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  • Writer's pictureLucy Fleming

Painting in Procreate - Brush Combos

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

In today's blog post I dive into some tips on combining brushes to get some interesting effects.

There are hundreds of ways to mix and match brushes and adapt them to your style of working. I love this aspect of experimentation, but also know it can be overwhelming when you download new brushes. I also know some of you may be curious about my favourite combos, so let's delve in.

Firstly watercolours. When working with the watercolour brushes varying the pressure with which you press the pen can be key to creating an uneven and more realistic effect. Especially with the Wish Washy brushes which are the very wet blending brushes.

Watercolours work best on a pale background, think about how you would paint with watercolour in real life, usually on pale coloured paper either white or cream and then you'd build the colour up in washes or have no background at all.

For this watercolour combo I am using brushes from my Paintbox Set + the Wonder Paper canvas which enhances the textures. (All the brushes will still work well on any base)

As you can see I have added some notes denoting the brushes I have used to get the above style.

Next up I'm mixing paints and pencils (Paint Box and Sketchbook).

I absolutely love the uneven finish I get when I paint things with the Oil Slick brush from Paintbox. I think it creates an effortlessly effective, painterly base.

The next combination is a classic gouache combo, with 3 brushes from the Paintbox set. The Basic Gouache has built in colour varying so you don't get stuck with too much of a 2 dimensional/flat look. This can take a little getting used to!

- Another tip is not to worry too much about crisp edges.

The next effect is all about the oil pastel. These brushes come with the Craft Box set, and are packed to the gills with texture that can work in so many ways, not just for pastel style drawings.

Building texture for me is also about being intentionally messy, don't worry if all of your strokes are the neatest, see what textures you can create by building the brushes up, or keeping things minimalistic. I would love to see someone far better at art & pastels than me create a classic still life with these brushes.

This set is brilliant for minimalism art as well.

Below I use just 2 brushes, Screen Print Fill and Screen Print Line to create an minimalist printed effect. This would work brilliantly for pattern design or children's books, specifically board / baby books. Or greetings cards, tea towels or totes.

To achieve a screen printed look, you need to select a limited palette. Usually around 2 or 3 colours only. You can also achieve further colours by layering or overlapping the colours on top of each other if the layer setting is set to 'Multiply' to allow colours to overlay.

Top tip: Leave some white space to give an uneven hand stamped look.

Finally I wanted to share the same picture drawn using each different brush pack. Whilst there is no right or wrong way to use any of my brushes, and I highly encourage you guys to mix and match and find your own rhythm with them, It is always interesting to see how using different brushes can really change your outcome.

I hope this will inspire you to get creative and try new combos and art styles from time to time. We can often get so stuck on trying to be consistent with our art style that we stifle any progress we might find by stepping out of our comfort zone!

If anything, it is impossible to find your own voice within your artwork without that creative play, and all those messy mistakes! I suppose my final tip would be not to get too bogged down in the technicalities that you forget what is most important, and that is creating your wonderful vision! Whilst certain techniques and good brushes can really enhance what you've already got, it's the content and personality that you bring that gives your work it's sparkle.

Although the brush names give an indication of how they might be used, they are not set in stone. I use so many of them in new ways every single day and that is part of the fun of having a diverse range of brushes.

My intention in creating brush sets was to not only create my favourite textures possible within the Procreate app engine and collate my perfect daily brush sets, but to also offer a diverse range of art brushes that can be enjoyed by all!

I hope these combos inspire!

Stay creative 💫

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