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Korean Storybook Art Brush Set

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drawing storybook art brush set

Did you celebrate Chuseok? Some of the SketchBook team who live in Asia have been celebrating Chuseok and similar Thanksgiving style holidays. Our employees span the globe, and so do SketchBook users. We thought this week we would bring you a 10-piece brush set inspired by Korean illustration and this Autumn holiday season. We’re calling it the Storybook Illustration Brush Set. These brushes are great for creating soft, textured edges and adding whimsical detail to your artwork. You may not know anything about Korean illustration, but this week we wanted to share a bit about what we’ve discovered. It has its own rich landscape that is often beautiful and fantastical — with rich watercolor looks, anthropomorphized animals, and motes of light and stars to make it all super dreamy.

The Harvest Moon Festival

Chuseok (추석), originally known as Hangawi, is a major 3-day harvest moon festival in Korea that celebrates the “great middle of autumn.” While it’s a Korean holiday, other holidays that are similar to it are celebrated by Asian cultures around this time. Chuseok brings families together to honor hard-working ancestors and deceased relatives who provided bounty and happiness for newer generations. Korean families use this time to connect with and remember their roots and to give thanks for the the gifts of the present. It encompasses an age-old story that has been passed on through generations with twinkling lights, elaborate costumes, extravagant lion dances, and delicious aromatic rice cakes (or songpyeon). Even if you don’t celebrate this “Korean Thanksgiving” we hope you will try your hand at drawing your own original storybook artwork with the Storybook Illustration Brush Set.

What’s in this Brush Set

This new brush set mimics the texture of traditional brush paintings. From naturally painted dry brush outlines to wisps and whimsical heart details, you can bring your characters to life in impressive settings with these brushes. Our own Michelle Li created artwork for this brush set, and her technique captures the full essence of the brush set by projecting extraordinary drama in her work using the set’s varying sharpnesses and blending capabilities.

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The Rough Pencil brush is a true gem that gives your art an illustrated storybook narrative with sketchy dry brush line work. The Texture Watercolor brush introduces a new layer of detail for more refined forms with the perfect pressure sensitive wash of colour. Also, check out the Texture and Crackle and Point brushes for making dreamy watercolor-like washes of paint. We’ve included a Sponge and a Fuzzy brush and a Crosshatch brush for adding texture. Finally, there are some  really lovely brushes for creating StarlightHearts, and Fireflies. As you can see from Michelle’s art, these little accents really help create a dreamy, gauzy, fairytale look. It’s perfect for making art that looks like it could be in a child’s storybook.

korean-storybook-brush-demo
Start with the softer brushes and work your way to stronger, more texturized lines. Layering is a good way to make the foreground pop and add depth that almost animates your characters. The airbrush is great for making soft, faded, silhouetted backgrounds like in this impressionistic forest of illuminated trees.

Storybook Art to Inspire

The genesis of this brush set? Michelle in our office getting a little bit hooked on a site that’s popular in Korea called Grafolio. It’s a showcase of illustrated art that you probably can’t navigate fully if you don’t read Korean, but then again with art sometimes words simply don’t matter. Here’s a few of our favorites to inspire you if you want to create your own art with this kind of Storybook look:

storybook art
리하 (sean lecha) makes lovely, soft drawings of anthropomorphized animals with some everyday anxieties that would be welcome in any kid’s storybook.
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퍼엉 (Puuung) focuses on love, with lots of wonderful portraits about the beauty and comfort of everyday love — with a cute little cat often hiding in the background.
애뽈 (aeppol)
애뽈 (aeppol) goes full-on into dreamy territory, with characters who seem to be living in surreal landscapes. Notice how effective stars, petals, leaves, and firefly motifs can be to give illustration a fantastical feel.
This kind of simply study between two animals in an everyday setting can be a great place for you to start with this kind of storybook look.
This kind of simple study between two animals in an everyday modern setting can be a great place for you to start with this kind of storybook look.

Installing the brush sets

Being able to share and install these weekly free brush sets in the desktop app is one of the features for SketchBook subscribers. If you’re using the latest desktop version of SketchBook, simply double click on the .skbrushes file, and it will automatically install. Check out this article for all the details about brushes and legacy versions. If you haven’t tried the subscription, you can download a free trial and unlock Pro membership for 15 days (no credit card required).