GIMP Brushes

GIMP Brushes

What is GIMP and what are GIMP Brushes? Is it free?

GIMP, also known as GNU Image Manipulation Program, is an image editing software used by a diverse range of qualified and experienced professionals like artists, illustrators, photographers, scientists, and more. While photographers use this software for image editing purposes, artists make the most of the GIMP brushes and the GIMP brush downloads feature. GIMP is compatible with several operating systems like Linux, Windows, macOS, and others. 

Now the question is, is GIMP free? Well yes, GIMP is free and can be used for both hobbies and commercial editing, and other purposes. It can be a great thing to replace your daily photoshop dungeon crawls. The next section of this article will cover more about the various aspects of GIMP, its features and services, various kinds of GIMP brushes for commercial use, available brush packs, etc.

What Are the Types of Brushes That GIMP Allows You to Use?

Brushes play a vital role in making your artwork successful. The graphic designers will know how important it is to choose the right kind of brush for the appropriate effect in their work. Now, when it comes to GIMP, the variety of brushes starting from the basic brushes to the ones that utilize special effects, in with this painting and editing program, are something you cannot ignore. GIMP also allows you to create new brushes as per your choice, download and install GIMP brushes and add them to your collection. 

Below Are Some Default Brushes From GIMP: 

Ordinary or the Basic Brushes:

Most of the GIMP brushes are of this type. You will find them under the ‘Brushes’ window (as shown in the image below) within the software. These brushes produce marks or designs in grayscale when you use them on your canvas. 

Color Brushes:

You can use the color brushes when you want to add colors to your canvas. It works almost in the same way as the ordinary brushes except for the fact that these brushes are depicted by colored images and when you use them, the default color of the brush that you selected applies. 

Different Gimp Brushes
Image Hoses / Image Pipes:

This is great for you when you want to select the appropriate pattern for your art because, in these types of brushes, you get more than one pattern in a single image. These brushes are also known as animated brushes and are a useful tool if you are making graphic animations.

Parametric Brushes:

Parametric brushes supplied by GIMP adds great value to your work, be it painting or graphic design. You can make multiple different patterns and utilize them for your creations as they are very flexible. To effectively wield a Parametric brush, you must be an expert at GIMP. Professionals might maintain this brush in combination with their dry media brushes like pencils, pens, charcoal, chalk, etc. You can create a wide range of parametric brushes with the Brush editor tool in GIMP.

GIMP Paint Studio:

This one’s a brush set that comes with the GIMP package. However, it hasn’t gained much popularity among many professionals. Many artists mentioned that the quality of the image isn’t as good as advertised. It does have a good brush design and an easy-to-use brush setting which makes it quite user-friendly. 

There is a wide range of GIMP brushes for commercial use. In the next sections, you will find more information on GIMP brush downloads. Furthermore, you will be provided with the different websites you can use to find the custom brushes and their effects on artwork. 

Does GIMP allow for custom brushes? What are some of the websites that provide popular free brush packs?

Although GIMP has some excellent default brush that has been discussed in the section above. As a professional artist, you can never be satisfied until your creation is perfect and your expectations are met. To create some extraordinary pieces of work, here are some ‘custom’ brushes that need to take a look at:

LJFHutch’s Water Brushes:

You will be amazed to see how effective this brush is when drawing water for your canvas. This brush was created by LJFHutch is inspired by rippling water and is a set with a couple of brushes. You can make an immediate water effect without having to do much. 

You can download this popular brush set from

GIMP Brushes - JFHutch's water brush effect

Powder Explosion Brush Pack by Alberto Seveso:

This brush pack created by Alberto Seveso is a beauty. It can be very useful if you want to create posters or add a magical effect to the background of your artwork. This is a Photoshop brush set and since GIMP can access brush sets from Adobe photoshop files,  you can add this to your GIMP brushes collection. 

If you want to add colors to your work, download this brush pack by clicking on this link.

Powder Explosion brush pack by Alberto Seveso

Watercolor Splatters: 

Watercolor splatters are yet another brush set from the Photoshop collection which can grant amazing textures to your art. It is a great tool if you are in love with the abstract as well. This brush pack can work as a base layer before you start your work. It works more like a stamping brush to create the effect instead of strokes.

To download watercolor splatters, you can click here.

Hairbrush Set by Cascade-studio:

This is a must-have brush set if you’re a portrait artist or an animation specialist. This brush pack works wonders if you can combine it with a couple of different brushes. You will be surprised to see the effects of this brush when you want to give a detailed touch to your subject.

Download this hairbrush set here

GIMP Brushes - Hair Brush Set by Cascade-studio

Pencil Brush by Nari:

This amazing pack of 11 brush pencil brushes has a wide range of use. Whether you are a professional or a beginner, this set can add variance as well as versatility to your artwork. You can build sharp clear strokes to add details to your work as well as blunt ones as per your requirement. Do keep an eye on this one for your next artwork if you want a natural pencil sketch look.

GIMP Brushes - Pencil Brush by Nari

Smoke Brushes by Webdesigner Lab:

These smoky hot ‘smoke brushes’ add great effects when you want to give a smoky effect on your artwork. They come in a set of 10 brushes with slightly varying patterns. They can be used individually or one on top of the other to add a dense foggy effect. Not just that, you can also use this brush to create a background, suitable for both commercial and non-commercial work. 

You can download the Smoke Brushes by Webdesigner Lab by clicking on this link. 

GIMP Grass Brush Set

Created by LJF Hutches, this GIMP brushes pack consists of 4 different types of grass brushes for different effects: 

  • Thick and tall living grasses 
  • Thick and short-living grasses
  • Thin and tall dead, brown grasses 
  • Thin and short, dried brown grasses

One of the free gimp brushes for commercial use, these ‘grass’ GIMP brushes are extremely realistic and can give life to your artwork. They are great for animation designs as well. If you want to make your work look professional, or create lifelike and natural-looking grasses, you can use two tones, both the green and the brown grasses to get perfect looks. You can change the brush tips to different sizes, pressure, color intensity, etc., to get the most natural-looking glasses. There are also 18 different grass samples or presets, which is a large variety to choose from without having to worry about pattern repeats. 

GIMP Grass Brush Set: 

Brushes by Aaron Griffin Art: 

If you like to see some sensational brushes for your digital art, then this pack is going to amaze you. The GIMP brushes pack contains a whopping 113 different types of brushes. If you want to have that many varieties of brushes in your collection to experiment with, then go ahead with this pack. The brush pack was meant for Photoshop initially and is available in the .ABR format but if you are looking for free GIMP brush downloads, then this pack works great with this software too! 

This, however, is a great option if you are looking for free gimp brushes for commercial use.

Brushes by Aaron Griffin Art: 

Digital Oil Brushes:

This GIMP brushes pack is incredible for your digital oil painting creation. Designed for photoshop, this pack is compatible with GIMP as well and works seamlessly with this software. You will get 5 different brushes in this pack.

There is a lot to pick from; dry to wet paint brushes, thin and broad ones to even clean and dirty effects to give a realistic look to your painting.  What’s more, there are 13 brush styles, so you have enough space to bring out your creativity and never feel a shortage of inventory. Professional oil painters or anyone who loves to oil paint can recreate their paintings on GIMP with these beautiful digital oil brushes set for free! If you want this pack, click on GIMP brush downloads to get them. 

Smudge Effect Brushes: GIMP brush downloads

If you are a beginner with GIMP, it is quite likely that you wouldn’t be able to create that perfect smudge that most professionals can, right? This GIMP brushes pack can be the ultimate tool you would need. The brushes in this pack let you create a smudging effect flawlessly and beautifully, just like the way you do it on a real canvas with wet paint. You also get the option to customize the GIMP brushes tips and the blending modes.

Smudge Effect Brushes: GIMP brush downloads: 

Hair Pack

It’s not easy to create natural-looking hair for your character, especially when it is done digitally. This GIMP brushes Hair pack, created by NovaLupe, is an amazing set to make your life much easier whether you are creating an anime or sketching a digital portrait. There are a few different modes like texturing, layering, flying or shining, and blending. You can use them to make your work look more intricate and professional. 

Hair Pack: 

Radon Brushes

These are a set of GIMP brushes that can create some really powerful effects on the canvas. Perfect for space fictional art creation or any other sci-fi concept, these brushes can bring a significant change in the overall look of the art. You can also use them to create illusions, light and shadow effects, silver/ gold linings in the cloud, thunder effects, or anything that allows you to create out of your imagination. 

Radon Brushes: 

GIMP Texture Brush Set 1: 

Available for free GIMP brush downloads, this pack carries 5 textured brushes with different variations, right from smudged texture to paint. Texture brushes have a wide range of use and huge demand in the digital art world, be it in portrait creation, abstract art, or scenic arts. Although this set from Jagged88 is relatively small, it has some really important textures that can create beautiful effects on canvas. You can change the settings like the brush tip thickness, the transparency/ opacity/ blending modes as per your convenience to get the right effect you desire. 

GIMP Texture Brush Set 1: 

K04sk Brushes:

A wonderful brush pack for concept artists or digital painters, this pack holds a lot inside and is free to download! There are different varieties of brushes to work with that range in texture, effects, brush types, and more. It may take a while to get to perfection with this particular pack, but once you get a hang of it, it can result in some magically beautiful creations. This set is recommended for artists who create fantasy paintings, landscapes, conceptual art, and more. 

K04sk Brushes:

Free Photoshop/ GIMP Brushes

If you are an environmentally oriented artist or nature painter, this pack is something to treasure. Right from basic texture brushes to the ones that help you design environmental elements, nature, and special effects, this GIMP brushes set brings out your imagination on the digital canvas. You can get brushes for blending, creating sharp edgy tones, foliage, deep trees, smoke, dust, water, pores, and plenty of other effects. The pack is ideal for both beginners and experts and can be used for both personal and professional use. Get these free gimp brushes for commercial use by clicking on the link above.

Free Photoshop/ GIMP Brushes: 

GIMP Diamonds Brush

One of the unique custom brushes, this gorgeous Diamond brush pack is a great addition to your collection if you are working on some fancy graphic art creation or animated series. This diamond pattern brush can bring in a lot of energy to the art and even highlight or accentuate a particular element in the painting. You can change the resolution and sharpen or soften the edges depending on your preference. 

GIMP Diamonds Brush: 

Inkpen Set:

Those who are into a lot of linearts, character drawings, manga creation, or illustrations know how important an inkpen brush can be. They are the lifeline of digital illustration artists. With variation in lines, their thicknesses, curves, etc. this pack is well suited for beginners as well to play around with the character sketching and practicing. Although this brush pack doesn’t seem to have a lot of options, it is pretty decent to start with if you are new to GIMP and like to draw more than paint. 

GIMP Watercolor Brushes by MCBADSHOES:

Watercolor brush pack is one of the must-haves for all digital artists, whether you are completely inclined towards watercolor arts or you are a versatile artist. One of the best free GIMP brush downloads, this pack has 38 watercolor brushes for you to bring out your imagination on the digital canvas. Inspired by the real-life water-based colors, these brushes mimic the style and the look of real watercolors so well that it gives a natural look to the artwork. 

Customize the settings of these brushes in the default brush settings to get the accurate effect you want. You can adjust the level of transparency depending on your work. The brushes can be used for a full-fledged painting or for adding stamping effects to the background of other creations. And wait, there’s more! The pack also includes a folder consisting of JPEG images that you can use to custom make your own GIMP watercolor brushes or use the images directly. 

GIMP Watercolor Brushes by MCBADSHOES:

GIMP-Leaves Brush: 

This one offers a different dimension to creating leaves or the foliage effect on the artwork. This brush pack includes different styles of brushes for creating leaves of different shapes, color combinations, and species. These brushes make animated leaf drawing extremely easy yet perfect, which would otherwise be a bit complicated when trying freehand style. You can use the GIMP Brushes from this pack to draw single leaves or form clusters wherever necessary. 

This leaf pack is very useful when you are working on animated artwork or anything else. Whether you add them in the foreground or the background, this will give you an amazing effect and enhance the look of your design. 

GIMP-Leaves Brush: 

GIMP Scratched Wood Brush

While scratched wood is a pretty specialized effect, it is not easy to give the perfect, natural-looking scraped wood look unless for these brushes. This brush pack is wonderful if you want to give your art an old-world look. The different styles of brushes give a different finished look, adding a beautiful vintage essence to your work. You can also use these brushes to add details to the branches of trees, special effects in the background, highlight furniture, and more. 

GIMP Scratched Wood Brush: 

You must be wondering by now how you can download or add a brush pack in GIMP. Read on to know the step-by-step GIMP brush download process.

What Are the Different Types of Things You Can Do on GIMP? 

As mentioned earlier, GIMP proves to be a great platform for diverse professionals who are in some way or the other connected to digital editing, designing, and art. The various types of things that GIMP is used for are image manipulation, photo editing, photo retouching, drawing, and painting, creating conceptual artwork, creating graphical designs like logos, icons, banners, and more, creating illustrations, editing artwork, and much more. 

GIMP has various useful tools that make the work of a professional easy and convenient. Here’s a list of those tools that GIMP offers:

  • Color tools: Color and lighting is an essential part of the graphics and artwork. Apart from giving an aesthetic look to the artwork, it also brings life to it. There are numerous types of tools that enable you to adjust color to the right proportions: brightness and contrast, color balance, threshold, levels, curves, desaturate, and many more. 
  • Selection tools: This has multiple options for you to choose from like scissors, lasso, square region, foreground, and more.
  • Brush tools: This is a key aspect for the artists. The different types of GIMP brushes that cater to your requirements are pencils, pens, blending brush, painting brushes, brushes that provide an ink effect, dodge, clone, heal, eraser, and many more. The brushes can be adjusted by the width of the tip, pressure sensitivity, transparency or opacity, and the concentration of colors according to the strokes you need. 
  • Transform tools: The transform tools are important when it comes to sizing, movement, and adjustment of the image-making editing easy. The various transform tools that GIMP offers are a rotate tool, scale, crop, flip, perspective, align and move.
  • Some other miscellaneous tools that GIMP offers are a color picker, magnify tool to work on smaller areas better, measure tool, etc. 

What Are the Various Features That Make GIMP Useful?

There is a wide range of features and functionalities that make GIMP useful and interesting to the users. Some of them are: 

It Is Free and Open-source Software:

  • This means that if you are a developer, you can make changes to this software to improve its functionality and also create plugins before using it.
  • It is a flexible software that can be downloaded in different operating systems like Windows, Mac, Linux, etc. which means that you do not have to worry about its compatibility with any particular operating system. 
  • Unlike other designing or editing software, GIMP opens in three windows simultaneously, which means that you can work on two or three different projects at the same time, making it more efficient. Now isn’t that amazing! If you are a multitasker, go for it.


  • It contains various graphic designing features, and you can upload and save your animation work in your preferred format like JPEG, PNG, etc… 
  • When it comes to painting, it offers a complete package of painting tools like GIMP brushes that include GIMP watercolor brushes, splatter brushes, GIMP smoke brushes, and many more. 
  • Its highly advanced blending tool and gradient editor will make your artwork look more natural and professional. Despite being advanced, its blending tools are pretty easy to use, making the work of the artist more convenient. 
  • It supports a diverse range of file formats (pretty much all kinds of file formats) like JPEG, PNG, GIF, PDF, PS, PSD, TIFF, BMP,  XPM, and many other file formats.  
  • You can open numerous images at a time without any restriction.
  • The photos can be manipulated without complication, making it a powerful user-friendly tool.
  • The GIMP files can be loaded, saved, and converted to various kinds of formats. 

So far the article has covered the various features of GIMP and what makes it special when it comes to its different functionalities.

How to add brushes on GIMP?

Adding brushes in the GIMP software involves some easy steps. Follow the below instructions on how to install GIMP brushes to your favorites list:

  • To add brushes to your GIMP collection, make sure to download them from your web browser. Look for the brush pack you want, download it, and extract the zip files.
  • Look for the brush folder in the GIMP Software. If you are using Windows operating system you will be able to find it in C: drive > under Program Files > then GIMP. 
  • Then paste the Brush pack in the brush folder in GIMP.
  • You need to then refresh the Brush folder for a new brush pack to show up in the brush list. 
  • If you want to access the brush list, you need to open GIMP, and look for brushes. To open the brush folder, go to Windows; > Dockable Dialogs >  brushes menu. You will be able to see the brushes’ dialog with all the brushes in your collection. 

While GIMP is good digital editing software, there are many other editing software with better functionality. To be honest, there are a lot more options out there other than GIMP, Adobe Photoshop being one of them. 


Now, here are few reasons why you can choose GIMP and GIMP brushes over others. It is free so if you are looking at the pricing factor, then this one will be ideal for you. You can carry GIMP anywhere on a pen drive and what’s better than having your own presets and GIMP brushes at the ready at any time. It is great news for those who use Linux OS; not all editing software is compatible with the Linux OS, whereas GIMP is. 

There are however a few disadvantages to make a note of when choosing to use GIMP. Using GIMP is not a great idea when it comes to editing larger photos or images. Especially involving multiple layers, it does not have a lot of third-party plugins which may limit the usage of this software. Hope you find this information useful if you are confused about whether to go for GIMP or not. 

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs):

Do we need to pay to download brush packs in GIMP?

No, GIMP is a free image editing program, and all the brushes and custom brush packs are available for free. There is no cost involved in installing any tool in GIMP.

Which is better for professionals or commercial purposes- GIMP or Adobe Photoshop?

While Adobe Photoshop is a more advanced editing software than GIMP, it has its advantages and disadvantages. GIMP is free, while Photoshop is paid software. GIMP is a simple software that does not occupy a large space in the memory, while Photoshop is heavier. Most photographers and graphic designers prefer Photoshop to GIMP, as Photoshop is much easier to use than GIMP. 

Does GIMP allow the download of custom brushes?

Yes, you can download custom-made brushes from different sources as well as create your brushes. To know more about some of the custom brushes and how they are useful to the artists, check out the previous sections of this article. 

On what operating systems does GIMP work?

GIMP is compatible with various operating systems like Windows, Linux, macOS, and many others. It is often hard to find image editing software that works well on Linux and GIMP has proven to be great in this aspect. GIMP Inkscape works for Android phones, making it convenient for its users if they want to access the software on the go. 

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