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Download: Photoshop Brushes Series 37

16 skin texture and skin feature brushes By Dave Nagel
For our latest offering in the realm of Adobe Photoshop, we present another collection of skin texture brushes, along with new brushes designed to add detail to skin. This latest collection (Nagel Series 37) includes 16 such brushes for Photoshop CS/CS2 and Elements. As always, these brushes are free to download and use for any purpose.

The brushes
The brushes themselves in the latest collection are designed primarily for creating texture maps to be used in 3D artwork. However, they can be used fairly easily in 2D art for the creation of skin-like textures or for creating textured abstract backgrounds. The collection offers 16 total brushes, including eight base skin textures, three brushes designed to add patches of roughness to skin, four brushes for creating spots (freckles, etc.) and one softer brush that can be used for adding highlights to skin.

In general, when you work with these brushes, you are going to want to start with a light base tone, then brush over that base using Color Dodge and Color Burn blending modes on the brushes in order to achieve greater variation in skin tone. The examples below show some extremes of this, but variation can also be more subtle. When applying spots, you'll likely want to use an orange tone and apply the brush using the Color Burn blending mode while varying pressure so that the spots don't become too pronounced or regular. With the Skin Highlight brush (not shown below), you'd want to apply it using a somewhat dark tone using the Color Dodge blend mode. (Using a darker tone will allow highlights to come out more slowly, rather than blooming abruptly.)

All of the brushes, of course, are fully dynamic for size, scattering, color variation, opacity and other parameters. They can also be modified to suit your particular needs. Most are based on fairly large image samples, so you can freely adjust them to larger sizes without losing resolution.

Here are some samples of the brushes in this collection. Most of these examples were produced with multiple strokes using a variety of blending modes. They're all drawn directly in Photoshop, and they've had a lighting effect applied to them in order to add depth to the images.

Nagel Series 37 Skin Roughness 02

Nagel Series 37 Skin 01

Nagel Series 37 Skin 04

Nagel Series 37 Spots 03

Nagel Series 37 Skin 06

Nagel Series 37 Skin Roughness 01

Nagel Series 37 Skin 02

Nagel Series 37 Spots 02

Remember that you can find even more free downloads by clicking here.

Download and installation
This week's brush collection is compressed in a Zip archive, which can be decompressed using any Zip utility. (Simply double-click the file in Mac OS X to decompress it.) These brushes support Photoshop CS and Photoshop CS2 in Macintosh and Windows environments. They are also supported by recent versions of Adobe Photoshop Elements. These brushes will not function in Photoshop 7.

As always, this latest collection (Nagel Series 37) is free to download and use for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

Download: Nagel Series 37 Brushes (208 KB)

Once you download the brush file (, expand it. (The expanded file will be called NagelSeries37.abr.). Then move the .abr file into the Brushes directory in your Photoshop folder (/ Adobe Photoshop /Presets/Brushes) to make it accessible from the Brushes palette's flyaway menu once you launch Photoshop.

Then launch Photoshop . Open your Brushes palette, and click on the flyaway menu at the top right. There you'll find the new brush collection, listed in alphabetical order with the other brushes in your Brushes directory. You can install this collection simply by selecting it. After you select it, the new brushes will appear at the bottom of the list of available brushes. (Note that if the brushes do not appear in this flyaway menu, you can load them manually by selecting "Load Brushes" from the menu. A dialog will appear asking you to locate the brush file manually.)

If you have any questions, be sure to visit me in our Adobe Photoshop forum at DMN Forums by clicking here.  And remember that you can find our previous downloads by clicking here.

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Related Keywords:photoshop brushes, skin texture, skin brushes, photoshop cs, cs2, elements, freckles, wrinkles, free brushes, free download, nagel series, nagelseries


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