Adobe Illustrator is a powerful design program that allows users to create amazing illustrations and graphics. And, one of Illustrator’s greatest tools is the Brush tool, which gives users the ability to almost instantly add custom, unique textures to a design.
While the software comes with a wide variety of built-in brushes, there are also a number of great brushes that can be downloaded from the internet.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the best Adobe Illustrator brushes that are available.
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The Best Adobe Illustrator Brushes
From brushes that create realistic marker and paint textures to those that help you create beautiful swirls and embellishments, there’s sure to be a brush that will suit your needs. So, whether you’re a seasoned professional graphic designer or just getting started with Adobe Illustrator, you’re sure to find a brush (or two) that will suit your needs. Below are our favorite premium Illustrator brushes.
Envato Elements offers a massive collection of design resources, including many amazing Illustrator brush sets. For just $16.50 per month, you can get access to millions of resources that can be used in all your design projects. Learn more about Envato Elements.
Lighthouse Liner’s 80 brushes have the look of the inky drawings you used to make on paper napkins and in the margins of your textbooks in school.
This set includes 24 ink brushes, 32 pattern brushes, and 16 dot brushes. If that’s not enough, the designer also threw in 20 matching seamless patterns and 8 more bonus brushes for doing detailed work. You could probably illustrate an entire book using this one kit alone.
Professional designers, illustrators, and artists will appreciate the quality of these 25 high-quality texture brushes that look exactly like markers.
You almost get chills looking at them and thinking about that feeling you get drawing with a marker that’s running out of ink — that’s how realistic they are. These are perfect for projects that need a grungy, graffiti, or sketch look.
These grainy, grunge brushes are a unique and interesting way to add shading, texture, or noise to your flat designs. You can even layer different colors to add even more visual interest.
Just play around with them and have fun with textures. This set includes 24 brushes with varying degrees of density, texture, and graininess.
The Chemist Illustrator Brushes Set comes with 35 brushes that work with either Adobe Illustrator or Adobe Photoshop. It includes a variety of scatter brushes for shading, textured and clear line brushes, grain and stipple brushes, and decorative outline brushes.
It’s a great choice for your cartoon, retro, and grunge illustrations.
Up next, we have this massive collection of pressure-sensitive brush pens. When I say massive, I mean this set includes 120 different brushes! I can’t even count that high! (That’s not true, I can. I just don’t. Ever.)
If you create art with a tablet, then this prodigious pack of pressure-sensitive pens will be perfect for your personal project.
If you’ve ever struggled with getting a natural-looking pencil stroke in Illustrator, here’s your solution! These 30 Premium Illustrator brushes are made with infinite formulas, so you don’t have to worry about the length — no more stretched lines.
They were created with real pencils for a truly authentic pencil stroke look — but in vector! You’ll definitely want to add these pencil brushes to your library.
If you’re working on a design project that calls for graffiti, spray paint, paint splatter, or urban street art you’re going to need these incredibly realistic brushes for Illustrator. All of them were created using genuine spray-painted material taken from the streets.
The brush kit includes 27 spray paint brushes and 6 bonus paint splatter brushes. Some of these are even pressure-sensitive.
Artists who are creating vintage, old-school designs will love this ultimate brush set. It’s got a whopping 120 brushes for Illustrator, all carefully hand-drawn and vectorized in great detail.
You’ll find brushes in all different thicknesses for your vintage illustrations. They were painstakingly created so that you don’t have to!
My inner-crafter just got all giddy from finding this brush set. I can’t get over how realistic they are. Each brush stroke in the pack was made from real glitter, that’s why. It was painstakingly photographed, converted to vector images, and then adjusted for sparkle.
These brushes will make your designs twinkle and shine like they’ve been dusted with actual glitter! Includes 30 Sparkling Glitter Art Brushes and 5 Anti-Stretch Glitter Pattern Brushes. Note, the brushes work better with deeper colors, so they’ve also included a set of swatches.
Digital illustrators will love this set of brushes! You’ll save so much precious time using brushes with preset widths and end shapes instead of manually setting the stroke width every time you draw a line. Plus, they give your art a more life-like, hand-drawn look.
This set comes with 11 outline brushes, 7 dashed brushes, 8 fat end brushes, 9 fat to thin brushes, 10 round end brushes, 7 short outline brushes, 6 abstract outline brushes, and a great demo file so you can unlock the creative potential of these brushes.
Stipping is a method of creating shading with a series of tiny dots. Traditional stippling, as you can imagine, is a daunting task — and extremely time-consuming. But not with a brush! Now you can do it with a simple stroke.
This set of 62 stipple brushes includes 32 stippling brushes for Adobe Photoshop and another 30 stippling brushes for Adobe Illustrator.
This incredibly authentic vector art brush tool kit has some of the most realistic ink wash brushes I’ve ever seen. Use these brushes to turn your flat, static drawings into ink and wash digital artwork. You can even layer the wash strokes and mix colors, just like real ink!
There are far too many different brushes to name in this massive set. But, tablet users, you’ll be thrilled to know there is also a set of pressure-sensitive brushes included!
Designers looking for brushes to help create Sailor Jerry-style tattoo artwork will love this brush set. It comes with two very different kinds of brushes that work together to create old-school tattoo art.
This pack of Illustrator brushes includes 21 different outline brushes for line work and 10 stipple scatter brushes for shading.
Our next vector brush pack contains 50 unique doodle brushes. If you’re the type who doodles every time you have a pen in your hand, you’ll love this set.
All the brushes were made with real pens and pencils that were scanned and vectorized. They are realistic scribbles, doodles, and doodads perfect for so many uses from children’s books to whiteboard animations.
These outstanding realistic brushes were made by sampling real oil paints to give them an authentic look. You can layer the brush strokes and mix colors to create realistic-looking thick paint.
Comes with 50 oil paint brushes — including pressure-sensitive brushes for tablet users. The set even includes a bitmap canvas background texture to use as your background.
I can practically smell the markers! Now it’s easy to create convincing marker pen art in Illustrator, with Chunky Markers brushes from Artifex Forge. Use it to create marker-drawn art, patterns, or even create your own digital hand-lettering.
This pack contains 34 realistic pen marker brushes, including pressure-sensitive brushes, and a bonus marker pattern.
This cool collection of abstract strokes and elements can be used to create all kinds of boho patterns and designs that are so trendy right now, especially in home decor and package design.
You’ll get 30 stamp brushes each for Procreate, Illustrator, and Photoshop, 30 PNG elements, and 30 vector elements.
When you use brushes and patterns in your digital illustrations, not only do they look great, but they save you so much time. You no longer have to draw each element by hand, and making adjustments is so much easier.
The Patts Brush Collection includes 50 no-stretch brushes for Illustrator, from inkers to ornamental brushes plus 60 patterns.
This is a brush system you are going to want! The first of its kind, it’s an innovative brush that combines three colors into one brush stroke. This brush works a little differently than others, but don’t worry — it’s easy to use, and complete instructions are included with your download. Use it to create truly unique vectors, marbled typography, incredible logos, and more.
Comes with 21 easy-color paint brush strokes, 24 color swatches (or you can use your own colors), full instructions, and sample files so you can see how the creator used the brushes.
Digital artists looking to create antique, Victorian-style digital drawings, woodcuts, and etchings will appreciate these vintage illustrator brushes. It’s a must-have for those who love the vintage aesthetic.
This brush pack includes 32 antique print effect brushes, including pressure-sensitive versions for tablet users, and example files so you can see how to achieve the looks.
The next set of high-quality brushes for Illustrator is this pack of shaders from Guerillacraft. Use it for borders, to add shadows to your digital illustrations, or for adding grain and texture to flat artwork. These brushes are all no-stretch.
The set comes with 22 brushes to handle any of your creative projects.
Shaky Inks brushes were inspired by old jail-house tattoos — with wavy, shaky lines. If you’re looking for a brush set with vintage-style strokes to give your artwork that hand-drawn vibe, this is your set. It’s got the look of old pen and ink drawings and vintage ads. These brushes are especially useful for drawing hair. Comes with a whopping 74 retro ink brushes.
Here’s another set from Artiflex Forge, so you know it’s going to be good. This set of vintage crosshatch pen and ink brushes was sourced from authentic vintage artwork. You can draw multiple lines with just one stroke — imagine how much time you’ll save creating vintage effects!
Tablet users, this set comes with pressure-sensitive brushes for you, too.
This massive set of brushes and symbols was created with the professional designer in mind. It’s jam-packed with hundreds of artistic assets like strokes, speech bubbles, swooshes, splashes, lines, swashes, lots of dots, doodles, scribbles, and tons of other vector elements available at the click of the mouse button.
This robust bundle includes 330 vector brushes for Illustrator in 5 artistic categories.
Add depth to your illustrations, add texture to text, and save a ton of time with these hand-crafted stipple brushes. What’s really cool about the edge brushes in this set is that you don’t need to apply any clipping masks to your artwork!
This pack includes 24 fill brushes, 6 edge brushes, and bonus sample illustrations.
If you’ve ever had to draw rope by hand in Illustrator and never want to do it again, raise your hand (*raises hand). This is a brush set you’re going to want in your design toolbox if you’re working on any project that’s nautical, western, rodeo, or industrial-themed. It comes with 7 different styles of rope, each with torn and regular ends, for a total of 14 brushes.
This is the set you’ve been wanting for your doodle-themed designs! These brushes will make your digital drawings look like they’ve been drawn in a sketchbook. They have that loose, messy, sketchy inconsistency that’s so hard to get with digital art. Tablet users rejoice — there’s also a pressure sensitive set.
This super bundle of brushes includes 11 zigzag doodle brushes, 11 simple doodle brushes, 23 scribbled doodle brushes, 11 straight doodle brushes, 13 wiggly doodle brushes, and 5 e-shaped doodle brushes.
These brushes were created with rolled paint strokes and foam brush strokes and are inspired by retro, mid-century modern illustrations. They are great for adding shading or texture or adding grunge edges to your illustrations or typography.
The set comes with 50 handmade brushes and 5 bonus subtle textures in .EPS format.
Up next, check out this set of high-quality charcoal brushes. In the past, you would have to take to Photoshop to achieve this look. But not anymore! Use this vector brush set to add realistic charcoal effects and an organic painted feel to your projects. The download comes with 15 charcoal brushes.
Long gone are the days of copy/paste and step and repeat. You get better and faster results with brushes. For example, imagine drawing all these dots? No thank you! I’ll take this pack of 50 brushes with tons of hand-drawn, doodle-style dots, stitches, and doodles instead!
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Free Illustrator Brushes
If you’re looking for some great third-party Illustrator brushes but don’t want to spend any money, then check out our top picks for free Illustrator brushes. We’ve gathered up a selection of our favorite free brushes, from versatile, all-purpose brushes to specialty brushes for creating specific effects. There’s something for everyone here. Be aware, however, that some of these free brushes are only free for personal use. So, if you plan to use them for a commercial project you may be better off with the resources from Envato Elements.
Up first in our free Illustrator brushes is this great set of realistic ink and watercolor brushes. Use them to speed up your design process or to create brush-style calligraphic fonts.
This brush set includes a wide variety of swirls, swooshes, leaves, and all the parts you need for creating plants and foliage in Illustrator.
Check out this set if you want to make beautiful vector swirls, curls, and swooshes in Adobe Illustrator. It comes with 28 different brushes that, when applied to a simple spiral path, will create all kinds of interesting swirls.
Get ready to make some psychedelic patterns! This brush set was intended for use in circular designs. You can easily create shapes like flowers in a snap.
Here’s a free set of 35 different types of abstract brushes for you to experiment and play with. Try them with all different shapes and strokes and see what you come up with!
When your design project calls for rope — turn to an Illustrator brush like this Rodeo Hand-Drawn Rope Brush instead of drawing it yourself. Imagine how much time you’ll save!
This collection of 9 shading pattern brushes helps you create 70s pop-art vibes and retro 3D effects with stippling.
This is a really great set — we’re surprised it’s free, to be honest! It comes with 10 hatch brushes and 10 spray brushes to make your artwork look realistic and natural.
Here’s another fantastic free set of hatch brushes and spray brushes. Use this 12-brush bundle to take your illustrations to the next level.
These paint brushes are extremely unique — and you get 57 of them..for free! Multicolored brushes are hard to find. Snag this one and have fun with it.
Created from the real thing, these wax crayon brushes look exactly like them. Make any vector illustration look like it was drawn in crayon.
Use these brushes to digitally carve your own woodcuts, with no risk of cutting yourself! You can make the most adorable kids decor designs with these.
Looking for an easy way to add grain, texture, and shading to your illustrations? This free stipple scatter shading brush for Illustrator will get the job done.
Use halftone vector brushes to add a retro vibe to your graphic design. Here’s a set of five free ones from designer Rob Brink.
This set of doodle lines and dots is perfect for creating anything with a hand-drawn sketched look, decorative borders, and doodle illustrations.
Swirl Rocks is a unique Illustrator brush set with ornamental embellishments and floral pattern brushes. They would be useful for creating borders.
This free set from Mels Brushes includes a variety of natural line brushes you can use to create hand-drawn effects, like pencil, marker, chalk, and more.
Here’s another set of brushes to help make your graphic design projects look like they were hand-drawn. Created from actual pens and crayon.
If your digital designs call for chalkboards and chalk, now you can make it look realistic with this brush kit.
Created as an homage to Marvel comic book artist Jack Kirby, this brush set helps you create comic book-style explosions, booms, and energy effects.
Putting Illustrator Brushes to Good Use
All of the Illustrator brushes on this roundup are available for immediate download and installing them is simple. In Illustrator, choose Window > Brush Libraries > Other Libraries and browse for the .ai file you downloaded.
Once installed, they will provide you with the texture, swirls, or embellishments your graphic design project calls for. From the realistic marker, paint, and stipple textures to those that help create beautiful patterns, we’re sure you found at least a few brushes to add to your collection.
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