How to work with the Brush Panel in Illustrator 1

Brush Panel

The Brush Panel is where you can access Illustrator’s four brush types. The Calligraphic and Scatter Brushes will be displayed in a small thumbnail box, while the Art and Pattern Brushes are displayed in a horizontal rectangle (as long as the thumbnail view is selected from the drop-down menu of the Brush Panel). If your Brush Panel isn’t opened, go to Window > Brushes (F5) to open it.

Brush Panel Breakdown
  • Brush Panel drop-down menu: In this menus you can change the view of the brushes, select unused brushes, open other brush libraries, and more.
  • Brush Libraries Menu Button: Click this button to open a drop-down menu to open other brush libraries on your computer or save a set of brushes.
  • Remove Brush Stroke Button: Click this button when a path with a brush is selected to remove the stroke.
  • Stroke Options: Click this button to open the Stroke Options dialog for a particular selected brush stroke.
  • New Brush: Click this button to create a new brush from the New Brush dialog.
  • Delete Brush: Click this button to delete a brush from the Brush Panel.
Defining a Calligraphic Brush

Illustrator already has several preset Calligraphic Brushes, but you can use the following steps to create a new Calligraphic Brush.
Unless you are working with a tablet, don’t change the settings for the Variations of the Angle and Diameter options. 

  1. Click New Brush from the Brush Panel and select New Calligraphic Brush from the New Brush dialog. This will open up the Calligraphic Brush Options.
  2. Change the name of the brush if you wish.
  3. Angle: Type a value in the angle box. This value will determine the angle of the brush.
  4. Roundness: Entering a lower number than 100% will produce a flatter brush. Setting the Variation to Random with a high value will create more variation in the roundness of the brush.
  5. Diameter: Entering a high value will create a larger diameter brush.
  6. Click OK to save your new Calligraphic Brush.
Edit Calligraphic Brush

To edit a preexisting Calligraphic Brush, double-click on the particular brush in the Brush Panel to bring up the Calligraphic Brush dialog.

In the next post we will work with the Scatter Brush, how to define it and apply it to your designs. How does the Calligraphy Brush work for you?