The Brush Panel is where you can access Illustrator’s four brush types. The Calligraphic and Scatter Brushes will be displayed in a small thumbnail box, while the Art and Pattern Brushes are displayed in a horizontal rectangle (as long as the thumbnail view is selected from the drop-down menu of the Brush Panel). If your Brush Panel isn’t opened, go to Window > Brushes (F5) to open it.
Brush Panel Breakdown
- Brush Panel drop-down menu: In this menus you can change the view of the brushes, select unused brushes, open other brush libraries, and more.
- Brush Libraries Menu Button: Click this button to open a drop-down menu to open other brush libraries on your computer or save a set of brushes.
- Remove Brush Stroke Button: Click this button when a path with a brush is selected to remove the stroke.
- Stroke Options: Click this button to open the Stroke Options dialog for a particular selected brush stroke.
- New Brush: Click this button to create a new brush from the New Brush dialog.
- Delete Brush: Click this button to delete a brush from the Brush Panel.
Defining a Calligraphic Brush
Illustrator already has several preset Calligraphic Brushes, but you can use the following steps to create a new Calligraphic Brush.
Unless you are working with a tablet, don’t change the settings for the Variations of the Angle and Diameter options.
- Click New Brush from the Brush Panel and select New Calligraphic Brush from the New Brush dialog. This will open up the Calligraphic Brush Options.
- Change the name of the brush if you wish.
- Angle: Type a value in the angle box. This value will determine the angle of the brush.
- Roundness: Entering a lower number than 100% will produce a flatter brush. Setting the Variation to Random with a high value will create more variation in the roundness of the brush.
- Diameter: Entering a high value will create a larger diameter brush.
- Click OK to save your new Calligraphic Brush.
Edit Calligraphic Brush
To edit a preexisting Calligraphic Brush, double-click on the particular brush in the Brush Panel to bring up the Calligraphic Brush dialog.