In illustrator, you can do pressure-sensitive drawing with the Blob Brush tool (if you set Width to Pressure in the settings from double-clicking the icon). You can also fine-tune the widths of paths with the Width tool.
But you can't use both on the same sketch. The Blob Brush makes filled areas, and the Width Tool only works on paths with strokes.
This means, when doing freehand drawing in Illustrator, you have to choose between two options:
- Use the best tool for natural freehand drawing (Blob Brush with a pressure-sensitive pen), but lose the best tool for conveniently fine-tuning a line drawing with variable width lines when tweaking it afterwards.
- Trying to do natural freehand drawing with the pen tool or pencil tool, then laboriously add every twist, turn and flick manually after the event with the width tool.
Is there any way to get the best of both? Pressure-sensitive freehand drawing in Illustrator that can then be fine-tuned using the width tool?
I'm pretty sure there's nothing in Illustrator CS6 that does this by default, so I'll accept answers that:
- Involve things other than Illustrator. I don't mind, for example, sketching in Inkscape then copying it to Illustrator to do fine tuning (if there's a way to do so that is natural and works as above).
- Involve paid plugins. On the closest thing to a discussion of this I can find, someone mentions the paid plugin DrawScribe's Dynamic Sketch feature. But, I can't see anything in the promotion for that feature that seems to do what I want. There's also the WidthScribe Width Brush but it looks like a more convenient way to apply the Width tool to existing paths than something that can be used for the original drawing.
Right now the best option I can come up with is drawing with the blob brush, then manually tracing over those lines again with the pencil tool, then using the width tool to mimic and tweak the twists and turns of the original natural freehand drawing.
It doesn't loose initial freehand spontaneity like just using the pencil tool from the start, but it's really inconvenient and time-consuming. I'm sure there's got to be a better way.