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Wicked Illustrator Brush Effect

This Adobe Illustrator bitt will show you how to make a funky custom brush for a fast and easy grunge-like effect.

1. Open a new new Illustrator document and make a few simple shapes on the artboard. Put a black stroke on the shapes, but no fill.

Illustrator brush bitt

2. With your shapes selected, open the brushes palette, and apply an organic-looking brush stroke to your shapes.

I used “rough charcoal,” but choose whatever you like.

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3. Keep your shapes selected and take the stroke to a large number like 20pt.

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4. Now, with your shapes still selected, click on the arrow in the upper right of the brushes palette, and select “New Brush”. You will be prompted to choose which kind of brush you want to create. Choose “Art Brush.” Then hit OK.

Illustrator brush bittIllustrator brush bitt

5. The “New Brush” dialogue box will appear. Play with these settings later, just hit OK for now to create your new art brush

Illustrator brush bitt

6. Delete your shapes from the artboard, and select the brush tool. Make sure you have your new brush selected in the Brushes palette. Draw a simple shape (even just a line or curve) and watch your new wicked brush at work.

Illustrator brush bitt

7. Now it's time to play, but first… If you want to add color to your wicked new creations, you have to select the brush stroke, and go to the “Object” menu and select “Expand Appearance.” Have fun!

Illustrator brush bittIllustrator brush bitt

I'm the editor-in-chief of I'm a designer and developer by day, and a writer and musician when the feeling strikes. I enjoy vintage advertisements and puzzles with an absurd amount of pieces. Follow me on Twitter.

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