Clipart Heart and the Illustrator Brush Library
- Open the clipart heart file into Illustrator. As you can see, the heart is made up of both a Stroke and Fill. Let's work on changing the characteristics for the Stroke. We will leave the Fill set to solid white for now.
- Click on the Stroke box in the Tools panel to indicate that we want to work on the Stroke of our heart. We can use the Illustrator's brushes to add a style to the stroke. Go to the Brushes Panel (Windows ? Brushes) where you will find the default brush library. The small dots at the top of the panel are thumbnails of some basic brush tips and sizes (oval, flat and round). Below that are a few default brushes including Pencil, Charcoal, Banner and Ornamental Banner.
The real goodies are in the other brush libraries. At the bottom of the panel is the Brush Libraries Menu. Click on the small arrow to expand the menu. As you can see, there are several other libraries including Arrows, Artistic, Borders, Decorative and Default.
- Let's take a look at the Borders library. From the menu, click Borders ? Borders_Decorative. Click on any of these to apply that style to the heart. You will see that only the outline or stroke of the heart graphic has the new style applied.
- At the bottom of the panel are the forward and backward arrows that you can use to browse through the other lists. Browse to the Borders ? Novelty and click on Hearts. Notice that the decorative border has been changed to the hearts.
One Brush Library that I like to play with is the Decorative ? Scatter.
- Browse to this list and click on the 16 pt Star (first in list). Notice that the stars are scattered along the stroke instead of following the line exactly.
You can control several aspects of the style from the Control Panel (at the top of the workspace).
- Change the Stroke Weight to 3 pts. Notice that the stars keep the scattered spacing but increase in size. You can also use the slider control to change the opacity of the stars.
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