Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Using the Calligraphic brush

From: Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

Video: Using the Calligraphic brush

As we'll learn throughout this chapter, there are four times of brushes that exist inside of Illustrator. There is the Calligraphic Brush, the Scatter Brush, the Art Brush and the Pattern Brush. In this movie we'll focus in the Calligraphic Brush, which on a very basic level is somewhat similar to the Pencil tool. For example, if I use the Pencil tool here and I'll specify a Fill of none and just a black stroke, as you go ahead you draw your particular path you'll notice that the path itself is just one consistent stroke. However, let me delete that for a moment. I'll switch over to my Paint Brush tool, and I'll go to my Brushes panel, and you'll see that the top row of icons here are what we call Calligraphic brushes.

Using the Calligraphic brush

As we'll learn throughout this chapter, there are four times of brushes that exist inside of Illustrator. There is the Calligraphic Brush, the Scatter Brush, the Art Brush and the Pattern Brush. In this movie we'll focus in the Calligraphic Brush, which on a very basic level is somewhat similar to the Pencil tool. For example, if I use the Pencil tool here and I'll specify a Fill of none and just a black stroke, as you go ahead you draw your particular path you'll notice that the path itself is just one consistent stroke. However, let me delete that for a moment. I'll switch over to my Paint Brush tool, and I'll go to my Brushes panel, and you'll see that the top row of icons here are what we call Calligraphic brushes.

I'll choose this one here called 7 point Round, and when I click and I drag with this, I get a much thicker line, but you'll also notice that if I go into Outline mode, what I have is basically one path that has the appearance of this particular brush stroke on top of it. As we get more into using brushes, this will make a lot more sense. I'm just going to delete this right now. Notice that in this particular file I already have this turned into a Template layer, so I have this piece of artwork that's here. I now want to kind of sketch or draw on top of this. I'm going to use a Wacom pen to actually go through some of this, but if you have a mouse, you can follow with the same steps. The only difference is that I'm going to be using some pressure-sensitive features, which will allow me to control a little bit more about how I create my artwork.

So first let's see what the settings for a Calligraphic Brush are. I have my Paint Brush tool selected, I'll go over here to my Brushes panel and I'll simply go ahead on the bottom over here and choose this option called New Brush. Now, I'm going to create a new Calligraphic Brush, click OK. This dialog box comes up. Let's call this one a name. Let's give this one Surfing Brush for now. I have the ability here to specify the Angle, Roundness and Diameter of the particular tip of my brush. I can either specify the numbers directly to these fields or I could even click on this interactive area here. For example, I can adjust the angle by clicking on this arrow. I can also adjust the roundness by clicking on these dots right here and the diameter I could use by simply adjusting the Slider here.

Let's start with something very basic for now. I'm actually going to go ahead and have this set for an angle of 0, the roundness was set to 100% and the diameter I'll set to around maybe... let's specify a number here for about 10 points. Now you'll notice that right now all these settings are fixed. So that means if I click OK, as I draw a brush, I'm always going to get a consistent brush stroke that is exactly 10 points in that particular way. I'm going to select this Command+A or Ctrl+A and delete. I'm going to double-click on that brush that I just created now to edit it.

I'm going to change some of the settings that are here. First of all, instead of the angle being 0, we'll put that angle on 45-degree angle. Now you won't really notice the difference in the angle itself because it's perfectly round, but if I would change the roundness to something else, for example, let's do a roundness of maybe 10, very extreme one, that creates almost a flat kind of brush. If you've ever used a traditional calligraphy pen, it has a very flat point or what we call a nib on the pen, which means that when I start to draw with the pen on certain angles it appears very fast, but on certain angles it appears very thin.

By the way the settings I'm going to be specifying right now are not related at all to the pressure-sensitivity, these still are all fixed numbers. Even if I'm using a mouse, I would get the same exact results. I'll leave the diameter set to 10 point. Let's click OK and see what happens now. If I start to paint or draw in this direction, I get the thick line, but if I start to come down I get a thin line. Thick line, thin line, or if I go in a circle, I get something that looks like that. And again, I'm going to be able to do this using the brush. If I go to Outline mode, see that it's just one whole stroke that was created or one path that was created. But the appearance of that particular path has these beautiful thick and thins, and again that's where that the Calligraphic Brush works.

Now let's see what happens when I start turning on the pressure-sensitive setting. Again, I'll press Command+A or Ctrl+A to delete my particular artwork there, select it and delete it. Let's switch over to my Paint Brush tool. Let's double-click on this surfing brush to change its settings once again. I'll change the Angle back to 0; let's change around this back to 100 and I'll leave the Diameter right now a little bit heavier since we go up to around 15. Now what I'm going to do though is I'm going to change some of these settings right here, and so with Diameter being fixed, meaning that it's always going to be a Diameter of 15 points, I could change that to be based on pressure.

Now because I have a pressure- sensitive tablet right now, I could choose a variation for that. Take a look at this little section over here, over this dialog box. Right now Illustrator is letting me know that my diameter or the way that my brush would appear can either be this, or this, or this. Now, obviously since my Diameter and my Variation is set to 0, it will always look the same based on my pressure. But as I start to increase the Variation, for example, I variate all the way to 15 points, Illustrator is letting me know that my brush stroke that I can create can be as narrow as this, which is basically 0, as I'm having 15 points Diameter but a Variation of 15 points, meaning it can go anywhere from 0 to 15 all the way to 30 for that matter. I'm going to click OK.

Now as I start to use my pressure- sensitive pen, as I use the Paint Brush tool, I press very lightly, I get thin lines, but as I go and press heavier I get a much thicker stroke. Again if I go into Outline mode, I see that I have created one path; however, the appearance of that appears to be thin and then thick, which is actually pretty cool. Let's go ahead and delete this and see how I might use this in a particular way of working with my design. Now I have a very large stroke here. I'm actually going to double-click on this. Change Diameter to be maybe 8 points and again a Variation will also be 8. You can never have a Variation more than the actual Diameter itself.

I'm going to click OK and now I'll start to sketch. So I'll create let's say some strokes here and again I can do things maybe that would not be possible otherwise. I'm not an artist here, but I can try to get something that's very descriptive. But notice that I have kind of thick-and-thin. I'm going to press Undo because I don't like that stroke. Let me do something say a little bit more over here. Now I can start to create some kind of shape here, but notice how beautiful my thick-and-thins are when I use this Calligraphic Brush. So this is an example the first kind of brush you can create inside of Illustrator called the Calligraphic Brush. By the way just to show you if I start to use my mouse I can still do the same types of illustrations if I want to, but notice that there is no thick- and-thins, the stroke is consistent here because there is no pressure- sensitivity with the mouse itself.

Overall, the Calligraphic Brush is not only fun to use; it's great for sketching and for inking as well.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS4 Essential Training
Illustrator CS4 Essential Training

116 video lessons · 48863 viewers

Mordy Golding
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 59s
    1. Welcome
      59s
  2. 33m 17s
    1. Why use Illustrator?
      2m 22s
    2. What are vector graphics?
      8m 4s
    3. Understanding paths
      4m 13s
    4. Fill and Stroke attributes
      5m 32s
    5. Selections and stacking order
      8m 31s
    6. Isolation mode
      4m 35s
  3. 23m 43s
    1. The Welcome screen
      1m 11s
    2. New Document Profiles
      4m 36s
    3. Using multiple artboards
      7m 17s
    4. Libraries and content
      3m 52s
    5. Illustrator templates
      2m 56s
    6. Adding XMP metadata
      3m 51s
  4. 43m 55s
    1. Exploring panels
      4m 18s
    2. Using the Control panel
      5m 25s
    3. Navigating within a document
      5m 27s
    4. Using rulers and guides
      5m 23s
    5. Using grids
      2m 12s
    6. Utilizing the bounding box
      3m 3s
    7. Using Smart Guides
      4m 59s
    8. The Hide Edges command
      3m 31s
    9. Preview and Outline modes
      2m 18s
    10. Using workspaces
      7m 19s
  5. 38m 3s
    1. The importance of modifier keys
      1m 9s
    2. Drawing closed-path primitives
      7m 15s
    3. Drawing open-path primitives
      5m 5s
    4. Simple drawing with the Pen tool
      7m 28s
    5. Advanced drawing with the Pen tool
      10m 33s
    6. Drawing with the Pencil tool
      6m 33s
  6. 46m 37s
    1. Editing anchor points
      13m 7s
    2. Creating compound shapes
      5m 55s
    3. Utilizing Pathfinder functions
      5m 11s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      5m 37s
    5. Outlining strokes
      3m 24s
    6. Simplifying paths
      5m 41s
    7. Using Offset Path
      2m 43s
    8. Dividing an object into a grid
      1m 41s
    9. Cleaning up errant paths
      3m 18s
  7. 35m 23s
    1. Creating point text
      4m 4s
    2. Creating area text
      4m 19s
    3. Applying basic character settings
      6m 27s
    4. Applying basic paragraph settings
      4m 4s
    5. Creating text threads
      5m 28s
    6. Creating text on open paths
      5m 18s
    7. Creating text on closed paths
      3m 57s
    8. Converting text to outlines
      1m 46s
  8. 20m 15s
    1. Using the basic selection tools
      7m 53s
    2. Using the Magic Wand and Lasso tools
      6m 34s
    3. Selecting objects by attribute
      2m 38s
    4. Saving and reusing selections
      3m 10s
  9. 40m 35s
    1. Using the Appearance panel
      6m 48s
    2. Targeting object attributes
      3m 26s
    3. Adding multiple attributes
      7m 6s
    4. Applying Live Effects
      8m 9s
    5. Expanding appearances
      4m 48s
    6. Appearance panel settings
      6m 51s
    7. Copying appearances
      3m 27s
  10. 37m 15s
    1. Defining groups
      7m 2s
    2. Editing groups
      5m 28s
    3. Working with layers
      8m 10s
    4. Layer and object hierarchy
      6m 57s
    5. Creating template layers
      2m 3s
    6. Object, group, and layer attributes
      7m 35s
  11. 44m 4s
    1. Applying colors
      3m 18s
    2. Creating solid color swatches
      4m 48s
    3. Creating global process swatches
      5m 1s
    4. Using spot color swatches
      4m 27s
    5. Creating swatch groups and libraries
      6m 50s
    6. Working with linear gradient fills
      6m 34s
    7. Working with radial gradient fills
      2m 19s
    8. Applying and manipulating pattern fills
      4m 51s
    9. Defining simple patterns
      5m 56s
  12. 22m 43s
    1. Moving and copying objects
      2m 1s
    2. Scaling objects
      4m 49s
    3. Rotating objects
      3m 14s
    4. Reflecting and skewing objects
      2m 27s
    5. Using the Free Transform tool
      2m 9s
    6. Aligning objects
      5m 15s
    7. Distributing objects
      2m 48s
  13. 25m 13s
    1. Using a pressure-sensitive tablet
      1m 38s
    2. Using the Calligraphic brush
      6m 10s
    3. Using the Scatter brush
      4m 0s
    4. Using the Art brush
      2m 26s
    5. Using the Pattern brush
      3m 21s
    6. Using the Paintbrush tool
      1m 41s
    7. Using the Blob Brush tool
      3m 42s
    8. Using the Eraser tool
      2m 15s
  14. 16m 36s
    1. Using symbols
      3m 9s
    2. Defining your own symbols
      2m 1s
    3. Editing symbols
      4m 4s
    4. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      2m 32s
    5. Using the Symbolism toolset
      4m 50s
  15. 35m 37s
    1. Minding your resolution settings
      6m 15s
    2. Applying basic 3D extrusions
      6m 43s
    3. Applying basic 3D revolves
      2m 31s
    4. Basic artwork mapping
      5m 9s
    5. Using the Stylize effects
      5m 35s
    6. Using the Scribble effect
      5m 43s
    7. Using the Warp effect
      3m 41s
  16. 21m 37s
    1. Placing images
      4m 51s
    2. Using the Links panel
      2m 47s
    3. The Edit Original workflow
      2m 0s
    4. Converting images to vectors with Live Trace
      5m 29s
    5. Rasterizing artwork
      1m 55s
    6. Cropping images with a mask
      4m 35s
  17. 10m 35s
    1. Saving your Illustrator document
      8m 18s
    2. Printing your Illustrator document
      2m 17s
  18. 6m 25s
    1. Exporting files for use in QuarkXPress
      1m 8s
    2. Exporting files for use in InDesign
      39s
    3. Exporting files for use in Word/Excel/PowerPoint
      45s
    4. Exporting files for use in Photoshop
      1m 25s
    5. Exporting files for use in Flash
      1m 15s
    6. Exporting files for use in After Effects
      19s
    7. Migrating from FreeHand
      54s
  19. 2m 23s
    1. Finding additional help
      2m 0s
    2. Goodbye
      23s

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Illustrator CS4 Essential Training.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member ?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferences from the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your lynda.com subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.