How I use my watercolor brushes (Free brushes)



For this tutorial I have decided to create a Set of Brushes completely free and explain how to use them or with what idea to create them. I leave you the download link or you can look for them in the Asset Store directly as "nunFalco - Watercolor"

This time our video has a long duration, I hope it is not too much for all of you and that you can enjoy it and learn with it, anyway I try to summarize the content in this written version.

Link to brushes:

One of the characteristics of watercolors is that randomness that it gives us when making strokes, those touches with opacity and the way in which the inks are combined.
I will briefly explain some details to add our materials. If you already have knowledge of this, please skip to the next step that is to say to the topic “On paper and textures”.


The purpose of these brushes is to be able to achieve watercolor textures in a realistic way. We have a bit of variety to give different types of effects.

Once we have downloaded our Brush Set we will find it in the section: Materials> Downloads

If you don't have the icon, you can open it from:
Window> Materials> All Materials

I recommend creating a new folder to store our SET if you haven't created it by default. Right click anywhere in the section where the folders are located followed by “New folder”.

And we drag all our content to that folder, this is in order to keep everything in a better order.

On paper and textures

We must know that we need a paper texture that is included in our Set in order to give that real paper feeling. We just drag it and it will appear as a layer, we can expand it to reduce it, it is already configured to cover the entire canvas. You can also resterize it if you wish.

We will use this layer in multiply mode and we will use the opacity bar to adjust it to our liking.

Another detail; It is preferable not to use the paper in a totally White tone (#FFFFFF) this because in watercolor (as in other styles) we could use the white tone to highlight certain details or make some part in "negative". So we can choose a slightly gray or slightly yellowish tone. This is totally a matter of taste, even if you want you can use White (#FFFFFF) if your needs require it.

Using brushes and their functions

To visualize the brushes in the way I do we have to go to the 3 horizontal lines in the Sub tool [Brush]> View> Pattern or Small Pattern.
I remember that at some point I could not find this function, but choose the way of your preference.

All brushes have certain visible options in the "Tool Properties" area that I usually change depending on my objective, it is important to know your brushes in order to get more out of them. So be sure that by moving these parameters you can achieve different results and you can also begin to better understand the "brush engine" that we have in Clip Studio Paint. (The "brush engine" are all those functions that the software gives us to modify the functions of our brushes that we can find by clicking on the key under "Tool properties" and it will open the "Sub tool details")

Starting to paint - Dragonfly

This time we will start with the line art. We can use our brush called “Pen” OR “Pencil1” to accomplish this task. The "Pencil1" is a simple brush with some texture to imitate the pencil, however "Pen" has a bit of randomness when it comes to making strokes which makes it interesting and fun when drawing lines, giving it a touch of the “rollerball pen” style which are the most common pens, perhaps BIC type. (At least here in Mexico).

We will start by drawing a dragonfly rock, it is something quite simple, we only have to create the 3 parts that make up its body and its wings will be attached to the central part of its body and we add some small antennas. If we want, we can also add some of the details that their wings carry, they can make it as detailed as they like. I decided to do something simple for reasons of time (video-wise).

Then we will use our brush "WaterColor3" which is a brush with three similar tips to give a bit of randomness to its use and also has the watercolor border and Mix Colors options to activate and deactivate depending on its use. For example, if I want to achieve those marks that watercolor leaves on the edges, I can simply activate this option but sometimes we find that we do not want borders in certain areas, so we can remove the border and eliminate the details that we do not like. In addition we can also make use of the "Blender" brush to be able to eliminate these edges in the sections that we do not want.

In this example I will place with the brush "Watercolor3" some spots of a light tone on the wings, and I will give a dark tone (almost black) to the central part, then I will use "Blender" to drag the color of both parts and achieve a subtle fusion.

When you have activated the "watercolor edges" option, you should do it in a single stroke, since the edge will appear until the end of the stroke, if you make 3 strokes you will see 3 different edges, just keep this in mind.

We use blender to drag a little color from the black part, and then a little of our light color until we bring them to a point where they meet and a combination is generated. Drag the black color slightly because we only require a light gray to simulate a transparency.

Finishing all the parts would look like this.

We can make use of the “BigSplash” Brush, this was created to place either a single spot by dragging the brush in tape mode and the repeat mode to "Only once" or continuous spots by deactivating the tape mode and changing the repeat mode to " Repeat".
The tape mode allows us to direct the tip of our brush that we will create in certain directions and also depending on the speed with which we make the stroke our results may change.

The ribbon mode allows us to rotate the image of our brush if we need something like this, the spot above is the shape of our brush and the other 2 are using the ribbon mode and curving the stroke.

It also has a color variation, this function makes use of the secondary color, so make sure you have both colors according to what you will use or you can simply deactivate the option "change color of the brush tip".

You can notice how the "red" color is slightly visible in certain parts.

And by changing the secondary color you are changing.

Cat Silhouette

Now we will make the silhouette of a sitting cat with its back turned and looking to the side.
Using our brush "Watercolor2" this time we will play with the stains a bit, without drawing a lineart.
If we want to cover large areas, let's remember to do it a little slow because very large brushes can slow down our computer a bit, but something that I have found useful is that we can cover the area with small strokes (I mean to touch with the tip of our pencil our tablet quickly, lift it up and do the same procedure again) and also with this "technique" we add a bit of randomness in the spots left by our brushes. So this is what I will do even though we will be using a small brush size which does not give us any problems in terms of rendering.

If you liked the result in your first brushstrokes and do not want to continue repeating the process, you can simply duplicate the layer and then we group them, so we gain a little more density in our ink. You can repeat this process as many times as you want.

Now, if I wanted to add color on top of this ink, you will notice that you cannot add a new color with this brush because the "Mix colors" function is active (or maybe not), this makes our new color merge with the one. color on which we are painting, if we leave that area we will see how our brush begins to change tone, in the same way from the outside to the inside.

We deactivate "Color mixing" and paint our eye.

When my intention is to work something in the watercolor style I prefer to work everything in a single layer, trying to imitate the traditional (analogous) process.

After drawing our cat we can add some details to our pieces; either texture or these stains that we achieve with the ink when we splash it. We will use the “SplatteM” brush, our Set includes S, M and L, alluding to the acronym in English of Small, Medium, Large, with this we will know the amount of spots that we will find on each tip of the brush, if we want few we will use S and if we want a lot we will use L.

Something that you may notice and that is common given the nature of watercolors is the use of opacity. In the Traditional (Analog) way we use water to increase or decrease the opacity of our ink. So here we will also do the same, if we want our illustration to have coherence then we simply decrease our opacity to taste.

We will use it with 69% opacity this time I like those light stains. Remember this is a matter of taste and nothing I tell you is a rule, it is simply an option. If you need those very marked spots you can even use 100% opacity.

Now we will use the brush "Salt" that literally imitates the salt that we can use in watercolor, it is used to achieve certain textures in the traditional way since contact with the ink can give us certain effects. Here is just a rough draft with a long interval and with randomness. You can also use the option "Continuous spraying" or "Spray effect" for other interesting results, this will create smaller and more random particles from the tip of our brush. So we can add more variety.

Almost all the brushes in the Set have these “Color Mix” and “Blend Mode” options visible. This is in order to be able to make new and interesting uses with this function.

We can use the "TX Brightness" brush, which is the same as "TX Color" except that in a different combination mode, TX Brightness is in "add brightness" mode and "TX Color" is in multiply mode. This allows us to achieve different types of textures in our illustrations. I love “TX Brillo” since you can get textures that stand out very pleasing to the eye, literally as if they were shining.

Let's draw a little bird

"Paint" It is a simple brush with some texture, that if you want to fill something in an exact tone, where the ink has no variation or only a slight variation you can use it. You can turn off the Color Mix option if you want it in a flatter tone. We will draw a simple bird with "Paint".
We will make a circle of one tone and then we will lower its luminosity of that tone to fill the other half.

"Pastel01" can be used to achieve linearts with a nice "chalk" texture. or even fill in a section if we wish.

Watercolor 4 to 6 are brushes with very random shapes that arise from the same spots as the watercolors and I extracted them to subtly place those types of spots. What I was looking for with these is that slight randomness that we get in its fairly uniform tip. Maybe it is not something that can be perceived too much, but do your tests with them.

Let's draw a quill pen

Finally we will make a quill pen using "WatercolorFlat" to delimit our shape and we will use our brush "E-Paint", all brushes with "E-" are intended to be rubbers, so you can move them to your section rubber bands, although you can also change their combination mode to use them in some other way. We will make a few lines as if you were painting in a "negative" style. (Painting negative is like painting around a silhouette but not painting anything inside the silhouette)

Before using our rubber, we will make a few spots with our “WatercolorWet” brush that has that texture and that wet watercolor movement, this makes that when we paint one spot over another they are superimposed as if we were in "multiply" mode with a transparency adding a bit of "darkness" to our strokes. We could even imitate something like "smoke".

Now we will make use of our E-Paint rubber that is configured with a high percentage of stability to make more precise or "clean" lines.

We have other brush stories that I did not talk about but I would like you to experiment with them and see your results.


I hope it helps you to explore this beautiful world of watercolor, remember that you must experiment a lot and also explore the properties of brushes, do not be afraid to make mistakes because when we explore we can find many useful and interesting things and we definitely have to make the tools suitable. more to our needs. A hug for all and expressing yourself through your art. Do not forget to leave me your feedback in the comments of either the video or this tutorial, they help me a lot with your opinion.

I leave you the images of the final results that I did 2 times.



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