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Renée’s Painting Power Tools: Free Brush Set

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This week’s free brush set comes from the coveted brush library of our very own resident artist Renée. Renée has been busy creating the majority of the free brush sets you’ve likely downloaded in the past, as well as a good chunk of the art you see featured on this blog. If you’re not already aware, she broadcasts live painting sessions every Wednesday and Friday on Twitch. Check the schedule on the SketchBook Pro Twitch channel for exact times and to watch past broadcasts.

The 10-piece brush set we’re offering this week includes three amazing blending brushes to perfectly merge your colors. Download Renée’s Painting Power Tools and be sure to follow the tutorial below to get the best possible use out of them. They have great characteristics and some cracking good names like Bleeding Watercolor, Wet Frayed Bristles, Salty Watercolor, Crackle Blender, and Spiky Blender — among others.

Using blending brushes

The first step, of course, is to lay down some flat colors (as shown below). Then, choose one of the “blending tools” in the brush set. Try the three “blender” brushes with different textures. Make sure the blending tool is large and set to a very low opacity of around 1-10%.

Before we can start blending, we need to “color pick” along the edge of where the two colors meet (somewhere in the middle). Use a shortcut (ALT on Mac, CTRL on Windows) when picking colors to make your life a little easier.

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Run the brush lightly along the edge of where the two colors meet. See how the blending brush creates a new third color? Now you can re-pick a color from one side and continue to blend your solid colors.

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Rinse and repeat! Keep color picking each new color and continue to use the blending brushes at a low opacity to blend until you can’t see any harsh edges.

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For your convenience, we’ve provided you with the process in motion below. Feel free to play around with different colors and the different brushes in the set. You’ll find that you can get quite a different result when using a variation of textures and opacities.

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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).