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Working with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools

From: Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

Video: Working with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools

Now it's time to have a little fun here inside of Illustrator. I'm going to be utilizing one of my favorite tools: the Blob brush. It's just fun to say -- Blob brush -- and in this case, I'm going to use it to create some really interesting artwork, and also do some stuff that you probably didn't even know you could do inside of Illustrator. I'm going to create a brand new blank document to start off with. So I'm going to hit Command+N or Control+N on my keyboard, and I'll just hit OK to accept the defaults. Now traditionally in Illustrator, you've always been able to paint and draw, using the brush, and the Pencil tool.

Working with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools

Now it's time to have a little fun here inside of Illustrator. I'm going to be utilizing one of my favorite tools: the Blob brush. It's just fun to say -- Blob brush -- and in this case, I'm going to use it to create some really interesting artwork, and also do some stuff that you probably didn't even know you could do inside of Illustrator. I'm going to create a brand new blank document to start off with. So I'm going to hit Command+N or Control+N on my keyboard, and I'll just hit OK to accept the defaults. Now traditionally in Illustrator, you've always been able to paint and draw, using the brush, and the Pencil tool.

The problem with the Paintbrush tool and the Pencil tool is, once you've drawn something, it's kind of hard to add something to that artwork, unless you knew how to use things like the Average and Join commands, or you knew how to use the Pathfinder, or stuff like that. With the Blob brush tool, you're actually able to join artwork together by utilizing a brush, which is really neat. So in this case, I'm going to draw out a basic shape; just a rectangle. And with this rectangle, watch how cool I can make it look in just a few short and easy steps, utilizing the Blob brush.

I'm going to switch to fill and stroke, so it's a black rectangle, and I'll make sure I'm working on the Fill, and then I'm going to grab the Blob brush tool. When I bring the Blob brush tool out, you're going to notice that it's a little paintbrush, and also, it's got a little circle target that follows me around as well. This is a brush. In Illustrator, you can actually alter the size of a brush by pressing the right bracket key, or the left bracket key on your keyboard. Pressing the right bracket key increases the size of the brush, like so.

Hitting the left bracket key decreases the size of the brush. I'm going to get a pretty big size brush here. Now traditionally, if I had grabbed the Paintbrush tool, and I started painting over this thing, it would create a brand new object on top of it, and it would be separate, and I would have to merge it together. With the Blob brush, I can actually unify whatever I paint with the underlying object. Check this out. I'll just make a scribble, and let go. If I grab my Selection tool, and select it, this is all one object now.

Let's undo that, and try it again. This time, I'll just kind of go inside, and make some art like that. When I select it again, it's still one piece. However, I left some gaps, right? If I grab the Blob brush again, I can come in and easily fill those up, and now this is just one single piece of artwork. I can also utilize the Eraser tool to create my paths as well.

The Eraser tool is right here, and you can get to it by clicking on it, or utilizing Shift, and the letter E. Once I hit Shift+E, it's automatically going to bring the Eraser out. Again, I get that same cursor, and I can increase or decrease the size of the brush by using my bracket keys. If I wanted to alter my artwork with the Eraser tool, I'll just click and drag, just like I did with the Blob brush. I'll just follow the contours of this, like so.

I can even reduce the size of my brush, and make even smaller details, like that. Once I'm done, I click away, or select it, and you can see, it's still one big object. So I'm actually creating these complex paths on the fly, without having to know anything about the Pen tool, the Pathfinder, or anything. It's all joining and maintaining its appearance as I go along. Now remember, I started out with a rectangle. How cool is that? Let's delete this, and try something else.

I'll grab the Blob brush, and I'll just start to make some artwork with the Blob brush. I'll reduce the size of my brush by holding down the left bracket key. Once I get it to an optimal size, I can begin to make some artwork. In this case, I'm just going to draw out a little cartoon character. So I'll draw some eyes, like so. Nose, mouth; give him some eyeballs. That's not half bad for somebody drawing with a mouse.

Now, once I do this, I can actually add to this as well. With my Blob brush selected, I can then add something like hair to the outside, whereas traditionally, you would have to add the hair, and then join it with the face, right? In this case, I've got the Blob brush selected, so I just draw; I can add some hair. Something kind of like that; you can add little pieces here and there, and just keep adding stuff, and it becomes part of the original path.

So now, when I select the outside of the face, it's automatically selecting everything; even the hair that I've drawn. So as you can see, the Blob brush gives you a new opportunity for making paths in a way that you've probably never thought of before. Traditionally, you've thought of paths as sort of like this mechanical thing that you had to put together, with pieces and parts from other places. Now you get to simply draw inside of Illustrator, and the paths are created for you. It's a much more visual way, almost like putting ink on paper, and that's what I like about the Blob brush. It's so much easier to create freeform artwork, without worrying about the technical stuff going on in the background.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Illustrator CS6 Essential Training
Illustrator CS6 Essential Training

116 video lessons · 70158 viewers

Justin Seeley
Author

 
Expand all | Collapse all
  1. 1m 15s
    1. What is Illustrator?
      1m 15s
  2. 2m 17s
    1. Welcome
      58s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 19s
  3. 41m 25s
    1. Understanding vector graphics
      5m 0s
    2. Setting preferences
      9m 24s
    3. Touring the interface
      9m 41s
    4. Exploring the panels
      6m 54s
    5. Working with the Control panel
      4m 25s
    6. Creating and saving workspaces
      6m 1s
  4. 43m 42s
    1. Creating files for print
      4m 42s
    2. Creating files for the web
      3m 36s
    3. Managing multiple documents
      3m 25s
    4. Navigating within a document
      5m 21s
    5. Using rulers, guides, and grids
      6m 59s
    6. Changing units of measurement
      1m 50s
    7. Using preview modes
      3m 10s
    8. Creating and using custom views
      3m 12s
    9. Locking and hiding artwork
      3m 43s
    10. Creating and using artboards
      7m 44s
  5. 1h 1m
    1. Setting your selection preferences
      5m 57s
    2. Using the Direct Selection and Group Selection tools
      4m 6s
    3. Using the Magic Wand tool
      5m 45s
    4. Using the Lasso tool
      4m 9s
    5. Selecting objects by attribute
      6m 48s
    6. Grouping objects
      3m 7s
    7. Using isolation mode
      4m 48s
    8. Resizing your artwork
      3m 55s
    9. Rotating objects
      2m 10s
    10. Distorting and transforming objects
      6m 26s
    11. Repeating transformations
      5m 6s
    12. Reflecting and skewing objects
      4m 54s
    13. Aligning and distributing objects
      4m 38s
  6. 29m 27s
    1. RGB vs. CMYK
      1m 46s
    2. Adjusting Illustrator color settings
      5m 10s
    3. Process vs. global swatches
      5m 6s
    4. Creating spot colors
      3m 40s
    5. Using the swatch groups
      2m 33s
    6. Working with color libraries
      3m 17s
    7. Importing swatches
      4m 4s
    8. Using the Color Guide panel
      3m 51s
  7. 57m 36s
    1. Understanding fills and strokes
      4m 18s
    2. Working with fills
      4m 58s
    3. Working with strokes
      8m 46s
    4. Creating dashes and arrows
      8m 1s
    5. Creating variable-width strokes
      4m 3s
    6. Using width profiles
      3m 31s
    7. Outlining strokes
      3m 51s
    8. Creating and editing gradients
      5m 45s
    9. Applying gradients to strokes
      3m 8s
    10. Applying and editing pattern fills
      4m 52s
    11. Creating your own pattern fill
      6m 23s
  8. 20m 20s
    1. Understanding paths
      2m 41s
    2. Understanding anchor points
      4m 20s
    3. Working with open and closed paths
      5m 28s
    4. Joining and averaging paths
      4m 9s
    5. Using the Scissors tool and the Knife tool
      3m 42s
  9. 37m 56s
    1. Understanding drawing modes
      4m 23s
    2. Creating compound paths
      5m 15s
    3. Creating compound shapes
      4m 11s
    4. Working with the Shape Builder tool
      6m 32s
    5. Working with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
      5m 26s
    6. Working with the Paintbrush and Pencil tools
      7m 8s
    7. Smoothing and erasing paths
      5m 1s
  10. 35m 53s
    1. Exploring the Pen tool
      2m 39s
    2. Drawing straight lines
      5m 12s
    3. Drawing simple curves
      5m 23s
    4. Understanding the many faces of the Pen tool
      6m 10s
    5. Converting corners and curves
      1m 46s
    6. Your keyboard is your friend
      2m 14s
    7. Tracing artwork with the Pen tool
      12m 29s
  11. 35m 33s
    1. Adjusting your type settings
      4m 10s
    2. Creating point and area text
      3m 36s
    3. Basic text editing
      2m 14s
    4. Creating threaded text
      4m 59s
    5. Using the type panels
      9m 48s
    6. Creating text on a path
      5m 11s
    7. Converting text into paths
      1m 43s
    8. Saving time with keyboard shortcuts
      3m 52s
  12. 27m 25s
    1. Exploring the Appearance panel
      4m 44s
    2. Explaining attribute stacking order
      1m 40s
    3. Applying multiple fills
      3m 1s
    4. Applying multiple strokes
      4m 20s
    5. Adjusting appearance with live effects
      4m 46s
    6. Saving appearances as graphic styles
      8m 54s
  13. 20m 44s
    1. Exploring the Layers panel
      4m 18s
    2. Creating and editing layers
      3m 27s
    3. Targeting objects in the Layers panel
      3m 3s
    4. Working with sublayers
      3m 0s
    5. Hiding, locking, and deleting layers
      4m 14s
    6. Using the Layers panel menu
      2m 42s
  14. 46m 0s
    1. Placing images into Illustrator
      2m 53s
    2. Working with the Links panel
      6m 5s
    3. Embedding images into Illustrator
      3m 12s
    4. Cropping images with a mask
      5m 8s
    5. Exploring the Image Trace panel
      12m 14s
    6. Tracing photographs
      8m 6s
    7. Tracing line art
      4m 33s
    8. Converting pixels to paths
      3m 49s
  15. 19m 21s
    1. What are symbols?
      2m 45s
    2. Using prebuilt symbols
      3m 3s
    3. Using the Symbol Sprayer tool
      4m 19s
    4. Creating new symbols
      3m 50s
    5. Breaking the symbol link
      3m 19s
    6. Redefining symbols
      2m 5s
  16. 12m 9s
    1. Defining a perspective grid
      4m 29s
    2. Drawing artwork in perspective
      3m 49s
    3. Applying artwork to the grid
      3m 51s
  17. 35m 7s
    1. Printing your artwork
      6m 16s
    2. Saving your artwork
      2m 2s
    3. Saving in legacy formats
      3m 0s
    4. Saving templates
      4m 18s
    5. Creating PDF files
      5m 23s
    6. Saving for the web
      4m 46s
    7. Creating high-res bitmap images
      3m 58s
    8. Using Illustrator files in Photoshop and InDesign
      5m 24s
  18. 56s
    1. Next steps
      56s

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