One of the most popular and powerful tools for creating vector graphics is Adobe Illustrator. Creative designer use Illustrator for many different tasks e.g. designing logos, icons, business cards and drawing illustrations. Illustrator have many build in tools you can use to draw and manipulate vector shapes, however the Paintbrush Tool (B) is probably one of the most used and most powerful.
Illustrator brushes let you stylize the appearance of paths. You can apply brush strokes to existing paths, or you can use the Paintbrush tool to draw a path and apply a brush stroke simultaneously.
As you explore the featured of the brush tool, you will find that there are different types of brushes available in Illustrator: calligraphic, scatter, art, pattern, and bristle. The brush types are illustrated and explained at the end of the article.
Illustrator brushes can be applied to paths and strokes and they are great for creating cool stroked designs in a snap.
Illustrator brushes are vector based and you can modify them to suit your design needs. This is done by changing the brush characteristics like e.g stroke width, weight, colors, and more. The real fun, however kiscks in when cool free Illustrator brush patterns are loaded into your environment and used to create unique designs.
You may have noticed that there are fewer free brushes available for Illustrator compared to Photoshop. However, if you look around carefully there are plenty of high-quality options available.
For this article I have collected tons of beautiful and useful Illustrator brush sets you can add to your collection. If you are new to Illustrator, you will find a lot of great tip and techniques in the huge tutorial collection at Tripwire Magazine.
Talk Bubble Brushes – MORE INFO
Talk bubbles is one of the Illustrator brush sets that will give you a cartoony feeling to your design. It has different designs for conversations bubbles.
Illustrator Brush Set 2 – MORE INFO
The Illustrator brush set 2 is an Illustrator CS3 compatible. It is another scatter brush set
that’s good for flowery-like backgrounds.
Marker Pen Strokes – MORE INFO
This set contains 64 High Quality Illustrator Brushes of Marker Pen Strokes and Scribbles. You’re free to use them in both personal and commercial works. Enjoy!
Smoke illustrator brush pack – MORE INFO
This contains an AI file which is compatible with Illustrator 9 – CS4. It is ideal for backgrounds or things that needs smoke, mist or a steam.
Flourish Illustrator Brushes – MORE INFO
Brush made for an illustrator that contains different styles of flourishes. All brushes in this particular set are already set for proportional and also hue shift which means they will always look good no matter what size or color you use in addition to them.
The Hairbrush Kit – MORE INFO
If you are looking for a smartart good for any hair designs, hair brush kit is cool. A variety of types of hair can be easily added to your design from The Hairbrush Kit with a tool to easily change its colors.
Brush Set 004 – MORE INFO
This Adobe Illustrator brush set is actually made to be free by its inventor. Whether it be for commercial or non commercial use, they are open for public consumption accordingly.
Kirby Karcles Brush – MORE INFO
The boom brush will work great on a 5pt stroke in a circle. It produces cool effects for just any image or illustration.
Swirly curls Sick Brush Kit – MORE INFO
If you want a do-it-yourself funky stuff, you can try flipping this brush to make an image look like it is distorted.
Hydronix vector splash pack – MORE INFO
This is not your typical brush project. It really looks like real water without crashing your system when applied.There is no rules for using this kind of tool.
Conetix – MORE INFO
If you are one of the few people who ought to like tech art, this one is cool for you. It offers some watermarked design for a more techie feeling illustration.
St. Valentine Collection- MORE INFO
Here’s a perfect brush to use when you are in love and want to make images for your sweetheart. Spread the love.
My Canthus Brush Pack 1 – MORE INFO
The site offers a brush package more or less similar to the acanthus type of leaves usually being shown or featured on money/bills, documents and other stuff. It is termed as “MYCANTHUS” by its maker.
Romantic Borders – MORE INFO
This site offers illustrator brushes that looks pretty for borders or some decorative work. The brushes are compatible with Illustrator 10. All you have to do is to say some comment on their page then you can use it freely.
Artistic Brushes – MORE INFO
If you are looking for artistic brushes for Illustrator 3, this one is good for you if you are looking for painting brushes.
677 Circles Brush Pack – MORE INFO
Circle brush pack features extensive brushes that has 20 Illustrator models of brushes. The first 10 of these brushes are scatter brushes where you can use to design wicked patterns.
Exclusive Illustrator Multi Colored Paint Brush – MORE INFO
57 exclusive Illustrator multi-colored paint brushes are what this website offers. They created an “exclusive” number of paint brushes that are original for Vectips.
Illustrator Pattern Brushes for Making Flowers and Circular Designs – MORE INFO
Bittbox.com features illustrator patterns for brushes that are intended for flower-making and designing circular figures.
Lino Cut Brushes – MORE INFO
You can use these free vector brushes in Illustrator to simulate a lino printing (or linocut) effect.
Lineal Brushes – MORE INFO
Lineal brushes can be used for anything you can imagine for designing purposes. They are made to enhance classic or modern style illustrations.
15 Illustrator Brushes – MORE INFO
Think Design Blog will really make you think. They feature Vectors – 15 Paint Brushstroke Illustrator Brushes that are chosen to be free!
Chalk Decorative – MORE INFO
Chalk Decorative Brushes are a new set of tools for webdesignerlab.com, 10 large decorative chalk brushes that are likely around 1,500 pixels, created for use in Illustrator and Photoshop CS3.
Swirl Rock Brushes – MORE INFO
This site will welcome you to a landmark of free vector graphics. The swirl rocks!
High Quality Paint Brush Style – MORE INFO
This one is a good source of graphic designs especially for paintbrush style Illustrator. These graphic designs are generally made of ink instead of paint.
Urban Squares Brushes – MORE INFO
Urban Squares Brushes, as the name implies, are fully-packed paint brushes that are made with many hip squares!
Roses and Leaves Vector – MORE INFO
The rose vectors and the leaves are made with Photoshop and CS5 Illustrator. You can use them as you like and you can also change the colors to .abr files to use them as brushes for Photoshop.
New Set of Floral Brushes – MORE INFO
Artists from web designer lab offers large brushes (over 1100 px) that you can use for both of your printing and web projects. You can also use them in Photoshop CS3 and up.
Abstract Brushes – MORE INFO
Abstract brushes are good to use especially in abstract concept designs. They are set on tints and shades.
230 Maker Illustrator Brushes – MORE INFO
It is a 230 FREE vector marker brushes. The package includes different shapes, sizes and many colors as possible.
Victorian Vector Brush – MORE INFO
Victorian brush pulps will give you a unique touch of color mixing plus patterns.
Woodcuts Al Flourish pack – MORE INFO
This site displays designs based in wood cut flourishes. These fantastic shapes have a variety of patterns to choose from.
Spanners – MORE INFO
Black is the base color for their brushes. They are good for backgrounds and others.
Illustrator Vine Brushes – MORE INFO
The Illustrator vine brush gives a greeny effect vines.
Illustrator Grunge Brushes – MORE INFO
The Illustrator Grunges Brushes are so popular that a lot of people used and have tried already. They are now available for Illustrator CS versions.
Illustrator Brushes for Swooshes and Swirls – MORE INFO
This 28 free illustrator paint brushes are good if you are planning to make swooshes and swirls.
Inwater Color Illustrator Brush – MORE INFO
Ink or Watercolor Illustrator brushes for everyone that are basically free!
Splats Illustrators Vectors – MORE INFO
This set of Adobe Illustrator vectors composed of various splats and spatters of paint, blood, or any other liquid you’d like it to be. There are splats, splatters, and much more!
The Rainbow Brush Kit – MORE INFO
These rainbow brushes is ideal for your colorful inspiration. There are many colors to choose from.
Rough Brushes – MORE INFO
These are set of 8 art brushes for Illustrator 10+. A number of these designs can be used for feather like and fur-inspired work depending on your needs.
Illustrator Brush Pack – MORE INFO
It has a 12 map road .ai brushes and vector brushes in .ai document.
Color Brushes – MORE INFO
It is constructed with Illustrator CS4 and so it is ready for CS4 graphics.
Sketchy and Line Art Brushes – MORE INFO
Considering sketchy and line art brushes would never look bad for almost any type of artistic work. These brushes can be used for anything you want featuring hand draw lines, sketchy inner line and more.
50 Ridiculous retrostyle Broke – MORE INFO
Colorburned.com will give you 50 retro styled brushes for Illustrator. Choose one or all of them and enjoy!
Circles and Drips Brushes – MORE INFO
Lukeavery.deviantart.com has a set of circles and drips symbols for use in Illustrator.All the maker of this product asks is to credit him for his work of art.
Sick Brush Kit 2 – MORE INFO
In here, you can start making grungy, curly, grassy or flowery themed designs. You can also include a curly pattern brush to enhance your graphics.
Patterns Brushes Illustrator – MORE INFO
The maker of this pattern has artfully designed a patterned brush that uses combination of colors.
Whimsical Pattern Brushes – MORE INFO
Vector geek offers a whimsical pattern paint brushes that will surely help in making whimsical designs. They are seamless pattern brushes made in Illustrator CS.
Brush pack Illustrator – MORE INFO
An all in one brush pack for Illustrator is what 10 stock offers. You can choose from the 6 useful floral icons and splatters from their page.
Embroidery Artist Brushes – MORE INFO
These quite unique free goodies are cool-looking embroidery brushes. They are made to use for Illustrator.
Pearl Pattern Brush – MORE INFO
Pearl Illustrator Pattern Brush was created in Illustrator 10. You can adjust the size of the pearls by changing the width of the stroke.
Sun Brushes – MORE INFO
Sun Brushes will give you different designs or models that depicts the image of the sun in different manner. They are basically in black.
Lace Illustrator Brush – MORE INFO
These are set of 5 lace Illustrator brushes that are set for personal use only.
Illustrator Brush Pack01 – MORE INFO
This can be used for personal and commercial purposes. These Illustrator brushes produce bright and colorful images.
Bamboo Pro Illustrator Brush- MORE INFO
Bamboo professional Illustrator brush has a unique natural concept for Adobe Illustrator.
Tear Drop Foliage – MORE INFO
Free Illustrator Brushes has teardrop foliage. They are usual but useful designs in the design world. They offer 1,500 and more text effects! So there are so much to choose from.
Splatter Brushes Set 01 – MORE INFO
It consists of six brushes and some splashes that are colorful and good to look at.
Brush types defined
Below you will see a quick overvierw of the Illustrator brush types.
A. Calligraphic brushes
This brush type create strokes that resemble those drawn with the angled point of a calligraphic pen and are drawn along the center of the path.
B. Scatter brushes
Disperse copies of an object (such as a flower or a leaf) along the path.
C. Art brushes
Stretch a brush shape (such as Rough Charcoal) or object shape evenly along the length of the path.
D. Bristle brush
Create brush strokes with the appearance of a natural brush with bristles.
E. Pattern brushes
Paint a pattern—made of individual tiles—that repeats along the path. Pattern brushes can include up to five tiles, for the sides, inner corner, outer corner, beginning, and end of the pattern.