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Download: Photoshop Brushes Series 39

16 wet, sloppy and rough brushes By Dave Nagel
All right, you probably won't be painting the presidential portrait with these brushes, but you will have some good, old-fashioned, sloppy fun. Our latest collection of brushes for Adobe Photoshop (Nagel Series 39) is designed to emulate wet, messy and otherwise rough natural media tools--great for creating background textures or abstract compositions.

The brushes
There are 16 brushes in this newest collection--some designed to work like rags, sponges and wet bristle brushes, others producing effects reminiscent of rough natural media tools. The brushes cover four categories of tools, described below.

? Rags. These brushes behave like pieces of cloth dabbed in paint. Some resemble thin, crumpled fabric, while others are designed to look more like washcloths. These brushes are, in general, large (up to 392 pixels), so they can be used on a variety of canvas sizes according to your needs. The examples below were produced with just one or two quick strokes of the brushes.

Nagel Series 39 Rag 1

Nagel Series 39 Rag 2

Nagel Series 39 Rag 3

Nagel Series 39 Rag 4

? Rough brushes. These rough brushes are more abstract than the others. They don't resemble any particular natural media tool, but the effects they produce are reminiscent of rough, hatch-style strokes and, in some cases, sketch strokes with a wash. (Mush of the effect of these brushes will depend on the pen pressure and tilt that you apply while using them.) These examples, again, were created with a few strokes. (In the case of "Rough 4," some strokes were applied using the Linear Burn color mode.)

Nagel Series 39 Rough 1

Nagel Series 39 Rough 2

Nagel Series 39 Rough 3

Nagel Series 39 Rough 4

Nagel Series 39 Rough 5

? Spongy. In the near future, I'll be offering a wider selection of sponge brushes. But I decided to include these here simply because they seemed to fit in with the rest of the collection, offering heavily textured, but also sloppy, results.

Nagel Series 39 Spongy 1

Nagel Series 39 Spongy 2

? Wet Bristles. The Wet Bristle brushes in this collection are just what their name implied: bristly nibs designed to produce wet paint effects. Because the strokes are bristled, and because these brushes use the "Wet Edges" feature of Photoshop's paint engine, it's possible to get some heavily textured results while also producing the illusion of wetness. To create wet patches, use long, swirly strokes. Then release pressure and curt back into the wet areas to add bristle texture.

Nagel Series 39 Wet Bristles 1

Nagel Series 39 Wet Bristles 2

Nagel Series 39 Wet Bristles 3

Nagel Series 39 Wet Bristles 4

Nagel Series 39 Wet Bristles 5

All of the brushes in this collection 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, and you can adjust the base size up or down to suit your needs.

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 39) is free to download and use for commercial and non-commercial purposes.

Download: Nagel Series 39 Brushes (316 KB)

Once you download the brush file (, expand it. (The expanded file will be called NagelSeries39.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 on your hard drive.)

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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