25 Free Watercolor Brush Sets for Skilled Digital Artists (2022)

Home » Articles » 25 Free Watercolor Brush Sets for Skilled Digital ArtistsDecember 27, 2019

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Whether you want to improve the appearance of your website, create beautifulbackgrounds, or come up with a unique logo for your business, brush sets are a fantastic tool for anydesigner. With so many varieties available onlineit’s difficult to narrow it down based on the project that you’re working on; this is why it would be best to have a collection of brush sets wherethat you can always add to as you go along. This will save you a lotof time in the future when you’re looking to start a project and you need to find the right tools to complete it.

In this article, we’ll focus on watercolor brushes, which are some of the most fun and easy to use tools for creating stunning images and backgrounds. Watercolor brushesadd movement, depth, and a burst of color to any design, and they require minimal effort, as they blend in beautifullywith any elements and give your artwork a more natural and spontaneous look and feel.They come in a variety of textures ranging from light, watered-down brush strokes to glossy acrylic paint drop, so you can surely find some that will fit your design needs.Best of all, there are countless sources online that offer free, high-resolution brush sets that can be used for any kind of design.

We searched for the best quality, most beautiful watercolor brusheswe could find, and we chose 25 free watercolor brush sets for skilled digital artiststhat we’re sure you’re going to love! Each one of thesesets comes packed with dozens of high-resolution brushes that are available for both personal andcommercial use. Additionally, thesebrushes will work with various generations of Photoshop, includingPhotoshop 7, CS, CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6, and CC.

So whether you’re working on improving the appearance of your website, creating a new background or logo, making a poster or a brochure, designing graphic tees or any other types of materials, these beautiful watercolor brushes will surely come in handy! You can use one of these brush sets alone, or combine a few different ones for a harmoniousblend of colors and textures. We think you’ll enjoy this selection and hopefully, you’ll find inspiration for a new project! Also, we’d love to know what you think – let us know in the comment section below!

(Video) A Quick Look at Digital Paint Brushes

Watercolor Splatters

Download this set of 32 high-resolution splatter brushes, created with artist-quality watercolor paint on cold press watercolor paper. It includes three high photo textures, may be used for commercial artwork with no credits required and works with Photoshop 7, CS, CS2, CS3, CS4, CS5, CS6, and CC.

WaterColor Reloaded

This generous pack contains83 brushes compatible with PS 7 and up! They have aresolution of about 700 – 1200px. Make sure you contact the creator first before using these for commercial work.

Soft Watercolor brushes

This is a lovely set of soft and furry watercolor Photoshop brushes that can be used to create interesting backgrounds. Before using these remember that a good watercolor effect asks for a nice color harmony and creative use of blending and transparency.


Here are some fresh watercolor brushes set called WaterColor EXTREMUM. This generous pack contains41 brushes compatible with PS 7 and up and with a resolution of about 2500px.

Watercolor brushes

This set contains 20 high-quality brushes for Photoshop which weretested & work with: CS2 / CS3 / CS4 / CS5 and may also workwith older versions.

WG Dry Paint Strokes

In order to make this set, the designer played with his acrylic colors to create dry paint strokes. This set contains 10 high-resolution brushes you can use to create beautiful digital paintings.

Watercolor Brush Pack

This is a set of 7 watercolor Photoshop brushes which are free of royalty. Use these for whatever projects you want.

Watercolor Brush Pack2

Here are somewatercolor splatter brushes created in PS CS5 but work with higher versions as well.

100 brush strokes

This is a huge 100 brush strokes pack created using a variety of paint brushes and acrylic paint. This set of Photoshop brushes contains everything you need, from simple brush strokes to smiley faces. Do not miss this awesome set and add these essential Photoshop brushes to your collection.

Watercolor II

Here’s another set of watercolor brushes, this time they are STAMP brushes, not continuous brushes!These watercolor brushes were tested in Photoshop CS3 but there’s also included in the download a PSD file for those with other versions/apps.

(Video) My new Krita brush pack: overview and description

Free Hi-Res Watercolor Photoshop Brushes Set II

In this set of brushes, you will find many paint strokes which are more complex than the previous sets showcased here. They were painted on a higher quality paper, so the end result is premium-quality!

Social Media Grungy Watercolor Brushes

This is a set of grungy watercolor social media icons and web symbols. Itincludes painted icons for YouTube, Twitter, StumbleUpon, MySpace, Mixx, DesignFloat, Blogger, arrows, Digg, WordPress and much more. They are all free for personal and commercial use.

Watercolor I

Here are some nice watercolor brushes for you to play with in your designs. These are STAMP brushes, not continuous brushes and work in Photoshop CS3 and higher

Brushes by Fudge Graphics

This brush set comes with 14 high-resolution brushes, all between 1597px and 2500px resolution.You may use them for personal and commercial projects as well.

WG Watercolor Brushes Vol1

This is another cool watercolor brush set that contains 20 high-resolution brushes with a resolution around 2000×2000 pixels. These can be applied on paper textures and you can use them in any way you want.

Watercolour Brushes Set 2

Get this set with 25 high-resolution watercolor brushes that have a resolution between 1500px to 2500px. The file size is approximately 42Mb.

Simple smudges

This set wasdone inPhotoshop 7 CE so it’s compatible with higher versions as well. The archive file contains .abr and readme .txt files and inside are32brushes, made using watercolors.

WaterColor .1. Brushes Pack

This watercolor brushes set comes with.abr and readme .txt files and includes17 brushes. Use them for any kind of project you want.

Free High-Res Photoshop Brushes: Grungy Watercolor

There are 10 brushes included in the set plus a zip file with PNGs for non-Photoshop users. These were made using a combination of watercolor and India ink.

High-Res Watercolor Photoshop Brushes

This is another set of high res, 2500px-resolution Photoshop brushes which you can use to distress your artwork and designs and adding ahandmade feel. You will find 7 separate brush strokes with varied tones.

(Video) NEW Brushes for Watercolor. EXPLAINED!

WaterColor .4. Brushes Pack

This is a similar set to the two others mentioned above. It’s the fourth pack and includes16brushes, made using watercolors.

Watercolor Photoshop Brushes

Here is a set of 15 watercolor Photoshop brushes, which are all high resolution at around 2500 pixels by 2500 pixels. Download them and use them in your projects.

Free acrylic photoshop brushes

Here’s another set of free acrylic PS brushes which are all absolutely free for personal or commercial use.

WaterColor Reloaded

This set includes fresh watercolor brushes and contains 83 brushes compatible with PS 7 and up! They are at a resolution of about 700 – 1200px. Use them in your projects!

Related Articles

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  • 20 Artistic Watercolor Website Designs
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  • 20 Best Free Photo Overlay Brushes Sets for Photoshop
  • 25 Must-Have Free Infographic Sets

Written by Iggy

Iggy is a designer who loves experimenting with new web design techniques, collating creative website designs, and writing about the latest design trends, inspiration, design freebies, and more. You can follow him on Twitter

1 Comment

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  1. apnitrcity says:

    March 21, 2016 at 7:51 am

    Amazing post and very nice watercolor brush sets. As now days brushes are more used to design backgrounds of logos and webpage. So this post is very helpful.


(Video) How to make Amazing ART on Starving Artist EASILY.


What are the best professional watercolour brushes? ›

The Best Natural-Hair Brushes for Watercolors Will Produce Stunning Compositions
  1. Winsor & Newton Series 7 Kolinsky Sable Watercolor Brush. ...
  2. da Vinci Russian Red Sable Brush Set. ...
  3. Isabey Squirrel Watercolor Brush. ...
  4. Escoda Reserva 1212 Series. ...
  5. Raphael Kolinsky Sable Fine Point Round Brush.
27 Apr 2022

What brushes should I use for digital painting? ›

Photoshop Tutorial: 6 Great Brushes for Digital Painting
  • Loish's Oil Pastel. "It gives you a really nice textured effect. ...
  • Loish's Hard Round. ...
  • Kyle's Drawing Box Animator Pencil 2. ...
  • Kyle's Drawing Box Perfect Pencil 2. ...
  • Kyle's Paintbox Gouache a Go Go. ...
  • Lynn Chen's Soft Texture.
3 Nov 2020

What are the best watercolor brushes in the world? ›

Best Watercolor Brush Sets
  • My Pick: Winsor and Newton Series 7. ...
  • Premium Pick: Da Vinci Deluxe Watercolor Brush Set. ...
  • Value Pick: Rhapsody Kolinsky Sable Hair Watercolor Brush Set. ...
  • My Pick: Winsor and Newton Series 7 Professional Watercolor Brush. ...
  • Premium Pick: Escoda Reserva Watercolor Brush.
15 Oct 2022

What brand of watercolors do professionals use? ›

Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolor Tubes and Sets

The competition's tough when it comes to professional watercolor brands, and Daniel Smith just edges out other contenders for the top spot here.

What do professionals use to digitally draw? ›

Drawing Software

They are programs that are specifically made for making digital paintings. Photoshop is the industry standard when it comes to drawing software but it can be a little expensive. There are other alternatives in the market such as Krita, Clip studio paint and Coreldraw.

What do professional artists use for digital art? ›

15 Best Software for Digital Artists in 2022
  • Adobe Photoshop (Editor's Choice)
  • Procreate.
  • Corel Painter 2022.
  • Adobe Fresco.
  • Adobe Illustrator.
  • Affinity Photo.
  • Rebelle 4.
  • Krita.
19 Aug 2022

What should every digital artist have? ›

Graphic Tablets

This is a standard piece of equipment that most every digital artist should have in their toolkit! A graphics tablet is a device that you can use to draw or paint on your computer with a stylus, giving artists the ability to draw intricate details.

Which Watercolour brand is best? ›

The best watercolour paints
  • M. Graham Artists' Watercolours. ...
  • Sennelier French Artists' Watercolour Half Pans. ...
  • Daniel Smith Extra Fine Watercolours. ...
  • Winsor and Newton Professional Watercolour Tubes. ...
  • Kuretake Gansai Tambi Watercolours. ...
  • Winsor and Newton Cotman Watercolour Half Pans.
28 Sept 2022

What brush is not best used for watercolor painting? ›

Watercolor paints require the use of water; that's how the paint color moves around. So a good watercolor brush is made with materials that hold and release WATER! In other words. . . a bristle brush will not work.

How many watercolor brushes do I need? ›

I would recommend you to have three round brushes - one in a small size (2-4), one in a mid-range size (6-8), and one in a larger size (10-12). You'll also need one or two flat brushes or wash brushes for those huge areas of washes that you need to do.

How long should a watercolor brush last? ›

Thankfully, watercolor brushes are super low maintenance. With only a little care, they can last a long time. Sables and other high quality natural bristles can even last a lifetime or several lifetimes. I still have some of my grandmother's brushes that are more than 40 years old!

What is the most transparent watercolor brand? ›

Transparent Watercolor Colors
  • Aureolin.
  • Hooker's Green.
  • Viridian.
  • Cobalt Blue.
  • Permanent Rose.
  • Rose Madder Genuine.
16 Jul 2020

Why are watercolor painting brushes expensive? ›

Watercolour brushes can seem expensive simply because they're specialist. They have specific requirements – the brush must hold water well, and be soft and delicate but still hardy enough to withstand regular use. But if you see very expensive watercolour brushes, it's because they are made with animal hair.

What paint brush gives the smoothest finish? ›

If you're painting a smooth surface, use a white China bristle for a smooth finish or, if you need to achieve an even finer finish, a China bristle blended with ox hair is recommended.

Are high quality paint brushes worth it? ›

Good quality brushes are highly recommended for interior painting. The type of bristle and brush style will depend on what type of paint is being applied and what it is you are painting. The make your painting job easier and looks more professional.

What is the number one paint brush? ›

Best Overall: Purdy XL Sprig Paint Brush

The brush's ferrule is copper, and the handle is made from alder wood. The brush has nylon/polyester bristles tapered just right to pick up a good amount of paint, and then deposit it evenly across most surfaces without annoying drag or stroke marks.

What is the most expensive watercolor paint? ›

Sennelier – The Most Expensive Watercolors In the World!

Sennelier has been a devoted seller of watercolors since 1887!

Are tube or pan watercolors better? ›

Pans are more convenient and so are the usual choice for portable paint boxes. Opening and squeezing out all the tubes each time you paint is not as convenient. You can also get more colours in a smaller space with half pans than with tubes, which means a lighter, smaller box.

What do professional artists use to color? ›

Soft colored pencils are usually preferred by professional artists because they blend well and lay down color easily. The texture of soft pencils can range from smooth and creamy to grainy. Keep in mind that soft colored pencils require more frequent sharpening and can be more susceptible to breakage.

What do digital artists draw when bored? ›

Digital Art Drawing Ideas for Beginners
  • Create a Geofilters for Snapchat.
  • Draw fan art.
  • Designing logos.
  • Concept art.
  • Draw based on a theme.
  • Try to create your own characters.
  • Draw creatures.
  • Draw a robot, mecha, or cyborg.

What is the most commonly used tool in digital art? ›

Every single digital artist has to have a drawing tablet and a laptop as their essential tools in their toolset. A special Mouse, a Stylus ( for tablets ) and CPU and GPU are a must too as per your level of Expertise in Digital design and Art work…

Does digital art count as real art? ›

They argue that it usually takes just as much skill and technique as traditional art and that many digital artists are also skilled in traditional art. Thus, it seems the question “Is digital art real art?” is really asking, “Does digital art take skill?” to which most have concluded, yes.

Does digital art count as painting? ›

So, the question is, is digital art real art? Our answer is definitely yes. Digital art is simply another medium choice, just like collage or oil paint. Hopefully, you feel empowered to learn how to do digital art, and we have answered the question of what traditional artists should know about digital art.

What are the 3 basic categories of digital art? ›

Besides, it falls into three main categories: Computer-Generated Visual Media, Digital Photography & Darkroom and Digital Installation Art through projection mapping for example. There are several subcategories and, of course, the artist can combine any and all to create their own unique vision.

What are the 7 principles of digital art? ›

The seven principles of art and design are balance, rhythm, pattern, emphasis, contrast, unity, and movement. Use the elements of art and design—line, shape/form, space, value, color, and texture—to create a composition as a whole.

What are the 9 common mistakes for digital art drawing for beginners? ›

10 digital art mistakes we do while becoming digital artists by...
  • No. 1: Not using a drawing tablet. ...
  • No. 2: Not using pressure sensitivity. ...
  • No. 3: Abusing the Airbrush. ...
  • No. 4: Over-blending. ...
  • No. 5: Using gradients to shade. ...
  • No. 6: Using smudging wrong. ...
  • No. 7: Saving the image wrong. ...
  • No. 8: Not using the digital tools.
22 Oct 2019

What do beginner digital artists buy? ›

you could get a Wacom graphic tablet or Cintiq and subscribe to Photoshop or buy a program like Corel Painter. In this situation I would recommend looking at what you've already got. You have a PC or Mac? Then you might want to invest in a low budget graphic tablet and try out free art software like Krita.

What is the most popular size of watercolor painting? ›

Most major watercolor shows select 22 X 30 sized paintings (some even larger), and 15 X 22 is about the smallest for these shows. There's always an exception but that's the way all the major watercolor shows in North America tend to work.

Is Winsor and Newton high quality? ›

The Winsor & Newton Artists' Oil Colour range is their best quality & has the largest array of colours, featuring 120 different shades! It has a rich, buttery consistency.

What should you not do in watercolor? ›

7 Common Watercolour Mistakes and How to Avoid Them
  • Muddy colours. One of the most common issues watercolour painters face when starting out is a mistake known as “making mud”. ...
  • Unwanted back-runs. ...
  • Loss of luminosity. ...
  • Unnatural Objects. ...
  • Wrong sized brush. ...
  • Bleeding. ...
  • Rushing.
29 Oct 2018

Are animals killed to make watercolor brushes? ›

That's right: Animals used for paintbrushes suffer in many of the same ways as animals used for fur coats. Some are caught in the wild using steel-jaw traps and snares—and many of them freeze to death before the trappers return. Others are gassed in their dens or beaten to death with clubs.

Should watercolors be framed under glass? ›

If you have just completed a watercolor painting, it is best to frame the piece with glass. It's essential to use UV-coated glass because watercolor paintings are especially vulnerable to sunlight and the elements. The paint and its colors are subject to drastic changes when needlessly exposed.

What are the best watercolor brushes made of? ›

Sable brushes are by far the best watercolor brushes, although they are the more expensive option. The hair is taken from a sable's tail. The most commonly used hair comes from a species of marten found in northern Asia, although the best hair comes from the Kolinsky sable which is actually a weasel found in Siberia.

What paper is best for watercolor painting? ›

In general, watercolour papers are made from one of two materials; cotton or wood pulp. 100% cotton papers are professional quality, and are considered to offer the very best painting surface. Cotton gives incomparable stability and ensures that you work will stand the test of time.

How long should watercolor dry between coats? ›

Always give your watercolor painting about 5 to 15 minutes to dry for each layer. If you're in doubt that the painting hasn't dried properly, you can always check the surface temperature.

Can you leave paint brushes soaking in water? ›

Don't Leave Brushes Soaking for a Long Time

You don't want to let the paint dry on the brush. Therefore it's useful to keep the brush wet during the painting session, but leaving a brush soaking in water for a long time can damage it irreversibly.

Why does my watercolor look so bad? ›

The more opaque your paints are, the muddier your colors will be. Mixing with transparent paints is a great way to avoid muddy watercolors. The same problem often appears when you mix several paints containing more than one pigment. The resulting colors are less vibrant.

Does Bob Ross use watercolors? ›

He paints in oil though – so scroll down for some notes I made about what I adapted for watercolor. Bob's video for his painting below is HERE. Also in the video I talk quite a bit about where my art journey is at right now.

What is the difference between Cotman and professional? ›

Cotman is the range of student grade watercolours from Winsor & Newton. The professional grade is called the Artists' Watercolour or the Professional Artists' Watercolour. Watercolour paint is made of pigment and binder.

Who makes the best Kolinsky sable brushes? ›

Winsor & Newton, Series 7

This is possibly the most famous kolinsky sable brush. As Winsor & Newton have a world-wide reputation for excellence. The bristles are made from the finest kolinsky sable hairs and it is reflected in the price. It is the most expensive brush on the list.

Are Winsor and Newton Watercolour brushes good? ›

First impressions. The first thing that strikes you with the Winsor & Newton brushes is the ergonomic sculpted birchwood handles. These allow the brush to sit comfortably in your hand, while the second curve of the brush handle allows for different painting positions. The feel and balance of these brushes is excellent.

What is the difference between kolinsky and sable brushes? ›

Apart from the price (Kolinsky Sable being the more expensive of the two) – Kolinsky Sable has more snap and spring than the Red Sable. Both hold the same amount of pigment or liquid but the Red Sable does tend to wear down quicker. In short: buy the best you can afford.

What size kolinsky brush is best? ›

According to celebrity manicurist Elle, the best acrylic nail brushes come in a size 8, have a precise, pointed tip, and are crafted from natural kolinsky sable hair.

Why are Kolinsky brushes so expensive? ›

The components play a big part in the cost. Each brush head is made from kolinsky sable, a Siberian weasel that's hair is said to cost three times the price of gold by weight. These weasels are hunted sustainably every spring under CITES guidelines across Siberia and Manchuria. Only guard hairs from the tail will do.

Is Winsor and Newton a Chinese company? ›

Winsor & Newton (also abbreviated W&N) is an English manufacturing company based in London that produces a wide variety of fine art products, including acrylics, oils, watercolour, gouache, brushes, canvases, papers, inks, graphite and coloured pencils, markers, and charcoals.

Is Winsor and Newton Cotman professional? ›

Cotman vs Artist grade

Cotman is the range of student grade watercolours from Winsor & Newton. The professional grade is called the Artists' Watercolour or the Professional Artists' Watercolour.

Is Winsor and Newton better than Daler Rowney? ›

The Daler Rowney paints are a lot creamier, whereas the winsor and Newton ones can be nice and thin, but also get creamier if you keep mixing them, depending on the look you want to get. Again, Winsor and Newton are definitely in the win again.


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