Don’t get me wrong: I love Photoshop. It’s a great tool and I use it on a daily basis.
The default brushes in Adobe Photoshop are far from adequate it comes to penciling or inking illustrations or comics. Thankfully, there are options for the discerning artist.
I have tested these brushes personally, and give them my full endorsement. (Aside: My favorite inking tool of choice is Manga Studio, followed by Sketchbook Pro. If I have to use Photoshop – these are the brushes I would use.)
Without ado, here goes:
Nanda’s Real Pencils (free): includes 2B, B, HB, cover pencil, colored pencil and even mechanical pencil brushes.
Frenden Custom Photoshop Inking and Penciling Brushes: the gold standard. Something for everyone. Works on CS5, CS6 and up. Only $5.
Kyle T. Webster’s Ultimate “Mr. Natural” brush (donations accepted): a crisp inking brush that works great! If you like this brush, make sure to check out Kyle’s ULTIMATE Megapack set (120 brushes for only $13).
That’s it. Sure, there are other Photoshop penciling and inking brushes out there, but after using these, I have had no need to seek out other alternatives. In my opinion, these are the best available Photoshop brushes for penciling and inking. They work great, and best of all – NO LAG!
Give ’em a try!