Join Von Glitschka for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating a pattern brush shading, part of Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory.
(zooming) - [Instructor] Welcome to Drawing Vector Graphics Laboratory. In this movie, I want to go over creating pattern brush shading. This is a style of shading that is popular in illustration circles and it involves using a nice course speckling to pull off shading detail like that shown in the illustration you see here. I created this for Adobe. And this isn't hard to do once you know the basics.
I want to review this process. I've covered this in a larger context of a bigger course but it was just one movie and sometimes it's hard to find that content specifically. I want to focus on just that specific task and really nail it down so it's easy for people to discern and then that way you can apply it to your own projects. And it's not hard. It's a lot of fun. And the look and feel is absolutely awesome once you can get this process down.
This is one of my all time favorite illustrations, by the way. I want to go over the whole process of using pattern brushes. And first off, just really quickly, because it is super easy to create a pattern brush, this is a course vector based graphic. If I go to key line view, you can see that it's just a vector graphic. Now the one key attribute about this graphic, if I clone this, command+c, command+f, or the F3 key if you've got keyboard shortcuts set up, and we'll color it this magenta color.
If I do that and I drag this over, you can see that it repeats from one side to the next. So I could take this one again and then I could drag it to this side and you can see it repeats either way seamlessly. And that's all a pattern should do, is to be seamless in terms of the ability for it to repeat from one side to the next. And that's all we've done here. Now to create a pattern brush, it really is simple, we'll go to our brushes palette.
I'll click on that here. And you can see that I have some other ones in here because there's some examples I'm going to show you soon that utilizes those. We're going to create another one. And to do that, whatever size your brush is that you drag in that's the size is that your brush will be by default. In this case, I want it smaller so I've scaled it down here. And we're going to drag this over right on top of this icon. Let go and it's going to bring up a window. We have to make some choices. All we have to do here is select pattern brush.
Go okay. It'll open up another window. And this is where first you'll want to name it. And I don't like using default names. The other ones are standard within this file so I'm going to name it according to that standard, which isn't super unique but it keeps it nice and organized, which I like. Now Illustrator has something that's an algorithm that's automatic. And you can choose to allow them to do it or you can choose not to use it. Now most of the times, I go into this corner that it tries to prefabricate and I just say don't do that.
I'll create it if I want that. In this case, I kind of want it but I don't want to use the Auto-Sliced one I want to use the Auto-Centered one. I'm going to click on it. And then, on the inside corner, you can see right here we don't have something loaded so in the preview it's missing that component. We want to add that same one in. So we'll go Auto-Centered here. Now you can see when we draw a path out, whether it's 90 degrees or curved, it'll go around the corner. And that's kind of a nice feature in Illustrator is it does do certain types of brushes really well.
In this case, this one. But on more precise patterns or graphics, it's not going to work too well. And you'll notice that if you try to create it. The only other thing we're going to change from the defaults in here is the colorization method. Right now, it's none. We want to change that to Tints. What that means is whatever path you apply this to, it becomes the color of whatever that path is and that's what we want. Now that we have that, we can click okay. And you can see that this brush on the bottom is now on our brushes palette and that's what we want.
So we'll go back to layers here. First off, let's just demonstrate how this works once you have a brush created. First, we'll do a simple path using the pen tool. We'll go over here. Now it's a black fill. We don't want that. We'll go to the stroke and we'll color it green and then we'll go here and we'll start building a path like this. We're not building anything specifically, this is just to demonstrate.
So we have this path now. We can select that path, go to the brushes palette, and simply click on the brush, as long as we have stroke selected, click on the brush and it'll apply that brush to that path. That's all a pattern brush is going to do. That's how we're going to apply this pattern brush. There's a couple of different ways you can do it. You can do it by drawing, or building a path that is, using the pen tool. And the other way to do it is by going to the pencil tool.
And this is another way you can do it is you can have this brush selected and you can draw whatever line, once again, you want and click on the path and then you can apply it that way as well if you don't want to use the traditional pen tool. And the other way is by going to the paintbrush tool and with the stroke selected, the color fill applied to the stroke, you can actually paint this much the same way I cover in my vector painting course. But with this brush selected, we can just go like this and paint that path as well.
And you can do that for any kind of path. You can do it like this. It's really nice and flexible the way that works. We're going to go back to the layers palette now and I'll show you how I utilize this in context of a design project. Let's say we wanted to create some nice shading on this. I could do it like I just showed you by having this paint tool, having my color selected. In this case, I'd go to a darker hue. And then, I could simply paint this path here. But you can notice it's going the wrong way.
I want the texture of the brush to go inward, not on the outward side. So when you paint, whether it's building a path or with the paintbrush, if I go top to bottom here it'll orient that brush to the path this way. If I go the opposite way, like this, it'll do it the opposite way. So that's how you control orientation. There is another way to control orientation. Let's say I did do it this way like this and I'm going "well, I don't want it to go that way. I want it to go the other way." Well, if you use a plugin like PathScribe...
This is why I love this plugin because it has stuff like this. You can go to their option palette and you can go reverse path direction and it can do it that way as well. It is flexible if you have some plugins to do that with. If you don't, just move your direction the other way and it'll switch the orientation. When you apply a brush to a path, whether it's just simply building a path with the pen tool and just applying the brush to it, or whether it's using the brush tool and painting it out like I did here, to control the size you just go to the stroke, it's the one stroke, if I go to two, you can see that it gets bigger.
So that's how you control the size of its application is through the size of the path that it's attached to. And obviously, the color of the path determines the color of your detailing. In this case, like in a good cooking show, we have some of this stuff prebaked. So I've laid out these paths here and I'm going to go ahead and apply it. Let's go ahead and drag our brushes palette so we don't have to go find it every time. We have this path selected. We'll apply our brush to it. Now the size is one. We'll go to two.
And then we'll select the other brush here and apply the path to it. And once again, we'll change from one point to two point. And it makes it easier if you work in points, I should point out, rather than in inches. It just simplifies the process, I've found. I find that true with almost every project I've worked on. I almost never work in inches unless I'm laying something out initially and I'll have it in inches to get the document the right size and then I'll go to points because when I build content I think in points.
It just makes the process go a lot faster if you do it that way. Once I have these out, yes this is the shading I want but it's not applying to the art the way I want. And that's where masking comes in. You'll have to take a shape like this, this is the whole perimeter of this artwork of the vine that is, and I'm going to select that and then I'll select this path I've drawn out and then I'll mask it. Now I have masking set up, so I can just hit the F1 key now and it'll mask it.
But if you don't have a keyboard shortcut set up, this is why I highly suggest you doing that because it makes process go a lot faster. But if you need to mask, you go to Object, pull down to Clipping Mask, Make, see how I have F1. So I never have to do this. So I save time and it masks it into that shape. I'll select this other part where I've taken simply just these elements of these leaves and then I take this other brush that I've put on this stroke and, once again, I'll hit F1 and it'll mask those.
Now I like to control opacity on the shape that's masked, not the shape within the mask because it makes accessing those controls a lot easier. So I'll select these two and I'm going to adjust this. Let's go to 30 and then set to Multiply. And mabye 30 is not enough. Let's try 50. Little too much. And I think that looks pretty good. Now this same approach applies whether you're doing highlights or shadows.
We just did shadows. Now we're going to select all of these shapes which are just strokes with white and then we will apply the same brush to these. And these look good, but, once again, they're not the same size. So we'll kick it up to two. Like we did before, we have masks set up to mask these shapes. So I'm going to go ahead and select this mask, which is these three leaves. We'll select this brush and I'm going to hit F1 because that's what I've set up as my keyboard shortcut to mask those shapes.
And then all of these will have their own individual mask for these. So we'll do this. But you can see how when you have keyboard shortcuts set up, you don't ever have to touch the menu for certain workflow functions. I can simply hit my F key and I have all those set up to work that way. Then I'll select these shapes once they're masked and then I can adjust the opacity in this case. Maybe let's try 35. Yeah, that looks fine.
Then I'll do this one at 35 as well. That's how I'll control utilizing the pattern brushes in context of an illustration. This is a pretty simplified illustration but when you work on more complex illustrations, such as this one here, I use the exact same methodology to pull this off. You can go ahead and shrink that down. But I'm going to zoom into this fish and this was part of another course called Color and Detail that I created, Drawing Vector Graphics: Color and Detail.
And it was part of greater illustration that I created using this type of technique for shading and highlighting. But you can see how I have this brush in here and I have a pattern brush applied to that to pull off the shading here. Heres another one on his cheek. This one's actually masked within a circular shape just so it defines the edge better in terms of his cheek. On the bottom I have this controlling all the detailing there. I also have some subtle line work brushes to apply to these simple strokes for his fins, his tail, his scale, so on and so forth.
But you can see how I'm using the same methodology of a pattern brush to do all the shading in the water here. Little detail in the water, whether it's highlights, whether it's darker shades. And then, also within this file, even though I'm not going over it in this movie, I have what's called a scatter brush. So you can even check that out. I'm going to cover that in more detail in a future movie that I record. But, in an illustrative context, this works really great to pull off this kind of style using a pattern brush.
But it's not just for illustration. You might be working on a branded mark and you can use the same functionality, the same methodology of a pattern brush to take a graphic mark like this and add some nice characteristics to it via a pattern brush or the use of a pattern brush. It does work really well. I should point out that the dragon that I initially showed, I've included the source file for that in the exercise files so you can deconstruct that. And you're also going to find a free pattern brush set within the exercise files.
I encourage you to try making your own as well but you can immediately use those two. Start creating your own motifs and utilizing those pattern brushes. Using pattern brushes and vector brushes in general really does open up different ways to handle details like shading and highlights. This is just one style of pattern brush, I should point out. I encourage you to experiment with different styles for different usages. I think you'll have fun even if you might not know where you're headed.
That's what creativity is all about. So embrace the challenge. To see more examples of pattern brushes in action, once again watch my Drawing Vector Graphics Painting with Vectors course. I think you'll really like it. Thank you again for watching DVG lab. And until next time, remember never stop drawing.
Skill Level Intermediate
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