How to use the Blob brush for Illustrator Tutorial

The blob brush in Illustrator CC CS6 etc can be found beneath the paintbrush tool or use shift+B to select the tool. The tool uses fills and not strokes.

Blob brush in Illustrator

how to use blob brush in Illustrator
  1. Go to the paintbrush tool

  2. Select the second tool 'blob brush' (Illustrator toolbar)

  3. Set the color of the fill for the blob brush

  4. Double click the icon of the tool to change size settings etc

  5. Apply tool to artboard

The blob brush is a wonderful tool for some really unusual art in Illustrator. You can use it to create flowing lines. You can use it to create tangled artworks. You can use it to create quick zigzags. You can use it to create quick grids. You can use it to create basic lines. You can use it to create lovely flowing strokes and drawings


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parallel linesYou can use to apply blots and dots and splatters (the size of the blots can be made to vary via the randomization of the size of the applied stroke) and much more to the artboard.


randomizationSet the randomization by double clicking the tool icon and then going to the size field and instead of fixed, you can set to random and that gives you the option to set a variation in size. If you choose a large blob size then you can also set a corresponding large variation (I must admit, it does slightly bug me that you can't set a low size and a large variation as you may like a default 5pt but for that to occasionally jump to 60pt - well you can't)


panelYou can see the settings for the Illustrator blob tool by double clicking the tool icon or pressing return while you have the tool selected and there are a number of settings to be altered and many different results can be achieved by subtle changes to the settings

Keep selected

Merge only






joinSet the merge only with selection to OFF via the tool's options. You can then apply the stroke to the artwork and pass through objects on the artboard and they will then be merged with the current stroke


The key thing to join paths is that the paths have to be the same color. If one of the paths is red and one is black then the blob brush will ignore the Illustrator paths.


calligraphicThe size and angle of the blob brush etc are great for creating calligraphic brush strokes of varying dimensions.


There are also a few additional options such as having a fixed size or introduce randomization and variation for the size (as well as angle and roundness) as well as settings for an artpad / pen.


appearanceThe tool's result can be filled with gradients as well as solid color and also patterns. , you can use the appearance panel to add fills and strokes as well as effects such as blurs and more to the art.


As you add the artwork, you will only see the fill being added but you can always add a stroke on completion as well as other effects such as live effects / blurs / additional fills etc via the appearance panel. You can fill the artwork with styles via the styles panel


You can also then add width profiles to the Illustrator blob brush. You can add dash styles and much more


You can add the vector path generated by the tool in a straight line by holding down the shift key as you use the tool. You can constrain the generated line to 45 degrees and 90 degrees. You can repeat apply the lines and generate a series of parallel lines


Depending on the selection set for the tool, you can merge with other paths already created (circles etc). Select the tool and them double click the tool icon and make sure that the merge and selected are set to ON. You can then quickly apply the strokes to paths such as circles or rectangles or any other paths to create interesting variants of an existing design such as creating distressed works or frames and more.


A quick and easy way to create a frame design is to create a quick rectangle or circle and then use the blob tool with that path.


Turn the merge with selection to OFF


Apply strokes out from the circle or rectangle. Set the size to 50pt and set the variability to random so the lines coming from the path will be varied in size (unless you want them all to be the same size)


colorsThe tool is also useful for creating variable sized spots across the artboard by using the tool with a size of 50pt and variability set to 12px and click in different locations throughout the artboard. Don't move the stroke, just click to create a spot.


There is no color variability so if you wish to vary the color then change the color all the time or do this after you have added all the dots or use the live paint bucket to fill them all with different colors (select all the paths and click them and change the color via the fill setting)


paintHow to create new brush presets using the blob ? Select the blob tool and apply the strokes (such as in the colorful design on the left). Once you have created your spots and dots with the tool, drag the end result to the preset panel and save as art or scatter. In the example on the right, the blobs have been saved as a scatter to the preset's panel and then used with the tint option (applying them in pink and green in the example). Millions of unique strokes can be generated by using the tool.


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