Tips for Finding Photoshop Brushes and Patterns

Tips and Web Sites for Free Photoshop Brushes and Patterns

Using brushes and patterns in Photoshop can help you quickly put together a design. Brushes and patterns can take a lot of the legwork out of a design, especially if you are using a particular element multiple times. Brushes and patterns are a great time saver because you don’t have to create each element individually. While you can make your own brushes and patterns (and sometimes you need to), first try searching for a free brush or pattern on the Internet. Beware, the search can be a little overwhelming, because there are thousands and thousands available. Here are a few tips and Web sites:

When searching for brushes or patterns, be as specific as possible. For example, if you are creating an autumn design, search “autumn leaves photoshop brush” or “fall leaves photoshop brush.”

Make sure the brush you find is compatible with your version of Photoshop. Sometimes brushes that work in Creative Suite 2 won’t work in CS3 or 7.

Give credit where credit is due. Many of the free brushes and patterns are for personal use only, not commercial. If you choose to use it commercially, you should contact the creator about buying the brushes.

A great place to start is the Adobe Exchange ( These are extensions, time-saving functions, codes, brushes, patterns and more, that are free to download. Most of them are very high quality and are created by other Adobe users. When you are on the Exchange, make sure to check the extension information, because Adobe Illustrator also uses brushes, but they are not compatible with Photoshop’s. You must register with Adobe to use the Exchange.

Another great source of a variety of brushes and patterns is It is an online community of artists, some of which contribute brushes to download. No registration is required. has many patterns and even more brushes. They are free to download, and the search can be filtered by category (abstract & fractal, splatters & spills) and by Photoshop version, so you’re bound to find one you can use. No registration is required. is an interactive design community with brush and pattern downloads, tutorials and other design resources. It’s easy to browse and see exactly what the patterns are – the file size, amount of patterns, Photoshop compatibility and whether or not it’s freeware is listed right next to the pattern. Registration is free but required to download.