You can define your own brushes and then use them in your art work. Defining brushes is quite simple. Just define a shape and drag it into the Brushes panel. The different types of brushes you can create in Illustrator CS5 are Calligraphic, Scatter, Art, Bristle and Pattern Brush. In this tutorial, we will learn how to create an ‘Art Brush’.
An art brush will display your graphic differently depending upon your stroke and the tool you use. So essentially you would create a brush to make drawing easier as well as bring uniqueness in each shape you create with that brush.
1. Create a new document in Illustrator.
2. Using a pen tool or the brush tool, draw a shape that you would like to create a brush for. For example I have created a shape of a petal.
3. Now open out the Brushes Panel (Window > Brushes). Click on the New Brush icon right at the bottom of the panel.
4. In the New Brush dialog box, choose the Art Brush and click OK.
5. The Art Brush Options dialog box opens up.
You can give your brush a name, set the brush scaling options. The direction arrows show how your brush will be drawn when you drag it. Try other options in the box and click OK.
6. Your brush would now be visible in the Brushes Panel. Click off the shape on your art work so that it is no longer selected.
Now click on your brush tool and click and drag to draw the shape. Make sure you drag in the right direction.
7. With the brush tool, you get limited control over the shape and size. For better control, use the pencil tool. Choose the Pencil tool and draw a line as if the line defines your new shape. Then choose the brush. See image below:
I hope you enjoyed reading this tutorial and that it is helpful.
Filed Under: Adobe Illustrator
About the Author: Minal is a freelance web and graphics designer. She specializes in designing Logos, Stationery, Graphics and Icons as well as website templates using graphical tools like Photoshop, Illustrator and Expression Web. Twitter @saffronstroke