Brush Settings

Drawpile has support for four kinds of brushes: round pixel, square pixel, soft round and MyPaint brushes. These can all be configured to give many kinds of different effects.

The brush settings dock and dialog let you configure an individual brush. Brush presets let you save and load brushes that you configured.

Brush Settings Dock

The brush settings dock is part of the Tool dock. They appear when you select a tool involving brushes, such as the brush, eraser or line tool. If you don’t see it, you can turn it on via View → Docks → Tool. If you don’t see it despite enabling it, it may be hidden behind another dock in a tab. On mobile and other small screen devices, it is behind the brush button at the top-left of the canvas.

Drawpile gives you five Brush Slots and an extra sixth one for an eraser brush. The default keyboard shortcuts are on the buttons 1 to 6. The idea is that you put the set of brushes you want to draw with into these slots and toggle between them, letting you pick a different set depending on which picture you’re working on.

It also gives you direct access to several common settings.

You can choose the Brush Engine, between round pixel, square pixel, soft and MyPaint brush. Different brush engines allow for different settings.

You can pick which Blend Mode you want to draw with. Most blend modes preserve alpha, see the help article on alpha lock for more information. MyPaint brushes do not have this option, instead they have a single button to toggle alpha lock mode.

The Pick Initial Color toggle makes brush pick up the color from the canvas where you put your pen down. This can be used to set up smudge brushes. MyPaint brushes don’t have this button, they have more intricate smudge controls in the brush settings dialog instead.

The Erase Mode toggle lets you switch the current brush to an eraser and back. This is how erasers work in Krita, for example.

The Direct Mode switches between direct and indirect mode. Direct mode will cause opacity to keep building up within an individual stroke, indirect mode will limit it within a single stroke instead. In Krita, these are called “build-up” and “wash” mode, respectively. Other software calls them “flow” and “opacity”.

The Quick Access Sliders let you configure the most common brush settings. The Dynamics toggles turn on or off brush dynamics for those settings. Which sliders are visible depends on the brush engine, MyPaint brushes have more intricate dynamics controls in the brush settings dialog instead.

The Stabilizer Settings let you configure your brush stabilizer. See the article on stabilization for more information.

Clicking on the Brush Settings button at the top-left opens the full brush settings dialog that lets you edit brushes in more detail.

Brush settings dock

Brush Settings Dialog

This dialog is accessible via Edit → Brush Settings or using the button at the top-left of the brush settings dock.

You can choose the setting you want to edit in the list on the left. The individual pages like Size or Opacity let you configure the maximum and minimum value, as well as which dynamics to use. Pressure dynamics will use pen pressure, velocity dynamics will use the speed at which you’re drawing and distance dynamics use the length of your stroke. No dynamics turns off the dynamics and always uses the maximum value. For velocity and distance dynamics, you also get a slider to choose how fast or how far the maximum value should go.

The curve below lets you adjust how the dynamics affect the value. On the X axis, 0.0 is the weakest pressure, slowest speed or smallest distance, 1.0 is the strongest, fastest or largest. On the Y axis, 0.0 is the minimum value, 1.0 is the maximum value. You can Copy and Paste curves; they are copied as text, so you can share them in chat too. Apply to All will apply the chosen curve to all of Size, Opacity, Hardness and Smudging. Under Presets, you can save and load curves.

Configuring MyPaint brushes looks different and is more involved. You can find more information on how to configure these brushes online, the information you find generally also applies to Drawpile and the editor has the same controls. You can also get an explanation of all the settings and inputs by hovering your cursor over them, a tooltip will appear.

Changing a brush’s settings will not automatically save it. You have to either save it as a new brush preset overwrite an existing one, see the brush presets section below.

Brush settings dialog

Brush Presets

Brush presets can be found in the Brushes dock. If you don’t see it, you can turn it on via View → Docks → Brushes. If you don’t see it despite enabling it, it may be hidden behind another dock in a tab. On mobile and other small screen devices, it is behind the brush button at the top-left of the canvas.

In this dock, you can choose brushes by clicking on them. Doing so will change the brush in your current slot to the chosen preset. You can’t directly assign shortcuts to brush presets, instead you can put them into the different slots of your brush settings dock and then toggle between them using the keys 1 to 6.

The Tags drop-down lets you show only presets from the chosen tag, rather than having the whole list available. The Search Bar lets you look for brushes by name.

You can create your own tags and assign brushes to them under the Settings button. Here you can also create, duplicate, overwrite, edit and delete brush presets, as well as picking the icon size. Many people create some kind of “Favorites” tag and put the brushes they like best in there.

There’s also shortcuts for imports and exports here, see the help article on brush sharing for more information.

Presets are always sorted by name. The default brushes all have a numeric prefix for this purpose. If you want to reorder your presets, edit their names accordingly.

Brushes dock