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Note: This blog post and brush set were originally created by Michelle Li at Autodesk.

It’s Monday again and you know what that means! That’s right, more free brush sets. This week you’re getting the amazing eight-piece Oil Paints Brush Set a great addition to your growing library of brushes for SketchBook Pro. Now you can create beautiful oil paintings without having to wait for the paint to dry. Of course, you don’t have to be doing traditional style painting to get use out of these brushes. They’re perfect for building textures and especially blending for any type of painting. If you want to go down the route of old-school oil painting, keep reading for some useful tips. As always, click the banner or link above to download the .skbrushes file to your desktop and double-click to install.


Oil painting isn’t about blending

With oil painting, it’s common to go with thick layers of paint as opposed to thin. So don’t be afraid to make bold strokes that stand out. It can also be helpful to lay down all of your base colors to start and add short strokes for detail. Many oil painters used a pallet knife to build up shadows of make objects more three-dimensional, so it’s okay to have areas where there are bold lines or sharp edges. Blending isn’t a bad thing, but the techniques used in oil painting will create contrast in brush strokes. You don’t actually want your colors to be smoothed together too much.

Stay loose

This is yet another style of painting where you need to be loose with your brush strokes. Try to blend as little as possible. You want to be able to see the texture of the brushes. Instead of creating gradients, keep adjusting tones with the brush puck to create shading and light (you can click and drag up and down on the paint puck to adjust the tone of whatever color you’re currently using). If you really want a traditional look, put in a canvas texture on the top layer and play around with the blending modes until you find one that looks authentic.

As always, these are just guidelines to help you along the way. You’ll figure out what methods and techniques work best for you and the visual aesthetic you’re going for by practicing and regularly creating art. If you want some more examples and inspiration, check out Pinterest for some amazing digital oil paintings and tutorials. Enjoy the brushes and feel free to share your creations with us on Twitteror on Facebook. through our social media links below!

Installing the brush sets

If you’re using the latest desktop version of SketchBook, simply double click on the .skbrushes file, and it will automatically install.


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Colin Smith

Colin is a Sr. Product Manager on the Automotive and Conceptual Design Team at Autodesk. During his 25-year career in the CAD industry he has worked in customer support, training, consulting and as a product manager for Alias and Fusion 360. Currently, he works on SketchBook and Project Sugarhill and is based in Toronto, Canada.

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