I'm trying to accelerate a certain workflow when drawing with the Pen and Brush Tools in Illustrator.

Lately I've been using multiple strokes on paths drawn with the pen tool and it works wonders, so far so good.

The image below shows the effect I'm trying to obtain. In this case it's a rather simple version of the effect using just two stroke, but I'm at times using more.

To make this image I've used both paths generated with the Pen Tool and the Brush Tool.

The problem is right now I'm having to apply the multiple strokes to the paths after I have already created them, I can do this in batch selecting multiple paths at once, but it still feels slow and imprecise expecially when using the Brush tool.

Every time I start creating a new path with the Pen Tool or draw with the Brush Tool the multiple strokes are not applied to the new path and I go back to having a single stroke. Is there a way to keep the muliple strokes setting for muliple pen paths/brushstrokes?

Hope what I'm asking is clear. Thanks already!!!

Illustrator Multiple Strokes on Pen and Brush tool consinstently

2 Answers 2


I think you could perhaps use Blob Brush tool for something like this, although I don't know if will suit your needs 100%. You can't pre-apply the stroke and fill, but you could use a Graphic Style to make it simple to select.

  1. Double click the Blob Brush tool and choose the option to "Keep Selected", and uncheck the option "Merge only with Selection"

  2. Set up a graphic style with a white fill and black stroke.

  3. Then hit the graphic style after you draw each stroke.

Here's a rough example

enter image description here

  • My thoughts exactly. The blob brush seems to default to a fill color and no stroke color so I find it easier to just hit Shift+X to swap fill and stroke after each brush stroke. This will not combine the shapes but a simple Pathfinder>Unite will unite all selected shapes where they overlap. Also you can add the extra multiple strokes with an offset path operation.
    – Kyle
    Mar 11 at 18:11
  1. Untick "New Art Has Basic Appearance" in the Appearance Panel Menu.
    • This will allow you to set the appearance once, and then every new path will take on that appearance. The appearance won't be reset between drawing.
  2. After setting up one path, select and drag the path to the Graphic Styles Panel.
    • This will allow you to set the appearance of any new path to the same appearance merely by clicking the style in the Graphic Styles Panel.
  • 2. works wonders! 1. works for the Pen tool, but doesn't seem to affect the Brush Tool which keeps reverting to a single black stroke, any idea why that might be?/if there is a way to overcome that? Mar 11 at 20:18
  • @BrokenFreeLancer Depends on what brush really. The Blob Brush just always draws filled shapes, not strokes.. so stroke settings won't help. You'd need to adjust the style to work with the blob brush.. like in Billy's answer. You'd need a white fill with a black stroke for the blob brush.
    – Scott
    Mar 11 at 20:21
  • I was using the normal Paintbrush, any way to keep the stroke settings with that one? Mar 11 at 20:24
  • Well, not sure what "normal paintbrush" is :) I'll assume a calligraphic brush... those don't seem to honor the "New Art" setting. You'd need to draw one path with the brush.. duplicate the brush stroke on the path via the Appearance Panel, then adjust just that new brush stroke settings to be smaller.... then save as Style. And you'll have to click the style for every path. Honestly... rather than an actual brush.. you might try just using the Pencil Tool - it'll allow you to freeform draw and work with the "New Art" setting just like the Pen Tool does.
    – Scott
    Mar 11 at 20:29
  • If you aren't doing any sort of unusual brush strokes.. or using pressure sensitive drawing tablet (Wacom), the Pencil tool is often a better way to just draw paths in a more freeform manner since the paths it creates are basically the same as any brush spine, without the added brush appearance restrictions.
    – Scott
    Mar 11 at 20:31

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