Bristle Brush

This new tool allows you to create great natural media effects in Illustrator. You can choose from a preset or create your own brush, selecting different options to mimic real brushes including the type of brush, brush stiffness, bristle density and thickness, paint opacity and bristle length.

Step 1
Create a new file and place a photo on the artboard. Use Illustrator’s Live Trace function to create a posterised, vector version of the artwork with six colours. This will give you a heavily stylised result that looks pretty good on its own.

Step 2
Click on the first area of colour created by Live Trace, using the Direct Selection tool. Once this area of colour is active choose the new Draw Inside option from the drawing modes list. This will restrict your paint to the shape you have selected.

Step 3
Choose a Bristle Brush preset, or create your own brush by clicking on the New Brush button. Paint over the entire area in one or two colours. Once you’re done, select the next colour area and repeat until your canvas is complete.

Other highlights

  • Shape Builder tool to create complex shapes better.
  • Draw behind and inside shapes through new modes.
  • Better support for web output through the new pixel grid alignment options.
  • Variable width strokes adds the ability to control your stroke width and style precisely.
  • New online collaborative and approval service CS Review integrated within Illustrator.

For more of our coverage of Adobe Creative Suite 5, click here.