Sunday Mailbag: Digital Brushes?

December 17th, 2017 | Posted in Mailbag

Q: When you make the caricatures in Photoshop, what kind of brush do you use for the inking? Do you have brushes on the internet for sale or free?

A: I do not use PhotoShop, or any other digital program, for inking. I still ink the old fashioned way, with dip pens and watercolor brushes and ink.

However, I do color with PhotoShop. When coloring, I do not use any special brushes, just the standard PhotoShop “Hard, Round” types. I use the pressure sensitivity of my Cintiq tablet to control both the opacity of my brush and the size of it. I also occasionally set the max opacity down from 100% to less for lighter wash effects, and change the mode from “normal” to “multiply” for a few touches here and there, mostly when adding odd colors like blues and greens into fleshtones or to apply a basic shadow to an object or area.

That is in no way an indictment of special digital brushes. I have tried different purchasable types like the Kyle Webster brushes (which are now offered as a part of Photoshop) and while they are cool I always just end up back with the old reliables. I’ve seen amazing digital work done with those special digital brushes. I seem to be able to get the effects and look I want with the standard brushes, so I’ve not bothered to switch.

That said, I have made available my personal set of PhotoShop brushes which I call “Standard Tom’s Photoshop Brushes” for the low, low price of $50 (cheap). These brushes are guaranteed to work in PhotoShop and apply any selected color you want. Click here for all the details!

Thanks to Sydney Solomon for the question. If you have a question you want answered for the mailbag about cartooning, illustration, MAD Magazine, caricature or similar, e-mail me and I’ll try and answer it here!



  1. Well, color me goofed.

  2. Kyle says:

    $50?!? A set that good must be worth more than that! I’ll give you $75!


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