Paint on a Natural Scrubbed Gesso Texture
I am always pushing to make my digital illustrations feel more natural and less digital. That is how these gesso textured brushes came about. To create the texture, I scrubbed thick gesso onto a board with a very coarse, bristly brush. After that dried, I rubbed paint into the cracks and wiped the top surface clean. I scanned chunks of this board and cobbled the scans together into a seamless, tileable pattern. This pattern is the backbone of most of the gesso brushes.
The Textured Brushes
1. INK. Lays down bold flat color with a rough edge that complements the gesso texture. If brushed lightly it is possible to get some high contrast texture. Great for cropping out rough image borders like the header at the top of this page.
2. WASH. For covering large areas with a gentle texture if brushed lightly. With heavier pressure and you can get to almost solid color.
3. SCRUB. A smaller brush with higher textural contrast for scrubbing in sharper details.
4. SCRATCH. Paints with a super high textural contrast. Use it to create a very scratchy surface or to bring in a little punchy color to an existing softer texture.
5. SOFT. A great brush for painting in color with just a soft hint of the gesso texture. It can go to solid color pretty quickly.
6. CHALK. Another way to brush in dense color but with sharper details. You can go to solid color with heavy pressure and still apply tone and subtle texture with lighter pressure.
SECRET ERASERS! Each resolution section header is an eraser with the gesso texture built in. It lets you erase parts of an image and still maintain the natural texture.
The Extra Brushes
These brushes are not tied to a texture. I use them to paint and detail the base color layers before adding the texture on a new separate layer.
SPONGY. For applying transparent, soft-edged color. There are two Spongy Brushes, the first soft and light, the second a little more sharp and dense.
SCATTERY. Paint with many smudgy dappled brush strokes. There are three Scattery Brush sizes that all work the same.
BLOTTO. The Dense brush paints solid rough edged color. The Sparce and Scarce brushes are solid but blotchy.
BLOTTO LINE. The same Blotto attitude but for smaller details and rough-edged line work.
SPLATTERY. For making toothbrush splatter effects. There are three brushes with different densities.
RAKES. Sometimes the locked-in texture might not work with your composition. These Rake Brushes will let you add in more texture and change direction when needed.
BRISTLY. Another tool to help imitate the gesso texture where needed. And it's a good tool for doing crosshatched shading.
SOFT BLENDER. Set up for very gentle blending when you just need to subtly blur the details in the texture.
Always Determine Image Size and Resolution First. The brushes start the texture in the upper right corner of your image and tile out from there. If you crop or change the image size, the texture will likely not align the same way any more. It is best to do any cropping or sizing only when the illustration is completely finished.
WoodardWorks Gesso Brushes are designed for Creative Cloud versions of Photoshop.