IllustratorTutorials

Illustrator: Large Brushes for Abstract Backgrounds

Using custom brushes can be useful for adding unique backgrounds or strokes to a design. But one uncommon way to use them is to make their stroke very large, causing some interesting effects for use as backgrounds or other abstract designs.

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As an example, let’s click-and-hold onto the Rectangle tool, which will bring out a side menu which includes the Ellipse tool. Select it and draw out a circle. Hold Shift to make a perfect circle.

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On the Control Palette, change the stroke to a different brush.

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Choosing this example brush will change the stroke to something like this.

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Next, change the size of the brush to a higher number.

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The circle doesn’t look like a circle anymore. This causes this interesting look, but let’s make something a little bit better.

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Select the Star tool from the same toolbar area.

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Change the Stroke of the brush to 100 pt and to this brush shown here.

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The effect causes it to not look like a star anymore, but this abstract background.

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Ctrl-click (PC: Alt-click) and drag the object to a duplicate, and do this twice to make two. Change the color of the Stroke of the designs, and adjust the Opacity in the Transparency palette.

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Finally, place a raster image (File>Place) and apply a Live Trace (for this one, I used the Type preset).

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Click Expand, and use the Direct Selection tool to select some parts of it and delete them. Now we have a unique, abstract design which can be used as a background or even a logo.

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