Join Angie Taylor for an in-depth discussion in this video Creating shapes with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools, part of Up and Running with Illustrator CS6.
In this movie, we're going to use the Blob Brush tool. Now, I'm just going to show you a couple of things with the Blob Brush tool. Notice, if I select the Blob Brush tool from here, and I can also select it using Shift + B. I can just start to paint, as you would expect. As I can paint with the brushes. Now you'll notice something different happens now though. When I hold down the Cmd or Ctrl on Windows and select it, notice it creates a solid shape. And as I draw, I add to the shape. So it's creating a vector shape from my brush strokes which is a really nice way of working.
Now, you can use it just to draw free hand like I'm doing here and create a continuous shape. But one way that I like to use is is to create a kind of sculpture effect, with a combination of that and another tool called the Eraser tool. So there's my Blob Brush tool. Now if I select my Eraser tool, I can actually carve shapes into that, and start to cut shapes from my Blob. So there we go, that's two tools that are really useful to use in conjunction with each other.
So what we're going to do is use these to create a little teddy bear, using primitive shapes. So, I'm going to go to the Blob Brush tool, and I'm going to make it really big. And if I hold down the Left Square Bracket key, that will make my brushes smaller. If I hold down the Right Square Bracket key, it will make my brushes bigger. You can also double-click on the Blob Brush tool and make it bigger. By using the settings in there. I'm going to choose quite a big shape. Now this is going to be the head of my teddy bear.
And then I'm going to make the brush even bigger, and we're going to make the body of the teddy bear here. Okay, so let's just click around about there, nice, big, fat one. Okay, we're also going to create some arms. Now, to create the arms, I'm going to make it slightly smaller. As if the arms are curving around and then coming round the front of this body. And we're going to make him hold something. So there we have one arm there and the other arm there. We're not worrying too much about the detail.
We're just getting roughly the shape of our teddy bear. Then we need to create some legs. So I'm just going to make that a little bit smaller. And all I'm going to do is create the feet, and then if I hold down Shift and drag, it allows me to create a straight line. I'm going to click here, hold down Shift and drag to the center and that allows me to create a straight line. Now, if I'm not quite happy with it I can add to the shape by clicking and dragging as we saw earlier and that's absolutely fine.
Now, I need to make a couple of ears, so I'm going to make the brush a lot smaller for the ears, and then we're going to place the ears around about there. So we have the rough shape of our teddy bear. Now I'm going to choose a different color. Up till now, if we go back to the Selection tool and select our teddy bear, you'll notice that each item that I've made with the Blob Brush tool adds to this compound shape. If I select the Blob Brush again, and this time select a different color like a light color, watch what happens.
If I click here, and I'm just going to make the brush little bit bigger and to create like a muzzle for the bear. And you'll notice it creates a new shape. When we have a look on our Layers panel, you'll see it's on top of our other shape. So, when you choose a new color, you will paint a different shape. Now we're also going to choose another color for the ears, so I'm going to click on here. And we're going to make our brush smaller, and we're going to click to create the inside of the ears. Okay, so just click there once, and click there once, to create the inside of the ears.
We're then going to choose a palish brown, so this brown here I'm going to choose. to create the hands, so I'm going to make them bigger and we're going to imagine that his arm is curving around and then holding something here. So there we have one hand and there we have the other hand. Now it's a kind of stylized bear, so we're going to put something in his hands as well a little bit later. Now we need feet as well, so I'm going to position that over here using left and right square bracket keys, just to get the size right before I click. And we'll choose a slightly lighter color for the feet, so there's the feet there, and there.
Okay, so we have the rough shape for our bear, we also need to create eyes. So I'm going to choose a black color for the eyes, make my brush a lot smaller, so again left and right square bracket keys will make the brushes bigger and smaller. So once I have it exactly where I want it, click once, and then click again to create the eyes. We'll also create a nose, which will be a little bit bigger. And the nose will be around about there. Now the next thing that I'm going to do is I'm going to create a little mouth.
And for that I need to zoom in, so I'm going to hit Cmd + + on the keyboard or Ctrl + + if you're on Windows, and I'm going to make the brush size a lot smaller. And then I'm going to Click and Drag, and as I'm dragging, Hold down Shift to constrain it, so that we get a nice straight line there. And then I'm going to Drag this up a little bit to create a little smile. And Drag and Hold down Shift, and then Release Shift and move up a little bit to create the other side. So we've got a nice little smile on our bear's face now. Now, the next thing we're going to do is use our Eraser tool, so what I need to do is get a curve off the edges of these ears, okay? So what I'm going to do is select the Eraser tool and make that bigger again by using the + and - keys on the keyboard. I can get that to the size I want it, and then just click once. Now you'll notice if I don't make a selection, if I was to deselect, then choose the Erasure tool, and Click, I would remove everything. So the reason I've made the selection there is to just make sure that I don't accidentally delete anything I don't want to.
When I make a selection, the Eraser tool will only work on the selected areas. Now the way that I did that was just by, well I've got the Eraser tool selected, holding down the Cmd will temporarily toggle to the Selection tool. And then I can hold down shift to make multiple selections. Okay, so get this brush exactly the size we want it, so we want it a little bit bigger. And then I'm going to click just to remove those edges and we have the ears for our bear.
Now, what we're going to do is create a little heart for him to hold, I know it is is enough, but we are going to do it. So I'm going to create a red color from my color guide palette. And then choose my Blob Brush tool again if I haven't already got it selected. And we're going to make it a lot bigger. So, we're going to create first of all, the top of the heart. So, I reckon about that big, and we're going to click once. Now don't worry about the fact that it's in front of the hands at the moment.
We just want to click to create the two sides of the heart. And then I'm going to click again at the bottom here. So by doing that, we've created one compound shape. Now I can fatten that up a bit if I want to, just adjust the, the shape so it's roughly a heart shape. Then if we go into our Layers panel, you'll notice the heart shape is on top of the arms, so we need to Drag that down the layer stack till it's underneath his hands, and he's now holding a heart, isn't that cute. And we're now going to switch with that selected, so select it by Clicking on the Target button, here in the Layers panel.
So we select the little Target button here. And they we'll select the Eraser tool. And with a fairly big brush, not too big but, big enough. What we're going to do is Hold down Shift and Click and Drag just to cut the bottom off the heart. And we'll do the same with this one. So, Hold down Shift, Click and Drag, and that's just going to cut the bottom of the heart. And there we have our little teddy bear holding a heart, using the Blob Brush tool and the Eraser tool.
- Setting up a new document
- Navigating within the workspace
- Understanding layers and objects
- Creating images from shapes
- Applying color
- Using the Appearance panel
- Creating shapes with the Blob Brush and Eraser tools
- Working with the Pen and Pencil tools
- Tweaking, exporting, and saving artwork