How to color / tint Illustrator brushes tutorial

How to recolor / tint / color brushes in Illustrator

Color / tint Illustrator brushes

Illustrator brushes and re-color colorization of
  1. Go to the brushes panel to find the color / tint options in Illustrator

  2. Double click the required brush

  3. Goto the brushes colorization and select the required color / tint / hue etc method (see below for descriptions)

  4. Click OK


Re-color at source : change and tint and re-color the brushes in IllustratorThe most obvious method is to re-color the Illustrator brush stroke at source. Drag the brush stroke from the brushes panel and ungroup the brush and then remove the bounding box for the brush stroke and then change the color of the individual parts of the brush stroke.


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Not particularly ideal but you can set up multiple brush strokes say a brush in red and a brush in green and a brush in blue and then select those brushes as and when you need that particular color. The image on the right uses that approach.


Slow but it does mean you have a large selection of like presets to choose from when you come to use them in your work.


Panel : Go to the brush panel and select a preset to change. Double click and display the brush options (in the example, it is the scatter brush options). Change the colorization


You have four options: none, tints, tints and shade, hue shift


The example on the right shows the hue shift and that is the one that uses the key color. The key color is slightly odd as I notice from time to time that it does not appear to work (in my version of Illustrator) and only seems to start working when you use it in the none option and select the color with the eyedropper. It may work fine for you and select in all methods.


None approach : default colorization of Illustrator brush and none. If you select the none method for the color of the brush in Illustrator then the colors set at creation are used so if you have a black and red brush stroke (as used in this example) that is what will be applied as in the example on the left


The preset is made of a black outer ring and red inner. In the example above you can see the key color is set to the red and that is the one changed in the hue shift.


It is a bit like the dynamic symbols (new feature in CC 2018 2017. where the color can be changed (but this does not use the direct selection feature)


Colorization for the Illustrator brush and tints : tintsJust set that method when you edit the brush stroke. If you want the brush stroke to be displayed in pink then go the stroke color in the toolbar and change that to pink and the red will be tinted pink and the black likewise (it is a very subtle difference - see example on the right with purple used)


You can also change the stroke to green and the stroke will then be converted into greens


Colorization method and tints / shades : shadesIf you change the method to tints and shapes, the blacks are unchanged. The red will change to a shade of dark pink if pink is used.


The strokes with this color method works best when the colors are nice bright colors and then you can see some difference between the colors making up the design such as in the image on the right in green.


Colorization method and hue shift : hue shiftDouble click the preset in the preset panel. Go to the eyedropper and click on the preview - select the color you want as your key color (in the example, red) otherwise it just defaults to a color it decides (normally it seems to be black)


Set colorization to hue shift. Click OK and accept any changes


Now when you change the stroke, the key color in the original stroke will be changed to the stroke color. If there are 10 colors in the stroke then only that one color changes (not sure why they didn't add multiple key colors or color 1 and color 2 etc). It would be useful if the key color was a dropdown with the colors in the path


So if you set the stroke to blue, the key color will change to blue



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