Drawing Paths & Shapes: Pencil Tool  E-mail
User Rating: / 0
PoorBest 
Written by Craig Watkins   

Exploring the drawing tools that make Illustrator so powerful.






To draw a freeform path in Illustrator, select the PENCIL TOOLImagefrom the toolbar.

To draw with the PENCIL TOOL, click and drag on the artboard, forming any shape you like, to create your PATH (line). The path will have anchor points to define the shape and smoothness of the path.

 

 

Image

 

 

The color of your path is determined by the STROKE COLOR in the STROKE ICON in your toolbar.

 

 

Image

 

 

To select a STROKE COLOR, click on the STROKE ICON to bring it to the front (or click on the double-ended arrow to toggle between FILL and STROKE) and choose a color from the SWATCH PALETTE or from the COLOR PICKER.

 

 

Image

 

 

FILL color is the color inside a closed object, such as a square or circle.
STROKE color is the color around the edge of an object or the color of a line.

 

TIP: If you draw with the pencil tool and don’t see anything, check to make sure you have assigned a color in the stroke icon in the toolbar.

I find for the pencil tool, it is best to turn off the FILL COLOR if you are not drawing a closed shape. To do this click on the FILL PALETTE (or the double-ended arrow) to bring it to the front and then turn the FILL off by clicking on the box with a red line through it underneath the FILL and STROKE icons.

 

 

Image

 

 

If you need to edit the shape of your PATH, you can use the PENCIL TOOL to edit by placing your PENCIL TOOL on the PATH, clicking and dragging to another point on the PATH. The PATH will reshape itself. This is tricky though and can change your PATH significantly if you try to edit too extremely.

 

 

Image

 

Image

 

Image

 

 

To make a closed shape, begin drawing and hold down the OPTION(Mac)/ALT(PC) key and draw a portion of your shape. Release the mouse and then release OPTION/ALT and the PATH will close itself to become a shape.

 

In the hidden menu with the PENCIL TOOL, you will find tools called the SMOOTH TOOL and the ERASE TOOL.

 

ImageImage

 

To use the SMOOTH TOOL, make sure the PATH you want to smooth is selected, click and mouse over the area of your PATH you wish to smooth a few times, much like if you were using an eraser. This will adjust the points in this area and smooth out your curves. The ERASE TOOL is used in the same way to completely eliminate portions of your PATH.

 

SMOOTH TOOL

 

 

Image

 

Image

 

Image

 

 

ERASE TOOL

 

 

Image

 

Image

 

Image

 



blog comments powered by Disqus
 

Take A Poll

What Are You Most Interested In?
 
What Version Of Illustrator Do You Use?
 

Twitter