Creative Layers

Illustration + Design + Craft

Month: March 2018

Using Gradients when making Illustrator Brushes



Building upon the last post where I created an Illustrator brush from a simple illustration of a Cosmos flower, I think I’d like to make the image a little nicer. So I’m going to add some gradients to my petals to give them a little extra dimension and some separation from each other. I’m using a simple linear gradient that goes from deep pink to nearly white in the center.  I adjusted the colors until I like them, then added some stroked lines over the top in a deeper pink. As before, I expanded the strokes to make them solid shapes. I also changed the stem from three colors to a gradient of green tones. You can see the progression in the images below.

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Making Floral Brushes in Illustrator

Brushes at work: snapdragons, daisies and leaves.


It’s springtime and with it, flowers are in bloom everywhere – including in my designs. For past illustrations, I’ve made custom brushes in Illustrator to make repetitive designs easier: tulip brushes to create a field of tulips, blueberry brushes to create a mountain full of blueberry bushes, leafy brushes to create a backdrop of trees, etc.

The floral designs I wanted to create this spring required something not quite so simplistic in design as the bushes in the picture below; not exactly photo-realistic — still illustrations — but not strictly cartoonish either. I thought it would be fun to create a set of floral brushes to design with. I learned a few things along the way, some more “do’s” and “don’ts”, and places where choices need to be made, trade-off’s evaluated. I’m going to talk what works for me in this post.

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