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Illustrator 10 – Introduction to Drawing Tools

Illustrator provides various drawing tools that allow you to create freehand drawings and custom brushes for artistic effects. Let’s explore the Pencil and Brush tools and learn how to create and use custom brushes:

Using the Pencil Tool

The Pencil Tool (shortcut: N) in Illustrator is great for freehand drawing. It allows you to create smooth paths by automatically smoothing and adjusting your strokes.

Select the Pencil Tool from the Tools panel.

Click and drag on the canvas to draw freehand lines or shapes. The Pencil Tool will automatically adjust the paths to make them smoother.

To adjust the smoothness of the paths, you can double-click on the Pencil Tool icon in the Tools panel or use the Smoothness slider in the Control Bar at the top of the workspace.

To close a shape created with the Pencil Tool, double-click the endpoint, or hover over the starting point, and a small circle will appear to indicate closing the path.

Using the Brush Tool

The Brush Tool (shortcut: B) in Illustrator allows you to create artistic strokes with various brush presets.

Select the Brush Tool from the Tools panel.

Choose a brush from the Brushes panel (Window > Brushes). Illustrator comes with a variety of pre-installed brush libraries.

Click and drag on the canvas to draw with the selected brush. You can adjust the stroke width using the Stroke Weight option in the Control Bar.

To change the color of the stroke, use the Color panel or the Swatches panel.

Creating Custom Brushes

Illustrator allows you to create custom brushes to add unique and artistic effects to your artwork.

Draw the artwork or shape you want to use as a brush using any drawing tool or create a vector shape.

Select the artwork, and then go to “Window” > “Brushes” to open the Brushes panel.

Click on the “New Brush” button at the bottom of the Brushes panel. Choose the type of brush you want to create: Scatter Brush, Art Brush, or Pattern Brush.

In the dialog box that appears, adjust the settings for the custom brush, such as size, spacing, rotation, and colorization.

Click “OK” to create the custom brush. It will now be added to the Brushes panel and can be applied to any path or shape using the Brush Tool.

Editing Custom Brushes

To edit a custom brush, double-click on its thumbnail in the Brushes panel.

You can adjust the settings and preview the changes in the dialog box that appears.

Click “OK” to apply the changes to the custom brush.

By using the Pencil and Brush tools in Adobe Illustrator, along with creating custom brushes, you can add hand-drawn and artistic elements to your designs. Experiment with different brush presets and create unique custom brushes to achieve various effects and styles.



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