Guide to master your brushes | Part one (the basics)



So this wasnt honestly going to be such an intensive course, but here we are with too much information to fit in only one video. This is the first part of three:

The absolute basics. You'll find this information the most useful if you are just bought your CSP or if you are a beginner and you find yourself a little bit lost with the software.

I'm working on the second part right now, but so far, it seems it goes like this:

First part: The basics + how to install brushes
Second part: settings and brush properties
Third part: how to create your own brushes from scratch

Where are your brushes?

the brushes are tools included in the software that emulate the traditional instruments used to paint.

To find them let's pay attention to the toolbar on the left side of the screen. This can be activated and deactivated by clicking window, then tool.

Here we also have the tool and subtool properties, that we will be using in the future, so just in case they are not visible for you, you can activate them here as well.

Just an additional note, you can move your toolbars however you want, to move them you just have to click the tool and drag it around. It turns red while you have it selected. You can leave it floating or you can also join it with another bar.

If you drag it closer to another menu, it will show you the spot where your bars will be joined with a red stripe.

Now, let's go back to the toolbar. Every time you click on any of the tools, the sub tool and tool property windows will show you different options for that same tool.

As you can see in the sample above, we have the Pen sub tool and tool properties in the right and left of the screenshot, respectively.

And we have the same for the eraser in the sample below. Pay attention to how different the settings are and how they change every time you click on different tools.

Actually, let's bring attention to this: the tool bar is divided in three parts, the second segment is where all the brushes are placed, and this does include the eraser and the blending tools.

Many of them have a pre-set shortcut, that you can see if you let your cursor on top of the tool. I do recommend to have them in mind because simply pressing a key while painting or drawing definitely helps the work flow.

Also, its important to mention that sometimes a single Key can be the shortcut for multiple tools, for example the Airbrush, Decoration and Brush tools all share the key B.

How ever if you press the designated key multiple times, it will automatically jump from one tool to another.

You can configure your own shortcuts by going to

|| File || and then || Shortcut settings ||

You would have to get in the tool category to customize the Tool Bar.

But have in mind that this not only includes the brush shortcuts, but all of the tools and properties. And also, as you can see in the sample below, CSP, bless its heart, has actually instructions on how to set the short cut, and actually many if not all of the tools have a quick explanation on how it works, so that's pretty cool.


There are subcategories or subgroups in the sub tool bar. Those can help you organize your brushes and work materials. You can create a new category by dragging one of the brushes to the categories bar. Dragging your brushes will also allow you change their place or order.

And it will be just like dragging a tool or a menu bar. A red stripe will show you where the brush will move to.

Then you can name your new brush group by right clicking it and then selecting the only option that jumps: sub tool group settings.

Also to eliminate a group you just have to take the brushes out if it. Once its empty it will automatically disappear.

Installing new brushes

There are two ways that you can import pre-made brushes. The first will be by using the clip studio paint assets, where you can find a catalog of brushes, textures and more materials.

You can access this from your Clip Studio app, at the right side there will be a bar with the option to redirect to the Assets page.

You can also look for Clip Studio Assets in your browser and it will let access from there as well.

And then all you have to do is type in the search bar whatever you are looking for and it will display a huge catalog of the material you are looking for.

In this case, brushes.

They are shared by other CSP users and as you can see, you can either buy them or download the free alternatives.

You can also save them as a favourite, like them and share them.

And of course, you can also share the brushes you have created. I'll show you how you can do that when we get to the third part.

After you have downloaded your material, to add it to your subtool bar, you just go to the option that says Add sub tool. It will open a new menu with all the downloaded materials, you just have to find the brushes you just downloaded and select them.

You can add whole palettes and by that I mean a bunch of brushes at once, so if you don't want to get them mixed, I suggest you create a subcategory first, following the steps I showed you before. You can always move back the brush you have moved to your new subcategory.

The other alternative is importing brushes from outside sources, this means that whatever brush you have downloaded maybe for another software can be installed here as well.

It is pretty common for big artists to sell their brush set, so you might be interested in looking for them. In here I'll use as a sample the RossDraws brush set.

-Also I get this question a lot, I cant share the brushes I've downloaded or bought from other artists, since this is their income, but if you'd like to get them, I'm collecting all of the sources for the brushes I've acquired so far, I'll leave that list in the description box of the video-

So to import from an outside source, we'll click on the subtool menu, which are the three bars on the top left.

Then we'll go over and click in | Import sub tool |

Then a new window will open where you can find and select the brushes you want to import. As before, you can select more than one brush at once.

Again, I suggest you create first a subcategory or group if you don't want them to get mixed.

The preinstalled brushes

The preinstalled brush sets are very interesting and honestly, even tho I have a huge collection of brushes, these brushes have found a place in my heart. They are actually really good, so don't think you need to download tons of brushes to start your art journey, the ones preinstalled are already more than enough.

In the sample above I highlighted the ones that are actually preinstalled, since a few downloaded brushes made their way over there.

But anyway, whats really interesting about this brushes is that they have very specific settings that try to emulate the traditional media, and they are actually divided in a way that is easy to follow:

Inks for the first sub tool: Pen and Marker (A) -I have this set as A, but I'm not entirely sure this was the default shortcut.

Dry media for the second: Pencil, chalk or pastel (S)

And finally we have our wet paint in the third one: Brush tool (B) watercolors, thick paint (includes oils, gouache) and India ink.

These groups also include certain brushes that are created to blend and interact with their type of media to make it seem even more realistic, like the watercolor watery brush, that imitates a brush full of water and on its own, doesn't really do much, but rather when there is paint already in the canvas.

So, again if you are just transitioning from traditional to digital, you are going to love them.

And then we have our other B's

Decoration (B) that will have some patterns preinstalled and will probably make your life easier, particularly if you are interested in doing comics.

Airbrush (B) not only includes our typical airbrush tool but also some other sprayed inks that are plenty of useful.

Exercise to dominate your brushes

So I guess this is the homework, right?
If you'd like to understand how a brush work, you need to use it in different fashions so here is an exercise i propose and I myself tend to use a lot. Its inspired from the traditional media, and it always gives you a nice idea of not only how the brush works but also you can easily find whats their optimal use.

First let's select a rectangle area. We are going to pick a brush, and in the video I got the Gpen, so here is it.

With a 100% opacity we are going to fill the rectangle. (If you want, you can try and repeat this with lower opacity)

For the next exercise will do another rectangle and this time we are going to tap our tablet softly with the pen.

You can adjust your pressure and the strength you apply but try to be delicate with this. using the Gpen only translates in a bunch of spots but that is fine.

Our next exercises are going to be lines. Just go over the rectangle with horizontal and vertical lines, curves and spirals as well since sometimes the tips react different depending the angle they are at.

You can also try the brushes on a rectangle with already a background color and paint with another one, just to see how it interacts with the color in the canvas.

Now we can talk about the erasers. Do the exact same exercise for the erasers, just use a colored background.

In this samples I used a brush turned into an eraser just to showcase different textures and how other types of brush react different with the same brushstrokes or painting technique.

For the blending tool we'll paint our rectangles with two different colors.

There will only be two exercises for the blend tool: the first will be to try and blend the line between the two colors.
You can increase your brush size, tap, drag the paint. Experiment and find a way to blend the line as much as possible.

The second exercise will require a smaller brush size and we will only drag the paint from one color to the other.

The exercises above were made with the blend and blur tools.

You'll notice that not all of the brushes perform well with certain exercises which its fine. Don't get frustrated if you can't drag the paint with the Blur tool or if you cant erase the line as easily with the finger tip brush.

That just means you find the strengths and weakness of each brush and you'll know better which applications work better for them. And that's the only purpose of this activity, that you understand how the brush behaves and apply it to your own art and style!

That being said, have fun playing and experimenting with your brushes while I work on the second part of this series

love u all

I'll be forever grateful for your support<3



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