If you follow any of my social media, you’ll probably know that I love using Procreate and Affinity Designer on my iPad to draw. Although they’re two of the best mobile drawing apps that currently exist, they have their limits in the number of drawing tools available in each app. Thankfully, there’s a great community of artists that make a wide assortment of brushes for Affinity Designer/Photo, Procreate, and Photoshop.
Frankentoon is one of my favorite websites for aftermarket brush sets and assets for Procreate and Affinity software. They’re constantly releasing new packs and even provide tutorials how to use them. Their nature brush pack is a huge timesaver for anyone who needs to paint leaves, smoke, water, rocks, etc.
The Procreate community of artists is a fantastic resource for artist-made brushes and tools. Whenever I’m looking for a very specific type of brush, I search the community and I’ve always been able to find one for free or at a nominal fee. iPadLettering.com is also a great source of very affordable brushes and shapes, especially if you’re looking to create lettering artwork. Script isn’t my strong suit, so I mostly use a variety of drawing and painting brushes instead.
Before Procreate, Affinity, and the iPad Pro existed, I did most of my digital illustrations in Photoshop. In those days, I used a brush pack created by YouTuber, Josiah Brooks, who is also known as “Jazza”.
I’ve been experimenting with different software that allows you to draw pixel artwork easily. My first test was in Affinity Designer since I’ve been using it on a regular basis anyway. This was as easy as creating a grid and then using the rectangle tool to fill in the squares. It’s simple enough to complete as long as you have a good idea of the grid size you’ll want to use.
I then tried a website called Piskel, which is free to use. One really nice feature of Piskel is that you can create animated gifs and export them.
You can change the both the grid size and the exported frame size in Piskel depending in your needs and since free and available as a website, it’s definitely a very approachable way to create pixel art.
Finally, I tried a free iOS app called Dottable. This app, much like Piskel, is pretty easy to learn and has a small learning curve. I’m not sure if it can easily produce animated gifs like Piskel, though. One big positive it has is that it allows you to convert any photo from your device into pixel art. This can be a big time-saver whether if you want to use the converted image as-is or even just as a starting point.