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Recreating an Inconsistent Fill or Brush Stroke in Illustrator or Photoshop

I'm trying to recreate a fill or brush effect I see another blogger using in his image graphics. I've included examples below or attached to this thread. Can anyone advise on how to recreate this in Illustrator or Photoshop? I can't tell if it's a brush stroke or a fill. My guess would be a fill but I could be wrong. I like the way it looks almost like a water color brush. E.g. the opacity is inconsistent and it goes beyond the edges of the object its fillings stroke. Examples: Blur FIll Example 3.png Example 1.jpg Bleed Fill Example 2.jpg
To clarify, I'd prefer to know if this is possible to do in illustrator. It seems like you can achieve a similar effect with the brush tool in photoshop but it would be much preferable to do this in illustrator just using fills.

Paul Murray

Staff member
I don't think you'd get an inconsistent wash effect like that with vectors without a lot of hassle. Maybe with a texture pattern overlaid.

It's literally a 5 second job in Photoshop with a watercolour brush and a Wacom tablet though.


Staff member
If you're insistent on using Illustrator then I'd maybe try searching on the net for a pattern or texture fill and use the blob brush to apply it to give that irregular shape.
Thanks for your help. I've gotten something similar using the Gaussian blur and sponge effects on the fill and bristle brush for the stroke in illustrator - but it's not exactly the same.

One more question if I may; I've somehow applied the cat's tongue brush to the stroke of a shape and can't seem to figure out how to retroactively apply it to the strokes on other shapes. How can I modify the stroke to make it a brush stroke after I've constructed the shape using the shape tool?

Brusth Stroke Cats Tongue.PNG