Updated: November 6th, 2014
16,000 Brushes for Adobe ® Illustrator CC & CS 6 5 4 3 2 1 2014 includes crescents, wavy, dots and blots, rows, bits and pieces, 3D, ink strokes, hexagons, hearts, diamonds, doodles, Christmas / Xmas strokes, curved, embellishment and swirls, frame strokes, arrows and many more. All are very easy to load and install into the application via the strokes palette. You can then modify the Illustrator brushes, apply them to text and paths and frames, combine, and more. You can create paths with multiple strokes, you can export the presets and use them in Adobe PS, you can use width profiles to further modify them. They can be modified in 1000s of ways as well as used as a source for millions of new and unique strokes. You can also re-size the strokes as well as rotate them and transform and slant and shear and warp the strokes. Use them to create items for sale. Use to create logos, books, templates, kits, documents, packaging, wrapping, surf boards, fashions, ceramics and much more. All are by Andrew Buckle / graphicxtras.com. Free sampler to download 1 / Free sampler to download 2
On buying, receive AI documents + documentation + gallery + serial
PC & MAC
Commercial use, royalty free
Artistic and scatters
How to load many different AI files very quickly via the palette in AI. Also shows the folder structure on the mac for the presets How to load many Illustrator brushes quickly
How do I convert strokes to another resource type (seamless tiles etc) or to raster format
Open the source Illustrator brushes file or open the library while editing another document. Select the preset in the palette and drag to the artboard. Go to the window menu and select one of the other resource palettes and then drag the preset back into one of those instead. You can then save the current document and use that as a source for a new brush (as long as the document is saved as an AI format file). If you want to make some modifications to the path before saving it as a new tile then you will have to isolate it (double click the stroke on the artboard) and modify the color, exit the isolation mode, copy them to the new palette. You can also export them to another application by using the various export command such as export to PNG or export to SWF (for Flash) or you can always use the good old pasteboard or clipboard by using the copy command. Saving them to shapes should be fine, though it is not always as easy to do the reverse and create strokes from tiles as sometimes these contain elements that strokes cannot use and an error message will appear
How to create comic book strokes ?
My favorite way of using is either using the calligraphic (use an art pen and set pressure option) or the basic artistic strokes or using the blob vector stroke again with pressure settings added to the stroke. You can create stunning comic book / ink strokes in seconds. You might also like to check out other applications such Manga Studio for comic book art tools. The width profiles are also very useful in relation to comic book strokes
How can I modify the color of the strokes ?
The Illustrator stroke will take the current color of the stroke setting if the colorization method has been set to something other than 'none'. You can find out the colorization setting by clicking the preset in the palette. If set to none, simply set the method to tint / tints and shade / hue shift. Sometimes a tool works best with a colorization of none. It really depends on what you want to achieve with the stroke.
How can I apply the stroke to an path?
Select an path and then go to the palette (found in the window menu) and select a stroke. The selected stroke will then be applied to the path, though the result will depend on how complex the path is.
How can I use an preset to create an edge effect?
Literally millions of ways to create a frame or edge effect using the collection set. There are 16,000 great graphics which can be combined in millions of ways to create all kinds of creative effects. You can use them as individual paths in a general frame shape (again that varies, such as rectangular frames or circular frames or perhaps irregular frame shapes) You can combine them to a single path in the form of a frame. You can use the source paths as a way to add to an existing path or perhaps subtract from a path to create a frame. You can use a single layer of paths or perhaps multiple paths in regular distributions or perhaps irregularly spaced and many more.
You can also use them with different blending modes or opacities overlaying paths. Or you can use them with different spacing and different scattering and color effects via the presets definition (either artistic or scattering).
You can also export the end result from AI to perhaps Photoshop and use them with effects (though with the live effects you can do much the same in AI). You can group the results together to form additional composite frames. Perhaps you can also then combine those in the symbols palette. There are many possible ways to create an edge effect in AI.
How can I use the brushes with width profiles ?
The width profiles work well with the strokes. Apply them and then go to the width profile dropdown (along the top bar) and select a width profile. The profile will change the artistic strokes in a variety of ways creating sharper or more surreal strokes. You can also, once you have applied the width profile, modify the profile using the width tool (shift + W). Use the width tool to distort or modify or straighten a stroke.
How to create a bigger stroke?
The paths are vectors so they can be small or big. One quick easy way to create a bigger stroke - without changing the stroke width - is simply to drag the stroke from the palette and re-scale the vector and place the vector back into the AI palette and then that can be applied to paths and text etc
How to add grain to the brush stroke ?
You can always modify the stroke by dragging the artwork to the artboard and applying additional paths to any shape using the pathfinder tool.
Another way to add grain is to use the live effect 'glass' and the appearance palette. Select a stroke and then go to the distort menu and glass menu option and apply a distortion (at this point you can also use a map from Photoshop).
The odd thing with the filter gallery plugin is that is does not allow for multiple filters to be added in a single dialog: a quick way around this, and a quick way to added many levels of distress effect to the stroke, is to use the duplicate effect command in the appearance palette and add more and more glass distortions to the art. The more you add, the more likely the re-draw of the stroke will be slower though.
Direction of the brush stroke
Modify stroke / direction and more via the palette. To change the direction of the artistic preset, click the direction button in the palette. In some cases, there will be little actual displayed change -- though in some cases, the stroke will change radically. Experiment.
Modifying the Illustrator brushes strokes
Modify the artwork stroke by expanding and re-saving as a new stroke to create unique decorative strokes. You can also modify them by double clicking the preset icon in the AI palette and changing the angle and color etc You can use this to create millions of amazing vectors paths
Create realistic strokes using transparency
You don't have to keep the items as is, you can turn them into a more realistic style by selecting the item in the palette and dragging to the artboard and then changing the transparency of the item, duplicate the same (many times) and create a more complex stroke which can then be selected and pasted back into the palette. Instead of the 'hard' vector strokes, the transparency gives a more realistic / real life feel to the art.
Use with the layers
Use them on layers and release strokes to layers for animation.
If you wish to use them to create comic books then (you might prefer an application such as Manga Studio?) you might like to use layers. Using layers you can apply strokes to a sketch as well as finish layers, setting the sketch layers to invisible for final printing. You might like to apply a panel per layer or perhaps even a particular character or background to one layer and so on.
Really depends on how you like to build up a page or illustration but the presets and layers are great in combination. There is also a useful select object menu command to select all objects on the current layer - though I must admit, I wish there were more layer / selection features available.
The strokes can be applied using 100% but they can be applied using 40% opacity or 10% opacity. Use the paint tool at different opacities to create more realistic strokes.
1) Select the item
2) Set opacity via the top bar to 40%
3) Apply paint tool
4) Re-apply over and over, overlapping strokes
5) Creates marker / pencil like strokes
Does have a tendency to create a lot of paths and complexity though. You might like to group the paths together using the object menu command and group command enabling you to move the strokes as one. You can then apply various filters or warping tools to warp the entire set in one go.
As well as using opacity to create 'realistic' strokes, you can also go to the transparency palette and then set the strokes to different blending modes such as darken or difference to create even more stroke works. Some settings work better than others when using blending modes and generally some experimentation is required.
Shapes and Illustrator brushes
The set is a great resource for all kinds of shapes - swirls, stars, warped, checks, etc - and they can be used as shapes. Seelct the item in the palette and then drag to the artboard and then drag back into the symbols palette or copy the artwork and paste into Photoshop and use as custom shapes.
Live Trace and strokes
Use stroke with live traced images to add a dash to any image
1) File menu and place command
2) Select image file
3) Click the live trace command (on selected image)
4) Use live trace or change settings as required
5) Click expand
6) Apply presets from palette (might require some changing of settings, tints as required such as changing the scattering settings, size, scattering, rotation - random as this will create a vast array of different exciting graphics even from a basic set of shapes)
Scripting and strokes
Strokes / Eraser tool
Must admit I never think of it as a drawing tool but it is still a tool and it is a useful tool at times. Select a path and then apply the eraser tool to cut through a path such as a blob stroke. It also comes with virtually the same option set as the calligraphic tool, which clearly it is but in the 'negative'. It is a totally useless tool though if you have no paths in the document! Does require the path to be selected. I would love to see the eraser too to be extended to be a variant of the scatter and artistic tool so you could erase using the realistic or surreal art.
Width tool / profiles
The new CS5 width tool brings yet another wow feature to strokes and you can apply the width profile / tool to the scatter as well as artistic and others. If you really want to explore the width profiles then a really useful tool is available via the Astute Graphics website 'WidthScribe 2'. With the latest release, you can turn any picture or path into an artistic marvel by using any number of their width stamp presets or your own path objects.
Adobe CC CS6 Creative cloud changes
There has been no noticeable change with the presets with the latest version of CS6 (though the interface could be counted as a change, the actual tools have no new settings). The strokes can be used in conjunction with the new pattern / tile editor. Use the tools to create stunning new and original art in seconds.
You can use them as a source for new tiles simply dragging the vector to the artboard and using the path with the object menu tile feature. You do not have to remove the bounding box. You can then manipulate the stroke as you would with any path such as rotate, change the size, add additional paths.
With CC, you can now use images with the tool - so you can copy any image from Photoshop etc and place that in AI and drag that to the palette.
With the October 2014 Creative Cloud release, you can now store them in the new library feature and these can either be used in future projects or used back in Photoshop.
You can paint with any of the Illustrator brushes while using the pattern / tile editor feature. The strokes are captured and used in any saved tiles. You can use the native strokes as well as any of the collection set. On saving the tile, you will see a dialog explaining that the strokes will be expanded so click OK and save the tile for future use.
Sets included in the collection
and many more
How many types of Illustrator brushes can I create?
The collection set includes artistic and scatter brushes but you can also also use them as a source for other strokes in the application. Some of the types are independent of any paths. You can create calligraphics, scatter, artistic, bristle and more. All the options have their own features, quality and options. Bristles strokes are more limited and offer a variety size / length / density / thickness but bristles are great for more realistic strokes than earlier types.
There are also blobs but the blob stroke is available via a separate icon in AI and creates its own unique strokes.