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#26 Creating Calligraphic Brushes

Calligraphy is the art of drawing stylized type that looks like it was scribed with an ink pen or paintbrush. Calligraphic brush strokes can vary in size, angle, shape, and randomness (variety) in the brush stroke width.

Stroke shape can range from almost round to very flat, or anything in between. They are not completely round because a completely round calligraphic brush would simply apply a wider band around a stroke; the "ovalness" of the brush is what gives it a calligraphic quality.

There are several preset calligraphic brushes in the Brushes palette, but you can easily define your own customized brush by following these steps:

  1. Choose New Brush from the Brushes palette menu. The New Brush dialog opens. In the New Brush dialog, select the New Calligraphic Brush button and click OK ( Figure 26a ).
    026a.jpg

    Figure 26a Defining a new calligraphic brush stroke.

  2. In the Calligraphic Brush Options dialog, enter an easy-to-remember name in the Name box.
  3. Type a value in the Angle box to define the angle of the brush. You might start with a 45-degree angle, and experiment from there.
  4. Enter a value of less than 100% in the Roundness box. Lower values produce flatter brushes. Choose Random from the Roundness list. Enter a value, in percent, in the Roundness Variation box. Higher values (up to 100%) produce more variation in roundness as you apply or draw the brush effect.
  5. Enter a value (usually in points) in the Diameter box to set the diameter of the brush. Higher values create thicker strokes.
  6. Click OK to save the new calligraphic brush pattern.

You can use the Pen or Pencil tools (or draw with shape tools) to create paths with a selected calligraphic brush effect. To do this, simply click on a calligraphic brush stroke in the Brushes palette, and draw with the selected tool ( Figure 26b ).

026b.jpg

Figure 26b Pen toolusing calligraphic brush effect withUsing the Pen tool to draw with a selected calligraphic brush stroke.

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