I drew an image in Illustrator and now I would like to fill it with color. I created a second layer and placed it under the line art.

However when I try to painting with the brush tool I get a really annoying 🛇 (international prohibition sign / no symbol).

Why is that?

layers panel


4 Answers 4


You have no actual brush selected, it's just set to basic - which isn't a brush type (just a weird default).

enter image description here

Just load in any actual brush and then you will be able to select a stroke/width and draw.

Load in a brush by clicking on the Brush Libraries Menu icon:

enter image description here

  • I tried that but it still didn't work
    – gota
    Jun 1, 2021 at 12:49

"Basic" is not a brush. Adobe put it in a stupid place. "Basic" means "no brush - basic stroke".

When you attempt to use the Brush Tool and set it to "Basic" what actually happens when you start to paint is the brush changes automatically to a calligraphic brush. Because... "Basic" is not a brush. I'm not meaning to imply you are deficient in any way for not knowing this.. Adobe is for putting "Basic" in the brush panel.

In addition, Illustrator brushes are reliant on the stroke color, not the fill color.

So. why it's not working for you....

Somewhat educated guess...

You opened a raster image in Illustrator. Doing this means the Brushes Panel is empty, other than "Basic". Therefore there's no calligraphic brush for Illustrator to automatically switch to. So, you can't paint. Gotta have an actual brush for the Brush Tool, not "Basic".

Another possibility is you deleted or removed all the brushes other than "Basic" from the Brush Panel.. which would provide the same outcome essentially.

  • Adobe is deficient for thinking their users will guess they can do a color gradient when the default panel is B&W, they're deficient for assuming the user knows what "lost on roundtrip to Tiny" means, for not letting a user do a square with two corners rounded, for adding a stroke to an object without the user asking it when they click on a color swatch and the stroke option is selected, for hiding edges when working with the Direct Selection Tool, for not letting you select several templates in New Document window, making handles hard to select... Feb 1, 2019 at 18:42
  • None of that matters until they fix their deficient customer service and allow an exit option to their exploitive subscription model which does not prevent me access to my copyrighted work. :)
    – Scott
    Feb 1, 2019 at 18:52
  • True, and an open source suite of options to compete with the giant would be welcome anytime now... Feb 1, 2019 at 18:54

Probably the easiest way to achieve your goal is to use Illustrator's Live Paint feature.

Select the graphic, and click Object > Expand Appearance, and then click Object> Live Paint > Make

Select the Live Paint Bucket tool K, select your colour and click where you want to fill.

enter image description here

  • Shapes are not closed in the example May 31, 2018 at 23:09

i have same problem and solved . its for the file type . if your file is .dfx or dwg or some other types brush not work becuse dfx or dwg types are based on spline and dfx just support polylines . create new page and copy all things and fixed :)

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