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Intro to Adobe Illustrator

Lesson 8 of 12

Combine Shapes


Intro to Adobe Illustrator

Lesson 8 of 12

Combine Shapes


Lesson Info

Combine Shapes

now the essence of illustrator going through and actually creating shapes from this. So many people have a frustration with illustrator because they say I can't draw on. I'm not creative and it's like, awesome. You don't need to be because an illustrator you can create so many things. And if you don't know already, I have a blawg all about building everything in Illustrator. I've been doing it for years, and it's Jason hoppy dot com. You go there and you can sign up every Monday morning. You're going to get something in your inbox, something cool that I've created for you and all these things that I'm showing you. Yes, you can build these all. I don't believe Illustrator is one of those things that should be lofty and hard to use. I want to show you how ridiculously simple it is to build anything and where that starts combining shapes together we can take any shape, and we're gonna make it into something incredible. So one of the tools that we have the shape builder tool absolutely fan...

tastic, building simple shapes and going through here, we can add shapes together to create something we can subtract shapes we can remove lines out of things and do this. And it all starts withdrawing our basic shapes, which we just showed you using the shape builder tool to go ahead and create anything you can possibly imagine. Now, I remember when I was a kid. I always like to get those books where you put all these basic shapes together, and then you go drawing yourself a bulldozer without actually drawing a bulldozer. And I just thought that was so cool. Well, guess what? Here it is. We're gonna show you how cool that is. Practice combining shapes. All right, basic stuff. Get some basic shapes here. I've got a couple circles and circles right there, and there's my little arc right there. So here's what we're gonna do with combining shapes I can add, subtract and knock out the shapes. I'm gonna make an apple. So I have a circle right here. And by the way, one cool little trick with this is if I draw a circle here and I would like another circle the exact same size, I'm not going to try to draw out the same size One of my absolute favorite things to Dio select the shape that you've just drawn. Hold down your option or your old key, and you'll notice the cursor doubles up. Option click and drag will go ahead and duplicate anything. Yeah, that works in all the adobe applications. Everything option or alter, click and drag. Love it. Take these shapes selected with the selection tool. And I'm gonna move these shapes over each other because I'd like to create an apple here. Kind of looks like a little apple right there. In fact, I'm gonna tweak these a little bit. I'm gonna make these little bit narrower. I'm gonna put these in here. There it is kind of an apple shape. I'm gonna select both these shapes now. I'm gonna go to my shape. Builder Tool. The shape builder tool is over here. Sometimes it's really hard to find these. So the shape, builder tool, a shift em. And the reason why I give you the short cuts there is because if you can't find him in the toolbar, it's nice just to know those shortcuts and then you can find it. And you're like, ah ha. That's the tool in order for have the shape builder toe work correctly, you have to have all the shape selected that you would like to go ahead and add or subtract or knockout when you have those shape selected and the shape builder tool, you'll notice the cursor now shows a plus, which means everything I touch inside the selected shapes will be added together. I'm going to simply click and drag and you'll notice when I hover over. These are not clicking yet. I'm just hovering over this. Things mess here so I know what it is I'm putting together. Now I'm going to click and I'm going to drag over all of these just like dragging my finger and is gonna add them all together. It's all one shape. Beautiful. That is awesome. Right there is my basic apple. I feel good gonna go back to my selection. Tool V is the short cut. I'm gonna do the same thing with the circles up here, but I'm going to use the subtract feature. I'm gonna move these over and I'm going to hover these over about halfway, and I'm a select both of these shapes. What I'm creating here is I'm creating a leaf for this apple. So I'm gonna use my shape, builder tool, which is shift em. But here I do not want to add these together. What I want to do is I want to end up with just the resulting overlap. So I'm gonna hold down my option or my old key and you'll notice when I hold down the option of the cult that subtract. Okay, Very simple. Never good at math. But I could understand that. Hold down the option of old key. I am now going to hover over and option click and get rid of those sections that I don't want to go back to. My selection tool. There is my leaf. Now, when we talked about drawing and holding down the shift key when we're drawing to make sure the shape stay in proportion, we could also use the shift key for rotating as well. If I would like to size and keep this in proportion, I'm gonna hold down my shift key and shift pull on the pole handles to make sure that I don't skew it out of whack. Thank goodness for Command Z right there. I also want to rotate this so if I hover slightly outside the corner and I hold down my shift key instead of just rotating it manually amid a hold down the shift key, which allows me to snap it. Just like when I draw a line. Vertical horizontal, 45 degree angle. Put that here on the grab. My my arc. Put it right there. The ark is a little bit big. I'm gonna hold down my shift key on a scale that down a bit. Park that right there. Awesome. Remember what I said about highlight noodles? How I love highlight noodles. Yeah, So I'm gonna put a little highlight. New line, the apple Here. I'm in to select the shape, and I'd like to duplicate this line here. Someone hold down my option key and I'm an option. Click and drag. Rotate this by holding down my shift key to get that flipped. I'm gonna put that right there going to go over to my properties panel. I would like to change the color of this toe white, so I'm gonna go to my properties, click on my color right here, go to my little color mixer and I can go in and I can actually create white here, or it can pick it up from my spectrum. Right there. They built do a very nice highlight. Pink right there. Great. Look at that. Highlight noodle. There it is. Created an apple. Did I draw the apple? Absolutely not. I don't draw apples, but you create an apple the other way. We can combine shapes right here. Super easy. I just want to make a quick little cup of coffee. And it's like, How do you make a cup of coffee looking like this? Well, everything I look at, I always break down into all these basic shapes. So here is the cup of coffee. I'm gonna draw an oval, and I've got a box that I'm gonna put over this oval right here. I'm gonna select both the oval in the box, going to use my shape, builder, tool, shift em. And I want to get rid of all of this up here. Option or Ault, Click and drag over. Everything gone. There's the top of my coffee cup back to the selection tool V and I have another shape. And what I'm doing is I'm using these shapes is actually just cut off. Okay? Like it would with a pair of scissors or piece of tape. I'm just using this shape as a straight edge to go ahead and get what I want to put that box underneath there. So, like both those with the selection tool, shift em for the shape builder tool. Don't add these together, and I can clearly see that is an ad mode here. So I hold down the option key and I subtract those Awesome. Now what I need is I need a little handle so I can go in and I can create a circle here for my handle. And because the last color I selected, there's my handle right there. And I'm going to create another circle here. Now, this is kind of a cool thing. We didn't talk about this, but I want to show you how we can draw something on top of something. I have drawn my circle right there. And what I'd like to do is I'd like to draw another circle. And now every time I draw a circle, when I draw, you always notice it comes from the corner. I'm gonna draw from the center here. And if I put my cursor in the center where I want to draw on. Hold down my option key and draw. This allows me to draw from the center. I could do this with circles and squares. So in this case, I wanted to line it right up. So option are all allows you to draw from the centre. I'm gonna select both my objects here. My shape. Builder Tool, Shift em. I want to get rid of the middle option. Click. There is my little handle scale that holding the shift key down. Wow. Just like that. A little cup of coffee. Sweetest can be. I love it now. Pretty awesome. Basic shapes combining them with a shape builder tool. And we can do that so easy. Before you know it, you've created something.

Class Description


  • Navigate the Illustrator workspace
  • Draw and transform shapes
  • Create and apply color swatches
  • Choose and edit the perfect font for your project
  • Create a project from start to finish in Illustrator


The world’s top designers use Adobe® Illustrator® for its powerful, vector-based drawing environment – and now you can too. In this short course, Jason Hoppe takes you through the Illustrator basics to take a project from beginning to end. Learn helpful shortcuts and how to use core powerful tools to create and customize the graphics you need. Jason will show you how to create a new document, navigate the interface with ease, draw and manipulate shapes, apply color and text and save your file to be used across Adobe platforms. In Intro to Adobe Illustrator, learn the fundamentals to create high-quality vector illustration.


This class is for beginner designers interested in creating logos or graphics, freelancers building their business and brand, and anyone new to the Adobe Cloud.


Adobe Illustrator CC 2019


An Adobe® Certified Expert and Adobe® Certified Instructor, Jason Hoppe has accrued more than 17 years’ experience in high-end production training, photo retouching, color correction, and creative workflow management. Active in high-end electronic production since the industry’s inception, he’s also taught prepress and electronic design to hundreds of Seattle-based creative professionals and aspiring designers in various settings, including one-on-one tutoring, classroom instruction, live webcasting, and large group training. A founding Instructor at Creative Live, he currently teaches the Adobe® Creative Suite at The School of Visual Concepts, Luminous Works and Seattle Central College.

You can find Jason’s website and blog with Adobe Illustrator tutorials at


  1. Class Introduction

    Entering Illustrator: what are the interface basics you need to know? Jason gives you a quick overview of toolbars, panels and notable features of the newest version of Illustrator.

  2. Zoom and Navigation

    Learn how to use different zoom options to navigate the workspace with ease and efficiency. Jason shows you how to use floating and nested panels, helpful shortcuts, and how to access presets and customize your workspace.

  3. Create a New Document

    Beginning a project presents options: do you use templates, presets, or custom options? Jason models how to create a new document.

  4. Drawing Shapes

    Logo design begins with the shape builder tool; learn how to use one of the most fundamental drawing tools in the graphic design toolkit. In this lesson, Jason demonstrates not only how to draw basic shapes, but also how to toggle between variations, how to use the selection tool, and the power of corner widgets in creating vector graphics.

  5. Properties Panel

    Learn why the properties panel is your home base and how to best utilize it.

  6. Live Shapes and Transform Panel

    Go beyond basic shape building: the transform panel offers what you need to create more complex shapes in vector art. What possibilities does a live shape offer? Which features can you toggle on or off? Watch Jason model shape transformation in real time.

  7. Drawing Lines

    Switch drawing modes from shapes to lines, as Jason teaches you how to draw lines and arcs, use the stroke panel to edit lines, and utilize the curvature tool. Learn how to easily create dotted lines and different line variations available in Illustrator.

  8. Combine Shapes

    How do you build a coffee cup out of simple shapes? Learn to add and subtract shapes and see shapes in a different way; in this lesson Jason models creating complex figures and step by step icon design.

  9. Transform Shapes

    Professional graphic designers don’t waste time painstakingly drawing complex shapes: learn how to create bursts, gears, splatters, and other shapes in a matter of seconds. Jason will teach you how to rotate, resize, duplicate, change, and group shapes together.

  10. Create and Apply Color Swatches

    Why should you use the color swatches panel? How can you quickly create different colored mock-ups of the same object? Jason shows you how to create new colors, apply them, and recolor artwork without time-consuming editing. Learn how to access your custom colors across the platform in Adobe Photoshop or InDesign as well.

  11. Choosing Fonts and Editing Text

    In this lesson, Jason demonstrates how to choose type, edit text, add color, and navigate through properties panel text options. What is the difference between point vs. paragraph text? What are the limitations of each? Jason models managing text challenges.

  12. Saving Your Files

    In closing, Jason shows you to save in different file formats, export file formats, and export assets to asset libraries if you want to work on a specific item in another Adobe application.


Pattianne Pascual

This is magnificent! What a beautiful gift. I am 56 and always learning. This free class inspired me even more. I will be telling everyone about creative live,sharing and urging others to buy some of these great classes and bundles. Thank you so very much,again and again.i look forward to taking classes on a regular basis.

Sherrie Alexander

Jason was super knowledgeable, made working in illustrator fun and simplified . Love his easy to follow instructions. As we all know starting up in illustrator can be overwhelming. Thank you so much I needed this!


Good course, very basic though. Although I wished more details could have been added. Jason's explanations were very good and thorough..