Illustrator brushes

by Design Workshop Sydney

Illustrator brushes are first of all useful if you are just creating some strokes or forms free hand, and accuracy is not an issue. Before you use the Paintbrush tool, first select a brush from the Brushes palette. If you can’t see this, go to Window > Brushes. Then just click and drag to draw the freeform shape. Working with brushes is just one of the many features we explore in our Illustrator courses.Illustrator-brushes
Alternatively you can apply brush strokes to an existing shape or path: simply select the path with the Selection tool and click on a brush. Note that you can adjust the colour and stroke weight in the Strokes panel to adjust the brush stroke appearance.
Other options are available in the Brushes panel. There are three different types of Illustrator brushes: Art, Scatter and Pattern. You can see a sample of each in the Brushes panel, but to access more go to the top right panel options flyout button, choose Load Brushes, and see the selection of brush libraries that ship with the program.
In addition you can create your own brushes, for special purposes, for example, you could create a zipper brush for working with fashion artwork. You simply create a shape which you want repeated and drag it into the Brushes panel, then choose the type of brush you want. An example of an Art brush is the type of calligraphy line you’d get in traditional Chinese script hangings. A Scatter brush is a bit like a spray can where instances of your original shape are scattered along the original path. And a Pattern brush gives you a repeat pattern, like the zipper example mentioned.
You can also download free brushes from the Internet: simple do a Google search for Free Illustrator Brushes and follow the instructions.
Some Illustrator users like to draw with a graphics tablet like the ones produced by a company called Wacom – the advantage of these is that they are pressure-sensitive and do a better job of replicating the wrist movements of traditional media drawings. Tablets come in various sizes and prices, from fairly cheap to very expensive.
See many examples of our Illustrator clients’ work on our Facebook site.
Other related Illustrator Blog Posts:
Illustrator workspace
Illustrator basics
Illustrator clipping masks