Pattern Brush in Illustrator

Welcome back to our Illustrator Brush series, so far we have learn about Calligraphic Brush, Scatter Brush, Art Brush and today we will work with the Pattern Brush.

Defining a Pattern Brush

Pattern brushes are arguably the most difficult to master. A Pattern Brush can consist of five different pattern swatches. You can use different artwork for the start, finish, side (center), inside corner, and outside corner. Creating a Pattern Brush with five pattern swatches requires you to create some pattern tiles. I will first go over creating a simple Pattern Brush then explain how to create a Pattern Brush with multiple pattern swatches.

  1. Create some artwork for the Pattern Brush. Gradients and Effects cannot be used when creating a Pattern Brush.
  2. Select all the created artwork and drag it into the Brush Panel. When the New Art Brush dialog opens select New Pattern Brush from the options, to bring up the Pattern Brush Options.
  3. Change the name of the brush if you wish.
  4. Scale: The Scale determines how big or small the art is drawn on the path, relative to the size of the art.
  5. Spacing: The Spacing determines the amount of spacing between the art.
  6. Flip Along and Flip Across: These check boxes allow you to flip the art over the horizontal and vertical axis.
  7. Fit: The Stretch to Fit Options makes a perfect fit across the entire path. The Add Space to Fit changes the spacing of the art so it fits evenly across the entire path. The Approximate Path option changes the path so it fits with the art.
  8. Colorization: The Colorization options are the same as the previous brush options.

Adding Multiple Swatch Pattern

You can create a Pattern Brush with multiple swatches to create banners, picture frames, and much more

  1. Create some artwork for the Pattern Brush. Gradients and Effects cannot be used when creating a Pattern Brush.
  2. Define each separate element as an individual pattern swatch by dragging each element in to the Swatch Panel one at a time. It helps to name the pattern swatch after you created it. To do this, double-click on the swatch in the Swatch Panel and renaming it.
  3. Click New Brush from the Brush Panel and select new Pattern Brush from the New Brush dialog. This will open up the Pattern Brush Options.
  4. To add the swatch to the particular part of the path (start, finish, side (center), inside corner, and outside corner), click on the corresponding thumbnail at the top of the Pattern Brush Options dialog. Once selected you can choose the appropriate pattern swatch from the list.
  5. Follow the rest of the options for creating a simple Pattern Brush and you will have a multi-swatch Pattern Brush.

Edit Pattern Brush

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

Now that we have seen the basic brush panels in Illustrator, we can work in lots of new projects and explore more of this amazing software.