When shading your artwork in Procreate, technique and patience matter a lot. That said, the Procreate brushes you use for your shading play a huge role as well. Shading with a watercolor brush instead of an airbrush will give you very different results.
We’re diving into some of the best Procreate shading brushes you can use to make your shading life easier.
If you want to learn more about my techniques for shading, be sure to check out my Ultimate Guide to Shading and Blending on Procreate.
The right brushes + the right techniques + practice and patience = amazing shading!
Alright, let’s dive into some of my favorite Procreate brushes to use for shading.
1. Procreate’s Air Brushes, Pencil Brushes, and Ink Brushes
My go-to Procreate shading brushes are the default air brushes, pencil brushes, and ink brushes that come with the Procreate app. Choose a brush that is smooth, doesn’t have a lot of pressure sensitivity, and doesn’t utilize a strong taper.
My favorite Procreate shading brushes are already in Procreate. How convenient is that?
Let’s talk about each of them.
Air Brushes – Procreate’s air brushes are light and airy, while also providing a natural fading effect. I tend to use the soft blend air brush a lot, but choose whichever air brush suits the shading effect you’re trying to achieve.
I also use the soft blend air brush a LOT with the smudge tool. As you’ll read in my guide to shading and blending, I primarily use the soft air brush with the smudge tool for all of my shading.
Pencil Brushes – if you’re used to drawing with traditional materials, you’ll feel right at home using Procreate’s pencil brushes for your shading. Procreate has a remarkable ability to emulate traditional material, so it feels just like using a normal sketching pencil.
Again, I use the airbrush paired with the smudge tool to blend my pencil lines when doing my shading.
Ink Brushes – I have fallen in love with creating shading Procreate’s ink brushes! I use the studio pen because it’s solid, consistent, and creates dramatically beautiful shading effects. The technical pen works well too.
Yet again, I use the airbrush with the smudge tool to pull my ink in different directions and create the shading I need.
As you can see, there’s a LOT of great shading you can do with the brushes that Procreate provides you in their default brushes that come with the app.
But, don’t stop there! With so many amazing brushes that have been created for Procreate, it’s worth exploring your other options for amazing shading brushes you can use for your Procreate work.
2. Natural Shading and Texture Procreate Brushes
If you’re looking for Procreate shading brushes that have some texture to them, you’ll want to check out this Natural Shading and Texture Procreate Brushes pack.
All of the default Procreate brushes I mentioned above are smooth and consistent. These are great for traditional shading, but not great if you’re looking for a more texturized effect.
This texture brush pack includes:
- 30 total Procreate brushes with wood, fabric, liquid, terrain, and stone texture effects
Creating textures by hand can be a long and frustrating process. This brush pack can create instant textures you can use for your Procreate shading.
3. Fade and Shade Brush Set and Tutorials
Shoutbam creates stellar Procreate products, and this Fade and Shade Brush Set is no exception.
This is a gem of a brush pack that includes traditional shading brushes, as well as a good amount of texture brushes to spice things up.
This fade and shade brush pack includes:
- 10 shading brushes
- 15 texture brushes
- Procreate workbook with 3 lettering tutorials
- Installation guide
You read that correctly – with this brush pack, you not only get brushes. You get worksheets and tutorials too!
This is a really valuable addition to this pack because it will help you learn how to use the brushes properly and start shading your work correctly from the get-go.
4. The Super Shady Brush Bar Pack
If you feel like you don’t have enough shading brushes, this Super Shady Brush Bar pack is right up your alley. It comes with 54 shading and texture brushes. 54! If that doesn’t quench your Procreate shading brush thirst for a while, I don’t know what will.
As a bonus, you’ll also get a handful of lettering brushes and lettering guides. Pretty sweet bonus, right?
While we’re on the lettering topic, be sure to check out my article about free Procreate lettering brushes you can use!
Alright, back to the super shady brush pack. Here’s what you get with it:
- 54 shading, blending, and texturing brushes
- 6 calligraphy brushes
- Procreate guides
- Procreate tips
This brush pack comes with a lot of brushes and a lot of bonuses. If you’re looking for quantity and quality, it’s worth checking out.
5. Pencil Pack – Procreate Brushes
We’re rounding off this list of Procreate shading brushes with a great Procreate pencil pack. This is for all of you traditional pencil and paper artists out there who want to emulate your traditional materials as much as possible within Procreate.
If you love shading with sketching pencils, this pencil pack is for you.
This Pencil Pack was made by putting traditional pencil strokes on paper and then digitizing them to create Procreate brushes that are as realistic as possible.
This pencil pack includes:
- 21 pencil brushes
- 8 color palettes
- 2 pencil textures
This is yet another Procreate brush pack that comes with some neat bonuses. Along with 21 pencil brushes you can use for sketching and shading, you’ll also get 8 color palettes and 2 pencil textures.
Shading in Procreate takes a lot of practice and patience. That said, having the right Procreate brushes you can use for your shading makes a world of difference. This list of Procreate shading brushes can set you on the right path to shading perfection.
Diana has been an artist for over 25 years and has training in drawing, painting, digital drawing and graphic design. Diana’s latest obsession is digitally drawing with Procreate and creating t-shirt designs with Canva. Diana has experience selling her art across a number of platforms and loves helping other artists learn how to make money from their art as well.