Join Sharon Steuer for an in-depth discussion in this video Making and experimenting with brushes, part of Artistic Painting with Illustrator: Object-Creation Brushes.
We're going to look at the basics of making brushes and then some of the best practices for how to safely experiment with them and not lose your work along the way. So to get started we're going to make an art brush out of this first Flower and there's number ways to do it if the Brushes panel isn't open you can merely drag your art to the Brushes panel and it'll pop open and then you can drag it. From here you select which kind of brush you want to make,in this case you have three.
Choices to make. And I'm going to make it into an art brush. And were not going to concentrate on most the options in here because we have separate movies within each of the brushes explaining what the features and options are. So we're just going to quickly go over this. I'm going to just quickly change a direction again. You're going to be able to get details on all this later. Flower pot one, and then if I take my Paintbrush tool, I can start to paint.
And there are all sorts of parameters that we can be changing that will change the scale of this brush as you're painting and all that stuff, but right now we're just going to concentrate on the making And the replacing of the art brushes, and working safely. Now, I can also make an art brush by selecting Artwork. And clicking the New Brush icon at the bottom of the panel. If the panel's already open, that's an easy way to do it. You don't have to drag it in, just say New. And now you have another.
Couple of options. Both calligraphic and bristle brushes can be made without artwork selected. Those were grayed out when you came in here before. I'm going to still say an Art Brush. I'm going to say OK. going to make my couple of secret changes which you'll find out about later. I'm going to call it Flowerpot2. And say OK. Now I'm going to draw with a paintbrush. Now before I do that I'm going to show you an accident, a mistake that most of us make a lot. When you first make an art brush, your object is still selected.
Notice, it is selected. And let's say I then say, either I don't realize that my Flowerpot2. Is selected, or I decide no, I want to still paint with flowerpot1, let me select that. And what's going to happen is a mess, watch. Oh no! So what I have done is I have applied my brush, my first brush, to the artwork that was creating the second brush. Now actually it's kind of cool, and I might decide wow, that's pretty cool, I want to try to do something with it. And I actually did it.
In the last chapter I'll show you how I was inspired to make a new kind of shell by accidentally applying a shell to something else. But for right now, this is definitely not what I intended, so I'm going to just undo, Cmd+Z, Ctrl+Z and we are back to my object. And then the secret to being able to select which ever brush you want and not being applying it to the previous object is I deselect it. So I just deselect it, now I get my Paintbrush tool. Now I can choose whichever flowerpot I want, and I can draw your Nice and crooked flower pots.
So what we're looking at here is a bunch of flower pots, and let's just pretend that I decided that I don't like the orange ones anymore. I want them to be the blue turquoise ones. So there are a couple different options here. The first thing that I want to do if I'm going to modify a brush is to duplicate it. It's really important, because it's really easy to accidentally lose something that you liked, so I always duplicate it first. So I'm going to duplicate Flowerpot1, and make it Flowerpot copy.
Flowerpot copy is safe now, and what I'm going to do, one option I have is, I can actually replace my Flowerpot1. It will disappear with Flowerpot2, and the way I do that is I hold down my Option key, and I drag Flowerpot2 over Flowerpot1. Do I want to apply it to strokes? I'm going to say Yes. And there you go Flowerpot1 actually is the same as Flowerpot2, I still have my Flowerpot1 copy, let's get it.
So I am going to undo that, I am going to go back to where we were before, the Flowerpot1 is now orange, Flowerpot2 is no blue and let's say, well you know what, I want to, make a taller version of this. I am going to drag it up. And I want to replace my blue ones with this, let's make it a shorter, pot2.
Okay. So, I'm going to replace every instance of my blue pot with this one. You want to make sure you get all of your objects selected. So I was using the Direct Selection tool. You either want to use the direct selection with Option or Alt, which turns it into the Group Selection tool, or you can use the Selection tool. And this time I'm going to drag it over my Flowerpot2, but I can't. It's wanting me to make a new one unless I hold down the Option or Alt key. Now it's letting me drag over it.
There it is. I'm just going to change the direction up, and I'm going to click OK. Apply to the strokes. And there's my taller version of it. So you've seen how you can replace one flower pot with another. And, you've seen how you can replace a flower pot. Now notice, I messed up, I forgot to duplicate it. Oh no. Now I want my original one back. And I want the new one. So here's a trick that I do. If I undo, I will lose my Flowerpot2. I want them both.
So what I'm going to do is I'm going to copy this one, just start a new document, and I'm just going to paste and then I'm going to go back to my previous document, I'm going to undo. There is my original one, there it is now I can go back to my the other document it might or might not still be on the clip board, but just to be safe I stuck it in another document, I can paste it back in and now I have both so now, what I can do is duplicate my Flowerpot2.
Drag my new larger one over my Flowerpot2 original. So again, I'm just going to change the direction to up. Apply to Strokes. And now I've got. Both versions of the original flowers, copies of my original flowers, and the corrected versions. So now that we've covered just the very beginnings of how to generally make a brush And how to work safely.
Make sure you have duplicates of everything. Know how to back out if you accidentally apply a brush to your original artwork. This is the foundation that we're going to be building on for the rest of the course.
See the previous course in the series, Artistic Painting with Illustrator: Natural Media Brushes, for Sharon's insights on more traditional tools like the Paintbrush and Blob Brush.
- Creating and experimenting with object-creation brushes
- Preparing artwork to make into brushes
- Scaling and distorting brushes by varying line weight and stroke profiles
- Stretching versus repeating portions of a brush
- Colorizing complex brushes
- Fixing problem brushes with vector editing tools
- Exploring different ways to make and use pattern brushes
- Customizing pattern brushes and adding auto-corners
- Modifying scatter brush parameters
- Adjusting brush definition and tablet pressure parameters
- Fixing common mistakes
- Using scatter brushes versus symbols
- Warping and bending raster art using brushes
- Combining stroke effects with brushes