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26 Awesome Brush Tutorials for Adobe Illustrator on Tuts+


The brushes in Adobe Illustrator are incredible tools that allow you to create and do a multitude of things. This week we've focused purely on beginner content for those who wish to get a better understanding on brushes. These aren't the only tutorials we have on Tuts+, in fact I'd like to share with you many of our others.

Brushes Week

We posted several tutorials, screen cast and written, to help ease you into mastering Brushes. Check out the ones you may have missed or revisit those handy beginner tutorials.

  • How to Make, Use, and Manipulate a Bristle Brush in Adobe Illustrator

    The Bristle Brush in Adobe Illustrator mimics the look and feel of paintbrushes. From acrylic to watercolor to oil, the style of the brush can be customized to a high degree and allows the user to create paint-like vector pieces. Let's take its options for a spin to get everything you can from this brush type.

Brushes: Quick Tips

  • A Comprehensive Guide: Illustrator's Paintbrush Tool and Brush Panel

    Illustrator's Paintbrush Tool (B) and Brush Panel are some of it's most powerful tools. With the Paintbrush Tool (B) and Brush Panel you can dress up your vector paths into compelling flourishes, patterns, tapered edges, and more. In this tutorial, I will break down the basics of the Paintbrush Tool and Brush Panel and show you how to create your own brushes.

  • Quick Tip: The Blob Brush in Action

    Illustrator's Blob Brush settings can be confusing. Seeing it in action will help you get the most out of this fun, flexible tool. Learn how to make painterly scenes and objects with a few strokes of the Blob Brush and Eraser. You will be surprised by how fun this tool is!

  • Quick Tip: Create a Moustache Using Custom Art Brushes

    Learn how to make custom Art brushes in Illustrator, then use them to create a hipster moustache. This is the perfect tutorial for a last minute costume, just print it out on some paper and you're ready to go! Let's get started.

  • Quick Tip: Create a Set of Neon Art and Scatter Brushes in Illustrator

    Follow this quick tip and create your own collection of Neon Brushes in Adobe Illustrator. You will create Art Brushes and also Scatter Brushes, different colors and sizes that you can use in your projects. You'll continue to see how you can save a set of brushes for use in the future and examples of some great quick effects you can create with your brushes.

  • Quick Tip: Create a Bat Scatter Brush in Adobe Illustrator

    Scatter Brushes are a quick way to get multiple instances of the same shape into your illustration, and apply those shapes randomly. Learn how to create a Scatter Brush from a vector object in Adobe Illustrator, then paint the night sky with a swarm of bats.

Tutorials Ideal for Beginners

Here are some great tutorials to test your new skill on!

  • How to Include a Gradient Within a Brush in Adobe Illustrator

    Ever wanted to create a custom brush but then you're presented with a pop up saying that you can't do it because... you've got a gradient in there! Ugh. After all those detailed elements you've created, a gradient is getting in the way. You could however replace the gradient with a blend and clipping mask (after the brush, as clipping masks can't be used inside of a brush), but aha... there is another way!

  • How to Utilize the Pattern Tool to Create a Pattern Brush in Illustrator CS6

    One of my favorite new tools with Adobe Illustrator CS6 is the Pattern Tool. It's great for creating complex seamless patterns in real time and gives you so many options. However it's not so easy to create a Pattern Brush. Today's Quick Tip tutorial is a bit of an experimental one, showing you how you can use the Pattern Tool to help in the creation of a Pattern Brush.

  • How to Create a Set of Multi-Use, Blend Brushes in Adobe Illustrator

    In this tutorial you'll learn everything there is to know about the Blend Brushes in Adobe Illustrator. These brushes with soft edges, are used often for adding highlights, shades or details, are a real treasure for your designs. Here you will learn how to create some of the most used Art and Scatter Blend Brushes. Let's begin!

  • Create Quick, Psychedelic Mushrooms With the Blob Brush Tool

    Turn on your black lights, fire up your lava lamps, and break out the fuzzy posters because these vibrant mushrooms are glowing! It's time to play with some blur effects and the Blob Brush Tool (Shift -B) to get these fantastic fungi dancing on your artboard in Adobe Illustrator.

Fancy a Bit More of a Challenge?

Once you've mastered the basics and have tried some of our beginner tutorials, kick it up a notch and try some of these more challenging projects.

  • Create a Jellyfish with Brushes in Adobe Illustrator CS5

    In today's tutorial, I'm going to show you how to create a stylized jellyfish using blends and brushes within Adobe Illustrator CS5. Being as I'm not an expert on the anatomy of a jellyfish, please forgive my lack of terminology on naming the parts correctly. This jellyfish is just a sparkling critter from the deep sea depths! So let's get right into it.

  • Create a Large Face, Cat Illustration from Stock in Adobe Illustrator

    When the trend of having t-shirts of large faces of animals, merged into the canvas started, I was going through all the t-shirt design sites to find the perfect one for me. So inspired by that trend, I'd like to show you how to create your own design, from a stock image, in Adobe Illustrator.

  • Create a Sparkling, Glitter Portrait From Stock in Adobe Illustrator

    In today's tutorial I'm going to show you how to create a sparkling portrait. I'll show you how to create your own skintone palette, render flawless skin, create hair from brushes and of course... add a good handful of glitter, all in Adobe Illustrator. There's no blurs, meshes or raster effects in this tutorial, it's 100% vector and 100% fabulous! So let's get on with it.

  • How to Create a Painted Vector Effect in Adobe Illustrator

    In this tutorial we are going to take a look at using the Paintbrush Tool and its options to achieve a painted effect with vector in Adobe Illustrator. I will be using it on one of my characters and we will focus on her only, not the background. What is nice about this technique is that you can apply it on anything and it is quite simple. So even if you aren't that advanced yet, you should have no difficulty using the Paintbrush Tool in this manner.


We hope this article helped clarify the Brushes and give you ideas on how to use it in your future projects! Happy creating and don't forget to follow us over on Twitter and Facebook!

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