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I recently bought a drawing tablet (Wacom Intuos Small) and I'm running into this issue in Illustrator: The tablet allows me to draw these nice flowing lines going from narrow to broad, however, when I try to combine two of them the end result uses the width of just the first one along the whole line.

this effectively means that I can't combine lines, so I have to draw every line perfectly in one single stroke, which can be a HUGE issue for the type of work I'm doing.

I can think of some work-arrounds like expanding and then manually combining them, but this doesn't give the end result I want: An actual stroke. Does anyone know a sollution to this? Thanks in advance!

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  • Sadly ilustrator isnt really tablet friendly – joojaa May 1 at 19:53
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Double click the Paintbrush tool. When the Paintbrush tool options appear, uncheck "Keep selected".

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Then when you draw, the lines won't join up if the ends overlap.

Example: This is using a pressure sensitive Calligraphy brush to give variable stroke widths.

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  • Hey Billy, thanks for the reply! Unfortonately this doesn't give me the result I want: One combined line while maintaining the strokes. I think I didn't illustrate it properly, here's another example: imgur.com/sMOY968 – Fin vD May 1 at 16:51
  • @FinvD Dont combine lines... What good does that do for you. If you for some congnitive reason need to cobine them (you dont) then use blob brush. – joojaa May 1 at 17:01
  • @FinvD Hi. Unfortunately, I don't think there is a way to have the lines combined, and maintain the thickness of a stroke like that. Combining will mess with the stroke. Maybe you could draw all your artwork first, and then the very last step could be to select all and Expand, and then do a Path Finder Union operation. – Billy Kerr May 1 at 17:28
  • Once again thanks for the reply Billy! I guess correcting the overlaps as a last step is the way to go then. At least I can stop my search for an easier sollution :) – Fin vD May 1 at 17:32
  • @FinvD Well, yes. The problem here I think is because Illustrator is vector software, and very unlike raster painting software. Strokes or Brushes with variable width have no actual physical shape until you Expand them to outlines. Once you realise how it all works, and how vectors differ from raster images, you'll eventually get used to it I'm sure. – Billy Kerr May 1 at 17:35
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To my knowledge, using the existing tools in Illustrator. All you can do is join the paths, then use the Width Tool to alter any portion of the paths after they are joined. Combining paths pretty much always resets any width markers.

However, if third-party plugins are an option, Dynamic Sketch from AstuteGraphics.com will allow you to continue paths as you draw and maintain some width variations...

Quick example:

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Dynamic Sketch is not free, but they do offer a 14 day free trial. In my opinion, it's well worth the money if you do a great deal of pressure-aware drawing like this. It far surpasses the built in calligraphy brushes in Illustrator.


Disclosure: Although I have no direct monetary connection with Astute Graphics, I have received software from Astute Graphics in return for my evaluation. i.e. They have given me software, but I do not benefit in any way if YOU try or purchase their software.

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There's the width tool. With it you can make curves to have non-uniform widths.

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If you combine with Ctrl+J 2 paths which both have have or another of them has width variations, the variations spread along the joined path. => The width tool is only a workaround which should be used after all needed paths are drawn.

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