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Brushes and the Brush Palette

With SketchBook, you won’t feel limited. There is a huge assortment of brushes, some pressure-sensitive, others with textures, some glows, splatter, and much more.

Brushes are what you use to draw with in SketchBook and they include not only actual brushes, but erasers, markers, pens, and pencils. Where can you find these brushes? The device and version of SketchBook you’re using determine where your brushes are.

In most versions, you will find a default set of brushes in the Brush Palette. If you have a smaller handheld device, your brushes will be in the Brushes menu.

When editing brushes, use the Brush Editor, Brush or Double Puck, or Brush Property sliders found along the side of the Brush Palette.

Each version of SketchBook has slightly different brushes and tools for editing brushes. In some versions, you can create, customize, save, and share brushes.

How to swap between brushes

Use Swap between brushes to swap between the last two brushes used. Tap one brush, then select another. After that, useSwap between brushes to move between the brushes.

Brush Palette

Brushes intro for Pro users of SketchBook

Though the Brush Palette might look slightly different from version to version, the functionality is pretty similar. For differences in functionality, see the sections that follow.

Some have icons along the top to open the Brush Library or Brush Properties. Along the bottom, some have a bar you can drag to show more or less brushes. If you want to see more brushes, you can always tap-hold and drag a brush up or down.

How to select a brush

Select a brush using either the Brush Palette or Brush Library. Tap a brush to select it.

Brush Palette in SketchBook for Windows Tablet  Brush Library

How to access a brush’s properties

There are few ways to access brush’s properties. Changing the size, opacity, and flow are all brush properties.

  • Double-tap a brush to open Brush Properties.
  • Tap the Brush Properties icon icon to open Brush Properties.
  • Tap the UI Toggle in SketchBook for Windows tablet icon to open Brush Properties.

How to load brushes into the Brush Palette

You can change the default set of brushes by adding individual brushes or loading new brush sets. Load your favorites brushes into the palette by either dragging them into it or pinning a full brush set.

This feature is not available in all versions of SketchBook. In some versions, the Pin feature is in a marking menu, in others it replaces the marking menu.

Using the Brush Palette in SketchBook for Desktop

There are an assortment of basic brushes that can be found in the lagoon and Brush Palette.

Brushes intro for Pro users of SketchBookLooking for more brushes? Check out the Brush Library! Think synthetic, effect, glow, smudge, blend, or texture. There are options for randomizing color, opacity, and size, and so much more. Create custom brushes and assign personalized icons to them. Share them with friends or colleagues. Even make your favorite ones more accessible through marking menus, add them to the palette, or load an entire set into the palette.

If you are interested in pressure-sensitivity, check out this video:

Using the Brush Palette in SketchBook for Mobile

Only available on a tablet

Brushes and Colors - Brush Palette in the mobile version of SketchBookOn a tablet, you will have a default set of brushes in the Brush Palette and more in the Brush Editor. You can also access the Brush Library for more brushes, by tapping the brush in the Double Puck. You can customize your brushes and more. See Brush Properties for the details.

If you are on a tablet, the Brush Palette will be on the left side of the canvas. The version of SketchBook you are running will determine where you can find brushes and how many you have.

If you are on a hand-held device, such as an Android phone or 32-bit iPhone, you might be wondering where to go to find brushes. SketchBook on a hand-held device doesn’t have a Brush Palette, due to the screen size. Tap Brushes icon in the hand-held mobile version of Autodesk SketchBook or tap the brush in the Double Puck to access the Brush Editor for brushes.

If you are using SketchBook v.3.7.4 or below, tap  or tap the brush in the Double Puck to access the Brush Editor for brushes.


If you are looking for an eraser, the palette has two erasers – Hard eraser icon hard and Soft eraser icon soft. To see all the brushes in the palette, tap-drag up or down within the palette to expose more brushes.

if you have a brush you love, but wish there was an eraser just like it, use Transparent Color to create it.


For SketchBook v.4.0 or above users, tap any brush to select it. Sliders appear beside the palette for changing size or hardness/size and opacity or opacity/flow. Tap-drag them up or down. An on-screen display appears, indicating the new numeric values for the changed brush property.

Brush Palette showing sliders for changing brush size and opacity in the mobile version of SketchBook

For SketchBook v.3.7.4 or below users, tap any brush to select it and access size and opacity controls. Tap-drag the slider to set the size and/or transparency of the brush.

Customizing your palette

Is there a brush or two you use all the time, but they aren’t in the palette? If so, why not add them? Tap-hold, then drag a brush from the editor onto the palette.

Brush Palette and Brush Properties - showing how to add a brush to the palette

Let’s take a closer look at the Brush Editor.

Pinning brush sets

Do you want to load a different brush set into your palette? If so, pin it.

Pinning a brush set to the palette in SketchBook for MobileBrush set pinned to the palette in SketchBook for Mobile

  1. Tap Brush Editor icon from the Brush Palette in the iPad subscription version of Autodesk SketchBook  to access the Brush Library. If you see sliders, at the top of the panel, tap Library.
  2. Scroll to the brush set you want to pin.
  3. Tap a brush in the set to display a pin to the right.
  4. Tap the pin to load the brush set into the palette and replace the brushes currently there.

Switching between brushes

For SketchBook v.4.0 or above users, tap Radial menu icon for accessing the Last Brush tool in Autodesk SketchBook, then flick Last Brush icon in the iPad version of Autodesk SketchBook to switch between the last two brushes.

For SketchBook v.3.7.5 or below users, in the Brush Library, along the top of the screen, tap Swap between brushesto switch between the last two brushes.

You can assign Last Brush to a corner shortcut. Tap-hold the corner until a menu appears. Tap Last Brush. It is now assigned to that corner.

Using the Brush Palette in SketchBook for Windows 10

The palette contains a customizable default brush set. Add your favorite brushes or pin a completely new brush set to it. Organize your brushes. If you need the Brush Library or Brush Properties, access them through the palette.

Brush Palette labelled

  1. Open Brush Library
  2. Currently loaded brush set
    A blue highlighted brush indicates the current selected active brush

Exposing more brushes in the Brush PaletteTap-drag up or down within the palette to expose more brushes.

Rearranging brushes

Rearranging brushesWant to rearrange the brushes in your palette? Tap-hold, then drag a brush to a different location within the palette.

Accessing brush properties

Double-tap a brush to open Brush Properties and access the brush properties.

Adding brushes to your palette

Want to customize your palette? In the Brush Library, tap-hold a brush and drag it onto the Brush Palette.

Adding a brush to the palette

Loading a brush set into your palette

Within the Brush Library, load all the brushes from a brush set with Pinning icon Pin Set To Palette.

Pinning brush sets in SketchBook for Windows 10

Resetting your palette and brushes

  1. In the toolbar, select File icon File and select File > About in SketchBook Preferences.
  2. In Preferences, tap Factory Default.
  3. Select Reset Brush Settings. This resets the Brush Palette.
    If you want to reset individual brushes, use Brush Properties.


Updated on June 28, 2018

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