too.
These are just a few of the best Photoshop brushes in our collection – but we have a lot more that we turn to regularly as well. You can see more of our favorite Photoshop brushes elsewhere on the site, and we'll update this article throughout the year with more must-have Photoshop brushes – so check back in again soon.
Alana Louise's work is heavily vector based. Yet, it maintains the feel of hand-drawn work you mostly see in Photoshop. The lines are loose and organic, and as a collector of vintage commercial art, that resonates with me.
Whether you’re into mid-century advertising, pop art, traditional hand-lettering or beyond, these retro and vintage artists are at the top of their game.
From grunge to halftone to stipple effects, add texture and warmth to your designs with this collection of the best free retro and vintage Illustrator brushes.