I am trying to making a pattern brush using Adobe Illustrator CS6. The object that I am trying to make into a brush is the following:

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This shape has a gradient fill, and I know that objects with gradients cannot be used as a pattern brush. I expanded the gradient fill using the following steps:

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I then went to Expand and used the following settings:

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Which gave me the following object:

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I then went to the brush panel to create a new brush:

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However, I got the following error message: "The selected artwork contains an element that cannot be used in a pattern brush".

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I am not sure why I am getting this error, considering that I expanded the gradient. Does anyone know how I can get this object to become a pattern brush and remove this error? Any advice is appreciated.

1 Answer 1


There's still a clipping mask. Release it, ungroup and remove the mask shape (=square). Then you will have a bunch of circles with different fill colors. That works as a brush.

  • Thanks for your reply. I tried your suggestion. However, because I released the clipping mask, the shape is now a square with different coloured circles within. When I made the brush, the shape is not a circle but a sqaure. I want the brush to be a circle. Is there any way to have my gradient circle made as a pattern brush without removing the clipping mask?
    – ceno980
    Commented Jun 20, 2022 at 23:14
  • I wrote "remove the mask shape". That's the square. To do it you must ungroup, select the square only and press DEL. The circles can then be selected and moved to the brushes collection. The programmers of your Illustrator didn't allow clipping masks inside brushes. The error message pops out as soon as there's something that the programmers didn't bother to allow. Allow=analyze in math what's needed to handle the case and write more or less new program code which actually handles the case.
    – user82991
    Commented Jun 21, 2022 at 6:34

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