How to Create Splatter Paint in Illustrator

By Karen Adams

Updated September 28, 2017

You can produce a paint splatter effect in Adobe Illustrator by using the Artistic Styles feature.
i paint splatter image by Adrian Hillman from

Adobe Illustrator provides a powerful tool for creating digital art. With the pencil tool and Artistic Styles feature, you easily make dynamic patterns and textures. Paint splatter is one Illustrator technique that you can use over and over again. You can even make splatter effects and brushes for Photoshop to treat other digital images.

Open Adobe Illustrator and create a new document. The size and background color are up to you. For desktop wallpaper, choose the size of your screen.

Select the rectangle tool in the tool panel on the left side of your screen. Drag a rectangle to cover your document. You may want to zoom out of your document to see your rectangle better.

Click the color fill box in the tool panel twice and change the color to one of your choosing.

Select the pencil tool. While holding your mouse down, draw wavy lines over the document. At the top of your window, click "Window," then "Brush Libraries" and finally "Artistic Samples." The box opens on the right portion of your screen.

Click your pencil line once to select it, then hover your pointer over "Artistic Styles" to see different names. Find the style "Splash" and click it to apply to your pencil line.

Double-click the color fill box and change the splash to a darker version of your original color, then click "Okay" to close the dialogue box.

Select the pencil tool again and draw more lines. The lines should mimic the style and color of the first.

Create as many paint splatters as you like in various sizes and colors.