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Tutorial: How to Create Your Own Custom Brushes in Illustrator

Author: WC.Bear
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You can do a lot with Brush Tools in Illustrator. From creating ink splatters and paint effects to calligraphic text and playful shapes – the options are endless. Why? Because you can create, edit and add many Brush Tools by yourself! But before you sink into despair, know that creating your own custom brushes isn’t as hard as you think! Today I’ll show you how you can create custom brushes in Illustrator and how to use them to create a floral design!


1. To create custom brushes in Illustrator:

First things first: grab your brushes! Click Window >> Brushes. A brush panel will open up on your screen.

create custom brushes in illustrator2. Now let’s get to it and create our first brush!

Select the Pen Tool on the left and create a triangle by placing three anchor points on your artboard, don’t forget to connect the third back to the first. Then let’s give our brush a brown color so we can draw some branches. Looks a little funny right?

Tip: You can play with the shape by stretching one of the anchor points in or outward with the direct selection tool. Elongated triangles result in more elegant brush strokes!
create custom brushes in illustrator

3. Now drag your triangle into the Brush Tool panel.

Illustrator will ask you to choose a brush type, we will select Art Brush for now. After you press OK, a new panel will open up where we can choose the direction of our brush. The broad end of our triangle will be the bottom of our branch, so a downward direction it is.

create custom brushes in illustrator

4. Hurray! We’ve created our very first Brush Tool!

Now let’s use our pen tool to draw a line for our new brush to go over. We can draw a curved line for the branch with the Pen Tool. Hold the left mouse button as you place your anchor points, and move the mouse to create a curved line. Next, select your brush and voila! we’ve created a branch!

Tip: Add multiple lines to create different branches. You can give them different colors to add dimension to your design. Just click on the object or line for which you want to change the color, then click on Object >> Expand Appearance and change the color.
create custom brushes in illustrator

5. You can do so much more than just make brushes to create brush strokes.

We can also make brushes to create shapes. Let’s try this out. Click on the Rectangle Tool and select Star Tool.

Tip: Small shapes are easier to use and transform into a brush as they keep their form when you draw short lines with your Pen Tool.
create custom brushes in illustrator

6. Our branch is looking pretty meagre, let’s add some leaves and bring it to life!

Use the Star Tool to create a star, and give it a green colour for the leaves. Then drag the object into the Brush Tool panel. This is our new brush!
create custom brushes in illustrator

7. Check out what happens if we draw small curved lines and apply our new brush tool to it.

Tip: Adjust the size or drag anchor points to change the shape after you’ve applied your Brush Tool. You can duplicate your shapes and add many different colours to the leaves for an Autumn look.
create custom brushes in illustrator

8. And there you have it!

To create custom brushes in Illustrator isn’t that hard and you can use them to make many different designs.
create custom brushes in illustrator

If you enjoyed this tutorial to create custom brushes in Illustrator, please don’t forget to check out our blog and follow us on Facebook for more useful content similar to this one.

Lastly, we also offer a Graphic Design Course here at Web Courses Bangkok, so please give us a call or send us an email when you are ready to take your designing skills to the next level!


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