I'm a complete beginner in Adobe Illustrator. I've drawn a clean lineart of a drawing with the pen tool and I'm now filling it with colours. However, I would like to give the drawing a hand-painted appearance with imperfect edges.

I'm basically trying to achieve the shame appearance as the flower pot in this image:

enter image description here

Of course, I could achieve a similar result by applying a Roughen effect to my shape, but I've got specific brushes I'd like to use the outline of for my shapes.

How do professional artists achieve this look when drawing an artwork? The only solution I see is applying the specific stroke I want to my shape, then fill it with colour, then go Expand Appearance and Pathfinder > Unite so my shape gets the edges I want.

Is this a commonly used method, or is there a more effective way to go about it? Thank you.

  • You could make the stroke and fill the same colour. see example.
    – Billy Kerr
    Nov 16, 2023 at 15:44
  • @BillyKerr I thought about it, but my fill will have a shadow on one side (just like in the picture), so the stroke cannot be one solid colour. Nov 16, 2023 at 16:06
  • The shading stroke is a different path/ stroke color than the brush stroke around the flower pot. Simply use a same color brush stroke around the pot shape as @BillyKerr suggests. Then add separate shading brush strokes. This is how this look is done. Depending upon your desired output you may or may not need to expand all these strokes to create filled paths. Look up tutorials from Von Glitschka- to me, he is the master of this type of textured artwork.
    – Kyle
    Nov 16, 2023 at 16:15

1 Answer 1


There is no single way that professionals work, they all use different techniques. The method you suggest doesn't sound unreasonable.

Anyway, here's how I would do it, but there are probably many methods. This one I think is very simple, and I don't think there's much need to overcomplicate it.

Make your all the shapes' strokes and fills the same colour, so there's no need to expand/unite anything. The good thing about doing it this way, is that everything is still vector strokes and fills, and easily editable.

For the stippled shading shown below I simply made a random scatter brush from one circle, and drew a kind of zig zag path. Also I didn't use any special brushes here other than the ones that already come in Illustrator. In the example, it was one of the Charcoal Pencil Brushes.

enter image description here

Here's the download link for the .ai file, if you want to examine the construction or play around with it.

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