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how to make brush clusters with vector images

you'll be making a brush cluster like this:

♥ This idea is my own way of doing them. Please do not copy this tutorial and make it your own.

step one:

Ok. there is A LOT to this tutorial so please re-read if you need to understand it better. This tutorial will teach you how to make brush clusters. You can use these as brush packs for your own site or just for personal use. There will be a lot of trial and error, so don't worry! Alright, on google, you will need to hunt for some images that are functional to make brushes with. I normally search for the type i want and "outline vector image transparent" or something along those lines. They will be completely customizable depending on what you search. You can literally search for anything like: stars, hearts, flowers, clouds, alien heads, etc.

Use this checklist to refer to when searching for these images:
  • high quality
  • solid black and white, with no overlays
  • smooth edges, no drop shadow effects, etc
  • thick outlines
  • transparent
  • These are some examples of images that will work. This is just so that you get an idea of what i'm talking about lol. Note: the size of these examples are for tutorial purposes. The images you search for should be big enough for you to resize in a way that you do not lose quality.

    step two:

    Now you should have a few images that can work together in a cluster. You want to have various styles of the images so that it's a proper cluster with more detail. Basically, for this tutorial i am using clouds as an example. Having JUST clouds in the cluster will look boring. Instead, you should include extra things to make the cluster more interesting and preppy like. The theme should flow well and everything should fit together nicely. For this, i'd have a cloud outline image, a solid cloud image, a moon, a star or a sparkle. they make the clusters pop a little more. Having solid and outline versions in the cluster will work better so whoever is using the brush cluster in their sign can have the option to fill in the gaps with patterns etc. Anyway, let's continue.

    Open up your images you found on google.
    MAKE SURE they refer to the 'must haves' in the blockquote i mentioned earlier, otherwise you can not use them!
    You can modify them to have solid and outline versions of the same image. You need to define each brush separately. Like this:

    step three:

    Make a new document, whatever size. Resize and place your first / main brush to fit anywhere on the canvas:

    Make sure your brush is placed down first then rotate it on an angle. Keep the edges of the outline SMOOTH. You will focus the rest of your cluster around this brush so place it in a way that the rest of it will flow nicely.

    Go ahead and do the next one. Make sure the different versions of the brush are scattered. There are many different things you can do here. Rotate the angle so its slightly different than the first. You can also put it upside down so its more 'cluster like.' Just do whatever you think looks good and USABLE. Also, make sure that the space between each brush isn't too close or too far. Again, you want it to flow nicely!

    Add some alternations to the cluster. like stars, sparkles etc. whatever fits with it! Place these in gaps where the spaces might be too big and resize or adjust them however you like!

    Keep going until your cluster is full. To add more detail, you can add smaller versions of your brushes in the cluster, not just the alternations.

    step four:

    Once you are happy with what you have, you will need to test the cluster! add some strokes, test it in a sign etc.
    again, make sure the cluster includes all the important 'must haves' that i mentioned in the blockquote earlier.
    if you forgot at this stage, you can refer to the checklist again here:
  • high quality
  • solid black and white, with no overlays
  • smooth edges, no drop shadow effects, etc
  • thick outlines
  • transparent
  • Here is my final product.


    m a s c a r a a . n e t