Skip to main content

How to Use Art Brushes with Adobe Illustrator

Learn how to use art brushes with Adobe Illustrator from expert Will "Focus" Dubois in this Howcast video.


This is how to work with art brushes in Adobe Illustrator. When you work with art brushes it's essentially you creating a brush that you're gonna use in Illustrator itself, so it's you creating some type of brush or shape that's going to govern how your brush looks when you're using it. And how you get that look is you go in your stage or your art board. We'll pick the pen tool. I'll pick the pen tool. Let's do that and we will make something completely outrageous for our brush shape and using this shape we're actually going to make this our art brush.

Now the way we make it our art brush is we select it with any of our selection tools. We head to our brushes panel on the right hand side and if it's not there you go to your Windows menu, down to brushes and then this menu will actually pop up in the Windows panel. So, we click this drop down arrow. We click new brush and under our new brush options we have art brush. We click okay and once we click okay we're gonna be presented with another window. And this window allows us to select our art brush options.

So, we can change the width depending upon whether or not we have a different profile set up. If you have a stylus or a tablet you can do various things with this. You have your brush scale options where you can scale proportionately that allows this to fit along this line. If you look in this window you'll notice that from top to bottom there's an arrow going across the height of the art that you actually just put on here.

You can have it scaled proportionately stretched to fit the stroke length or stretched between guides. So, right now we're gonna go stretch to fit stroke and we're gonna just click OK. Now, let's clear the stroke and we're gonna do that. Select our pen tool and we are gonna go from left to right. Let's make sure we remove our fill and as we do that we're gonna go back into our brushes panel and you'll notice that our new art brush is here and then once we click on this art brush you'll notice that it fits this stroke.

Now, if this isn't what you wanted what we can do is we can go in there and we can double click our art brush. It brings our options back up and within here in the brush scale options you can choose how it stretches along that line. So, right now if that line is actually longer than the length of your original shape that you're using for this actual brush you can change it to scale proportionately. And let's turn on preview so you can see and you'll see the shape of it actually adjust. So, scale proportionately and it'll stay proportionate. It won't just stretch out. Stretch to fit or stretch between guides if we had guides set up which we don't.

Now, scale proportionately as I said is going to keep the proportions, but stretch to fit is actually going to warp it a bit. So, you want to be cognizant of that when you're using it. The other thing is the colorization and here you can choose to make it something that is adjusted by tints, adjusted by tints and the shades or you can have it adjusted by hue shift. And this is all gonna go towards the color changes. If you select none then you click okay.

When trying to change the color you'll notice nothing happens. So, in order for that to work let's go double click on our brush option and we can fool around with these. We can go to tints. Tints and shades and click OK and we can either choose to leave the strokes that are there how they are or apply it to the current ones. There's already brushes that are out there. Click apply and then because this is already selected we can now hue shift the color of our brush. And I can change the shape by adding more points and that is how you work with the art brush in Adobe Illustrator.

Popular Categories