Another Illustrator Sample: The “Painting” Chapter, aka “The Blob” (Brush)

“With any luck, this chapter will expand the definition of Blob beyond something sloppy and inaccurate, while keeping all the fun that Blob implies.”—Deke

Hello my fellow dekeLings. I hope you’re staying cool and collected, or at least reasonably calm in your Coronavirus isolation. I thought I would bring you more free Deke, from his latest course, in an attempt to distract, amuse, and inform you.

Today’s unlocked mini-lesson is from the the “Painting” chapter of Deke’s recently updated course Illustrator 2020 One-on-One: Fundamentals. What is the best freeform drawing (painting) tool in Adobe Illustrator? The weirdly but whimsically named Blob Brush.

Here’s Deke’s enthusiastic explanation of the tool from the intro to the Painting chapter:

The best tools for painting from Illustrator 2020 One-on-One: Fundamentals The project in question is whatever you call the creature up at the top of the post.  And here’s a useful movie about how it actually works, and how you can use it to trace and paint this cyclops bat-cat whatever:

Painting with the Blob Brush tool from Illustrator 2020 One-on-One: Fundamentals Pretty cool, if you ask me. I think the Blob brush is what I always “expected” a digital paint brush to do. But don’t take my word for it, try it yourself with the sample file I included at the bottom of the post—your very own one-eyed cat-bat thing straight from Deke’s active imagination (and the file he used for the tracing template, as well). Meanwhile, LinkedIn also unlocked the Eraser tool movie from this chapter, so you can see how Deke uses it to color (blob) outside the lines, then gracefully erase the parts that he doesn’t need. Download and click around inside the sample file to see how “blobs” actually turn into outlines, colors, and shadows inside this artwork. Don’t beware of this blob. (Do listen to this great song if you haven’t in awhile, or ever.) And please stay safe and healthy, if not entirely sane (it’s too much to be expected). I’d love to see what you can create with the Blob, Illustrator, and Deke.

Related downloads

  • Illustrator 2020 One-on-One: Fundamentals, Painting

Next entry:Making an Awful Photograph Awesome

Previous entry:Hiding the Filmstrip in Camera Raw


  • Deke: Question. On LinkedIn, when will Photoshop one-on-one: Advanced be available?
  • We’re working on it, DMS. Deke was due to record it in late March, but the California LI studios are currently closed (most of the staff working from home). We’re in the midst of gearing up our home/Boulder studio, and that’s the first course on our agenda.
  • Thank you for the motivation, DMS! I know we’re all in this together, but it’s nice to hear from company.
  • Hey, Evan. As you’ve seen from the movies in this post, the Blob brush definitely has smoothing capabilities (but the Eraser does not). You’ll find similar smoothing with the Pencil tool. But the best improvement in Illustrator 2020 is the Simplify command, which basically removes extraneous anchor points. You can check that out for free as well at Great question!
  • I’m very familiar with blob brush. This brush has all the same panel options as the regular brush. By double clicking on a brush preset, you can change the angle, roundness and size.
  • I’d like to learn more about this issue because it’s fascinating. If you’re familiar with vintage games, Come play my game.

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