Here is my MS Paint job on a real bad attempt at what I'm trying to achieve:

enter image description here

I have access to Photoshop and Illustrator CS6, and I want to be able to draw a thick line (that is not straight) and have a pattern within the line show arrowheads within the line to indicate the direction of the line.

  • Tried applying a few different stroke patterns to Paths but cannot find a way to ensure arrows within path angle themselves based upon the angle of the path
    – jakc
    Oct 6, 2013 at 21:19

2 Answers 2


This is how I would do it using Adobe Illustrator.

  • Step 1: Create the art for the pattern tile.

enter image description here

  • Step 2: Select the whole tile. Open the Brush window and click on the right top corner to display the options. Select "New Brush". A new window appears. Select "Pattern Brush" and click "OK".

enter image description here

  • Step 3: The "Pattern Brush Options" window appears. Leave the default options as they are and click "OK".

enter image description here

  • Step 4: A new brush has been added to the "Brush" window. At this point you can delete the art for the tile, since it is already stored as the brush. To use the brush, draw a path and, with the path selected, click on the new Brush to apply it to your path.

enter image description here

  • Step 5: Voila!

enter image description here

P.S. Even after applying the pattern brush, you can still use the stroke attributes such as "stroke width" and "profile" to control the look of the stroke. The final result will depend on the tile art and how curvy your path is. If you are not getting the result you wanted then you can try playing with the brush options as well. To do this, double click on your brush on the Brush window to open the "Pattern Brush Options" window again.


Have you tried pattern brushes on Illustrator? Try this link to Adobe Help. Or try googling 'pattern brush tutorials on illustrator' for video tuts. Hope that helps.

  • This would be better suited as a comment and not an answer.
    – user9447
    Oct 22, 2013 at 1:53
  • Hi Jason, Matt is right. Unless you can add some detail into the answer, this would be better as a comment (we don't usually post link-only answers, because links change and break, so we try to explain the steps).
    – Yisela
    Oct 22, 2013 at 2:49

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