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Once you've drawn your arrows straight you can try Effect : Warp and experiment with the options there, for example Arch. Best group the arrows first so that they distort as a whole.
On the other hand, if you've got a lot of basically parallel arrows that you want to fan out to show like troop movements, it might be a better bet to do it in Photoshop using Edit : Transform : Warp. It's easier to control the warp with the Photoshop warp frame.
It's probably best to paste the straight arrows into Photoshop as a Path and warp the path. Then you can copy it back into Illy as a vector object. Careful though; paths copied from Photoshop come as compounds, so at some time or other you will probably need to release the compound. Otherwise you won't be able to colour each arrow separately.
Thank you Steve that seems to be much easier - it is still a tricky job to get right but easier than what I have been doing previously. I am surprsied that there is not a deliberate function for dealing with arrows simply in either illy or PS
Artbrushes scale the artwork along the path.
Pattern Brushes repeat tiles along the path, and have separate end tiles.
ArtBrushes and PatternBrushes can be combined into one-click effects by applying multiple strokes to a single path in the Appearance Palette and then storing as a Graphic Style.
I keep a collection of frequently-used sweeping arrow brushes in all my startup files and preset templates. See item 6 below:
This has taken some playing about with but once set up is even easier than the previous suggestion
thank you both
Although in honesty James I am having difficulty with the last part of your instruction - combining the arrow head with the sweeping body using the appearance and graphic style. Any further 'idiot's guide' that could help me so