How to Create Scatter Brushes – Illustrator Quick Tip

We'll be creating a Scatter Brush out of heart shapes, just in time to use it for your Valentine's Designs. With this Scatter Brush, we'll create a Valentine's inspired Typography. So let's get started!

Creating Scatter Brushes in Adobe Illustrator is really simple. Learn how to create and use a Scatter Brush in Illustrator CC in today’s tutorial.

Using a Scatter Brush in Illustrator which will save you time since you can change the Scatter Brush settings and colors easily.

We’ll be creating a Scatter Brush out of heart shapes, just in time to use it for your Valentine’s Designs. With this Scatter Brush, we’ll create a Valentine’s inspired Typography. So let’s get started!

Step 1: Choose Your Heart Shapes

Creating heart shapes in Illustrator is really simple. Start by using the Pen Tool (T) and create a V shape. Set the Stroke to your desired color. Don’t add a fill.

In the Stroke Panel, set the Stroke Cap to Round and increase the Stroke Weight.

There you go, a heart shape is born!


Then with the shape selected, go to Object > Path > Outline Stroke. Create several shapes like this in different sizes and colors.

Step 2: Create a New Brush in Illustrator

Once you’ve drawn your heart shapes, group them together (CMD/CTRL + G). Then open the Brushes Panel (Window > Brushes) or click the Brushes Panel Icon in the right hand tool bar.

Select the shapes you want to turn into a brush, then click the New Brush icon on the bottom right of the Brushes Panel, or simply drag the shapes into the Brushes Panel.


Step 3: Change Scatter Brush Settings

Next, we’ll apply different settings to the Scatter Brush. First, create a simple path on the Artboard with the Pen Tool, then apply the new Scatter Brush to it.

Next, double-click the new brush in the Brushes Panel. The Scatter Brush Options Window will open. Set the values as you see in the image below or set your own.

By selecting the Preview, you can see the changes being applied live to the Scatter Brush. This really helps to see which settings create what effect.

Step 4: Randomize the Scatter Brush on your Stroke

Once you are happy with the Scatter Brush settings, but you would like another random arrangement of these settings to the brush stroke, simply select the stroke and then click on your Scatter Brush in the Brushes Panel.

This will randomize the Scatter Brush to the stroke. You can keep clicking until you like what you see.


Step 5: Creating a Typography Effect with the Scatter Brush

Start by creating any the text you want. In my case I chose the word “Love”. The font I picked is called “Abril Fatface Regular”. Select the text and outline it (Type > Create Outlines, or Keyboard Shortcut: SHIFT+ CMD/CLTR+O).

Now we have a shape filled with a color. Select the shape and apply your new Scatter Brush for the Stroke. You can play with the Stroke Weight in the Stroke Panel to see which size works well with the brush.


Step 6: Add Extra Layers to your Scatter Brush Design

Now you’ve added your Scatter Brush to the stroke of your desired shape. Let’s add some dimension.

Create a copy of your type with the brush stroke in front

Then set the Stroke Weight to a smaller value.

After that, add a Drop Shadow (Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow) to your shapes. Add a background and voila, you’ve create a neat type effect with your own Scatter Brush!


Creating custom Scatter Brushes is a lot of fun. The possibilities are endless and they can add some pizzazz to your designs and creations.

Not only can you randomize the settings, you can also set the Colorization Method to Hue Shift.


Now it doesn’t matter what color your original shapes have, the Stroke color will be applied to your brush strokes!

Share this tutorial on Scatter Brushes if you liked it, leave a comment below or send me your creations to get a chance to be showcased on Vectortwist!


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Simona Pfreundner has been teaching Adobe Creative Suite since 2008 through written tutorials, instructional video courses and classroom teaching. With 15 years experience in the graphic design field as an agency, in-house and freelance designer, her love for art and drawing has enabled her develop an approachable and intuitive style of teaching that helps people learn graphic design software in a fun and easy way.

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