The Blob Brush: Why?
This tool is one of the best tools if you want to create a sketch within Illustrator. You can really draw and add to an existing shape like you would if you were drawing with an ink pen. The best part about this, is that with a drawing tablet, you can very closely simulate freehand drawing and sketching. However, with this, erasing and cleaning up your artwork is much easier. With enough practice, you could even eliminate the step of sketching something out on paper, scanning it in, and re-tracing your own artwork. This can be a bothersome and tedious procedure.
The blob brush is located under the brush tool on your tools panel. You can double-click the tool and chose what type of brush that you would like to work with. I keep this panel open, because you can easily choose between some good, basic sized defaults that you would use when sketching your artwork. I created this typographic message by adjusting the different presets, which are different thicknesses. It doesn’t make individual shapes and pieces. It automatically merges your ink into one form. If you want a separate form, then you need to uncheck this setting in the options box.
You can create your own brushes at any time, with any thickness and any behaviors, even pen pressure. I made the thicknesses random, and I was able to achieve a look of ribbon with this new brush. This would be great if you wanted to create an abstract sketch. What is really cool is that you can adjust the fidelity of the brush, Making it accurate will cause the brush to follow your brush stroke with pinpoint accuracy. Choosing smooth will make your strokes more fluid and rounded.
If you take your own reference photos, then you could use the blob brush to trace your image, and then give it a stylized look, and it would be one simple vector. The best part about doing a sketch with Illustrator is that it is vector based, and would be infinitely scalable.
Do you think the blob brush is a handy tool? What do you use it for? I’m willing to bet you use it if you have a Wacom Tablet. I’d love to hear what you think, so please leave your thoughts in the comments section below.