Creating an Illustration with the Drawing Tools - Adobe Illustrator CC Classroom in a Book 2015 release (2016) 

Adobe Illustrator CC Classroom in a Book 2015 release (2016)

6. Creating an Illustration with the Drawing Tools

Lesson overview

In this lesson, you’ll learn how to do the following:

• Understand paths and anchor points.

• Draw curved and straight lines with the Pen tool.

• Edit curved and straight lines.

• Add and delete anchor points.

• Draw with the Curvature tool.

• Delete and add anchor points.

• Convert between smooth points and corner points.

• Create dashed lines and add arrowheads.

• Draw and edit with the Pencil tool.

• Work with the Join tool.

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This lesson takes approximately 90 minutes to complete.

Download the project files for this lesson from the Lesson & Update Files tab on your Account page at www.peachpit.com and store them on your computer in a convenient location, as described in the “Getting Started” section of this book.

Your Account page is also where you’ll find any updates to the chapters or to the lesson files. Look on the Lesson & Update Files tab to access the most current content.

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Aside from creating artwork using shapes like in previous lessons, you can also create artwork using drawing tools such as the Pencil tool, Pen tool, and Curvature tool. With these tools, you can draw precisely, including drawing straight lines, curves, and complex shapes. You’ll start with the Pen tool and use all of these tools and more to create an illustration.

Getting started

In the first part of this lesson, you’ll understand paths and ease into drawing with the Pen tool with lots of practice.

1. To ensure that the tools and panels function exactly as described in this lesson, delete or deactivate (by renaming) the Adobe Illustrator CC preferences file. See “Restoring default preferences” in the “Getting Started” section at the beginning of the book.


Image Note

If you have not already downloaded the project files for this lesson to your computer from your Account page, make sure to do so now. See the “Getting Started” section at the beginning of this book.


2. Start Adobe Illustrator CC.

3. Open the L6_practice.ai file in the Lessons > Lesson06 folder on your hard disk.

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The document is made up of six artboards, numbered 1 through 6. As you progress through the first part of this lesson, you will be asked to move between artboards.

4. Choose File > Save As. In the Save As dialog box, navigate to the Lesson06 folder, and open it. Rename the file to PenPractice.ai. Choose Adobe Illustrator (ai) from the Format menu (Mac OS), or choose Adobe Illustrator (*.AI) from the Save As Type menu (Windows). Click Save.

5. In the Illustrator Options dialog box, leave the default settings, and then click OK.

6. Choose Window > Workspace > Reset Essentials.


Image Note

If you don’t see Reset Essentials in the menu, choose Window > Workspace > Essentials before choosing Window > Workspace > Reset Essentials.


An intro to drawing with the Pen tool

The Pen tool (Image) is one of the main drawing tools in Illustrator that’s used to create both free-form and more precise artwork and also plays a role in editing existing vector artwork. It’s important to have an understanding of a tool like the Pen tool when working with Illustrator. Just know that it takes plenty of practice to feel comfortable with the Pen tool!

In this first section, you’ll begin to explore the Pen tool and later in the lesson, you’ll create artwork using the Pen tool and other tools and commands.

1. Choose 1 from the Artboard Navigation menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window.

2. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window.

3. Choose View > Smart Guides to turn off the Smart Guides. Smart Guides can be useful when you draw, but you won’t need them now.

4. In the Control panel, click Fill color, and choose None (Image). Then, click the Stroke color and make sure that the Black swatch is selected. Make sure the Stroke weight is 1 pt in the Control panel.

When you begin drawing with the Pen tool, it’s usually best to have no fill on the path you create because the fill can cover parts of the path you are trying to create. You can add a fill later, if necessary.

5. Select the Pen tool (Image) in the Tools panel. Position the pointer in the artboard area, and notice the asterisk next to the Pen icon (Image), indicating that you’ll create a new path if you begin drawing.


Image Note

If you see an X (Image) instead of the Pen icon (Image), the Caps Lock key is active. Caps Lock turns the Pen tool icon into an X (Image) for increased precision.


6. In the area labeled “Work Area,” click where the blue “start” square is to set the first anchor point.

After clicking and moving the pointer away from the point, notice that the asterisk has disappeared from next to the pointer, indicating that you are now drawing a path.

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7. Move the pointer away from the original point, and you will see a line connecting the first point and the pointer, no matter where you move the pointer.

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That line is called the Pen tool preview (or Rubber Band). Later, as you create curved paths, it will make drawing them easier because it is a preview of what the path will look like.


Image Tip

You can toggle the Pen tool preview by choosing Illustrator CC > Preferences > Selection & Anchor Display (Mac OS) or Edit > Preferences > Selection & Anchor Display (Windows) to open the Preferences dialog box. In the dialog box, with the Selection & Anchor Display category options showing, deselect Enable Rubber Band for: Pen Tool.



Image Note

If the path looks curved, you have accidentally dragged with the Pen tool; choose Edit > Undo Pen, and then click again without dragging.


8. Position the pointer down and to the right of the original point, and click to create the next anchor point in the path.

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9. Click a third anchor point beneath the initial anchor point to begin creating a zigzag pattern. Create a zigzag that has a total of six anchor points, which means you will click the artboard three more times.

One of the many benefits of using the Pen tool is that you can create custom paths and continue to edit the anchor points that make up the path. Notice that only the last anchor point is filled (not hollow like the rest of the anchor points), indicating that it is selected.

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10. Choose Select > Deselect.

Selecting paths

The type of anchor points you created in the previous section are called corner points. Corner points are not smooth like a curve; rather, they create an angle where the anchor point is. Now that you can create corner points, you will move on to adding other types of points such as smooth points to create curves in a path. But first, you will learn a few more techniques for selecting paths.

Back in Lesson 2, “Techniques for Selecting Artwork,” you were introduced to selecting content with the Selection and Direct Selection tools. Next, you’ll explore a few more options for selecting artwork with those same Selection tools.

1. Select the Selection tool (Image) in the Tools panel, and position the pointer directly over a straight line in the zigzag path. When the pointer shows a solid black box (Image) next to it, click.

This selects the path and all of the anchor points. You can tell the anchor points are selected because they become filled.

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Image Tip

You can also drag across a path to select it with the Selection tool.


2. Position the pointer over one of the straight lines in the path. When the pointer changes (Image), drag to a new location anywhere on the artboard. All the anchor points travel together, maintaining the zigzag path.

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3. Deselect the zigzag path in one of the following ways:

• With the Selection tool, click an empty area of the artboard.

• Choose Select > Deselect.


Image Tip

If the Pen tool (Image) were still selected, you could Command-click (Mac OS) or Ctrl-click (Windows) in a blank area of the artboard to deselect the path. This temporarily selects a Selection tool. When you release the Ctrl or Command key, the Pen tool is selected again.


4. In the Tools panel, select the Direct Selection tool (Image). Position the pointer over a straight line in the path, and when the pointer changes (Image), click the path to reveal all of the anchor points.

You just selected the line segment (path). If you were to press Backspace or Delete (don’t), only that portion of the zigzag path would be removed.


Image Note

When you position the pointer over a line segment that is not already selected, a black, solid square appears next to the Direct Selection tool pointer, indicating that you will select a line segment.


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5. Position the pointer over one of the anchor points and the anchor point will become a little larger than the others, and the pointer will show a small box with a dot in the center (Image) next to it (the figure shows this). Both of these indicate that if you click, you will select the anchor point. Click to select the anchor point, and the selected anchor point is filled (looks solid), whereas the deselected anchor points are still hollow.

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6. Drag the anchor point to the left a bit to reposition it.

The anchor point moves, but the others remain stationary. This is one method for editing a path, like you saw in Lesson 2.

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7. Click in a blank area of the artboard to deselect.

8. Position the Direct Selection pointer over a straight line segment in the middle of the zigzag shape. When the pointer changes (Image), click to select. Choose Edit > Cut. This cuts only the selected segment from the zigzag.

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Image Note

If the entire zigzag path disappears, choose Edit > Undo Cut and try again.


9. Select the Pen tool (Image), and position the pointer over one of the end anchor points that was connected to the line segment that was cut. Notice that the Pen tool shows a forward slash (Image), indicating that if you click, you will continue drawing from that anchor point. Click the point.

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10. Position the pointer over the other anchor point that was connected to the cut line segment. The pointer now shows a merge symbol next to it (Image), indicating that you are connecting to another path. Click the point to reconnect the paths.

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Drawing straight lines with the Pen tool

In previous lessons, you learned that using the Shift key as well as Smart Guides in combination with shape tools constrains the shape of objects. The Shift key and Smart Guides can also constrain paths drawn with the Pen tool to create straight paths in angles of 45°. Next, you will learn how to draw straight lines and constrain angles as you draw.

1. Choose 2 from the Artboard Navigation menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window.

2. Choose View > Smart Guides to turn on the Smart Guides.

3. With the Pen tool (Image) selected, in the area labeled Work Area, click where the blue “start” square is to set the first anchor point.

Don’t worry if the Smart Guides are attempting to “snap” the anchor point you create to other content on the artboard, making it difficult to click directly on the “start” square. This is expected behavior and is sometimes why you might turn off the Smart Guides when drawing.

4. Move the pointer to the right of the original anchor point approximately 1.5 in, as indicated by the measurement label. It doesn’t have to be exact. A magenta alignment guide appears when the pointer is vertically aligned with the previous anchor point. Click to set another anchor point.

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Image Tip

If Smart Guides are turned off, you will need to press the Shift key and click to create constrained lines.


As you’ve learned in previous lessons, the measurement label and alignment guides are part of the Smart Guides. When working with the Pen tool, you can achieve finer measurements in the measurement labels when you zoom in.

5. Click to set three more points, following the same generic shape as shown in the top half of the artboard. The new points are labeled 1, 2, and 3 in the figure.

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The magenta alignment guides that appear as you draw can be helpful for aligning points. Sometimes they align to content that you don’t necessarily want to align to.


Image Note

The points you set don’t have to be in exactly the same position as the path at the top of the artboard. Also, the measurement you see in your measurement label may not match what you see in the figure, and that’s okay.


6. Press the Shift key, and move the pointer to the right and down. When the measurement label shows approximately 2 in, click to set an anchor point, and then release the modifier key.

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Notice that the new anchor point may not be where you clicked. That’s because the line has been constrained to 45°. Pressing the Shift key creates angled lines constrained to 45°.

7. Position the pointer below the last point, and click to set the last anchor point for the shape (circled in the figure).

8. Choose View > Smart Guides to turn them off.

9. Choose Select > Deselect, and then choose File > Save.

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Introducing curved paths

In this part of the lesson, you’ll learn how to draw smooth, curved lines with the Pen tool. In vector drawing applications such as Illustrator, you can draw a curve, called a Bezier curve, with anchor points and direction handles. By setting anchor points and dragging direction handles, you can define the shape of the curve. This type of anchor point, with direction handles, is called a smooth point. Although drawing curves this way can take some time to learn, it gives you some of the greatest control and flexibility in creating paths.

The goal for this exercise is not to create anything specific but to get accustomed to the feel of creating Bezier curves. First, you’ll just get the feel for how to create a curved path.


Smooth points vs. Corner points

Paths can have two kinds of anchor points: corner points and smooth points. At a corner point, a path abruptly changes direction. At a smooth point, path segments are connected as a continuous curve.

—From Illustrator Help

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1. Choose 3 from the Artboard Navigation menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window. You will draw in the area labeled “Practice.”

2. Select the Zoom tool (Image) in the Tools panel, and click twice in the bottom half of the artboard to zoom in.

3. Select the Pen tool (Image) in the Tools panel. In the Control panel, make sure that the Fill color is None (Image) and the Stroke color is Black. Also, make sure the Stroke weight is still 1 pt in the Control panel.

4. With the Pen tool selected, click in a blank area of the artboard to create a starting anchor point.

5. Move the pointer away from the original point you created, and click and drag away from the point to create a curved path.

Notice that as you drag away from the point, direction handles appear. Direction handles consist of direction lines that end in round direction points. The angle and length of the direction handles determine the shape and size of the curve. Direction handles do not print and are not visible when the anchor point is inactive.

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6. Move the pointer away from the anchor point you just created to see the rubber banding. Move the pointer around a bit to see how it changes.

7. Continue clicking and dragging in different areas to create a series of points.

8. Choose Select > Deselect. Leave the file open for the next section.

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Components of a path

As you draw, you create a line called a path. A path is made up of one or more straight or curved segments. The beginning and end of each segment is marked by anchor points, which work like pins holding a wire in place. A path can be closed (for example, a circle) or open, with distinct endpoints (for example, a wavy line). You change the shape of a path by dragging its anchor points, the direction points at the end of direction lines that appear at anchor points, or the path segment itself.

—From Illustrator Help

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A. Line Segment
B. Anchor point
C. Direction line
D. Direction point


Drawing a curve with the Pen tool

In this part of the lesson, you’ll use what you just learned about drawing curves to trace a curved shape with the Pen tool.

1. Press the spacebar to temporarily select the Hand tool (Image), and drag down until you see the curve at the top of the current artboard (on Artboard 3).

2. Select the Pen tool (Image) in the Tools panel. Click and drag from the “start” square, up to the gold dot, and then release the mouse button.


Image Note

The artboard may scroll as you drag. If you lose visibility of the curve, choose View > Zoom Out until you see the curve and anchor point. Pressing the spacebar allows you to use the Hand tool to reposition the artwork.


This creates a direction line going in the same direction as the path. Up to this point, you’ve started your paths by simply clicking to create an anchor point, not dragging, like you did in this step. To create a more “curved” path, dragging out direction lines on the very first anchor point can be helpful.

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3. Click the black point on the right side of the arch and drag down. Release the mouse button when the pointer reaches the gold dot and the path you are creating follows the arch.

If the path you created is not aligned exactly with the template, select the Direct Selection tool (Image), and select the anchor points one at a time to show the direction handles. You can then drag the ends of the direction handles until your path follows the template more accurately.

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Image Note

Pulling the direction handle longer makes a steeper curve; when the direction handle is shorter, the curve is flatter.


4. Select the Selection tool (Image), and click the artboard in an area with no objects, or choose Select > Deselect.

Deselecting the first path allows you to create a new path. If you click somewhere on the artboard with the Pen tool while the path is still selected, the path connects to the next point you draw.


Image Tip

While drawing with the Pen tool, to deselect objects, you can press the Command (Mac OS) or Ctrl (Windows) key to temporarily switch to the Selection or Direct Selection tool, whichever was last used, and then click the artboard where there are no objects. Another way to end a path is to press the Escape key when you are finished drawing.


If you want to try drawing the curve for more practice, scroll down to the Practice area in the same artboard and trace the curve.

Drawing a series of curves with the Pen tool

Now that you’ve experimented with drawing a curve, you will draw a shape that contains several continuous curves.

1. Choose 4 from the Artboard Navigation menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window. Select the Zoom tool (Image), and click several times in the top half of the artboard to zoom in.

2. In the Control panel, make sure that the Fill color is None (Image) and the Stroke color is Black. Also, make sure the Stroke weight is still 1 pt in the Control panel.

3. Select the Pen tool (Image). Click the blue “start” square, and drag up in the direction of the arch, stopping at the gold dot.

4. Position the pointer over the black square to the right, and click and drag down to the gold dot, adjusting the first arch with the direction handle before you release the mouse button.


Image Note

Don’t worry if the path you draw is not exact. You can correct the line with the Direct Selection tool (Image) when the path is complete.


You’ll find that you spend a lot of time focusing on the path segment behind (before) the current anchor point you are creating. Remember, by default there are two direction lines for a point. The previous direction line controls the shape of the previous segment.


Image Tip

As you drag out the direction handles for an anchor point, you can press and hold the spacebar to reposition the anchor point. When the anchor point is where you want it, release the spacebar.


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5. Continue along the path, alternating between dragging up and down. Put anchor points only where there are black squares (points) and finish with the red “end” point.

If you make a mistake as you draw, you can undo your work by choosing Edit > Undo Pen and then draw the last point again. Note that your direction lines may not match the figures, and that’s okay.

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6. When the path is complete, select the Direct Selection tool, and click to select an anchor point.

When the anchor point is selected, the direction handles appear, and you can readjust the curve of the path if necessary. With a curve selected, you can also change the stroke and fill of the curve. When you do this, the next line you draw will have the same attributes.


Image Note

For more information about these attributes, see Lesson 7, “Using Color to Enhance Signage.”


If you want to try drawing the shape again for more practice, scroll down to the bottom half of the same artboard (labeled Practice) and trace the shape down there.

7. Choose Select > Deselect, and then choose File > Save.

Converting smooth points to corner points

When creating curves, the direction handles help to determine the shape and size of the curved segments, as you’ve already seen. Removing the direction lines from an anchor point can convert a smooth curve into a corner. In the next part of the lesson, you will practice converting between smooth points and corner points.

1. Choose 5 from the Artboard Navigation menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window.

On the top of the artboard, you can see the path that you will trace. You will use the top artboard as a template for the exercise, creating your paths directly on top of those. Use the Practice section at the bottom of the artboard for additional practice on your own.

2. In the top part of the artboard, use the Zoom tool (Image), and click several times to zoom in.

3. In the Control panel, make sure that the Fill color is None (Image) and the Stroke color is Black. Also, make sure the Stroke weight is still 1 pt in the Control panel.

4. Select the Pen tool (Image), and pressing the Shift key, click the blue “start” square and drag up to the gold dot. Release the mouse button, and then release the Shift key.

Pressing the Shift key when dragging constrains the direction handles to multiples of 45°.

5. Click the next black anchor point to the right, and pressing the Shift key, drag down to the red dot. When the curve looks correct, release the mouse button, and then release the Shift key. Leave the path selected.

Now you need the curve to switch directions and create another arch. You will split the direction lines to convert a smooth point to a corner point.

6. Press the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key, and position the pointer over the last anchor point created. When a convert-point icon (^) appears next to the Pen tool pointer (Image), click and drag a direction line up to the gold dot. Release the mouse button, and then release the modifier key. If you do not see the caret, you may create an additional loop.

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Image Tip

After you draw a path, you can also select single or multiple anchor points and click the Convert Selected Anchor Points To Corner button (Image) or Convert Selected Anchor Points To Smooth button (Image) in the Control panel.


You can also Option-drag (Mac OS) or Alt-drag (Windows) the end of the direction handle (called the direction point). An arrow is pointing to it in the first part of the following figure. Either method “splits” the direction handles so they can go in different directions.

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7. Position the Pen tool pointer over the next (third) black square point on the template path, and drag down to the red dot. Release the mouse button when the path looks similar to the template path.

8. Press the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key, and after the convert-point icon (^) appears, position the pointer over the anchor point or direction point and drag up to the gold dot. Release the mouse button, and then release the modifier key.

For the next (fourth) point, you will not release the mouse button to split the direction handles, so pay close attention.

9. For the fourth anchor point, click the next black square on the template path, and drag down to the red dot until the path looks correct. This time, do not release the mouse button. Press the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key, and drag up to the gold dot for the next curve. Release the mouse button, and then release the modifier key.

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10. Continue this process using the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key to create corner points until the path is completed.

11. Use the Direct Selection tool to fine-tune the path, and then deselect the path.

If you want to try drawing the same shape for more practice, scroll down to the Practice area in the same artboard and trace the shape down there.

Combining curves and straight lines

Of course in the real world, when you draw with the Pen tool, you won’t just create either curves or straight lines. In this next section, you’ll learn how to go from curves to straight lines and from straight lines to curves.

1. Choose 6 from the Artboard Navigation menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window. Select the Zoom tool (Image), and click several times in the top half of the artboard to zoom in.

2. Select the Pen tool (Image). Click the blue “start” square, and drag up. Release the mouse button when the pointer reaches the gold dot.

Up to this point, you’ve been dragging to a gold or red dot in the templates. In the real world those obviously won’t be there, so for the next point you will drag to create a point without much template guidance. Don’t worry, you can always choose Edit > Undo Pen and try again!

3. Drag down from the second anchor point, and release the mouse button when the arch roughly matches the template. This method of creating a curve should be familiar to you by now.

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If you were to click the next black anchor point (don’t), even pressing the Shift key (to produce a straight line), the path would be curved. The last point you created is a smooth anchor point and has a direction handle after the point. The figure at right shows what the path would look like if you clicked with the Pen tool on the next point.

You will now continue the path as a straight line by removing the leading direction handle.

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4. Position the pointer over the last point created (notice that the convert-point icon appears [^]), and click to delete the leading direction handle from the anchor point, as shown in the figure.

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5. Press the Shift key, and click the next point in the template path to the right to set the next point, creating a straight segment.

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6. For the next arch, position the pointer over the last point created (notice that the convert-point icon appears [^]), and then drag down from that point to the gold dot. This creates a new direction line.

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7. Click the next point, and drag up to complete the arch.

8. Click the last anchor point you just created to remove the direction line.

9. Shift-click the next point to create the second straight segment.

10. Click and drag up from the last point created to create a direction line, and then click and drag down on the end point to create the final arch.

If you want to try drawing the same shape for more practice, scroll down to the Practice area in the same artboard and trace the shape down there. Make sure you deselect the previous artwork first.

11. Choose File > Save, and then choose File > Close.

Remember, you can always go back and work on those Pen tool templates in the L6_practice.ai file as many times as you need. Take it as slow as you need and practice, practice, practice.

Creating artwork with the Pen tool

Next, you’ll take what you’ve learned and create some artwork to be used in your project. To start, you’ll draw a coffee cup, which combines curves and corners. Just take your time as you practice with this shape, and use the template guides provided to assist you in drawing it.

1. Choose File > Open, and open the L6_end.ai file in the Lessons > Lesson06 folder.


Image Tip

Don’t forget, you can always undo a point you’ve drawn (Edit > Undo Pen) and then try again.


2. Choose View > Fit All In Window to see the finished artwork. (Use the Hand tool [Image] to move the artwork to where you want it.) If you don’t want to leave the artwork open, choose File > Close.

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3. Choose File > Open. If a panel appears, click Open in the panel. You could also choose File > Open again. In the Open dialog box, navigate to the Lessons > Lesson06 folder and select the L6_start.ai file on your hard disk. Click Open to open the file.

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4. Choose View > Fit All In Window.

5. Choose File > Save As, name the file CoffeeShop.ai, and select the Lesson06 folder in the Save As dialog box. Choose Adobe Illustrator (ai) from the Format menu (Mac OS) or choose Adobe Illustrator (*.AI) from the Save As Type menu (Windows), and click Save. In the Illustrator Options dialog box, leave the options set at the defaults, and then click OK.

6. Choose 1 Main from the Artboard Navigation menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window, if it’s not already chosen.

7. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window.

8. Select the Zoom tool (Image), and zoom in to the cup at the bottom of the artboard.

9. In the Layers panel, select the layer named “Artwork” if it’s not already selected.

10. In the Control panel, make sure that the Fill color is None (Image) and the Stroke color is Black. Also make sure the Stroke weight is 1 pt in the Control panel.

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Drawing a coffee cup

Now that you have the file open and ready, you’re going to put to use some of the Pen tool practice you did in previous sections, by drawing a coffee cup. This next section has more than the average number of steps, so take your time.

1. Select the Pen tool (Image), and drag from the blue square labeled “A” to the red dot above it to set the starting anchor point and direction of the first curve.

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Image Note

You do not have to start at the blue square (point A) to draw this shape. You can set anchor points for a path with the Pen tool in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.


2. Continue on, dragging from point B to the red dot, to create the first curve.

The next point you create will be a simple corner point.

3. Position the pointer over the point C, and click to set a corner point.

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4. Press the Shift key, and click point D to create a straight line.

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Image Note

If you find that the path you are drawing has a fill of white, part of the template may be hidden. You can always change the fill to None (Image) for the path you are drawing.


5. Position the Pen tool pointer over point D again. When the convert-point icon appears [^] next to the pointer, drag down from that point to the red dot. This creates a new direction line.

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As you draw with the Pen tool, you may want to edit a curve you previously drew without ending the path you are drawing. Pressing a modifier key with the Pen tool selected, you can position the pointer over a previous path segment and drag to modify it, which is what you’ll do next.

6. Position the pointer over the path between points C and D, and press the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key. The pointer changes appearance (Image). Drag the path down to make the path curved, like you see in the figure. Release the mouse button and then the key. Now, you can continue drawing the path.

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Image Tip

You can also press the Option+Shift (Mac OS) or Alt+Shift (Windows) keys to constrain the handles to a perpendicular direction, which ensures that the handles are the same length.


Dragging the path turns the path into a curve, rather than a straight line. This adds direction handles to the top anchor points.

7. Position the pointer over point E. Notice that as you move the pointer, you can see the Pen tool rubber banding, which means you are still drawing the path. Click point E to create a corner point and release the mouse button.

8. With the Pen tool pointer over point E, click and drag up and to the right from that point to the red dot. This creates a new direction line.

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Image Note

After releasing the mouse button in the previous step, if you move the pointer away and then bring it back to point E, the convert-point icon [^] will appear next to the pointer.


9. Continue drawing the point at F by dragging from the anchor point to the red dot.

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For the next point, G, you will create another smooth point, but you will edit the direction handles independently using a modifier key as you draw. For the next step, don’t release the mouse button until you are told.

10. Begin dragging from point G to the red dot. When the pointer reaches the red dot, without letting go yet, press the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key, and continue dragging from the red dot to the gold dot to make just that one direction handle longer. When the pointer reaches the gold dot, release the mouse button, and then release the key.

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Image Note

You could also create the point in this step by dragging and releasing the mouse button when the pointer reaches the red dot. You could then position the Pen tool icon over the anchor point. When the convert-point icon (^) appears next to the pointer, you could drag out a new direction handle.


Next, you’ll create a smooth point, and split the direction handles.

11. Continue drawing the point at H by first dragging from the anchor point to the gold dot, and then pressing the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key and dragging from the gold dot to the red dot.

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12. Continue drawing the point at I by first dragging from the anchor point to the gold dot and then pressing the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key and dragging from the gold dot to the red dot.

Image

13. Continue drawing the point at J by dragging from the anchor point to the red dot.

Image

14. Begin dragging from point K to the red dot. As you drag, press the Shift key to constrain the direction handles. When you reach the red dot, release the mouse button and then the key.


Image Note

If you press and hold the Shift key before you click and drag from a point, the point will be aligned with the previous point. That’s not what you want in this case.


15. Continue drawing the point at L by dragging from the anchor point to the red dot.

Image

Next, you’ll complete the drawing of the coffee cup by closing the path.

16. Position the Pen tool over the starting point A without clicking.

Notice that an open circle appears next to the Pen tool pointer (Image), indicating that the path will close if you were to click the anchor point (don’t click yet). If you were to click and drag, the direction handles on either side of the point would move as a single straight line. You need to split the direction handles so the final point is a corner point.

Image

17. Press the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key with the pointer still over point A. Click and drag up and to the left. Notice that a direction handle shows but is going in the opposite direction (it’s going down and to the right). Drag until the curve looks right. Release the mouse button and then the key.

Image


Image Tip

When creating a closing anchor point, you can press the spacebar to move the point as you create it.


As you drag up, another direction line appears above the point. Without the modifier key, as you drag away from closing point, you are reshaping the path before and after the anchor point. Pressing the Option/Alt modifier key on the closing point allows you to edit the previous direction handle independently.

18. Command-click (Mac OS) or Ctrl-click (Windows) away from the path to deselect it, and then choose File > Save.


Image Note

This is a shortcut method for deselecting a path while keeping the Pen tool selected. You could also choose Select > Deselect, among other methods.


Drawing with the Curvature tool

With the Curvature tool (Image), you can draw and edit paths quickly and visually to create paths with smooth refined curves and straight lines. Using the Curvature tool, you can also edit paths while drawing or after the path is complete using the same tool. The paths it creates are composed of anchor points and can be edited with any of the drawing or selecting tools. In this section, you’ll explore the Curvature tool while creating a spoon.

1. Choose 3 Spoon from the Artboard Navigation menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window.

2. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window (if necessary).


Image Note

You may want to zoom in to the spoon template in this section.


Looking at the template path, you’ll see a vertical guide running through points A and I. After you draw half of the spoon, you will copy and reflect it around the guide and then join the two halves together.

3. Select the Curvature tool (Image) in the Tools panel. Click the blue square at point A to set the starting anchor point.


Image Note

Like the Pen tool, you don’t have to start at the blue square (point A) to draw this shape. You can set anchor points for a path with the Curvature tool in a clockwise or counterclockwise direction.


4. Click point B and move the pointer away from the point.

5. Move the pointer away from point B, and notice the preview of the curve before and after point B.

Image

The Curvature tool works by creating anchor points where you click. The drawing curve will “flex” around the points dynamically. Direction handles are created when necessary to curve the path for you.

6. Click point C, and then click point D. Move the pointer away from point D.

At this point, the path between points A and B will no longer be affected by new points (E, F, etc.), but the path is not following the template. While drawing with the Curvature tool, you can go back and edit points as well as add points.

Image

7. Hover the pointer over the path segment between the A and B points. When a plus (+) appears next to the pointer, click to create a new point. Drag the new point to the red dot in the template, repositioning it to match the shape of the dotted template.

Image


Image Note

The points you create with the Curvature tool can have three appearances, indicating its current state: selected (Image), corner point (not selected [Image]), and smooth point (not selected [Image]).


8. Click point E, and then click point F.

9. Shift-click to add point G.

Pressing the Shift key while clicking with the Curvature tool aligns the new point vertically (in this case) or horizontally with the previous point. Notice that the path segments before and after point F are curved, but they need to be straight to follow the template. To convert a default smooth point to a corner point, you can double-click a point you’ve made with the Curvature tool.

10. Hover the pointer over the anchor point at F. When the pointer changes (Image), double-click to convert the point to a corner point.

Double-clicking a point, which converts it to a corner point, has the effect of splitting the direction handles for the point.

Image

Next, you’ll add a new point and convert it to a corner point in one step.

11. Option-click (Mac OS) or Alt-click (Windows) point H.

By Option-clicking (Mac OS) or Alt-clicking (Windows) when you create a point with the Curvature tool, you create a corner point instead of the default smooth point.

Image

12. Shift-click point I.

13. Press the Escape key to stop drawing, and then choose Select > Deselect.

Image


Image Tip

To close a path with the Curvature tool, hover the pointer over the first point you created in the path, and a circle appears next to the pointer (Image). Click to close the path.


Editing curves

In this part of the lesson, you’ll adjust curves you’ve drawn using several methods learned previously and a few new ones.

Reflecting the spoon shape

Since the spoon you are creating is symmetrical, you drew only half of it. Now you’ll copy, reflect, and join the spoon path to create a whole spoon.

1. Choose View > Smart Guides to turn them on.

2. Select the Selection tool, and click to select the spoon path.

3. In the Layers panel, click the visibility column (eye icon Image) for the layer named “Template” to hide the contents.

4. Press the Rotate tool (Image) in the Tools panel, and select the Reflect tool (Image).

5. While holding down Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows), position the pointer over point I. When you see the word “anchor” appear, click with the modifier key held down.

Image

6. In the Reflect dialog box, select Vertical if necessary, and click Preview. Click Copy to copy the shape and reflect it in one step.

7. Select the Selection tool and Shift-click the original path to select both and press Cmd+J (Mac OS) or Ctrl+J (Windows) twice, to join the paths together.

8. Choose Select > Deselect.

Image

Rounding corner points

In Lesson 3, “Using Shapes to Create Artwork for a Postcard,” you learned about live shapes and the ability to round corners. You can also round corner points on paths, which is what you’ll do next.

1. Select the Zoom tool (Image), and click a few times on the top of the spoon to zoom in.

2. Select the Direct Selection tool (Image), and drag across the two points shown in the following figure to select them.

Notice that a Live Corners widget (Image) shows next to each of the anchor points. With both points selected, you can edit the radius of both by dragging one of the Live Corners widgets or double-clicking one of them.

3. Drag the Live Corners widget on the right point toward the center of the spoon just a bit to make the corners round. When the measurement label shows a radius of roughly 0.1 in, release the mouse button.

4. Choose Select > Deselect.

Image

5. Choose View > Smart Guides to turn off the Smart Guides.

6. Select the Selection tool (Image), and click to select the spoon path.

7. Choose Edit > Copy.

Editing paths and points

Next, you’ll edit a few of the paths and points for the coffee cup you created earlier.

1. Choose 1 Main from the Artboard Navigation menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window.

2. With the Selection tool, click in the artboard to make it the active artboard. Choose Edit > Paste to paste the spoon. Drag it off to the side for the moment.


Image Note

You will need to select the spoon by its stroke since it doesn’t have a fill.


3. Select the Direct Selection tool (Image), and starting at the red X you see in the figure, drag across the “handle” of the coffee cup to select just that part of the path.

Selecting with the Direct Selection tool in this way selects only the path segments and anchor points contained within the marquee selection. Clicking with the Selection tool (Image) selects the entire path.

Image

4. Choose Edit > Copy and then Edit > Paste In Front.

5. Press Cmd+J (Mac OS) or Ctrl+J (Windows) to close the path.

6. Select the Selection tool, and Shift-drag the right, middle bounding point to the left to make it smaller. See the last part of the following figure.

Image

7. Select the Direct Selection tool, click the anchor point you see in the figure to select it. Drag the point to the right just a bit until it roughly matches the figure.

8. Position the pointer over the part of the path you see in the following figure, and click to select the path.

Notice that the pointer changes appearance (Image) with the pointer over the path. This indicates that you can drag the path, which will adjust the anchor points and direction handles as you drag.

Image

9. Drag the path up and to the left to make the curve a little less rounded. This is an easy way to make edits to a path.

Image


Image Tip

As you are dragging a path with the Direct Selection tool, you can also press the Shift key to constrain the handles to a perpendicular direction, which ensures that the handles are the same length.



Image Tip

If you wanted to adjust the direction handles instead of dragging the path and wanted to see the direction handles for all of the selected points, you could click Show Handles For Multiple Selected Anchor Points (Image) in the Control panel.


10. Choose Select > Deselect, and then choose File > Save.

Deleting and adding anchor points

Most of the time, the goal of drawing paths with a tool like the Pen tool or Curvature tool is to avoid adding more anchor points than necessary. You can reduce a path’s complexity or change its overall shape by deleting unnecessary points (and therefore gain more control over the shape), or you can extend a path by adding points to it. Next, you will delete and add anchor points to the coffee cup path so that it has a flatter bottom.

1. Select the Zoom tool (Image) in the Tools panel, and click twice, slowly, on the bottom of the cup to zoom in.

2. With the Direct Selection tool (Image) selected, click the edge of the coffee cup path.

3. Select the Pen tool (Image) in the Tools panel, and position the pointer over the anchor point at the bottom, center of the cup (see the figure). When a minus sign (–) appears to the right of the Pen tool pointer (Image), click to remove the anchor point.

Image


Image Tip

With an anchor point selected, you can also click Remove Selected Anchor Points (Image) in the Control panel to delete the anchor point.


4. Position the Pen tool pointer over the bottom of the cup shape again. Look at the first part of the following figure for where. This time, when a plus sign (+) appears to the right of the Pen tool pointer (Image), click to add an anchor point.

5. Move the pointer over to the right a bit, and click the path to add another point. Leave this last point selected.

Image

Adding points to a curved path means that the anchor points will most likely have direction lines and be considered smooth points.

Converting between smooth points and corner points

To more precisely control the path you create, you can convert points from smooth points to corner points and from corner points to smooth points, using several methods.

1. Select the Direct Selection tool (Image), and with the last point still selected, Shift-click the other point you added to the left. Click the Convert Selected Anchor Points To Corner button (Image) in the Control panel.

Image


Image Tip

You could also convert between corner and smooth points by double-clicking an anchor point (or Option-clicking [Mac OS], Alt-clicking [Windows]) with the Curvature tool, like you saw earlier.


2. With both points selected, click the Vertical Align Bottom button (Image) in the Control panel to align one point to the other.

As you saw in Lesson 2, selected anchor points align to the last selected anchor point, which is known as the key anchor.


Image Note

If the points align to the artboard after clicking the align button, try again. Make sure that Align To Key Anchor is selected in the Control panel first.


3. Press Down arrow five times to move both points down.

4. Choose Select > Deselect.

Image

5. With the Direct Selection tool, click the coffee cup shape to show all of the anchor points. Click the anchor point labeled 1 in the figure first, and then Shift-click the anchor point labeled 2. Click the Horizontal Align Left button (Image) to align them.

Image


Image Note

If you find it difficult to select the second anchor point, you can also drag a marquee across the bottom of the coffee cup to select the two anchor points.


6. Click the anchor point labeled 3 in the figure first, and then Shift-click the anchor point labeled 4. Click the Horizontal Align Right button (Image) to align them. Leave the path (and points) selected.

Image

Working with the Anchor Point tool

Another way to convert anchor points between smooth and corner points is using the Anchor Point tool. Next, you’ll convert anchor points using the Anchor Point tool (Image) and see how to split direction handles using this tool.

1. Position the pointer over the Pen tool (Image), and click and hold down the mouse button to reveal more tools. Select the Anchor Point tool (Image).

You will also see the Add Anchor Point tool (Image) and the Delete Anchor Point tool (Image), which are specifically for adding or removing anchor points.

Image

2. Position the pointer over the point with an arrow pointing to it in the figure. Click to convert the point from a smooth point (with direction handles) to a corner point.

3. Position the pointer over the anchor point below the point you just converted. When the pointer looks like this Image, click and drag up. As you drag, press the Shift key. Drag up until you reach the anchor point above it. Release the mouse button, and then release the key.

Image


Image Note

If the pointer looks like this Image, don’t drag. This means that the pointer is not over the anchor point and if you drag, you will reshape the curve.


With the Anchor Point tool, you can perform tasks such as converting between smooth and corner points, split direction handles, and more.

Next, you’ll do the same thing to the right side of the bottom of the coffee cup.


Image Tip

If you position the Anchor Point tool pointer over the end of a direction handle that is split, you can press the Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows) key and, when the pointer changes (Image), click to make the direction handles a single straight line again (not split).


4. Position the pointer over the point with an arrow pointing to it in the figure. Click to convert the point from a smooth point (with direction handles) to a corner point.

Image

5. Position the pointer over the anchor point below the point you just converted. When the pointer looks like this Image, click and drag down. As you drag, press the Shift key. Drag down until the end of the opposite direction handle reaches the point above. Release the mouse button, and then release the key.

Image

6. Choose Select > Deselect, and then choose File > Save.

Creating a dashed line

Dashed lines apply to the stroke of an object and can be added to a closed path or an open path. Dashes are created by specifying a sequence of dash lengths and the gaps between them. Next, add a dash to a line.

1. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window.

2. In the Layers panel, click the visibility column for the layer named “Text” to show the layer contents.

3. Select the Zoom tool (Image), and click twice to zoom in to the red circles that are now showing.

4. Select the Selection tool (Image) in the Tools panel, and click the dark gray path in the center of the red circles.

Image

5. Click the word “Stroke” in the Control panel to show the Stroke panel. Change the following options in the Stroke panel:

• Weight: 8 pt

• Dashed Line: Selected (By default, this creates a repeating dash pattern of 12 pt dash, 12 pt gap.)


Image Tip

The Preserves Exact Dash And Gap Lengths button (Image) allows you to retain the appearance of the dashes without aligning to the corners or the dash ends.


• First Dash value: 4 pt (This creates a 4 pt dash, 4 pt gap repeating pattern.)

• First Gap value: 2 pt (This creates a 4 pt dash, 2 pt gap repeating pattern.)

• Aligns Dashes To Corners And Path Ends (Image): Selected (the default setting)

Image

6. Press the Escape key to hide the Stroke panel.

7. Choose File > Save, and leave the line selected.

Adding arrowheads to a path

You can add arrowheads to both ends of a path using the Stroke panel. There are many different arrowhead styles to choose from in Illustrator, as well as arrowhead editing options. Next, you’ll add different arrowheads to the dashed path.

1. With the dashed line still selected, click the word “Stroke” again in the Control panel to open the Stroke panel (or choose Window > Stroke). In the Stroke panel, change only the following options:

• Choose Arrow 21 from the menu directly to the right of the word “Arrowheads.” This adds an arrowhead to the start (left end) of the line.

• Scale (beneath where you chose Arrow 21): 30%

• Choose Arrow 17 from the arrowheads menu to the far right of the word “Arrowheads.” This adds an arrowhead to the end of the line.

• Scale (beneath where you chose Arrow 17): 50%

• Click the Extend Arrow Tip Beyond End Of Path button (Image).

Image

2. Click the edge of the coffee cup path, and change the Fill color to White.

3. Click the spoon shape, and change the Fill color to a light gray (I chose the color with the tooltip that shows C=0 M=0 Y=0 K=10).

4. With the spoon selected, choose Object > Transform > Rotate, change the Angle to 90, select Preview, and then click OK.

Image

5. Drag the spoon into the position you see in the following figure.

Image

Working with the Pencil tool

The Pencil tool (Image) lets you draw free-form open and closed paths that contain curves and straight lines. As you draw with the Pencil tool, anchor points are created on the path where necessary and according to the Pencil tool options you set. The path can easily be adjusted when the path is complete.

Drawing freeform paths with the Pencil tool

Next, you will draw and edit a simple path using the Pencil tool.

1. Choose 2 Coffee Bean from the Artboard Navigation menu in the lower-left corner of the Document window.

2. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window, if necessary.

3. In the Layers panel, click the visibility column for the layer named “Template” to show the layer contents.

4. Select the Zoom tool (Image) in the Tools panel, and click a few times, slowly, on the top of the artboard to zoom in where you see “A.”

Image

5. Choose Select > Deselect. In the Control panel, make sure that the Fill color is None (Image) and the Stroke color is Black. Also make sure the Stroke weight is 1 pt in the Control panel.

6. Click and hold down on the Shaper tool (Image) in the Tools panel to select the Pencil tool (Image). Double-click the Pencil tool. In the Pencil Tool Options dialog box, set the following options, leaving the rest at their default settings:

• Drag the Fidelity slider to the right, one position closer to Smooth. This will reduce the number of points on a path drawn with the Pencil tool and make the path smoother.

• Keep Selected: Selected

• Option Key (Alt Key on Windows) Toggles To Smooth Tool: Selected (The Smooth tool is used to smooth the path after it is drawn.)

• Close Paths When Ends Are Within: Selected

Image


Image Tip

When it comes to the Fidelity value, dragging the slider closer to Accurate usually creates more anchor points and more accurately reflects the path you’ve drawn. Dragging the slider toward Smooth makes fewer anchor points and a smoother, less complex path.



Image Note

A window may appear when clicking the Shaper tool. Close it.


7. Click OK.

The asterisk (*) that appears next to the Pencil tool pointer indicates that you are about to create a new path. If you don’t see the asterisk, it means that you are about to redraw a shape that the pointer is near.

8. Starting at the red X in the template, click and drag around the dashed template path. When the pointer gets close to the start of the path (at the red X), a small circle displays next to it (Image) to indicate that if you release the mouse button, the path will close. When you see the circle, release the mouse button to close the path.

Notice that as you are drawing, the path may not look perfectly smooth. After releasing the mouse button, the path is smoothed based on the Fidelity value that you set in the Pencil Tool Options dialog box.

Image


Image Note

If you see an X (Image) instead of the Pencil icon (Image), the Caps Lock key is active. Caps Lock turns the Pencil tool icon into an X for increased precision.


9. Position the Pencil tool on or near the path to redraw it. When the asterisk disappears from the pointer, click and drag to reshape the path. Make sure you wind up back on the original path. Think of it as redrawing parts of the path.

Image


Image Note

When editing a path with the Pencil tool, you may find that a new path is created instead of editing the original shape. You can always undo and make sure that you finish back on the original path (or at least close to it).



Image Tip

If you wanted to “smooth” parts of the path you drew, you could press the Option key (Mac OS) or Alt key (Windows) and drag along the path. This can simplify the path and remove anchor points. This is possible because you selected Option key (Alt Key on Windows) Toggles To Smooth Tool option in the Pencil Tool Options dialog box earlier.


Drawing straight segments with the Pencil tool

Aside from drawing more free-form paths, you can also create straight lines that can be constrained to 45° angles with the Pencil tool. That’s what you’ll do next.

1. Scroll down the artboard to see the template shapes labeled “B” and “C,” if you can’t see them.

2. Position the pointer over the red X at the bottom of the path labeled “B.” Click and drag around the left side of the shape and stop at the blue X, but don’t release the mouse button yet.

3. With the mouse button still down, press Option (Mac OS) or Alt (Windows), and drag a straight line that follows the flat edge of the shape. When you reach the red X again and a small circle displays next to the Pencil tool pointer (Image), release the mouse button and then the key to close the path.

Image


Image Note

When drawing the path, after reaching the blue X, you could have released the mouse button to stop drawing and then just started drawing from the same place later on. You can tell you are continuing a path with the Pencil tool when a line appears next to the Pencil tool pointer (Image), with the pointer positioned over the end of a path.


4. Position the pointer over the red X at the bottom of the path labeled “C” (it’s below “B”). Click and drag down around the right side of the shape and stop at the blue X, but don’t release the mouse button yet.

5. With the mouse button still down, press the Shift key, and drag a straight line that follows the flat edge of the shape. When you reach the red X again and a small circle displays next to the Pencil tool pointer (Image), release the mouse button and then the key to close the path.

Image

6. With shape “C” selected, choose Object > Transform > Rotate. In the Rotate dialog box, change the Angle to -25°, select Preview, and then click OK.

Image

Finishing the coffee bean

1. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window.

2. Select the Selection tool (Image), and click to select the top shape labeled “A.” Change the Fill color to the swatch named “CoffeeBean” in the Control panel.

Image

3. Click to select shape B, and then Shift-click to select shape C. Change the Fill color for both to the swatch named “CoffeeBean2” in the Control panel.

4. Choose Select > Deselect.

5. Drag shape B and then shape C onto shape A, something like you see in the figure.

Feel free to adjust the individual shapes using any of the methods you’ve learned so far (I did).

6. Drag across all three shapes to select them and choose Object > Group.

Image

7. Choose View > Fit All In Window.

8. Drag the coffee bean group on front of the coffee cup and spoon.

9. Choose Select > Deselect.

Image

Joining with the Join tool

In this lesson and earlier lessons, you’ve used the Join command (Object > Path > Join) to join as well as close paths. Using the Join tool (Image), you can easily join paths that cross, overlap, or have open ends using scrubbing gestures.

1. Choose View > Steam. This command will zoom in to the shapes above the coffee cup and also hide the layer named “Template.”

2. Click and hold down the mouse on the Pencil tool (Image), and select the Join tool (Image).

Unlike the Join command (Object > Path > Join) you learned about in Lesson 3, the Join tool can trim overlapping paths as it joins, and it doesn’t simply create a straight line between the anchor points you are joining. The angle created by the two paths to be joined are taken into account.

3. With the Join tool selected, drag across the two ends of the path on the right (see the figure for which).

Image


Image Note

If you were to instead join the ends of the open path by pressing Cmd+J (Mac OS) or Ctrl+J (Windows), a straight line would connect the ends.


When dragging (also called scrubbing) across paths, they will be either “extended and joined” or “trimmed and joined.” In this example, the paths were extended and joined. The Join tool works on paths that are selected or not, but the result of joining is not selected to continue working on more paths.

4. Drag across (or scrub) the excess part of the paths on the shape to the left to remove them and close the path. In this case, the path was “trimmed and joined.”

Image

5. Choose View > Fit Artboard In Window.

6. Select the Selection tool, and drag across the “steam” shapes to select them.

7. Change the Fill color to the swatch named “Steam” and the Stroke weight to 0 in the Control panel.

8. Choose Object > Group, and drag the group down like the following figure.

9. Choose Select > Deselect, and take a step back to admire all that you’ve accomplished in this lesson!

10. Choose File > Save, and then choose File > Close.

Image

Review questions

1. Describe how to draw straight vertical, horizontal, or diagonal lines using the Pen tool (Image).

2. How do you draw a curved line using the Pen tool?

3. Name two ways to convert a smooth point on a curve to a corner point.

4. Which tool would you use to edit a segment on a curved line?

5. How can you change the way the Pencil tool (Image) works?

6. How is the Join tool different from the Join command (Object > Path > Join)?

Review answers

1. To draw a straight line, click with the Pen tool (Image), and then move the pointer and click again. The first click sets the starting anchor point, and the second click sets the ending anchor point of the line. To constrain the straight line vertically, horizontally, or along a 45° diagonal, press the Shift key as you click to create the second anchor point with the Pen tool.

2. To draw a curved line with the Pen tool, click to create the starting anchor point, drag to set the direction of the curve, and then click to end the curve.

3. To convert a smooth point on a curve to a corner point, use the Direct Selection tool (Image) to select the anchor point, and then use the Anchor Point tool (Image) to drag a direction handle to change the direction. Another method is to choose a point or points with the Direct Selection tool and then click the Convert Selected Anchor Points To Corner button (Image) in the Control panel.

4. To edit a segment on a curved line, select the Direct Selection tool, and drag the segment to move it, or drag a direction handle on an anchor point to adjust the length and shape of the segment. Dragging a path segment with the Direct Selection tool or pressing the Option/Alt key and dragging a path segment with the Pen tool is another way to reshape a path.

5. To change the way the Pencil tool (Image) works, double-click the Pencil tool in the Tools panel to open the Pencil Tool Options dialog box. There you can change the smoothness, fidelity, and other options.

6. Unlike the Join command, the Join tool can trim overlapping paths as it joins, and it doesn’t simply create a straight line between the anchor points you are joining. The angle created by the two paths to be joined are taken into account.