Halftone Illustrator Brushes Tutorial

Hello everybody

OK, after reading so many emails about how to create halftone brushes, I will write down 2 simple tutorials for it
There is two ways to create half tone patterns

1- Photoshop
2- Illustrator or any other vector editing program.

1- With Photoshop ( we will transfer the image to Illustrator later)
A- Open a 800X600 px file, white background
B -Try some gradients (black and white) could be circle or square on a different layer.
C- Apply Filter/Sketch/Halftone Pattern to your gradient layer
be sure your background color is black and foreground color is white, you can choose dots or lines
D- After applying the filter you have blury halftone pattern image
to make it sharp
E- Apply Image/Adjustments/Threshold
play with the levels so you see proper dots/lines
F- save the file as jpeg and open it at illustrator
at Illustrator, there is different trace options
Object / Live Trace
trace it as black and white , play with numbers to get exact look you want
and expand your image after that.
Now you have halftone pattern image

2 – With Illustrator
open a 800×600 px file ( white background)
draw a big black circle with no strokes
and in the same row draw another small black circle
be sure they are aligned but far away from eachother
click on Blend on toolbox
and choose specified steps ( here steps depends on how far you put your 2 circle so you need to find out by trying out)
My big circle was 30 x30 px and small one is 10×10 px and I aligned them as 6 other circles can fit in between with 2/3 px space.
put 6 at the step area
then your arrow button changed to blend tool arrow
click on big circle and then small one
now you have a lined up descending 8 circle
copy and past this line couple of times under your first line
final image should look like perfect halftone pattern dots.
You can align them as circle or any shape to create different looks.
Group all lines.
to make different shapes
align your first and second circles in different areas even add another smaller circle and then blend them together so you will have different pattterns
follow the steps above after blending.


First make a copy of your halftone pattern image outside of the canvas area ( optional)
expand the whole image drag and drop the image in brush library window ( it has already custom brushes on it, you can leave or delete them)
a new window asks you if you want this image as scatter, art or pattern brush
lets select art brush and click ok, Brush options window opens immediately, here you can pick direction of your brush, name it..etc, you play it later:)
click ok.
Now you have a new halftone pattern brush.
to try your new brush
select it from brush library
and draw a line or any shape with your brush tool
You can save this same image as different brushes to get different options, effects
as scatter, it will give you whole alot of options to create your halftone pattern brush
or as pattern brush, it duplicates itself as your lines goes
so try all of them to get what you really want.

I hope this tutorial was helpful for everybody who is desperately looking for Halftone vector effects.

If you need some examples and download free brush set please visit my Brush set page at
Mujka Brushes

Burcu Arat Sup

5 thoughts on “Halftone Illustrator Brushes Tutorial

  1. Hello…

    I’ve tried your methods. Im getting somewhere but my images are butt ugly. They aren’t
    rounded like a full circle should be. I found and purchased some halftones at http://vectorstock.com/gallery/1078/ and those are round!??! I’d like to make mine like that.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks again for some good insite on the matter.



  2. Did you apply the second method
    because after you get a line of perfect circles, duplicate it couple times , you need to align them manually to get circle or rectangle shapes,


  3. Im sorry I thought I bookmarked this topic.

    Well Boo… Sure both methods work… but as I originally stated I I’d like to make the patterns like http://vectorstock.com/gallery/1078/ . But basic shapes etc isnt what I am after. LOL, I have to be complicated on this. I need a moments rest on this for I am becoming cross-eyed.

    Thanks for your reply



  4. Hello,

    Thanks for this tutorial. Can you make an illustrator custom gradient swatch that is a black and white half tone? i have been trying but can’t keep it uniform or continuous-any suggestions?


  5. this kind of swatch can only repeat vertically or horizontally as it doesn’t have have same corners, you have to keep the swatch size same as your shape size at least in one dimension, vertical or horizontal so it repeats,


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