Learn the Basics of the Brush Tool in Adobe Illustrator

Hello everybody, and welcome to working with the brush tool in Adobe Illustrator. You’re going learn the basics of the brush tool and how to begin using it competently. You’re going learn how to use the settings that are important to making the brush tool work the way you want to. You’re going learn how to apply brushstrokes to existing artwork. And finally, you’re going to learn how to use existing artwork to create brushes.

The brush tool is very important when you’re trying to create paint like strokes in your vector drawings. This tool will allow you to create a wide array of looks and styles that make your vector illustrations look very organic and hand drawn. You can think of the brush tool has the exact opposite of the pen tool. Whereas the pen tool is used draw precise shapes, the brush tool will allow you the flexibility and freedom that most artists are used to.

I tend to think of the brush tool as my go to tool in Adobe Illustrator. There have been drawings that I have created that I relied solely on the use this tool in the creation of everything within the composition. That’s a very strong application, and I want to make sure drive this point home. The brush tool has many settings and applications, But is important that you understand the basic application the brush tool is to lay down continuous brushstrokes that mimic traditional media.

I will also teach you how to use the brush tool with the pattern option selected. This is very useful if you want the brush stroke that you created not be used as a continuous stroke, but as the individual links in the pattern. Think of this as a chain-link of sorts, where every link is just one copy of the artwork you created.

Feel free to leave your questions or comments below.

1. Paintbrush Tool Options

Here are some of the basic settings I use when making my brushes. Do not check “Keep Selected” or “Edit Selected Paths”


2. Art Brush Options

Once your brush is created, I use these two settings dialog boxes for most of my drawings and illustrations.


3. Testing Your New Brush

After you create your brushes, go ahead and try them out and see if they are exactly what you’re looking for.


4. Creating a Pattern Brush

Next we going learn how to create a pattern brush. Drag your newly created art into the brush palette.


5. New Brush Options

This time you can select “Pattern Brush” in the dialog box.


6. Checking Out Your New Pattern Brush

Now you have a newly created pattern brush to use.


7. Test Out Your New Pattern Brush

Go ahead and test out the brush to see if you like it. Make edits if necessary.


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