Adobe Illustrator: Basics of drawing

We will look at how to use the shape tools to draw basic shapes in illustrator. But first is good to know how to how to select a basic shape so that you have no problems in selecting and editing shapes in Illustrator.

Selection Tools

Selection Tool: Used for selecting and moving a shape. It can also be used to resize a shape.

Direct Selection Tool: Selects a single anchor point instead of the whole shape. Used for editing anchor point of a shape. Click once on a point to select and hold Shift to select multiple anchor points.

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Shape TOOLS

Now we will move on to the Shape Tools. Go to the Tool Palette and hold the Rectangle Tool. Will expand a list of shape tools to pick. Choose Rectangle Tool.

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Fill & Stroke

Click and drag out a Rectangle as shown. By default, it has a white fill and black stroke. (Stroke is the border of the shape)

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Changing Fill Color

Click the Fill from the Tool Palette. It will pop up the Color Picker. Drag the slider to blue and select a deep blue color. Click Ok after that.

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Removing Stroke

Click the Stroke in the Tool Palette once to swap it above Fill. Click the None icon boxed up in red to set the Stroke to None. The black stroke will disappear.

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Constrain Proportions

To draw a perfect square, we will select the Rectangle Tool. Hold Shift and drag to draw a square. Same for the circle, we will select the Ellipse Tool and hold Shift to drag out a circle.

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Resizing Shapes

To resize shapes, select the shape using the Selection Tool and a bounding box will appear. Drag the corner anchor point to resize it. To constrain to proportion while resizing, hold Shift as you resize. Also hold Alt/Option if your want to resize from the same position.

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Rotating Shapes

Select the shape with the Selection Tool and a bounding box will appear. Move your cursor near the anchor corner and a rotation icon will icon, click and turn it to rotate the square. To snap at 45 degrees increment, hold Shift and turn.

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More Options for Shape Tools

Select the Star Tool. Click once on the artboard and an option will pop up. Enter the same values below and click Ok. It will draw a star burst shape. This method can be used to bring out more options for shape tools.Screen-Shot-2015-06-09-at-18.21.21

Pencil tool

We can quickly draw shapes and lines quickly using the Pencil Tool. I will show you some of the tricks in drawing smooth and fluid lines.

Drawing a Line

Select the pencil tool and click and drag to draw a free hand line drawing.

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Closing Paths with Pencil Tool

To close a path, hold Alt/Option as your Pencil Tool reaches the start point. A circle icon will appear next to the Pencil Tool to indicate path closure.

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Smoothing Jaggy Lines

Normally when you draw with the Pencil Tool, the path looks jaggy. To smoothen the parts that are jaggy, simply hold Alt/Option to turn the Pencil Tool to Smooth Tool. Then draw over the the area of the lines which you would like to smoothen.

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Reshaping Path

To reshape a path, make sure your path is selected and use the Pencil Tool to redraw the parts you would like to reshape. Note that the start and end path must be close to the original path to make it work.

 

 

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Pencil Tool Preferences

You can turn on the Pencil Tool Preferences by double clicking on the Pencil Tool. You can change the fidelity and smoothness to find a combination that works for you.

Fidelity: Determines how close the path is drawn to your mouse movement. Set it at a higher fidelity if your not good at drawing with your mouse.

Smoothness: The higher you set for smoothness, the less anchor point it produces. Thus, producing a smoother line.Screen Shot 2015-06-10 at 11.21.20

 

PEN tool

Drawing Straight Lines

Select the Pen Tool and click once to add the first anchor point. Move your mouse to the next position and click again to create the second point. The two anchor points will be connected together. Continue doing this to create a W shape as shown. To draw a new line, click the Selection Tool (The Black Arrow Icon) and click back the Pen Tool again.

 

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Closing a Path

To close a path, click back the starting point to close the shape.

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Drawing a Curved Line

Click and drag to put out the handles to create a smooth anchor point.

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Changing Path Directions

Click and drag to create a smooth anchor point. Without releasing your mouse, hold Alt/Option and drag the handle up to change the path direction.

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Drawing a Circular Path

Click and drag to create a smooth anchor point. Continue adding points and click back the starting point to close the path.

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Adding Anchor Points

With the Pen Tool selected, go near the path where you want to add a new anchor point. A plus sign will appear next to the pen, click on the path to create a new anchor point.

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Removing Anchor Points

To remove point, move your Pen Tool close to an anchor. A minus sign will appear next to the pen. Click on the anchor point to delete it.

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Converting Anchor Points

To convert a smooth anchor point to a sharp anchor point, move your Pen Toolnear the anchor and hold Alt/Option and your Pen Tool will change to an arrow shape. Click on the smooth anchor to convert it to an anchor point. Click and drag on the anchor point again to change it back to a smooth anchor point.

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Moving Anchor Points

Select the Direct Selection Tool and click and on anchor you want to move. Click and drag to change positions.

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Changing Anchor Directions

With the Pen Tool, you can quickly change the anchor directions. Hold Ctrl/Command to quickly change the Pen Tool to Direction Selection Tool. Select the anchor point you want to edit. The anchor handle will appear. Now release Ctrl/Command and hold Alt/Option to change it to Convert Anchor Tool. Click and drag the handles to change the direction.

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