Digital Pencil Brush
I was looking through GumRoad in their 'Comic' section when I came across a pencil brush for sale. I've been wanting to experiment with some more painterly techniques in Procreate lately, and I don't really know where to start.
The image above reminded me of using Prismacolor pencils back in the day, and the cool blending techniques you can achieve. But I hesitated. Is this really a good brush to buy? Do I want to crack open my digital wallet and hope it's a smooth process? Is there some weird extra charge, and on and on...
It then occurred to me that when I used to browse art stores, I would often buy an interesting looking pencil, pen or eraser based on a lot less interesting factors than this digital brush. If I was in an art store and saw an interesting pencil, I would not hesitate to throw down $2 for it. I released that despite the number of 'no, don't buy it' reasons running through my head, it was an affordable loss. For $2 I could try something out and who knows.
Luckily, the process to purchase was somewhat easy. I only encountered one blip where I realised I was logged into the wrong browser, and it wasn't filling in my CC details. I quickly switched to the right account, and now it offered PayPal instead, which I sometimes prefer anyway.
I was given the option to download the files, which were the Procreate brush file itself and a screenshot of the brush creator's pressure curve. I knew from previous brush experience the best way to get it into Procreate was to,
- Save to my iOS Files app (in a premade 'Procreate/Brush' folder)
- open the Files app on my iPad and navigate to the folder
- tap on the brush file and pick one in Procreate
- Like magic, my brush appeared ready to use.
So was it worth it?
The brush worked mostly as expected. It felt like the colour went on smooth and had a nice texture. The pencil did not blend as smoothly as I was expecting, but I feel that is more of an issue with getting to know the brush. I used the brush to colour (not ink) the piece below.
and I was happy with the painterly feel of the colouring.
It was worth the $2 just to experiment with and support an artist's digital business. I'm not sure how unique the brush is or the skill that the artist who made it (their art seemed to be a high standard which gained my trust), I wondered if I could have achieved a similar brush by tweaking a default Procreate one, but then again how much time would I spend tweaking the brush, the $2 is worth sidestepping that minefield. But overall I enjoyed the brush and was glad I undertook the $2 experiment. I would like to perhaps make a copy and make it blendier, I'd have to first research the brush settings that makes a brush more painterly. or find a brush that has more of a waxy pencil blending feel to it.
Here's a link to the brush, support a fellow artist and download one for yourself.
Let me know in the comments your favourite colour pencil-type brush.