Creating Custom Calligraphic Brushes
Calligraphic strokes can vary from almost round to very flat, or anything in between. They aren’t completely round, because a completely round calligraphic paintbrush would simply apply a wider band around a stroke; the "ovalness" of the paintbrush is what gives it a calligraphic quality. The Brushes panel includes several preset calligraphic brushes, but you can easily define your own customized paintbrush by following these steps (see Figure 7):
- Choose New Brush from the Brushes panel menu to open the New Brush dialog box. Click the New Calligraphic Brush Options button, and click OK.
- In the Calligraphic Brush Options dialog box, click in the Name field and enter a name for your new paintbrush. Enter a value in the Angle box to define the angle of the paintbrush. (You might start with a 45-degree angle and experiment from there.) Unless you’re working with a drawing tablet, leave the setting in the Variation column pop-up set to Fixed.
- Enter a value of less than 100% in the Roundness box. Lower values produce flatter paintbrushes. Choose Random from the Roundness list. Enter a percentage value in the Roundness Variation box. Higher values (up to 180%) produce more variation in roundness as you apply or draw the paintbrush effect.
- Enter a value (usually in points) in the Diameter box to set the diameter of the paintbrush. Higher values create thicker strokes. Click OK to save the new calligraphic paintbrush pattern.
Figure 7 Defining a custom calligraphic brush.
You can use the Pen or Pencil tool (or draw with shape tools) to create paths with a selected calligraphic brush effect. Simply click a calligraphic brush stroke in the Brushes panel and draw with the selected tool.