Free Brush Set of the Week: Splatz!

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splatz blog header- Splatter and splash

Welcome back! We know Mondays can be rough, which is why we’re bringing you another beautiful free brush set. This week you’ll be getting Splatz! It’s a handy set of brushes consisting of splatters and speckled textures to perfect your messy creations. We actually created these brushes using real ink splatters and SketchBook’s Scan Sketch feature. As an added bonus, we have a tutorial for using SketchBook’s Scan Sketch to create your own custom brushes. Download the Splatz Brush Set now for our splatter and splash brush set and keep reading to take advantage of the amazing Scan Sketch feature.

Custom Splatz tutorial using Scan Sketch

Before we begin, keep in mind that this tutorial doesn’t exclusively apply to creating splatter brushes. You can use Scan Sketch to create custom brushes of any kind from physical art that you believe could potentially be a useful brush. Materials we’re going to use:

  • Copic ink
  • Clear acrylic plastic
  • Watercolor paper
  • Scan Sketch

This tutorial is for SketchBook Pro power users. You’ll need both a mobile version (to capture images with your smartphone) and a desktop version of SketchBook (to create custom brushes). Scan Sketch is available on all versions of the mobile SketchBook app. If you’re not sure what Scan Sketch even is, here’s a short video to show you how handy it can be — especially when it comes to line art.

We’re going to start off by making ink splats on white paper. Using the Copic ink, drip the ink on different materials for different splats. As an example, the ink soaks into watercolor paper, but not on acrylic. The type of medium can make the overall shape change for the splat. Try holding the ink at different heights to get different effects, and try different motions of your hand as the ink falls.

brush tutorial materials

splatz making of

Now it’s time to scan. This is where the white background comes in handy. Open your gallery in mobile sketchbook and press the + to select Scan Sketch.

scan sketch 1

Simply hover over the splats and press the big round button to capture.

scan sketch 2

scan sketch 3

As you can see, Scan Sketch knocks out the white background, so the splat is transparent.

scan sketch 4

Export the PSD to your favorite cloud solution (you can use anything you like – iCloud, Dropbox, Box). Then open the file on desktop and create the brushes. If you already know how to create your own custom brushes on SketchBook Pro, feel free to stop reading at this point. If not, continue on.

Custom brush shape tutorial

For your convenience, we have recently uploaded a Custom Brush Shape Tutorial for SketchBook Pro to our YouTube channel. The tutorial below is a breakdown of that same video so you can learn from whichever medium you’re comfortable with.

custom brush select

Since there are drips all over, we might want to isolate just one for our brush with a little bit of spatter. Select a drip you like using the lasso tool. Once you have made your selection, hit CTRL+C to copy it, and CTRL+V (CMD on Mac) to paste it on a new layer. You can resize the drip immediately if you’d like while we are in the quick transform tool. If you like the drip the way it is, hit the “x” button to exit transform mode. In the layer panel, use the eye icon to hide the other splats so you can focus just on the one drip you want for your brush.

custom brush layers

In the Brush Library window, select ‘make a new brush’ from the menu. Feel free to choose any type you’d like.

add custom brush

select type of brush

Double click on the new brush you just made, and in the advanced tab scroll to the ’Texture’ section.
custom brush properties

Press the ‘Capture’ button to be in capture mode. Hover over your drip, with a brush big enough to circle the whole thing, and click to capture it.

custom brush capture

Once you’ve captured your drip, or whatever else you might have scanned, have fun editing the parameters of the brush to make it your own!

customize brush settings

Of course, you can use this method to create an infinite number of unique brushes and stamps for your artwork. The sky is the limit, enjoy!

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).