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Wednesday, April 21, 2010


This tutorial will show you how to make swirls using Illustrator and then transfer the swirls to Photoshop.

1. Open a new canvas in Illustrator.

2.  Select the spiral tool by left-clicking on the Line Segment Tool (\), holding the mouse button down for a few seconds until the menu expands and then selecting the spiral tool.

3.  Click anywhere on the canvas.  This will cause the spiral tool menu to appear.

4.  The spiral tool menu has four options.  I have drawn a diagram that shows that happens when you increase or decrease radius, decay and segments.

5.  Select the options for your swirl and then click ok.  A swirl will appear on your canvas.  Make as many swirls as you like.

6.  If you make more than one swirl, then use the Selection Tool (V) to select them all.

7.  Once the swirl objects are selected, the tool bar will show options for changing the fill color, outline color, stroke width or opacity.  You can also apply a brush style or graphic style.  I've made a diagram of the different settings in the tool bar depending on whether you have a single object selected or multiple objects selected.  If you only make a single swirl, then you do not need to use the Selection Tool to select it.  The toolbar at the top of the workspace will show the options for the Single Object.

8.  Click the arrow next to the brush style. It will produce the brush style menu and you can then select one of the available brush styles.  The style will be applied to all selected objects.  I've applied the tapered stroke which comes with Illustrator CS3.

9.  To take the finished swirl into Photoshop, select the object, then Edit > Copy (Ctrl + C) to copy.

10.  Go to Photoshop and open a canvas (if one is not already open), then Edit > Paste (Ctrl + V) to paste.  A menu will appear asking you how you want to paste the object.

11.  I pasted the swirl as a smart object.  The swirl can now be converted to a brush or used as-is.


  1. Thank you for this tut,very needed


  2. Just a quick note to let you know that a link to this post will be placed on CraftCrave today [22 Apr 02:00pm GMT]. Thanks, Maria