Give your illustrations an old etched or engraved appearance with my new collection of 30 free brushes for Adobe Illustrator. These brushes feature a variety of hand-drawn line patterns in horizontal, vertical, diagonal and cross-hatched orientations that can be used to apply shading to your digital drawings. After being scanned from hand-made pen strokes, they were then processed into Illustrator brushes that seamlessly repeat along paths of any length without stretching or deforming.

30 Free Vintage Shading Brushes for Adobe Illustrator

How to use the vintage shading brushes

Open the brushes file into Illustrator by choosing ‘Load Brushes’ from the Brushes panel menu. Each brush can then be applied to a path that has been drawn with the Brush, Pencil, Line or Pen tool. To change the scale of the brush, alter the stroke weight to increase or decrease its size.

The brush stroke will likely extend beyond the desired shading area. One technique to trim it to size is by drawing a temporary shape and set it as a clipping mask to make the excess portions invisible.

An alternative masking technique is to add an Opacity Mask to the path, then paint over the unwanted areas with the Blob brush (or a black-filled shape) to hide the excess.

Download My Free Vintage Shading Brushes

Want more? Check out these great related products

The following resources cost a little money, but I definitely recommend checking these related products out to complement my Vintage Shading brushes.

The Master Engraver

The Master Engraver

Finest Vintage Illustrator Brushes

Finest Vintage Illustrator Brushes



Illustrator Vintage Engraving Brushes

Illustrator Vintage Engraving Brushes

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  1. Hello,
    it looks like great brushes! Thank You for that.

    But I have a problem in my AI CS6. I also tried to save as command ai compatible with PDF or SVG or PDF file. Nothing works. Palette with loaded SG Vintage Shading brushes is empty.

    Please, can You tell me if it is possible run it in Creative suite 6 or only in Creative cloud version of Adobe Illustrator?

    Thanks a lot and have a beautiful day!


    • Is the problem you’re experiencing when you try to load the brushes file? When I originally export the brushes file there isn’t an option to back-save. I’ll try updating the download with a CS version of the ‘stroked paths’ file in the download if you want to give that a try?

    • Hi! This brush is just what I need, but i have the same problem: i have AI CS6 and Palette with loaded SG Vintage Shading brushes is empty. I tried with all the files in your zip, but nothing works…do you have a solution? Thank you!

  2. Hi there! I’m having the same issue with CS6. The CS version doesn’t come as strokes, but as a vectorized element. All the strokes are vectorized so I can’t use them as a stroke. Any idea why? Thanks a lot!

  3. Oh, these are just fabulous! Thanks so much! I’m more of a PS person, been trying to learn Illustrator, and these are one heck of a motivation get into ai and play. BTW, I’d really love to know where to pick up a bottle of ‘Brain Oil’. I know some people who could vastly benefit from it’s purported healing properties. ;P

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