Imagine this: you open up Procreate to paint a realistic portrait. You get the sketch down and everything looks ready to render. You use Procreates native brushes to create a realistic portrait but the final result isn’t what you had in mind. Sounds familiar?
I have reviewed the 102 Complete Brush Pack by Laura H. Rubin to see if it’s worth a buy. Will this be the ultimate brush set to take your realistic portraits to the next level? Let’s find out!
Are the realistic brush packs by Laura H. Rubin worth a buy?
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Who is the artist behind the realistic brush packs?
Laura H. Rubin is an award-winning digital artist who specializes in realistic portraits. Her artwork is admired by 725.000 Instagram followers and she has worked for a lot of established companies.
One of the cool things about Laura is that she’s generous enough to make tutorials and brush sets for other digital artists, beginners and pros alike. I decided to test her latest brush pack to see if it really is as good as it seems.
Laura H. Rubin’s Complete 102 Brush Pack for realistic portraits
Note: As of currently, Laura removed the 81 Realistic Brush Pack from her store and instead created a new pack containing all of the brushes reviewed in this article + her new fur brushes. This pack is now called: the 102 Complete Brush Pack.
The 102 Complete Brush Pack contains all of Laura’s personal 102 brushes which she uses in her own artworks.
Buying the brush pack will get you…
- 81 realistic portrait brushes
- 21 realistic fur brushes
- 8 minute video tutorial on how to create realistic skin with these brushes
…for $19 USD.
The 102 Complete Brush Pack contains the following brushes:
- 2 Basics Brushes
- 2 Blending Brushes
- 29 skin brushes
- Basics brushes in: soft/medium/rough
- Detail brush
- Pigment brushes in: soft/medium/rough
- Hyperrealism brushes
- 2 Goosebump brushes
- 3 Pore brushes
- Skin glitter stamps
- 2 Lip highlights
- 2 glitter brushes
- 18 Hair brushes
- Eyelash brush
- Smudged eyeliner
- Blurred eyeliner
- Mono brush
- 3 Pencil brushes
- Water pencil brush
- Canvas texture
- Paper texture
- Noise brush
- + 21 Fur Brushes
Just note that these brushes are for Procreate only and do not work in Photoshop.
So, without any further ado, let’s swatch those brushes!
When reviewing this brush pack the 21 extra fur brushes were not yet included.
There are so many brushes! I immediately see that the brushes are categorized by name. There are basic brushes, skin brushes, hair brushes, etc.
The default opacity differs per brush (which you can of course change yourself). This lets me know that the creator put time into perfecting each and every one of them. I notice that the brushes are very stabilised. This means that the brush does not wiggle, but it creates a clean line each time you draw.
The reason there are so many brushes is that some have different gradations: Soft, medium, and rough. This is definitely a plus because upping your brush size doesn’t always do the trick.
There are even canvas textures brushes which I am very excited to try on a finished piece!
Following the skin tutorial
Laura included an 8-minute video on how to draw realistic skin with her brushes. The video contains no voice-over, just an upbeat sound. The steps are written down so you can follow along.
So basically you use a basics brush to create your base layer. Next, add a highlight and shadow using a blending brush. Then, you add a layer on top and set the blend mode to soft light. Draw on this layer with a basic skin brush in either soft, medium, or rough.
After this add a new layer (or keep working on the same layer if you don’t mind working destructively) and draw on this layer using a pigment brush in soft, medium, or rough. Don’t forget to put this layer on soft light as well.
Then, add skin texture by using a hyperrealism, goosebumps, or pore brush. Add some freckles or birthmarks for an ‘’imperfect’’ (= realistic) look and then use the glitter brush as a textured highlight. Et voila, skin a la Laura H. Rubin!
- Base layer using a basics brush
- Highlight and shadow using a blending brush
- Texture using a basic skin brush in soft/medium/rough
- Hue variety using a pigment brush in soft/medium/rough
- Texture using a hyperrealism/goosebump/pore brush
- ‘’Imperfections’’ using freckle or birthmark brush
- Highlight using glitter brush
Using the brushes on a digital portrait
To fully test these exciting brushes, I made a digital portrait. And I have to say… wow!
My portraits never looked more realistic. I’m especially in love with the hair brushes. I have yet to find a brush that mimics hair as well as these. Just look at how tapered I got those hair strands! I even got a (semi) realistic texture on her lips using the tiny hairs brush. Creating the skin is so easy. I do think the brush pack pushed my portrait a little further into the realm of realism.
Is Laura H. Rubin's 102 complete brush pack worth a buy?
Oh absolutely! Since purchasing this brush pack I have used it every single time I use Procreate. I have downloaded other brush packs (from different artists) as well but they don’t compare to this one.
There are some brushes I am not as thrilled about, which is the watercolor brush. But hey, with 102 brushes there’s bound to be one I don’t like as much. The mono brush also looks very close to Procreates monoline brush.
But all in all, I think it’s definitely worth buying this brush pack.
You can buy the brush pack right here:
Can I only purchase the realistic hair brushes by Laura H. Rubin?
It is possible to only purchase Laura H. Rubin’s hair brushes. The 20 Hair Brushes For High Realism only contains the 20 hair brushes which all are available in the 102 Complete Brush Brush pack.
Can I only purchase the realistic skin brushes by Laura H. Rubin?
It’s possible to only purchase Laura H. Rubin’s skin brushes. They are featured in the 61 Skin Brushes For High Realism pack.
This pack contains all of the skin brushes and:
- Bubble brush
- Glitter Brushes
- Glow Brush
- Eye liner Brushes
- Mono Brush
- 4 Pencil Brushes
- Watercolor Brush
- Bokeh Brush
- Canvas Brush
- Paper Texture Brush
- Noise Brush For Analog Effect
So basically every single brush except for the hair brushes and the fur brushes.
Can I only purchase Laura H. Rubin's Hair brushes and Skin brushes in one pack?
It’s possible to only buy Laura H. Rubin’s skin and hair brushes in one pack. However, the 40 Basic Brushes Pack doesn’t include every single skin and hair brush.
But in my opinion it’s more than enough to get the same realistic results as Laura.
Congrats if you made it this far! I hope you now feel like you can make a decision on whether to buy this brush set or not. Check out my Ultimate Guide On How To Make Skin Color if you’re ready to put these brushes to action!
See you next time,