Introduction to Technical Flats -Part 5 of 10
INTRODUCTION TO TECHNICAL FLATS
SECTION 5: BRUSHES
Need to catch up? Read Section 4: Coloring Up
Follow along with this step-by-step video!
Creating brushes is an easy way to represent real-life stitches. For example, a coverstitch or bartack is very complex and can’t be shown simply with a dashed line. This method is imperative when creating construction callouts for apparel sketches. Of course, it can have a lot of other uses too. Creating texture and decorative borders is a breeze with this method.
Keep in mind you can use the Eyedropper Tool [i] to copy a stroke style, but not a brush style. For this reason, I don’t use brushes for my dashed lock stitch, because I would constantly need to go to the brushes panel to click on the brush. Using the eyedropper tool is much faster when you’re working through a sketch. When using the eyedropper tool on a brush it will choose the stroke weight and the dashed line. It will not choose arrowheads or profiles.
HOW TO CREATE A BRUSH
Start by determining what part of the pattern you would like to repeat. For this example we will be creating a bartack stitch brush. Start with a “V” shape at roughly the scale you would like the stitch to be. Create the “V” symmetrical and level. I created my “V” with a .15pt line.
Select your “V” shape and go to the brushes window. Select “New Brush” from the bottom panel.
Choose “Pattern Brush” and hit “OK”. In the next window you can play with sizing, how the brush repeats, what your corners look like, and spacing. For this brush we will keep the defaults as selected. At the bottom of the pop-up widow under “Colorization” choose “Hue Shift” from the “Method” dropdown menu. This will allow us to change the color of the path at any time from the swatches panel instead of having to make a new brush. You can also name your brush at the top of the window. This makes it easier to decipher when you have multiple brushes in your library.
Hit OK and the new pattern brush will populate in the brushes window. To test if it is repeating as desired, create a path and then choose the brush.
You can see that the brush repeats at the edge of the object, it does not overlap, so keep that in mind when creating other kinds of stitch brushes. You can change the line weight of the brush to make it larger or smaller and you can also change the color.
To create a brush that appears as if it overlaps, create a “V” shape that is smooth at either edge. Then repeat the same steps as above.
To create a brush library, add all of your created brushes to one AI file. Delete any unwanted brushes from the brushes window. At the top right of the brushes window, click the menu button.
Then select “Save Brush Library” from the dropdown menu.
Save the brush library under Applications > Adobe Illustrator > Presets > en_US > Brushes. To test if your library is accessible, click on the library symbol at the bottom of the brushes window. In the dropdown menu choose the new library you created.