Day 8: Using Brushes

Using the Brush Tool, you can add styles to your lines. It can also be used to mimic calligraphy, crayon and brush strokes. This will help you add more life to your line works.

Applying Brush Stroke

Select the Brush Tool and draw your object. Then go to your Brushes Palette and select the crayon brush to apply the effect.

pear stroke

Calligraphy Brush Stroke

To apply a calligraphy brush stroke, draw your path and select the calligraphy brush. Increase the Stroke to make it thicker.

Calligraphy Brush Options

To make changes to your calligraphy brush, you can double click the Calligraphy Brush to pop up the calligraphic brush options. Drag the brush to change the angle in the thumbnail. Change the Diameter makes it thicker.

Create a Border Pattern

Draw a rectangle and pick the border pattern. This will create a frame for it.

Creating a New Pattern Brush

To crate a new brush. Draw a Star and drag it to the Brushes Palette. A New Brush selection appears. Choose New Pattern Brush for it.

Applying Pattern Brush

Draw a circle and apply our new brush stroke.

Next draw a line path and apply the brush stroke. Double click the star brush from your brushes and set Scale and Spacing to 20% to get the effect below.

Brushes are very good for aligning objects and creating borders. So experiment with it and have fun!

Next Lesson: Creating Compound Paths »
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About The Author: Tony Soh

Hi. I'm the founder of Vector Diary. Illustrator is my passion and I have written numerous tutorials on illustrator helping people learn illustrator. My most popular tutorial on learn illustrator has been a hit. It makes learning illustrator so easy and has benefited more than 20,000 people worldwide. Also, I've revealed some of my secret techniques in the premium tutorials. So don't forget to check it out!

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  1. Gravtar for ArtConch
    ArtConch August 7th

    woohoo I can now make my own brushes, another excellent and easy to understand lesson, tyvm

  2. Gravtar for Khawla
    Khawla August 10th

    Good lesson! Thanks 🙂

  3. Gravtar for haksma
    haksma August 19th

    just wanted to say thank you for having this great 30-day tutorial. i have wanted to learn illustrator for a while but it has always seemed too daunting to take on. you have made it really simple and easy to learn. thank you! ^_^

  4. Gravtar for tra my
    tra my August 24th

    Thank you for the excellent lessons, really helpful!

  5. Gravtar for Leroy Simpson
    Leroy Simpson August 26th

    blood claat man dis lesson is good to understand. jah love

  6. Gravtar for emily
    emily August 30th

    i’m not jamacian but i second what leroy says…i’m loving (and learning!) these lessons

  7. Gravtar for Vectordiary
    Vectordiary August 30th

    Thank you for your support!

  8. Gravtar for Robin
    Robin November 1st

    This is awesome! Great lessons!

  9. Gravtar for Bassma
    Bassma November 26th

    Great website and Great way of Explanation….Thank You so much

  10. Gravtar for Jakob
    Jakob December 30th

    First of. great tutorial. nice organising it and making everything seems easy doing

    but i have trouble. how do you use the brushes on a picture i’ve taken with my camera?

  11. Gravtar for Piyush Agarwal
    Piyush Agarwal January 25th

    Hey thr…
    thanks a lot, created ones own brush was a great tip…

  12. Gravtar for Tissaka Senarath
    Tissaka Senarath February 28th

    Awesome.. thank you so very much.. very easy to understand.. thanks!

  13. Gravtar for weza zizo
    weza zizo March 22nd

    thank u so much , awesome one

  14. Gravtar for the coke
    the coke March 24th

    Esta muy bueno, muestra lo mas util y practico…paso a paso, no da chance a perderse! Genial, me encanta, que BUENOS tricks!

  15. Gravtar for Manuel Ruperez
    Manuel Ruperez August 8th

    Thank you very much 🙂

  16. Gravtar for budi santoso
    budi santoso November 6th

    ohh very helpful for me as beginer, thank you very much

  17. Gravtar for mawan.
    mawan. March 20th

    I am a new beginner,it helping me so much.thank you…

  18. Gravtar for Mbala
    Mbala June 28th

    I can’t find the calligraphy brush in illustrator cs. But the instructions are on point!

  19. Gravtar for surya
    surya August 11th

    what institute teach it be difficult they teach only keys and hear i got to the learn the application thank men continue your good work.

  20. Gravtar for MichaelV
    MichaelV November 29th

    DAY8: Whoa…what happened to Days 6 and 7? Guess it was to do all that practice in the previous lesson. I’m a little more keen to get into the ‘rough stuff’ so I’m pushing ahead.
    Pretty self explanatory this one and being able to create your own brushes is a nice idea. I’ve still got to come up with the ideas for a brush and then actually create it. Hmmm, will cross that bridge when I come to it.
    I can really see the value in this, especially if you want to use something time and time again. But, I’m a simple kind of guy and would love to find other brushes I could ‘import’ into my version – similar to commonly used macros for excel. Guess there must be lots around the place if one looks hard enough.

  21. Gravtar for jamshed ali
    jamshed ali November 30th

    i like your tutorial please keep it up process and add some 3d tuch also

  22. Gravtar for jojocortez
    jojocortez February 27th

    thank u very much for a very understand lesson;)

  23. Gravtar for jojocortez
    jojocortez February 27th

    thank u very much for a very understand lesson i learn a lot.

  24. Gravtar for Starkly
    Starkly April 11th

    This part of your guide is vague.
    How did you get the capital letter “A”?
    Did you use brush, pen tool, or “text tool (T)”?

    And how come on your screenshot with the “letter A” the horizontal line is connected with 2 “tent-like” base lines of the letter “A”? As far as I know, you cannot connect a line to a non-open anchor point.

  25. Gravtar for Maddy
    Maddy April 19th

    I love it. Even though I have had Illustrator for years, it’s always good to back to the drawing board and brush up.


  26. Gravtar for Kaviraj
    Kaviraj June 8th

    The tutorials are always encouraging to work on… 😉

  27. Gravtar for Minjoo
    Minjoo September 2nd

    Thank you for the fun tutorials!

  28. Gravtar for wheel hub
    wheel hub October 17th

    Excellent Post.. I enjoy some of content in the post.. please keep it up..
    i want same like this from you… thanks

  29. Gravtar for irfan
    irfan October 23rd

    according to my knowledge i think this is the best tutorials at online for illustrator i really enjoying this tutorials

  30. Gravtar for Oliver
    Oliver November 7th

    Thank you so much for this tutorial!! I was wondering if you can tell me where I can get those crayon or caligraphy brushes? It seems like my default brushes don’t have what you have (even the ribbon..).


  31. Gravtar for Muhammad Adil
    Muhammad Adil July 2nd

    Thank You !

  32. Gravtar for Tez Shekhawat
    Tez Shekhawat July 3rd

    You have a very good articles in 30 days Tutorials for the illustrator.

    Thanks 🙂

  33. Gravtar for john
    john October 3rd

    this is too hard

  34. Gravtar for sookhee son
    sookhee son October 10th

    I have a configuration error. The error code is 16.

  35. Gravtar for Aamir Shahzad
    Aamir Shahzad November 29th

    this is superb blog…great tutorials…this blog is my illustrator teacher…thank you to the man who is behind this… 🙂 you are great…

  36. Gravtar for Tony Soh
    Tony Soh November 29th

    Thank you Aamir Shahzad for your comment!

  37. Gravtar for tommy belesis
    tommy belesis December 26th

    magnificent publish, very informative. I wonder why the other
    experts of this sector do not notice this. You should proceed your writing.
    I am sure, you have a great readers’ base already!

  38. Gravtar for Joseph Vance
    Joseph Vance March 24th

    Just wanted to take a second and say thanks a whole lot for this tutorial. Very well written for someone who’s totally new to Ai (me) and wanting to jump in and play instead of working through any old “Draw a pumpkin with Illustrator” tutorial. Your method inspires creativity without sacrificing practicality, and you should be very proud of what you’ve published here. Mad props, many links.