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What are Brush Types

blendingHow would you like to have an airbrush to paint glow effects or a marker you can assign blend modes to? Changing brush types makes this possible. Any brush with the Type option can be changed to take on the properties of another brush, while retaining the original brush’s stroke quality.

In the Brush Library, you can find brushes for creating glows, smudging, adding texture, inking, blending, and simulating synthetic brush strokes.

SketchBook has an assortment of specialty brushes found in the Brush Library. They are grouped to help you find what you’re looking for. Almost every release, we add new brushes, so it’s a good idea to poke around the library to see what’s new. Every once in a while, a brush or brush pack is added that’s so cool or highly-requested, that we know it will soon become many people’s favorite, so we also draw attention to it here.

Basic and Legacy brushes (Mobile only)

If you have been using SketchBook since before the release of 4.0, you will notice a bunch of new brush sets, such as Texture EssentialsFine ArtHalf ToneArtist, and Pastel. One big change for you could be the Basic and Legacy brush sets.

Basic and Legacy brush sets in the iOS version of Autodesk SketchBook

Legacy is a new brush set, in name only. In the previous versions of SketchBook, the brushes now in Legacy where found in Basic. We moved them to make room for a new set of basic brushes that take advantage of our new texture technology. All your favorite brushes still exist. They’ve just been moved to Legacy.

Basic contains a whole new set of brushes that take advantage of textures. Try them out and see how close they come to the real thing!

Smudge Brush

Before SmudgeAfter Smudge

Paint over an area to blend it, simulating the effect on a finger dragging over the charcoal line of a drawing.

Smudge brush set

Smudge stroke

Synthetic Paint

Example of an image using a Synthetic Paint brush

As you paint, this brush type dynamically blends colors that exist on the canvas. Adjust the paint load to effect the amount of color applied at the beginning of each stroke.

Synthetic Paint brush set

Synthetic Paint stroke

For some tutorials on Synthetic brushes, check these out:

Glow

Example of the use of glow brush types

Create the effect of a star in the night sky, light emanating from a translucent object, supernatural lightning, illuminated headlights, or add highlights.

Blending with the Natural Blend brush

If you want a buttery blender that mixes colors and smooths out the transitions between them, this brush is for you! A great way to use it is to lay down colors with one of the many other brushes in SketchBook, then use a Natural Blend brush to gently blend them. And if you want to make a brush with watercolor-like blend or the properties of a pastel, play with the properties of this brush to achieve that.

Example showing the before and after of the Natural Blend brush

There are two ways to get a Natural Blend brush:

  • In the Brush Library, you scroll down and select one of the Natural Blend brushes in the Pastel brush set.
  • Select a brush, then double-click it to open its properties. You will see the Type menu below the name of the brush. Tap the arrow and select Pastel to change the properties of the brush into a Natural Blend brush. The stroke shape won’t change.

Colorless blending brush

The Colorless blending brush blends colors already on the canvas.

Example before the Colorless blending brushExample after the Colorless blending brush

There are two ways to get a Colorless brush:

  • In the Brush Library, you scroll down and select one of the Colorless brushes.

    Colorless brushes

  • Select a brush, then double-click it to open its properties. You will see the Type menu below the name of the brush. Tap the arrow and select Colorless to change the properties of the brush into a Colorless brush. The stroke shape won’t change.

Ink brush

Example made with a SketchBook Ink brush

Use Ink brush type (the Ink brush), found in the Basic or Legacy brush set (depending on the platform you’re on), to get an opaque smooth line that’s great for illustration and other line-work.

For a tutorial using the Ink brush, check out this link.

Brush Types in SketchBook for Desktop

  1. In the Brush Palette, double-tap a brush to open the brush properties for it.
  2. If the brush type can be changed, you will see the Type menu below the name of the brush. Tap the arrow next to it to access its menu.

    Brush Properties Brush Types

  3. Select a brush type. For information on some of the brush types, see above.

Using Blend Mode brushes

Blend Mode brush is any brush that has a blend mode assigned to it. Blend modes change the color of the pixels you paint over.

Before the Blend Mode brushAfter the Blend Mode brush

  1. Double-tap a brush to open its properties. Tap the arrow next to Type to expand the menu.

    List of the Brush Types

  2. Select a blend mode from the list:
    • To darken where you paint, try DarkenMultiplyColor Burn, or Linear Burn.
    • To lighten where you paint, try LightenScreen, or Linear Dodge (Add).
    • For contrast, try OverlaySoft Light, or Hard Light.
    • To change components of the color, try HueSaturationColor, or Luminosity.

Brush Types 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

  1. In the Brush Palette, 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.

    For some brush sets, such as Basic and Legacy, the Brush Type cannot be changed.

  3. Tap Settings to access Brush Properties and edit the brush.
  4. Select a brush type. For information on some of the brush types, see above.

Brush Types on the iPad with SketchBook v.4.0 or higher (Pro)

Tablet with SketchBook v.3.7.4 or below

Assigning a Brush Types is not available in this version.

Hand-held device with SketchBook v.4.0 or above

  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.

    For some brush sets, such as Basic and Legacy, the Brush Type cannot be changed.

  3. Tap Settings to access Brush Properties and edit the brush.
  4. Just under the stroke, you will see Brush Types, the name of the current brush and an arrow (>). Tap the arrow and select a brush type from the list.
  5. Tap the canvas to close the panel and continue drawing.

Brush Types on a hand-held device using SketchBook for Mobile version 4.0 or above

Hand-held device with SketchBook v.3.7.4 or below

Assigning a Brush Types is not available in this version.

Brush Types in SketchBook for Windows 10

  1. In the Brush Palette, double-tap a brush to open the properties for it.
  2. You will see the Type menu below the name of the brush. Tap the arrow next to it to access the menu.

    Changing the brush type in Brush Properties

  3. Select a brush type.

Using Blend Mode brushes

Blend Mode brush is any brush that has a blend mode assigned to it. Blend modes change the color of the pixels you paint over.

Before the Blend Mode brushAfter the Blend Mode brush

  1. Double-tap a brush to open its properties. Tap the arrow next to Type to expand the menu.
  2. Select a blend mode from the list:
    • To darken where you paint, try DarkenMultiplyColor Burn, or Linear Burn.
    • To lighten where you paint, try LightenScreen, or Linear Dodge (Add).
    • For contrast, try OverlaySoft Light, or Hard Light.
    • To change components of the color, try HueSaturationColor, or Luminosity.
Updated on May 2, 2018

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