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Errors about... Custom brushes

Journal Entry: Tue Sep 29, 2015, 6:52 AM


Some topics in art are prone to mistaken thoughts, and hard to get rid of - like, using reference is cheating (hint: it's not). In the spirit of "Ranarh's Tiny Tips", here is some compacted advice for the beginning artist on Custom Brushes.

Custom brushes are hard to make

Not at all. It rarely takes more than just a few steps to make them. There are plenty of easy tutorials on creating your own brushes from scratch, and many brush packs to download. Magazines often feature them, too.

I can't paint without custom brushes

You could of course paint an entire photorealistic painting with only one brush. But it's more difficult or will take longer than also using custom brushes. Understanding what you are painting is more important than the brush.

Custom brushes are cheating

Traditional media features many different brush types, and painters use all kinds of things to apply paint to a canvas: toothbrushes, sponges, buckets, their fingers, crumpled paper, chimpanzees... Don't make your life harder by dismissing custom brushes as unartistic. When creating an artwork, the result counts most; and if a downloaded custom brush gives you exactly what you need, use it.
In any case, your body of art will improve if you know what work you are saving yourself. Make studies using a single brush - then you understand the structure better and can do better with the custom brush, too.

Custom brushes do my work for me

For all their benefits, custom brushes are still crutches. Using a leaves brush makes painting trees easier, but you still need some handpaint or it'll look pasted. In graphic works however, it might be what you are looking for.


Ranarh's Profile Picture
Current Residence: Northern Germany
Favourite style of art: digital - fantasy


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Theaitetos Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2015
Hey, deine neue Signatur sieht cool aus!

Darf ich fragen, ob ich die im Wiki Aventurica auf deiner Seite hochladen darf? Ich sammel Signaturen von DSA-Künstlern, damit deren Werke leichter erkannt werden kann:…
Ranarh Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2015
Danke! Aber natürlich. Die Illustrationen für den Almanach habe ich aber noch mit meiner bisherigen Signatur unterschrieben, vielleicht wäre die besser, (auch) gezeigt zu werden? Ich könnte dir ein einzelnes Bild davon per Email schicken, wenn du mir eine Adresse zukommen lässt.
Zedna7 Featured By Owner Jun 21, 2015  Student Digital Artist
Could you by any chance make a tutorial on making smoke? :la: I wanted to make my own brushes, and a smoke brush is one of them :)
Ranarh Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2015
I will look into that. I've been slow on creating new Tiny Tips, but your wish is almost my command :)
Zedna7 Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2015  Student Digital Artist
hehe okies. Think I have found something on youtube tho, with maximizing and warping, seem quite good :la: sorry for wasting your time abuot that :o but can't wait for your next tiny tip :)
printsILike Featured By Owner May 14, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
:iconhappyfellaavatar: thanks for the :iconllama3dplz::iconseeyouplz:
P-COMIC Featured By Owner Apr 26, 2015  Hobbyist Digital Artist

Nice Gallery~!

Ranarh Featured By Owner Apr 27, 2015
Thanks a lot! :thanks:
Reomira Featured By Owner Edited Apr 17, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
du hast eine fantastische galerie, deine bilder sehen aus wie aus traumwelten :)
Ranarh Featured By Owner Apr 18, 2015
Dankeschön :thanks:
Eigentlich sind es sogar Traumwelten :)
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