Illustrator brush tool

by Design Workshop Sydney

When creating details in an Illustrator drawing, we can speed up the process by working with the brush tool. We demonstrate how in our Illustrator training courses.Illustrator-brush-tool
In drawing patterns for textiles design we can create details like zippers, buttons, stitching, etc using the brushes. These can be downloaded from the the Net, or created and saved for future use.
To create a series of buttons, for example, use the Ellipse tool and a black & white Linear Gradient fill to create one button, then press Alt (Mac: Option) to copy. You now have a few options – you can drag the shapes into the Symbols panel. These will be saved with the file and can be dragged out again as needed.
Alternatively drag the circles into the Brush panel, whereupon a dialog box opens. The option we want in this case is the Pattern Brush, for repeat patterns > name it Buttons. Note you have options for spacing and scale also. Then apply the brush to a new line.
For a zipper first create two small offset rectangles (see above). Then with Selection tool drag these to the Brushes panel > New Pattern Brush > name it Zipper. And apply this brush to a new line. Note that any shape can be made into a brush. The frills above were first created with the Pencil tool.
Or you can do a Google search for Free Illustrator brushes, Lace (for example). Many sites offer free patterns for downloading. Then in Illustrator go to the Brushes panel options > Open Brush Library > Other Library (bottom) > navigate to where you saved the brushes file. This will open a new panel in Illustrator. Note that some files can be quite big, up to 50Mb in size sometimes. To change colour of the pattern go to Object > Expand Appearance.
Whether you’re a complete beginner or self-taught, our courses will help you gain self-confidence in your Illustrator workflow, as well as adding to your professional skill-set. See many examples of our Illustrator clients’ work on our Facebook page.
Other related Illustrator Blog Posts:
Illustrator workspace
Illustrator basics
Illustrator clipping masks
Illustrator live trace
Illustrator brushes