Quick Tip: How to Create a Pencil Pattern Brush in Adobe Illustrator
What You'll Be CreatingIn the following steps you will learn how to create a pencil pattern brush in Adobe Illustrator. For starters you will learn how to set up a simple grid and how to create the main shapes using basic tools and shapes. Next, you will learn how to save two simple patterns and how to create your own pattern brush. Finally, you will learn how to create a simple text effect with this brush.1.Create a New Document and Set Up a GridHitControl-Nto create a new document. SelectPixelsfrom theUnitsdrop-down menu, enter600in the width box and400in the height box, and then click on theAdvancedbutton. SelectRGB,Screen (72ppi), and make sure that theAlign New Objects to Pixel Gridbox is unchecked before you clickOK.Enable theGrid(View > Show Grid) and theSnap to Grid(View > Snap to Grid). You will need a grid every5 px, so simply go toEdit > Preferences > Guides > Grid, and enter5in theGridline everybox and1in theSubdivisionsbox. Try not to get discouraged by all that gridit will make your work easier, and keep in mind that you can easily enable or disable it using theControl-"keyboard shortcut.You should also open theInfopanel (Window > Info) for a live preview with the size and position of your shapes. Don't forget to set the unit of measurement to pixels fromEdit > Preferences > Units > General. All these options will significantly increase your work speed.
2.Create the Main ShapesStep 1Pick theRectangle Tool (M)and focus on your Toolbar. Remove the color from the stroke, and then select the fill and set its color to black (R=0 G=0 B=0). Move to your artboard and simply create a15 x 35 pxrectangle. The grid and theSnap to Gridfeature should ease your work.
Step 2Return to your Toolbar and replace the existing fill color with a simple white (R=255 G=255 B=255). Make sure that theRectangle Tool (M)is still active, create a5 x 25pxshape and place it as shown in the following image.
Step 3Return to your Toolbar and replace the existing fill color with a simple black. Make sure that theRectangle Tool (M)is still active, create a5 x 25pxshape and place it as shown in the following image.
Step 4Using that sameRectangle Tool (M), create four5pxsquares, make sure that the fill color is set to black and then place them exactly as shown in the following image. Once again, the grid and theSnap to Gridfeature will come in handy.
Step 5Using that sameRectangle Tool (M), create three5pxsquares. Make sure that the fill color is set to white and then place them exactly as shown in the following image.
Step 6Using theRectangle Tool (M), create a30 x 35 pxshape, place it exactly as shown in the following image, make sure that it stays selected and focus on theAppearancepanel (Window > Appearance).Set the fill color to white and then select the existing stroke. Make it black and then click that "Stroke" piece of text to open theStrokefly-out panel. Increase theWeightto5 pxand then check theAlign Stroke to Insidebutton.
Step 7Make sure that the rectangle made in the previous step stays selected, focus on its left side and pick theAdd Anchor Point Tool (+). Click to two anchor points as shown in the first image.Move to the right side of this same rectangle and grab theDirect Selection Tool (A). Select the top anchor point and drag it15 pxdown and then select the bottom anchor point and drag it15 pxup. In the end your shape should look like in the second image.
Step 8Using theRectangle Tool (M), create a5 x 15 pxshape, place it as shown in the following image, set the fill color to black, and make sure that there's no color set for the stroke.
3.Create Your Pattern BrushStep 1Select the three rectangles highlighted in the following image and simply drag them inside theSwatchespanel (Window > Swatches) to save them as a simple pattern. Double click on this new pattern, rename it "startTile" and then make sure that you hit theCancelbutton.
Step 2Select the two shapes highlighted in the following image and turn them into a second pattern. Double click on this new pattern, rename it "endTile" and make sure that you hit theCancelbutton.
Step 3Select your seven squares (highlighted in the following image), open theBrushespanel (Window > Brushes) and click thatNew Brushbutton. Check thePattern Brushbox and then click theOKbutton to open thePattern Brush Optionswindow.Name it "Pencil Brush", drag theScaleslider to40%, selectTintsfrom thatMethoddrop-down menu and then move to theTileboxes. Open theStart Tiledrop-down window and add the "startTile" pattern from that list, and then open theEnd Tiledrop-down window and add the "endTile" pattern. Finally, clickOKand you should find your new pattern brush inside theBrushespanel.
4.Create a Simple Text Effect Using Your Pattern BrushStep 1Disable the Grid (Control-') and the Snap to Grid (Shift-Control-'). Pick theType Tool (T), click on your artboard, and add your grey piece of text. Make sure that it stays selected and open theCharacterpanel.Use theMistralfont and set the size at170 pt. Move to theLayerspanel and simply lock this piece of text to make sure that you won't accidentally select/move it.
Step 2Pick theBrush Tool (B), select your "Pencil Brush" from theBrushespanel and draw the first letter. Try to use the text that lies in the back as a rough reference. Make sure that this new path stays selected, focus on theAppearancepanel, select the stroke and simply replace the existing color withR=28 G=117 B=188.
Step 3Using the same tool and brush draw the rest of the paths roughly as shown in the following image. For your red paths use this color:R=239 G=65 B=54. Once you're done, move to theLayerspanel and get rid of that locked piece of text.
AdvertisementStep 4Select all the paths that make up your text and go toEffect > Stylize > Drop Shadow. Enter the attributes shown in the following image, click theOKbutton and you're done.
Congratulations! You're Done!Here is how it should look. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial and can apply these techniques in your future projects.