Coastline Brush for Maps in Illustrator

    ●  Create a brush that looks like a coasline and apply it to the outline of your map.

Learn About:

Line ToolBlend Options Brushes
Drop Shadow Mesh ToolAppearance Panel

  •   This tutorial is part of a series:

  ●   153-map-template-ai.htm   ●   150-road-maps-ai.htm   ●   274-coastline-brush-ai.htm
  ●   180-image-trace-symbols-ai.htm    ●   158_border_Ps.htm    ●   320-map-text-ai.htm

  •   This tutorial is part of the What in the World? Project.

Other People's Work:

Here are some examples of work inspired by this tutorial.

Step #1: Open your Project in Illustrator ~

Open YOUR MAP in Illustrator

movie poster drawing example





… (Remember: all these tutorials are intended to be
applied to YOUR PROJECT) …






… make another New Layer and lock lock your other layers.

new layer

Step #2: Line Segment Tool ~

Grab the Line Segment Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut (\)…

… and, holding shift key to keep it perfectly straight, drag a short line in an empty area somewhere outside your artboard.

Step #3: Color ~

Change the color of the line, blue for ocean but use whatever color you need …




… just make sure the Fill is set to OFF !

Step #4: Duplicate the line~

Get the Selection Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (v) …

… and, holding , make a copy of the line.

Step #5: Transparency ~

Select the top line …

… click Transparency or go to: Window > Transparency

… and lower the Transparency to zero.

Step #6: Select Both Lines ~

Select both lines with the Selection Tool and to to: Object > Blend > Blend Options and select Specified Steps

… then go to: Object > Blend > Make or hit the keyboard shortcut:

Alt (⌥)/Option + Cmd(⌘) + B

Step #7: Brushes ~

Now open the Brushes panel …

… drag the lines into the Brushes panel.

Be sure to select New Pattern Brush!

Step #8: Stroke the Path ~

Select Tints in the color area …

… and lower the scale to approximately 15 to 25 percent.

Now you now have a new brush!

Step #9: Apply the Brush ~

Find the layer you have your map and click on it …

… and apply the brush to the stroke

Step #10: Appearance Panel ~

With the shape still selected go the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance) …

… and move the Fill layer ABOVE the Stroke layer.

Step #11: Effects ~

Now go to: Effect > Stylize > Drop Shadow and apply a drop shadow to your map.

Step #12: Rectangle Tool ~

Make ANOTHER New Layer and drag it to the bottom.

Step #13: Rectangle Tool ~

Get the Rectangle Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut letter (m) …

… and drag a rectangle behind your map.

Step #14: Mesh Tool ~

Now get the Mesh Tool or hit the keyboard shortcut (u) …

… and click somewhere on the shape.

Step #15: Change the Color ~

Now Lighten the color by Double-Clicking on the fill color.

Step #16: Keep Going All Around ~

Lighten AND Darken the colors all over.

Last Step: Save and Attach ~

Save your work as -]

Attach it!

  •   ALWAYS save your projects using the following naming convention:


  •   DO NOT name your project any other way - Improperly named projects will not receive credit and you will be sad.


  •   NEVER leave your work on the desktop or depend on a flash drive - instead, save your work in a folder you can find later - preferably on a virtual drive where it can be backed up.