In the following tutorial, you will learn how to use the Blob Brush tool in Illustrator and how to adjust its settings.
Once you've learned everything you need to know about the Blob Brush Tool, make sure to check out Envato Elements where you can find a massive collection of design assets that should inspire you to create your own line designs. Here's one of the many examples:
Did you know you can also watch a video tutorial to learn more about this? Here's a new video from the Envato Tuts+ YouTube channel to show you how to use the Blob Brush Tool in Illustrator:
What You'll Learn in This Blob Brush Illustrator Tutorial
- What does the Blob Brush Tool do in Illustrator?
- How to make the Blob Brush smaller in Illustrator
- How to use the Blob Brush Tool in Illustrator
What You'll Need
What Is the Blob Brush Tool?
Illustrator's Blob Brush Tool (Shift-B) is used to draw expanded brushstrokes, and many designers consider it the go-to tool for line designs, character designs, or sketches.
To activate this tool, you can either select it from the toolbar or press the Shift-B keyboard shortcut.
What Does the Blob Brush Tool Do in Illustrator?
In contrast to the Paint Brush Tool (B), which draws brushes as paths, the Blob Brush Tool (Shift-B) draws brushes as filled shapes.
How to Change the Blob Brush Size in Illustrator
Simply press the left or right square bracket keys ([ or ]) to quickly change the blob brush size in Illustrator.
How to Use the Blob Brush Tool in Illustrator
Make sure that the Blob Brush Tool (Shift-B) is active, and simply click and drag to draw a brushstroke. Once you release the mouse, the expanded brush is added to your design.
Blob Brush Tool Options
Double-click on the Blob Brush Tool (Shift-B) in the toolbar to bring up the Blob Brush Tool Options window. Below is a breakdown of the available options.
Check the Keep Selected box and click OK to apply the changes.
Draw a new brushstroke using the Blob Brush Tool (Shift-B), and it will remain selected.
The Merge Only with Selection setting goes hand in hand with the Keep Selected option. Check the Merge Only with Selection box and click OK to apply this change.
With a brushstroke (or any shape) selected, use the Blob Brush Tool (Shift-B) to add a new brushstroke, and it will unite with your selected shapes provided that the objects have an overlapping area.
Drag the Fidelity slider all the way to the right to add extra smoothness to your brushstrokes, or move it all the way to the left to be more accurate in your input.
The Size value determines the size of your blob brush in Illustrator. This is the second method that you can use to change the blob brush size in Illustrator.
The Angle value determines the angle of the blob brush in Illustrator.
The Roundness value determines the shape of the blob brush in Illustrator. Set it to 100% to get a perfectly round brush. Entering a number lower than 100% will produce a flatter brush.
Using the drop-down menus, you can choose from a variety of settings for Angle, Roundness, or Size. This feature can be particularly useful if you own a graphics tablet.
- Fixed: Sets a fixed angle, roundness, or size.
- Random: Sets a variable angle, roundness, or size. For example, when the Size value is 10 pt and the Variation value is 10 pt, the diameter of your brush will randomly range between 0 pt and 20 pt, as shown in the following image.
- Pressure: Set a variable angle, roundness, or size based on the pressure of the drawing stylus. This feature is available only for graphics tablet users. For example, when the Size value is set to 10 pt and the Variation value is set to 10 pt, the thickness of your brush will range between 0 pt and 20 pt, depending on the pressure that you apply with the pen tablet.
- Stylus Wheel: Set a variable angle, roundness, or size based on manipulation of the stylus wheel. This feature is intended to be used with an airbrush pen that has a stylus wheel on its barrel and with a graphics tablet that can detect that pen.
- Tilt: Set a variable angle, roundness, or size based on the tilt of a drawing stylus. This feature is available only if you have a graphics tablet that can detect how close to vertical the pen is.
- Bearing: Set a variable angle, roundness, or size based on the bearing of the pen. This feature is available only if you have a graphics tablet that can detect the direction in which the pen is tilted.
- Rotation: Set a variable angle, roundness, or size based on how the drawing stylus pen tip is rotated. This feature is available only if you have a graphics tablet that can detect this type of rotation.
Congratulations! You're Done!
Now that you know to use the Blob Tool in Illustrator, feel free to apply these techniques in your future projects.
You can find some great sources of inspiration at Envato Elements, with interesting solutions to improve your portfolio.
Popular Assets From Envato Elements
Envato Elements is an excellent resource for brush-based designs. Here's a short list of some of the most popular assets that you can find.
Kitchenware Doodle (EPS, AI, PDF)
Now that you know how to use the Blob Brush Tool in Illustrator, you can start to put together your first design. You can start with something simple, like an icon. This set of icons can serve as inspiration.
Flying Slime: Spooky Font (OTF, TTF, WOFF)
You can also use the Blob Brush Tool to create custom letter designs. This spooky font is one of the most popular text styles that can be created using the blob tool in Illustrator.
ClickBait Vector Illustration (AI, JPG, EPS, PNG, PDF)
Once you get familiarized with the Blob Brush Tool, the sky's the limit. With a little imagination, you might end up creating amazing designs like this one:
CyberPunk Girl (EPS, AI, PDF)
The Blob Brush Tool can also be used to create intricate vector portraits. Use this cyberpunk girl as inspiration and try to create your own.
Happy Valentine’s Day Text With Heart Shape Element (EPS, JPG, AI)
If you happen to own a graphics tablet, you can also use the Blob Brush Tool to create simple calligraphic text. Here's a good example:
Want to Learn More?
We have loads of tutorials on Envato Tuts+, from beginner to intermediate level. Take a look!
- Shape Builder ToolHow to Use the Shape Builder Tool in IllustratorAndrei Marius
- VectorIllustrator’s Pen Tool: The Comprehensive GuideIan Yates
- VectorA Comprehensive Guide: Illustrator's Paintbrush Tool and Brush PanelRyan Putnam
- GradientsHow to Make, Save and Load Gradients in Adobe IllustratorJonathan Lam
- Live CornersHow to Round Corners in IllustratorMissChatz
- VectorWorking With Type on a Path in IllustratorJulie Felton