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Intro to Adobe Illustrator

Lesson 4 of 12

Drawing Shapes


Intro to Adobe Illustrator

Lesson 4 of 12

Drawing Shapes


Lesson Info

Drawing Shapes

Let's get into something fun here. Drawing shapes. One of my absolute favorite things to dio drawing shapes and illustrator. Okay, because that's one of the things we do quite a lot of logo creation. And if you stick with us, you know, and see some of my other classes, we're gonna be doing a class on Grady INTs. Totally awesome. But let's get to the tools here with all of our shapes. So we talked about our shapes here in the toolbar where we could go in and we could click and hold and do our tear off, which gives us our shapes Here. I did this with our shapes and our lines here. Okay, so we have our rectangle are rounded rectangle, our lips polygon and the star tool right. There are basic shapes drawing. So there's a lot of notes and hints that we have in here on drawing the shapes, drawing and editing polygons and stars and editing or corner widgets. And so what we're gonna do is we're gonna use this his reference, and we're gonna jump over to our next art board here, and we're going ...

to start drawing some shapes now. I've included a whole bunch of smart, smart shortcuts here on what you can use in order to draw your shapes. So here's how it works. The rectangle tool. You click and drag with your rectangle and you draw a rectangle. It's like, Okay, how hard can that be? Not a problem. One trick. If I would like to draw perfect square, I'm gonna draw that shape and I'm gonna hold down my shift key while I'm drawing this. Okay, Shift is going to constrain you. Want a perfect circle? Straight line. Perfect square. Hold down your shift. Keep fantastic. If I don't want those shapes, I can simply delete them when I'm done. And I'm going to go back and delete this one too. Now, common problem that we have when we're in the middle of drawing here. And I would like to select this shape that I've just drawn to manipulate it or delete it. I need to go back to my selection tool and the selection tool is a tool we're going to use all the time to be able to select and manipulate anything in Illustrator. My selection tool is the very first tool here in the toolbar and it's shortcut is V. So I'm going to use that shortcut all the time to be able to get back to my selection tool. A lot of times people will draw shape, and then they try to do something with the shape tool in the shape tool. Onley draws the shapes. It doesn't manipulate the shape so back to my selection tool so I can select that shape and move it around and selected if I would like to delete it or manipulate that shape in any way. So squares and rectangles pretty simple. If I go over to my lips right here, same thing is true. I can draw the Ellipse course. If I hold down my shift key, I get a perfectly constrained circle. Great. The key to drawing something with the shift key held down. Make sure you draw the shape with your shift key held down. Let go of your mouse first and then let go of your shift key. That's the key if you let go of shift before your shape will no longer be constrained, I'm gonna hit the lead on that Now this is great that I can draw any shapes, but I need to draw a shape, a very specific size. Well, when it comes to drawing a shape a very specific size, I'm not actually gonna draw the shape. I'm going to simply select my shape for my toolbar and click right on my document. This will allow dialogue box to come up in which I can go be in and I can set the shape here. I use my tab key to jump in between the open fields and then I can simply type this in. Now you'll notice that this is all in millimeters. And you may say, you know what? I don't work in millimeters. I need to work in inches. And so we try to fumble around to find where we can change our preferences for our units and increments, which is right here under our preferences. But you know what? I'm not gonna change. My preference is for this. I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to simply type in a different unit of measurement, even know my document is set up to millimeters. If I want something that's 2.5 inches, all I have to do is simply type in that unit of measure, and it's automatically going to convert it for me. So don't worry about something that isn't showing up exactly the way you want to put it in the way you want to see it, and it will convert it and you get your shape exactly like that. This works with all of the drawing tools. Take the drawing tool, click on the page, get the dialog box, make any changes and then click. OK, so that's how we can draw those really basic shapes quite quickly jumping over the polygon tool when you draw the polygon tool, the default is a six sided polygon. Now a couple things with this one. When we draw a polygon here, you'll notice that we can rotate the polygon. Well, if I would like one of those sides to be parallel. My trick is you hold down the shift key because if you've ever drawn a shape that isn't quite level right there trying to get it level afterwards, not easy hold down shift while you're drawing that and you had a perfectly level polygon. How do I change sides when I'm drawing the polygon? Great question here is what you do while you're drawing the poly on Don't let go of your mouse. There's times let go This is not the time to let go When you're drawing the polygon here draw the polygon And don't move your mouse when you're doing this So draw the shape and then hold the mouse Still, when you use your up arrow you're gonna add signs The polygon When you use your down arrow you're gonna take sides away And as many people have found out over the years A lot of people try to create triangles on their own because they didn't know the polygon tool could make triangles. Yeah, it can hate to tell you folks, but the triangle's a three sided polygon. When I draw my triangle again, I'm gonna hold down my shift key. So the base of the triangle is going to be level and I can let go. Once I draw the polygon with this number of sides, all of my subsequent drawing of the polygon will always be that shape. If I would like to change that shape to something else, I simply draw that polygon used my upper down arrow to change the number of sides and then that will become my new preset, nice and simple. Okay, now there's a couple other fun things that we could do with editing these shapes. But we're gonna do that in a little bit because we're just going to get through the basic drawing of the shapes with the polygon. If you don't want to draw on, change the sides while you're actively drawing, take the polygon tool, click someplace on your art board and then you can come in here and you can set your size. Polygons are a little bit different because they do not give you the overall size off the shape. They give you the radius, which is measured from the center to the edge. So if I want a 50 millimeter wide polygon, I type in half of the size I want, because this is going to be from the center to the edge, and then I control the number of sides. There is no preview button. You just have to trust this and there is your polygon. That's my new default. All of my polygons will now look like that so I can freeform draw them or I can go ahead and click and call up the dialogue box. I'm gonna go back to my selection tool by hitting the letter V and I'd like to clear these out of the way. One thing I can do is click and drag over multiple shapes to select them all if I want to delete them. But here's a way that I can also move them and I can resize them to if I want instead of one at a time, just simply click in the free space, drag over those shapes and I can move the ball. In this case, I just want to delete them. So he hit the delete key and away they go. Now we're gonna jump over to the star tool. I draw the star and it looks like a traditional star. Fantastic. But now that I'm getting a taste of illustrator and I really want to see these cool features that we have, I know there's more we can do with a star. Oh, yes, there is. I'm gonna draw the star tool and I'm gonna keep my mouse held down up Arrow is going to add points to it down. Arrow is gonna take points away Do you ever want to do a burst on something? Not that I recommend doing a burst, but if you just feel the need to do a burst. There you go. Now I'm still holding my mouse down. I haven't let go. I would like to control the length of those points. So command on the Mac control on the PC. I pull out from the center to get longer points in toward the center to get shorter points. Now, every time I draw with Star Tool, this is my new default right here with those shapes. Okay. How do I change that? By using the dialog box, take the star tool click on the art board and then I'm going to go in and set this and it's like, Oh, my gosh, What is this radius? One radius too. Radius one is the center from the measurement from the center point to the furthest outside point radius to is the measurement from the center point to the inside point. Does this make sense? Not to me. I understand this picture. I don't understand this. Yeah, I get the number of points here, so this is fine. If you really want to be mathematical about it. The problem with this is there's no preview button. So you really don't know what this is gonna look like. Which is why I like to draw the star tool. Use my up and down arrow so I can visualize these things. Commander Control, Pull out! Commander Control, Pull in and you get your points. Awesome! Super fantastic. Okay, those are the basic shapes. Now, the one thing that I did skip over here was the rounded rectangle And the reason why is because we don't really need this tool Because we can take our rectangle and we can around it ourselves. Now, here comes the fun. So strap yourself in here. Corner widgets Almost as good as bacon. Not quite, but still justice Fun corner widgets. I've drawn my rectangle tool. I'm gonna go back to my selection tool and you see these targets in the corner of my shape. Now these only come up where I have corner so you will not see corner widgets on a circle. The's corner widgets. Allow me to, with my selection to allow me to select and pull in toward the center and widget my corners And I know some of you are saying Get out. I know it's that awesome. We never thought rounded corners would, like, get your going, but yes, they dio. So when I hover over these corners here, it looks like my cursor is very unhappy Little frowny face. That actually isn't true, that showing me that the cursor is set to do a rounded corner. Now we have three styles of corner rounded flat and inverse rounded. How do we get to those? Well, I could go to my properties panel and I could check that out. But, you know, I'm so engrossed in drawing these shapes that I'm not even paying attention to the properties panel. I'm gonna edit it right on here, but I hold down my option or multi on. I'm going to option or alter click on those corner ridges and I will cycle through the styles of corners. I can pull them in or out from the center, option or alter, click and cycle through them all. I know pretty awesome. I want to do just one corner. So if I go in and I select my shape like it is here and all my corner widgets show up. I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to click once in the corner widget and you can see it kind of turns into what I call a little fatty doughnut right there looks slightly different there, but there's no little dot in the center. When I click once with the selection tool on that, that allows me to change that one corner independently off all the other corners. When I let go, it's no longer active, so I would have to activate it again or activate another corner, too, at it just that particular corner. So, yes, I can go through here and I could get corners that are not the same. I could get asymmetrical corners and walk through there so super simple to do while you're editing right on there. If I take my polygon tool, I can do the same feature here. Let me go ahead and back this down to a triangle. You'll see. Go back to the selection tool. You'll see the one corner widget up here, and I can also pull that to widget all the corners at once because it's a polygon illustrator feels that doing it all symmetrically is really good. So since we're in the middle of clicking on these things here, another cool feature that you may not know is this little triangle here. This will diamond shape on the right hand upper corner of your Polyana Onley on the polygon tool. I hover over this I get plus minus and this allows me to drag up and down to change. The shape has changed a number of sides on that shape, actively. Pretty cool. And whatever corner widgets you've set that allows me to corner which it the whole thing and it keeps it as we change those shapes. Wow! Totally awesome. So there it is, drawing just the very basics of shape here that fast.

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..