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How to customize brushes

The brushes we ship with SketchBook are great and you can do almost anything with them. However, you may want to add to the existing custom brush sets in the Brush Library by creating new brushes to suit your purposes. Many users find they use the default Erasers, Flood Fill, Solid Paint Brush, and Airbrush. Yet, many still tweak the Pencils and Pens to their style. You can customize your brushes and save them.

Customizing brushes in SketchBook for Desktop

For a couple tutorial on custom brushes, Custom Brushes by Dave Bentley and Making custom brushes in SketchBook.

Create more brushes by copying a brush and changing its setting or creating a Do-It-Yourself brush.

  1. Tap Brush Library icon to access the Brush Library.
  2. Tap a brush set.
  3. Tap-hold Radial marking menu icon and flick new brush to select it.
  4. Select a brush type to base your new brush on. By default, Current Brush is selected. Try starting with Standard.
  5. Tap Create. A Do-It-Yourself brush Do-It-Yourself Brush icon will appear in your brush set.

Once you create a Do-It-Yourself custom brushes Do-It-Yourself brush, double-tap the icon to open Brush Properties and do the following:

  • Adjust the pressure sensitivity – In the Advanced tab, set brush radius and opacity according to the amount of pressure applied to the stylus. In the Basic tab, make changes to its Size to vary its brush thickness as the stylus pressure changes.

The brush size values are a rough approximation of pixel size, but can vary.
For example, if lines are too thin to be drawn on the screen, they default to being wider. To resize a marker, try adjusting its opacity and stamp spacing. To make a bigger marker, set the opacity lower and the brush stamp spacing lower.

  • Change the opacity – In the Advanced tab, set opacity to vary brush opacity as the stylus pressure changes. To have the brush randomly changed opacity as you lay down strokes, see Randomize.

See Brush Properties for help on customizing various aspects of a brush. For adding color randomization, see How to randomizing color.

If you have custom icons you’d love to assign to your custom brushes, check out How to create texture icons.

Customizing brushes in SketchBook for Mobile

The device you are using, as well as the version of SketchBook you are running, will determine the brushes and tools available.

Tablets with SketchBook v.4.0 or higher

Once in Brush Properties, for many of the brushes, there will be two tabs. The first, Basic, contains basic settings, such as size and opacity. The second, Advanced, contains more complex settings, such as Tilt, Wetness, or Pressure. Tap a tab to access its properties. Flick up or down to access all properties. Due to the complexity of some brushes, this list can be longer.

Brush Properties in the 64-bit iPad version of SketchBook

  1. Tap Brush Editor icon in the iPad version of Autodesk SketchBook to open the Brush Library.
  2. In the Brush Library, select the brush you want to customize.
  3. Tap Settings to access Brush Properties and edit the brush.
  4. Tap the different tabs to access a variety of properties. Make the changes you need.
  5. To close the panel and return to the canvas, tap the canvas.

Hand-held device with SketchBook v.3.7.4 or below

Looking for something different? Change brush settings to create customized brushes. Within the Brush Editor, there are tools for changing the radius, opacity, spacing, and much more. Once in Brush Properties, all the settings for the selected brush will be displayed. Flick up or down to access all properties. Due to the complexity of some brushes, this list can be longer.

For Android and 64-bit iPhone users

Brush Properties in the 64-bit iPhone version of Autodesk SketchBook

  1. Tap Brush Editor icon in the iPad version of Autodesk SketchBook to open the Brush Library.
  2. In the Brush Library, select the brush you want to customize.
  3. Tap Settings to access Brush Properties and edit the brush.
  4. Tap the different tabs to access a variety of properties. Make the changes you need.
  5. To close the panel and return to the canvas, tap the canvas.

 

For 32-bit iPhone users

Tap The Brush Editor icon within the Brush Properties of a hand-held mobile version of Autodesk SketchBook to return to your brushes

  1. Tap Brushes icon in the hand-held mobile version of Autodesk SketchBook to access the Brush Library.
  2. In the Brush Library, select a brush.
  3. Tap Brush Properties icon in Autodesk SketchBook mobile hand-held version to access Brush Properties and edit the brush.
  4. Tap the different tabs to access a variety of properties. Make the changes you need.
  5. To close the panel and return to the canvas, tap the canvas.

Customizing brushes in SketchBook for Windows 10

Create more brushes by copying a brush and changing its setting or creating a Do-It-Yourself brush.

  1. Along the top of the Brush Palette, tap Brush Library icon to access the Brush Library.
  2. Tap a brush set.
  3. Tap-hold Radial marking menu icon and flick New Brush icon in SketchBook for Windows 10 to select it. A Do-It-Yourself brush appears in that brush set.
  4. Double-tap the Do-It-Yourself brush to open Brush Properties.
  5. Tap the different tabs to access a variety of properties. Make the changes you need.

Your changes are immediately applied to the Do-It-Yourself brush. From here, if you want to change the type of brush from Standard to say Glow, check out What are Brush Types.

Setting a brush stamp and texture

Nib section of the Brush Library in SketchBook for Windows 10

In the Advanced brush properties, you will see a section called Nib. This deals with the brush stamp – it’s edges, shape, and texture. With the addition of Texture, it seemed a good idea to talk a bit about all of this.

When you open Nib, you’ll see Edge, Shape, and Texture. Let’s look at each of these.

Tap an icon to access the Shape menu list in SketchBook for Windows 10

Changing the edge of your brush

An example of the Edge option in SketchBook's Nib section

Use the Edge slider to make the edges of your brush softer or sharper.

  • For a precision brush, you’d want to set Hardness to a very high value.
  • For a pastel-type brush, you’d want to set Hardness to quite a small value.

Defining the shape of your brush

Shape option for a brush in SketchBook for Windows 10If you check out How to capture textures and shapes, it uses Shape to capture a chain link to create a chain brush. Shape has three options for defining the shape of your brush nib:

  • Shape list icon to access a list of brush stamp shapes
    Shape menu with a selection of shapes to choose from in SketchBook for Windows 10
  • Import icon in SketchBook for Windows 10 to use an image on your machine
  • Capture icon in SketchBook for Windows 10 to take a screen capture of something on your screen

With Color and Ignore Edge in SketchBook for Windows 10

Once you’ve made a selection, you can also opt to use the current colors of the image or capture, by adding a check to With Color. Leaving it unchecked means the brush will use whatever color you set in the Color Editor. You can also decide to ignore the edges of the image or capture. By adding a check to Ignore Edge, your brush stamp shape will not be round.

Ignore Edge example from SketchBook

When would I use Ignore Edge?

You might use Ignore Edge with the Ellipse tool and assortment of options in Brush Properties to create intricate designs. Start with Ignore Edge to help capture non-circular shapes. Then, use other options, such as Size, and in the Stamp section, Spacing, Rotation, and Rotate to Stroke, to adjust the orientation and size of the stamp. Here are examples of when you might use Ignore Edge:

  • If you have a shape that will be cut off with a circular stamp

Capture with Ignore Edge ON in SketchBookIgnore Edge in SketchBook for Windows 10Example of Ignore Edge ON in SketchBook

  • If you are looking to create a string of jewels, such as for a necklace, or embroidered trim.

Shape section in SketchBook for Windows 10Spacing and Rotation in SketchBook for Windows 10

  • If you want your shape to flow tightly around a corner.

If you want your shape to flow tightly around a corner

Updated on May 7, 2018

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