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Using the brushes

Using brushes in Illustrator is easy. To simplify things as much as possible and avoid confusion, make sure when using all of these brushes that your fill color is set to none (white box with red line through it), your stroke color is set to white, and your stroke weight is set to 1. It is not necessary to always use these settings, and in fact, it's suggested you play with it to see what changes take place with different settings. However, if there's confusion, you can always return to these suggestions and you'll see something being drawn on the screen.

Once your default drawing settings are selected, you can begin to draw pictures. You can either select the brush tool and a particular brush and start drawing on the screen, or you can draw using any other tool and then convert the drawn image to a new form by selecting it and then clicking on an appropriate brush.

For example, simply clicking the paint brush tool and selecting 260 long bubble will allow me to draw a wavy line in the form of a 260.

The line can be drawn in any length and any shape. The brush library makes sure that it has the characteristics of a 260 bubble. That is, it looks like a tube that has rounded ends.

If working with freehand drawing tools isn't your thing, you can use any of the other tools to draw the shape you want. Using the ellipse tool, I'll draw a circle.

Now with the selection tool (the arrow), I'll select the circle. Once selected, I'll click on the brush I want to use and it will turn my circle into my new object.

For a more elaborate example, let's look at the task of decorating a room. We might create an entranceway using two 6 foot spiral columns with a helium filled string of Link-o-loons attached to the top of each column. In simplest form, this is just a few lines that look something like this:

We can convert each of those lines into brush strokes using the method described above to give us the following:

Following are all of the brushes included in this package, including information on using them. Of course the best way to find out what they do is to try them yourself.

260 long bubble
Different brushes exist for long and short bubbles. The reason has to do with the way Illustrator renders those bubbles. If you use the short bubble brush for long bubbles, you get very elongated endcaps on the brush.
260 short bubble

See description of the long bubble above

260 round bubble

This bubble isn't quite round. Unlike the long and short bubbles, it will scale rather than extend if drawn as a straight line. The advantage to this over the ellipse tool is thatyou can draw at any angle. When using the ellipse tool to draw a bubble of this type, you have to make it either horizontal or vertical and then rotate it.
ear twist
This scales the same way as the round bubble. It can take a bit of practice to get used to using this one. If you draw irregular lines you can get some bizarre patterns.
The uninflated tail of a pencil balloon.
I think the name says it all.
Balloon Column
A stamdard round balloon spiral garland.
LOL collar
Link-O-Loons with round balloon collars around the joints.
String of pearls
The greatest limitation of the string of pearls is that the individual balloons don't behave properly. They should always point up, but they don't. They point away from the line. If there's a way to correct this in illustrator, I haven't found it yet.
Airship chain
Airships such as 524s and 418s tied end to end.
Box chain
Box chain with bubbles of a pencil balloon or with airships.
Bubble chain
Just a bunch of bubbles.
A chain of interlocked 260s.
Chain with helium
My preferred way of doing a string of pearls.
Similar to the airship chain.
Pearls with spirals
A string of pearls line with 260 spirals hanging below.
Spiral tube
I dont' quite like this one yet, but it has come in handy. This is a circular or spiral tube made from 260s.


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