How to Make your own Chalk Effect Paint Stroke Brushes for illustrator


Over the net you will find plenty of paint stroke brushes popping up . Sometimes you have to pay for these . The Fun part using the brush strokes in itself an artwork. In this post i will share with you a simple process of creating custom paint stroke brushes.Probably for a designer who uses the brush strokes as a design element , the greatest hindrance maybe when you need a specif shaped line or stroke with a custom thickness or style!? .

So how can you create one for your own?. Probably plenty of software are around to create  Here is how i do it  Please note this is My Process of creating brushes , i would love to see how you do it ?!

Why create custom Brushes?

Frankly speaking i never myself found brushes that i needed over the net useful for any specific job i had in hand .

Maybe i am not using  resources good enough?..

but err…

leading sites in free brushes cant fulfill the need

. And again , SOMETIMES premium brushes do fulfill the need when i am short of time . In the end i nearly Always ended up creating brushes of my own.

Which software to use?

In this post i will show you how i create thick artistic paint brushes using a software called ARTRAGE. you may use other painting softwares but i found artrage more practical and hey! free version does the job for me as good as any other paid one will!.

A more artist way to create custom paint brushes?

Yes there is another way , just get your sketchbook out and dab your brush in paint , splatter around or simply stroke around , scan your artwork . and continue with the rest of the process i am going to discuss in next steps.

So here is My Process of creating custom paint brushes.

1- Choosing the paint program

Ok like i said i chose ArtRage . The software is great ! with it you  can paint with oils create sketches with pencils and have total control over the thickness and pressure once you have a pen tablet installed as well .

This program gives plenty of options to choose from!

but if you don’t have a pen tablet don’t worry i started experiment on this software with a mouse . But then there is Adobe painter which is a bit advanced which can also be excellent for this , but you will need some time to understand it to make better use of it (if you haven’t used it already).

2- Creating the base document.

Creating a hi Res document is one of the most important things. You must create at least 3000 px document at 300 Dpi, so when the strokes are exported you get nice and clean edges. Work on a white surface , this way extracting the artwork will be easy.

3- Working on textured paper.

If you need custom sketched illustrative artwork , you may want to give the document a textured grainy paper. Otherwise plain paper will work just fine but remember the grain and texture do effect the final outcome. And it requires more Cleaning up (step 8)  of the final artwork.

4- Use options and Play!

Choose the style you want to work on , pen size , pressure , i will suggest using dark or RED  colour as our aim is to create custom paint stroke brushes which we can use in plenty of projects. But if you have something specific in mind you can ofcourse choose the colour or options related to that.

5-Export file as JPG.

Line your strokes one by one various thickness various sizes , various pressures. With space in between each line. Once you are happy with the strokes save the file . Use the command >export image as JPG.

6- Import document in illustrator.

Next step will be to import the file into illustrator . Use command File> Place > filename.JPG

7-Live Trace.

Just when you embed the file you will see live trace option on top of the page There are number of good tutorials which talk about live trace option in illustrator like .

  1. Understanding concept of live trace
  2. Video tutorial on Live Trace

8-Clean up

Passing from live trace your image might have the background traced as well if it has a texture which i chose because i needed more texture in my brushes . In order to clean this up click anywhere on  the background using the Direct Selection Tool (A). go to select > same fill & stroke. Hit delete!. you might need to repeat the steps in order to be left only with the strokes.

9-Create Brushes !

Now create the brushes! , select the entire line of the brush stroke , click on small icon of new brush and create a new one!

brush2Check Proportional as this will stretch the paint stroke to your line.

Method as Hue Shift will change the colour of stroke when you change colour stroke.A very comprehensive tutorial on this i found over at BittBox How to Make a Custom Illustrator Brush Check it out for the process .


You have a pretty damn set of cool paint stroke brushes you made yourself!

Hungry for some pre made paint stroke brushes??

Download them here!

[download id=”26″]

Also here are some other useful links!

33 More Paint Brush Style Illustrator Brushes

Freebie: 57 Exclusive Illustrator Multi-Colored Paint Brushes

Vectortuts Exclusive Illustrator Watercolor Brushes



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