How to draw freehand with the Blob Brush tool in Adobe Illustrator

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Philippe Gloaguen
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When we want to use our imagination and creativity to draw our artwork, Adobe Illustrator offers us very useful tools. In this case we will explain about one tool called smudge brush, which we can use for freehand drawing.

Before using the smudge brush tool, we want to mention a few rules you should keep in mind when you use this tool. We also want to mention the options it has so that you can use it effectively.

Blob brush tool in Adobe Illustrator

When using the tool you need to take into account the following:

  • When combining routes, they must be together in order of stacking. Paths created using the Stain Brush, with any existing artwork, must have the same fill color and have no strokes.
  • When you draw paths with the smudge brush, the new paths will blend with the intersecting paths. When you want to apply paint attributes to the smudge brush tool, you need to define the attributes before starting to draw. The smudge brush tool works to combine paths created with other tools.

When you double-click the smudge brush tool you can define the following options:

  • Keep Selected: All lines are selected and remain selected With this option you can view all lines, including combined lines. Combine only with selection: With this option the new lines will be combined only with the selected lines.
  • Fidelity: This option controls how far the mouse should be moved or the electronic pen to have Illustrator add a new anchor point to the path. The higher the value, the smoother and less complex the texture will be. anti- aliasing : this option allows you to control the amount of anti-aliasing when using the tool. When the percentage is high, the path is smoother.
  • Size: With the option you can determine the size of the brush. Angle: you can decide the rotation angle of the brush. Roundness: The roundness of the brush is firm, you can do this by entering a value in the text box Roundness. When the value is high, the roundness is greater.

Step by step: how to draw freehand with the Brush tool in Adobe Illustrator

Before starting to work with our drawing we need to configure the document, creating a new document in Adobe Illustrator. So it is convenient to use the rulers, grids and guidelines in Adobe Illustrator, to get better accuracy.

Now you have to configure the smudge brush tool to make your design, based on the options we mentioned earlier. To draw freehand you need to follow the following steps:

  1. You need to select the route you want to combine the new route with.
  2. Now in the Appearance panel located on the left side, you have to turn off the option » The new illustration has a basic look ". This way the smudge brush tool will use the selected artwork.
  3. Then you need to select the «blob brush» tool. Make sure that is the same as the selected artwork.
  4. So you need to draw paths that intersect the illustration. You can use the options of the Object Blend Tool in Adobe Illustrator to combine them; But if the paths don't match, you need to make sure that the attributes of the smudge brush tool are the same as the attributes of the path.
  5. You can then add highlights and shadows, adding a little more depth to the illustration. To add light you can use a brighter color that I use in the stroke and to blend a darker version of the base color.
  6. If you want to change one of the colors used; You just have to select everything and choose the function " Recolor illustration ". This allows you to change the colors used in the illustration.

Once the drawing image is complete, you can use Adobe Illustrator to convert a vector image into a bitmap. After that, easily convert the Illustrator file to PowerPoint. This way you can formally present your design to other people.

In this way we have explained in a simple way how to draw using the smudge brush tool. Keep visiting our page, you can learn other techniques you can use when making your illustrations.

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