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Chapter 14. Working with Illustrator Tools > Understanding the Painting Tools

Understanding the Painting Tools

The Painting tools create not only brush strokes but can also be used to add color and shading effects to the shapes you create (see Figure 14.9):

  • Paintbrush tool: Click and drag to create freehand lines. Double-click the tool to set tolerance and Paintbrush options. Use the Brushes palette to set the width and shape of your brushstroke.

  • Mesh tool: The Mesh tool works with previously drawn objects to create multicolored effects. When you click with the Mesh tool, it creates mesh lines across an object that enable you to set color transitions to create a more dimensional look, for example. Use the Color palette and/or the Swatches palette to apply colors to the various parts of the mesh patches or mesh points.

  • Gradient tool: Click and drag across a page object to apply a gradient, setting the start and endpoints and the direction of the gradient, based on how you drag. The Gradient tool works in conjunction with the Gradient palette, Swatches palette, and/or Colors palette to create multicolored gradients and determine details about the gradient, such as type, angle, and location.

  • Eyedropper tool: Use this tool to sample object attributes and apply them to other objects (see Figure 14.10). Double-click on the tool to select the attributes the Eyedropper picks up and the attributes it applies.

    Figure 14.10. The Eyedropper and Measure tools provide valuable functions for sampling object attributes and getting information and page item positioning.

  • Measure tool: Click and drag to measure the distance between two points or the angle of a line. The measurement information is displayed in the Info palette. Double-click on the Measure tool to bring up the Guides & Grids Preferences dialog.

  • Live Paint Bucket tool: Click to paint faces and edges of Live Paint objects with the current set of color attributes (see Figure 14.11). Double-click the tool to show Live Paint Bucket Options, including what is painted and the highlight color. There is also a button on this dialog that gives you tips for working with the Live Paint feature.

    Figure 14.11. These two tools specifically deal with Illustrator's new Live Paint feature.

  • Live Paint Selection tool: Click to select faces and edges of Live Paint objects. Double-click the tool to show Live Paint Selection Options, including what is selected and the highlight color.



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