Adobe Illustrator Tutorial for Beginners: How to Apply Cartoon Brushes
In this Adobe Illustrator Tutorial, we will be going through a simple process of inking using Shapes and the Pen Tool. Our primary focus will be building in Adobe Illustrator so you can be applying the Tools and Settings, and then add on our Cartoon Brushes so you can Apply and Edit them using the Shape Builder Tool. In this tutorial, we will only cover the Shape Builder method and not the Eraser Tool. If you are new to the website or jumping over from YouTube, start with our BRUSHES + RESOURCES to follow along with our 50 Step by Steps or the 100 Beginner Tutorials Playlist on YouTube.
Vector from Rough Sketch
Rough sketch drawings are a little different since they do not include the line variation and have a little more wiggle room on where the final line will go. There is a little more editing as you add on the thickness to each line.
Getting Down Anchors
The goal is to get down your lines first. You will find that there is so much editing and moving of the initial anchors and handles that the placement of your anchor points should cause little stress.
Connect the Dots
We will be using our 2 step approach to using the pen tool. The first is using straight lines to just get down our anchor points. Look for the start and end of each line. If it breaks, curves, and changes direction put in an anchor.
Adding on Line Variation using Cartoon Brushes
You will have more control over the placement and width of each of your lines using the Cartoon Brushes (Download + Install). The process will be a combination of using the Brushes to get down the initial thickness and stroke width. The second step will be modifying the placement of the variation using so we can edit it later. This 2-Step Process allows for more control over your Line Variation compared to using your Tablet with Pressure.
Plan your Line Variation
Step #1: Plan your out your Line Variation and Brushes before you start in Adobe Illustrator. If you didn't, use the simple method of finding the floating ends of the line. This will signal the value change ended while you were drawing. This will be a tapered end of the line.
Match Taper to Brush
Step #2: Match the Brushes to the Line Variation. If you planned out your lines this step is much easier. Select the Brushes and Line Weight. There are 17 Brushes Libraries, this method will work on any of the cartoon brushes.
Expand All + Simplify
Step #3: Expand All. Object - Expand Appearance + Expand. You really only need to Expand the Strokes. Once the Brushes have been Expanded hit the selection with a Simplify Path. ( Object - Path - Simplify)
Edit Using Shape Builder
Step #4: Shape Builder Editing is your Friend. Hold down the Alt/Option to Delete. Hit all of the overlapping lines to clean up any of the extra lines. The full-version of the snail is on Teachable in our Active Learning Curriculum.
How to Color in Adobe Illustrator
One of the easiest and fastest ways of filling in your color is through Live Paint. Live Paint Bucket is a part of the Shape Builder Tools which builds the shapes in the exact shape you need it. Select All. Go up to Object - Live Paint - Make. If you have a grayed out Make it simply means you didn't have anything selected. I do recommend Deselecting by clicking on your artboard before clicking on a Color Swatch. *Remember Everything is still Selected so it will Color the Full Selection if you click on a Color Swatch with everything selected. Click on the Live Paint Bucket (K) and Click to Dump Color. It will feel like the Paint Bucket in Adobe Photoshop.