Paper Textures for Digital Art
On my brush shop page you can now download a free Paper Pack containing 5 paper-like textures for use in your digital art. Those of you who have downloaded and used my Procreate Brush sets in the past may be familiar with my penchant for paper textures. 3 Paper textures are included in my OG Sketchbook set after all. In recent months I decided to try hunt down some more papers with interesting textures and I'm happy to share them with you!
Those familiar with my Paint Box + Craft Box sets will also know that I tailor made 2 Procreate layered canvas files, Wonder Paper and Pastel Paper respectively, which are designed to optimally enhance those brush sets.
However, I do still love the freedom of importing paper textures into any size or shape canvas, or add/change the textures later, which is a benefit of importable .jpeg textures.
When I'm working on paper-like surfaces it really helps me to imagine how various paints and pencils react in real life, and helps me achieve some really interesting and natural effects. This alongside having a matte textured screen protector really enhance my drawing experience on iPad.
Two of the textures included in the free pack are non-white paper options. I felt it was important to include non-white options as they can really challenge you to work differently with how you approach white space and colour overall. They're also great for sketching and pastels if you find looking at a white space uncomfortable for your eyes.
In this paper set are 5 approx A3 size paper .jpegs you can use in Procreate (or any other art software of your choice). You are free to use them however you'd like, and however best suits your art style. But here is a quick guide on how I set up Paper Jpegs for my work:
I personally prefer to work on a paper texture with what I call the sandwich method.
I import the Jpeg into my working file and resize it as necessary. Bare in mind that if you stretch it larger the texture will appear bigger, but may go blurry if you stretch it too large, anything above A3 size will decrease the quality. I use the paper texture as my base layer (all of my art layers will be on top of this.)
Then, I duplicate my paper layer and drag the duplicated version to the top of my layers list. (This one will sit above all my artwork layers.
It's important to set the top layer to a setting that will enhance your artwork. I usually prefer 'Linear Burn'. And I will adjust the opacity of both the base and top layer until I feel the balance is right for the picture. I may change it after the painting is done or during. You can make these as subtle, or as intense as you'd like.
Using this method may effect the colours/saturation of your piece, so you may need to play around with the opacity and layer settings until you find how you best like it.
For the above example I used the Gouache Paper from the free paper pack.
The difference is subtle, but I feel it enhances the 'not too smooth and digital' look that I am aiming for.
I hope you have fun experimenting with these papers. As always there are no rules on the right or wrong way to use my brushes or papers and I never aim to stifle your creativity with overly heavy handed tutorials, you guys are always surprising and inspiring me by using the brush sets in new and innovative ways that even I never imagined! But, I do hope this guide will be helpful in your creative practice.