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Pen Tool

Lesson 11 from: Adobe Illustrator Creative Cloud: Essentials for Creating Projects

Brian Wood

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Lesson Info

11. Pen Tool


Class Trailer

Class Introduction


What is Adobe Illustrator?


Explore the Interface


Create and Save New Documents


Zoom and Navigate


Working with Artboards


Introduction to Layers


Rulers and Guides


Shapes and Drawing


Aligning and Combining Shapes


Pen Tool


Manipulating Stroke and Fill


Creating and Editing with Color


Painting with Gradients


Getting Started with Patterns


Adding Text To Your Document


Formatting Text


Strokes and Variable Strokes in Adobe Illustrator


Rotating Objects in Adobe Illustrator


Effects and the Appearance Panel in Adobe Illustrator


Adding Photo Images in Adobe Illustrator


Working with Linked Content in Adobe Illustrator


Packaging your Project for Handoff in Adobe Illustrator


Best Formats to Save Your Files


Select Like a Pro: Layers, Groups, & Other Unique Tools


Edit Paths Like a Pro in Adobe Illustrator


Editing Paths: Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator


Creating & Applying Brushes to Artwork in Adobe Illustrator


Editing Paths: Knife & Scissor Tool in Adobe Illustrator


Editing Paths: Join Tool in Adobe Illustrator


Editing Paths: Isolation Mode in Adobe® Illustrator®


Pen Tool Shortcuts in Adobe Illustrator


Other Drawing Tools & Methods in Adobe Illustrator


Transforming Techniques in Adobe Illustrator


Shortcut to Reflecting Artwork in Adobe Illustrator


Get to Know Your Appearance Panel in Adobe Illustrator


Exploring Effects in Adobe Illustrator


Work Smarter with Graphic Styles in Adobe Illustrator


Color Inspiration in Adobe Illustrator


Type Effects in Adobe Illustrator


Masking Your Artwork in Adobe Illustrator


Using Creative® Cloud® Libraries in Adobe® Illustrator®


Capture Artwork with Creative Cloud Apps & Adobe Illustrator


Tracing Raster Images in Adobe Illustrator


Blending Artwork in Adobe Illustrator


Using Symbols in Adobe Illustrator


Using a Perspective Grid in Adobe Illustrator


Crash Recovery in Adobe Illustrator


GPU Performance in Adobe Illustrator


Curvature Tool in Adobe Illustrator


App Integration in Adobe Illustrator


Creative Cloud Libraries in Adobe Illustrator App


Shaper Tool in Adobe Illustrator


Smart Guides in Adobe Illustrator


Text Enhancements in Adobe Illustrator


SVG Export in Adobe Illustrator


Lesson Info

Pen Tool

Right now, we're going to start to create some different artwork that we're going to use as well. But we're going to venture into the Pen Tool area, okay? A little bit of Pen Tool, little bit of freeform drawing, all right? What we're going to do is we're going to open up a file that we're going to work on. So what I'd like you to do is come up under File, and come to Open. And what I want you to do here is come into the Segment 2 folder in Day 1. And you're going to see a file called Pen practice. Now, you guys, we're actually going to open up... We'll do one at a time. It's fine. You're gonna see a pen practice file. Does everybody see that? It's in the Segment 2 folder, Day 1. And go ahead and open up Now I want you to go to the Selection Tool, the black arrow. And we need to take that first artboard right there. And we're going to fit that in the window. So what you can do is you can actually come down here. Here's an easy way to do it. Come down here and choose on...

e from the artboard menu down there. That's kind of an easy way. And what that does, it actually says let's go to Artboard and let's fit it in the window so we can see it. (cough) Excuse me. All right, now we're going to start drawing a little bit here. Now I'm not going to get crazy with this because there could be a lot of things that we can do here. And this is just kind of a starting point or a stepping off point for you to learn how paths work. We took a look at shapes. Shapes are composed of points that we saw and the paths between them, right? As we start to venture a little further in, we're gonna start to use tools like the Pen and the Curvature. This is gonna allow us to create freeform shapes. You can go in and draw like a quick flower if you want to instead of just a square and a circle. If you look over here on the left, you're gonna see we have the Pen Tool and we've got the Curvature tool. Now we're gonna start to explore the Pen Tool a little bit here just to get the feel and understand what a path is and how it works. So what I want you to do is go ahead and select the Pen Tool out here. Now we're gonna come out to the first artboard here. And what I want you to do is come close to this shape here and move around a little bit. Do you see the lines popping up everywhere with these little magenta? These are the Smart Guides. And when we draw with the Pen Tool, I'd say three quarters of the time I turn those off. I turn Smart Guides off because it's really distracting. So why don't you come under View up here? Smart Guides are the measurement labels. There're all kinds of things that we can use that are great. But sometimes we don't need them. So go ahead and choose or select rather Smart Guides right there under View. And it will turn them off. You can toggle them on and off. As you work in here more and more, you're probably going to learn that keyboard command and you can just turn 'em on, turn 'em off as you need them. If you move your pointer around now, you're not gonna see it. So none of those lines anymore. Good. What we're gonna do is we're gonna create a path here and kind of get started. We're gonna kind of mimic this path right here a little bit. But let's go right below it. When we work with tools like this, we are actually charged with making points, these anchor points, and determining or figuring out what the lines looks like between these points. So just watch for one second. With this Pen Tool, I can go out and do this. I can go out and click to set a point, move it away. And you're going to notice this little rubber band. I can then click to set other points. And basically what I'm doing is kind of like the square we created. You're creating these little anchor points in the paths between. That's pretty much it. This is its simplest form. This is how the Pen tool kind of works. Now here's what I'm gonna do. I'm gonna delete, delete, get rid of it. And let's try this. Come below this path down here, and we're gonna just kind of sort of make a zigzag here. But what I want you to do is when you start with the Pen Tool, you're going to see an asterisk show up. That means you're drawing a new path, ready to begin. Just click once and let go. Move your pointer away. You're gonna see this rubber band. This probably is like four versions old now. But this is a little bit newer. Some of us don't like this. If you're used to the Pen Tool in Illustrator, this is something you could turn off in the preferences. We're not going there. But it's gonna show you what the path is gonna look like. Come down here and we're gonna set our next point. You guys, this is the golden rule of the Pen. You set a point when you want the path to change. If you wanted to like zerve this way, you set a point. If you want it to curve that way, you set a point. So why don't you click another point here? Click and let go. And you basically just created a straight line essentially. That's what we did. Move away and you're gonna keep drawing this same path with the Pen Tool. Come down here and just click again. Come down here again, click and let go. Come down here, click and let go. Kind of make sense. You're just making a point, making a path. It's one big path all connected together. Now, crazy thing about the Pen Tool, when you want to stop... Everybody when they first start, they'll be like, "Oh, I'm gonna go over here and draw now." They'll start drawing and you're making this ginormous path that's all over the place. To stop with the Pen Tool, we kind of need to switch tools or do something different. What I would do is this. Come up to the Selection Tool and select the Selection Tool. And it says, "Okay, stop drawing please." We now have this path or the shape here that we can work with. All right, now we're gonna do a little bit of editing to this just to kind of get used to this. So what I want you to do is I want you to zoom in just a little bit to that shape. So come to the Zoom Tool over here on the left. And I want you to just click a few times so you can zoom in, see a little bit better. Now to move the entire shape, this thing we just drew, we would actually use the Selection Tool, the black arrow. So select the Selection Tool. You're going to notice that even this thing that we just drew has a box around it. That we can do things like resize, rotate, scale, do different things like that. If you come in here, we can do that. We can stretch. You can do all kinds of things if you want to. I just made this thing with the Pen Tool. I know where all the points are. They're on those corners there. What if I want to grab one of those little points and do something different with it like move it around? Easy way to do that is to come to what's called the Direct Selection Tool. This is where this kicks in. Select the Direct Selection Tool. And if you look at the path here, you can see all the little points on it, right, the corners. Come to like let's say this point right here. We did this a little bit earlier. But if you hover over it, it's gonna get bigger. That means if you click, you're gonna select it. Go ahead and click. Do you see the little corner radius widget thing? This is awesome. You could now drag that thing and make it rounded, which is kind of neat. We're not gonna do that. But I want you to take that corner, that little point, and drag it somewhere. Just drag it over here, drag it over there. This is Illustrator, you guys. This is base level. This is what it's all about. We create these little anchors. We create the paths. We are in command. We do what we want to do. Now, of course, we just created straight lines out of this. And for us to go in and create curves and different things like that is a little different animal. Hopefully this makes sense. We're gonna move on to curves. What I want you to do is we're gonna go to the third artboard. So come down here to artboard navigation. The second artboard just has a little bit of practice if you guys wanted to do that later on. But come to the third artboard, artboard 3. (coughing) And you should see this. If you want to zoom into it, you can a little bit. You don't have to, depends. I'm gonna zoom in a teeny bit using my Zoom Tool just so we can see it. There we go. Come to the Pen Tool. Select the Pen Tool. Now this is where we take a leap. We're about to create curves. Now just watch me for a second. First and foremost, we haven't really talked much about color. We're gonna do that in the next segment. But as you draw with the Pen Tool, it's gonna put a color of white inside of the shape you create. And it's gonna put the boarder or the stroke on it as black. Don't worry about that right now. Watch. I'm gonna create a curve. To create a curve what we wind up doing is instead of just clicking and moving away, we actually click and drag. Watch. I'm gonna click, hold down my mouse, and pull away. These little guys are called direction handles. You will get to know them well in Illustrator. You will love them, and you will hate them. The idea here is that it allows us to change the direction of the curve. These are like little magnets. Look at this. Look at the one behind. The line behind, the direction handle behind the actual point in the center there, it's controlling the curve before. This little handle I'm yanking on right here is gonna control the next curve, the next path. So whenever I draw with this thing, I'm always looking back. It's kind of weird. But you're looking back. Let's try this. Why don't you come with the Pen Tool? And just come over here. You're gonna see what's called start. Let's go below it. You don't have to go on it. Just go somewhere below it. And what I want you to do is I want you to just click and let go. Click and let go somewhere. Move the pointer away. Click, hold down, and drag away. And you're gonna see you're gonna create a curve. Pretty cool. Now there's a ton we can do with curves. And as a matter of fact, once you let go, it's like, all right, let's keep going. Let's keep drawing this thing, right? First of all, I'm kind of done with this path. I know it's really simple, but I want to stop doing it. So go to the Selection Tool for a second, black arrow. You're gonna learn later there are a lot faster ways to do that, a lot of ways to do that. Go back to the Pen Tool. Select it again. And we can continue drawing another path. We're looking for the asterisk. All right, why don't you come up to this? This is kind of a little practice thing. I want to follow that gray curve, the one in the middle not the arrows, but the gray curve. So what we're gonna do is instead of just clicking for the first point, 'cause that's gonna get kind of a flat curve, I want a total curve like this. We're gonna actually click and drag the first point. So if you want to watch for a second, you can. I'm gonna start here. Click, hold down, drag away. And what we're doing is we're saying which way is the curve going? It's going that way and how curvy it's going to be. The further I drag away, the more it's gonna pull the curve up and the curvier it's going to get. So, you guys, I gave you these little cheats right here. So come to the little red circle and let go. I can let go there. And if I move my pointer away, I can continue to draw. Why don't you try that part? So start there, click, hold down, drag up to the little red dot. Move you pointer away after you let go. And you should see the curve happening, right? Okay, you're gonna get a feel for what I mean by drawing behind, looking behind. Come to this black point right here and just watch me for one second. You'll still draw in a second. I'm gonna click and drag. Now, what I'm doing here is I'm trying to complete that gray curve right there, right? So where I'm dragging, I'm dragging away from the point. But I'm looking back. So I'm looking at the previous curve, saying, "Hey, if I wiggle it that way, "now it's going to flatten it out." If I move it this way, there we go. I'm gonna come closer. It's gonna be more shallow. Further away, it's gonna be curvier. This takes time, you guys, and practice, and all that kind of stuff. But I'm gonna get close. I gave you a little guide here to kind of help. I let go. I've got myself my arch. Why don't you try it if you haven't already? The most awesome part about drawing with this... So what you're gonna do is come to that gray square, the black square rather. Click, hold down, pull away. Watch the curve, get it right, then let go. As you work with this, it's gonna take you time. You're gonna get frustrated in the beginning. And there is a lot of keyboard commands you have to use with the Pen Tool to get it to work the way you want it to. The reason why I wanted to show you this is because paths we create are composed of anchor points and these directional lines which control things. I want to switch gears a little bit here. And a lot of people would keep taking you down the Pen Tool path. But I want to make this a little bit lighter because a lot of us are beginners out there. So what I'd like to do is we're gonna switch tools to what's called the Curvature Tool. And I want to show you guys kind of the same thing but just using an easier method. Let's say that. All right, let's stop drawing this path. So you can go to the Selection Tool. That should stop it for you. And we can keep drawing other things. We're gonna open up another file now just so we kind of keep things clean. I know we have a lot open. We'll close them when we're done here. But what I'd like you to do is come to File, Open. And you're gonna see a butterfly in there. I went a little crazy. I made it a little further along. But we're gonna try this. So go to in that Segment 2 folder. Open it up. I want to fit the artboard in the window. If you remember anything from this class today, it's gonna be fit artboard in window I guarantee it. So View, Fit Artboard in Window. There we go. Now what we're gonna do is we're gonna try and draw one of the wings. We're gonna copy it and make ourselves a butterfly. So what I'd like to do is I'd like to make, I'm giving you a little test here. We're gonna kind of try and remember something we did earlier. I want to make a new artboard. This is our final. We're gonna make one over there, an artboard on the right so we can practice on. One of the easiest ways to do it is to go to the Artboards Panel on the right. Down here, lower right. And come down say, let's make a new artboard, create new artboard. There it is. Now what I'd like to do is I'd like to fit that new artboard in the window. Easy way, you guys, you can use your view fit window. You can also come to the number 2 here and double click and fit it in. Like I said, lots of ways. All right, now I'm gonna show you guys the Curvature Tool. It's killer. It's relatively new. It's probably two, three versions old now. And it's an easier way to draw paths I think. If you take a look over here at the Curvature Tool, why don't go ahead and select it? It's just to the right of the Pen Tool. Click on the Curvature Tool. Now just watch me for one second. I'm gonna draw a little bit, kind of get used to this thing. When we just played around a little bit with the pen tool, I showed you that we are clicking and dragging away with those little handles to kind of control how the curve worked. This tool is gonna create the same kind of path. It's gonna make the points, paths, all that stuff. All you got to do is move the points around and it does the curve for you. This is actually pretty sweet. Watch, just watch. I'm gonna click. Same thing though, this is thing, you're not gonna click and drag away. This is different kind of stuff. It's the same thing though. Watch. I'm gonna click and make two points. Click one, click two. Here's the magic. Watch this. I'm not hold anything down. I'm not doing anything. I'm just moving my mouse away. Look what it does. It's got those little handles working right now. I'm just not dragging them. I'm not doing anything crazy. I can just go in, and start to adjust, and do what I need to do here. Now I'm gonna go out and just make another point, let's say. I'm gonna make a point and say, "Cool, there's a curve." I could just keep jamming, keep going in different directions. I look back. I'm like, "Ah, that looks kind of dumb. "I want to move it." Any of these points with this tool, you can just go, "Hey, let's move that one there." Let's put that one there. I want to put another point. I'm gonna go on a path and click on it. Now let's move that one there. Let's click here. Let's move that one there. This is pretty cool. Now if you're doing a lot of intricate work the further you get into Illustrator, the more I split my time between this tool and the Pen Tool. I actually use both, depending on what I'm doing. But for a lot of our work, we can get away with this one. It's a great tool to work with. So let's try it. So come out here. Now here's the thing though, we're gonna try and draw a butterfly wing. I know you're all pretty good at that. So we got to put that use here. So just follow my lead here as we start. I'm gonna start like right about here. We're gonna make it a little smaller. Right about here and just click. Move the pointer away. Move it up here somewhere. Think of a butterfly wing and move it up here. And click kind of up in the corner maybe. Move the pointer away. You now got the curve for the butterfly wings started. Now this thing take a little bit of time and a little practice. I'm still getting used to it a little bit. We're gonna come down here. Now I'm looking at that wing right there on the left and saying, "All right, let's try and do that." So I'm gonna come over here and say, let's put another point right about here and just click. You're not pulling away, do anything. Just click and let go. Click and let go. Come down here a little bit. Click and let go. I'm looking at the other curve. Come down here. Click and let go. Click and let go. Is that working? You guys doing okay? Okay, now I'm moving here. I'm doing my thing. I'm looking back saying, "Eh, the wing's not full enough. "I need it to be curvier." At any point while you're drawing with this, take the pointer, bring it right over one of the points you already made and just click and drag it in one movement. Click and drag. Make it a little (mumbling). Maybe get a little curvier. If I decided this point up here, it's a little too sharp maybe, it needs a little more curve, a little balloon to it if you will, I could add another point. Watch. I could come maybe to the right of it. (coughing) Once I come over the path, I can see a little plus show up. If I click, I can add another point and move that point away, and start to make it a little curvier. Here we go. It's a feel, you guys. It's one of those things where it's gonna take time, get used to how this works. Does that feel okay? Is it doing okay? (audience murmurs) Look what I'm doing here, you guys. I'm still drawing. So once I'm done editing, I can keep going. I'm gonna come down here now and say, "Eh." Let's put one like right there. Let's put one like way down here. We're gonna kind of stop this, get it done. Put one like way down here. Now, this tool unlike the Pen Tool, the Pen Tool we can go in and we can make straight lines. We can make curve lines, and we can do both together if we want. We can go from a straight line to a curve line. This one by default, it's just making a bunch of curvy paths, which is fine. That's great. But you can also say, "I want to now go to a straight line." Here's how you do that. If I come out here, and I'm like, "You know what, I want this to go straight "to that next point." I want to make a straight line right now. If I were to just click, it's gonna make a curve, right? It's gonna keep going. If you come to the last point you made right down here and you double click on it, you're saying let's make it instead of a curve next, we're gonna make a corner. Double click on that last point you made down there. Now it's not gonna change what you did before. But move your cursor away now, move your pointer away. Look what you get. So I can come back up here for instance, and I could say, "You know what, I'm gonna come back "up to the original point and click on it." Don't worry. Look at it. I know it's gonna do its thing. There you go. Now it kind of messed it up, didn't it? Well, it's following the curve we started with. But look down here. It's still a corner, right? So here's what we could do, come to this point right here. And this is just a little experimentation. It's just trying it out. Come to that first point we created and double click on it. Got a straight line now. Well, it's straight. It's not perfect. We're at a vertical. But that's fine. So if you don't think that this line right up here is curvy enough, what could I do? I could add another point, move it around. I could take the point that's here and try and move it over. And we can try and kind of adjust the curve a little bit. This tool's awesome. It really is cool. If you get used to it, you've got yourself a way to create these paths that are both straight and curved at the same time. You can do both. It takes practice. I'm gonna tell you that right now. It's not gonna happen in these 10 minutes that we've doing this. But at least you kind of get an idea of what we get. Now the magic to this tool... We're gonna just finish this real quick here. But the magic to this tool is that it creates the same kind of path as a Pen Tool with those little direction lines, the little magnet things coming out. Here's what I'm talking about. Why don't you do this for me? Come to the Direct Selection Tool. We switch tools in here by the way all the time. I am constantly switching from drawing to selecting, drawing, selecting. If you come to the Direct Selection Tool, what I want you to do is come to let's say one of these points rights here, like that point right there. Hover over it. You should see a little box, and just click to select it. Do you guys see those little handles show up? There you go. There's your direction handles. If we were using the Pen Tool, we would actually affect those handles to get the curve to curve more. In this case, we're dragging, ratting. We're moving. So it's kind of doing it for us. I don't want to go crazy here. We're not gonna try jamming on these handles. But if you take these little handles and you drag them, you can actually start to adjust the curve even further. Let's not go there. That's fine. (laughing) All right, so we got ourselves a wing. That's awesome. What I'd like you to do is go to the Selection Tool here. And we've got the wing. I want you to click off to deselect it. We learned this earlier. We could now take this wing. And what if I wanted to make a wing the same size, size shape, same thing, but flipped over on the other side? We could use our reflect command, right? Go up and reflect it. So we kind of have that. That's the thing about symmetrical artwork like this. That you might want to be symmetrical. You're gonna use things like that. The last thing we're gonna do here is we're gonna work with what's called the Pencil Tool. This is just another way to draw. This one, ah, I don't know, people just don't like. (laughing) I like it. I use it for certain things. But it's totally freeform. If you want control, Pencil Tool may not be your thing. But for certain things, it'll be great. What we're gonna do is we're gonna draw the little... What is this thing called? Butterfly, the little butterfly body because they're a little squiggly, weird thing. And then we're gonna draw like a little antenna. But I'm not gonna be crazy precise, so I don't need to use the Curvature. I could if I wanted to. Come over here to the left. You're gonna see we have the Shaper Tool. Go ahead and click on the Shaper Tool and hold down. And you should see the Pencil Tool. Now Pencil Tool comes in a set. You get the Pencil Tool, the Smooth Tool, and the Path Eraser. You guys, this tool's awesome. It really is. For freeform stuff, it's really great. Click and select the Pencil Tool. Now we don't have to be symmetrical. We don't have to care about necessarily exactly how straight things are gonna be. So this is a great tool to work with. The thing about this tool you have to do first is you've got to set some settings on how it works. Otherwise, it's gonna be out of control. Come to the Pencil Tool. And some of the tools will work this way. You can try it out. Double click on the Pencil Tool. Double click right on it. And you're gonna see Pencil Tool options. Tools like the brush, different things like that will let you do this. Now, you guys, we're just starting in here, let's say. And this is a little overwhelming. There's a lot of stuff to do in here. I'm only looking at one thing, the one thing that we need to look at. It's called fidelity. I don't care about the word fidelity. All we need to know is is the path we're gonna create accurate or smoother? If you feel like you've had too much caffeine and you draw a path with this thing, it's gonna show. It's gonna be like scuh, scuh, scuh, schu, go like that. So what we tend to do is we tend to let it work for us. So you take this little slider and you drag it to the right. There's only five settings in here, which is kind of annoying. But you drag it to the right. And if you want it to like, as you let go after drawing, it's gonna smooth it out, like make it smoother. You guys, if you drag it all the way to the right, and you make a little body, it's gonna make like an ellipse. So we want to be careful of how much we do. So just do a little bit. So go right there. That's good. Tons of other setting we can work with. I'm not doing that. We're not working with it. Just click okay. Now we're gonna draw our little funky butterfly body. Here's how the Pencil Tool works. It's gonna draw curves. That's it's job. But in the latest versions of Illustrator, last like three, four versions, you can now draw straight lines with this thing too, which is awesome. We're gonna just draw it. So watch me up here for a second. You're gonna see the asterisk on any drawing tool means let's start. I'm gonna click, drag, start drawing. This is gonna look awesome. Got to be careful how I make this look. Wow, that's a worm. Actually, they are kind of like worms. If I come back to the original starting point, you're gonna see a little zero, a little O. That means if I let go, it's gonna close it up. And we got ourselves a little body. Why don't you give that a try? I'm gonna try that again. (laughing) So start somewhere. Don't worry. Click and drag. We're drawing a little squiggly worm, butterfly body Draw it up here. Ah, that looks great. I'll let go. (laughing) Do you see the smoothing happening though when you let go? Sometimes it doesn't even look close to what you drew. So that's why you got to adjust that before you draw. Did anybody screw up? I did. Okay, I know. Look at that thing. This is the best part about the Pencil Tool. You can go now and edit the shape. You're gonna kind of rub it. That sounds bad. That sounds wrong. You're gonna go in, and you're gonna edit it. Watch. It's a little tricky. But you're gonna like redraw parts of it. So if you come back to the path, you're gonna see the asterisk goes away. And what you can do is you can say, "You know what, let me do this." I'm gonna start here on the path, draw a little longer maybe, come up, come back to the path, and let go. And it just redraws that section. That's my favorite. That's my total favorite part. There's a lot of ways you can work with this. There's other things we can do too. You could smooth it out. You can do things. But by default, this is how it works. Now if you're gonna mess it up, you guys, if you watch for one second, you're gonna come up and you're gonna start perfect, drag, and you're not gonna connect it. And it's just gonna draw another path. Just hit delete. Well, actually, we have the whole thing selected. Just go to Edit, Undo Pencil. Undo is your friend in here. So Undo Pencil. So make sure you start on the path and finish on the path. There we go. All right, we got ourselves a little squiggly body. That's awesome. Now we're gonna make some little antenna. We're gonna kind of finish this up here. It's a little antenna. These are just simple. They're just gonna be little lines we draw off the top. So here's where you got to be really careful. If you start on the path here, no asterisk, right? It's gonna try and combine work with that path existing. So what we're gonna do is we're gonna deselect this shape. Now we have the Pencil Tool selected. If I go click somewhere else, it's gonna draw. Another way to deselect things instead of clicking is to go to Select, Deselect. Good commands up here you're gonna see a lot of. So Select, Deselect. Now you can come back to where we started. You're gonna see the little asterisk. Come back to the top of the butterfly's head here. And we're just gonna draw a couple paths. Draw one here and one here. This is awesome. Beautiful. Look at my butterfly go. All right, last couple steps, and we're gonna be done with this section. So does anyone have the little antenna on top of the body, like they're sitting on top of it? Okay, what I really want just to make it look a little better, we cheat a lot in Illustrator, I want to put the body on top of those little antenna. So we're gonna arrange it to the front of the antenna. Select the Selection Tool, the black arrow, click on the body. Now if you guys come into the little body, can you click in the middle of it to select it in the white area? Watch up here. I can't. Look at this. I'm gonna click. All day so far we've been clicking on our shape in the middle of it somewhere and say, "Hey, it's selected." When you use these drawing tools, there's no color in these shapes. Every shape we've been drawing so far has a white color inside of it, which means you can click on that to select. There's nothing in there. So right now, you have to actually click on the path, on the stroke itself, on this edge here. Or another way to select is what we did before, drag across. I can just kind of click, drag, touch it, and select it. Let's bring it to the front. You know what's gonna be crazy, there's no color in it. So it's not gonna look any different. This is ridiculous, but that's fine. So come up to Object, Arrange after you select the body, (audience chatter) and Bring to Front. Let's put a color in it. This is ridiculous. We need some life here. With that selected, look up top. we're gonna learn this in the next section. But Illustrator has a fill and a stroke. Fill is inside of the shape. Stroke is the border. You're gonna see a slash, which means no color. Click on that one right there with the slash on it. And you could just click on any color in here you want. We could make our own. Hopefully everybody saw that. Click on that slash right there, the arrow. And then just fill it with a color. What would a butterfly, probably brown maybe. I don't know. Whatever, black, something like that. That's good. (clears throat) I don't stare at butterflies all day. But that's fine. Press the Escape key when you're done. Hide that panel. And here's a test for you. You're gonna love my test. I want to take the antenna and the body and keep 'em as one object. I want to group them together. So we're gonna select all three objects. Easiest way right now. There's no other artwork in the way. I'm just gonna click and drag across, touch 'em. Go to Object, Group. I can now take the little body and bring it over to the butterfly wing, and we've got the start of our butterfly, which is pretty cool. I could take the body itself, arrange it behind the wing. We could take the wing and reflect it. We could put some color in the wings. We could do all that kind of thing. And that's actually what I did on this side. I just cheated and kind of finished it up for us. But these are the starting points of it. What do you think so far of drawing? There's a lot. I know. There's a lot going on, a lot of ways to do it. I wanted to show you the three main tools. And, honestly, if you're just starting in Illustrator, the one tool you're probably going to be using a fair amount is the Curvature Tool. Some people jump right into the Pen. It takes a little longer. But it works. There we are, we've got ourselves a mutant butterfly. Looking pretty good.

Class Materials

Bonus Materials with Purchase

Project Files Part 1
Project Files Part 2

Ratings and Reviews


I am a pretty computer literate person but an Ai beginner i.e. I am completely new to the Creative Cloud/Adobe Illustrator. (This is also the first time I've used CreativeLive.) I think this course it is fantastic. The pace is good as is the content which progressed logically and covers all the basics you'd hope it would. The course is 2 full days' worth of material but it is broken down into segments so you can revisit or skip through as you need to. The presenter is really personable and easy to watch (even for me, a Londoner!). I would also say I think it is pretty good value for money -- I am currently enrolled on a part time course, basically doing the same sort of stuff, and I have to say this is better and a bit cheaper! I definitely recommend it to you!


A brilliantly designed course. it's almost magic. It's everything you hope for in a follow-along software class. Brian Wood has engineered it so that you start on a project that just needs basics, and then you move on to more & more complicated projects, and almost without realizing it you've learned Illustrator. This doesn't just happen -- Wood has clearly put a LOT of effort into creating this course. Here's one trivial example: he doesn't overload you with a lot of keyboard shortcuts right at the beginning -- you start with the actions themselves, using the (admittedly tedious but easy) pulldown menus, and then after you're comfortable with what you're doing, he'll throw in the shortcut. It may seem obvious, but so many instructors feel they have to give you an extensive foundation of definitions, shortcuts, interfaces, etc., before you ever do anything. Good stuff to know, but you'll never remember it. Wood has you up and working almost immediately. And he's a joy to listen to, at a perfect pace. Highly recommended.

Philippe LIENARD

Top course. Very well explained, clear, good examples, pleasant teacher. I like it and recommend it. One suggestion, it would be nice to have a detailed table of content of the course in the material. For instance, it took me quite a while to find back the part of the course where how to make a gear was explained.

Student Work