Adobe Illustrator Tutorial using Shapes and Pen Tool.
In this easy to follow tutorial we will be going through our resource document to build our cartoon character and practice using shape and pen tools. Looking to Follow Along? Download Brushes, Textures + Tutorial Resources
Building with Shapes
Shapes are a great way of building your characters especially as you gain experience with blend, warp, shape builder, and pathfinder to create unique shapes.
We will be using our 2 step approach to the pen tool. The first is using straight lines to just get down our anchor points. We will then be using the convert anchor tool to create curves and handles.
Flat Color & Shadows
Using live paint and the knife tool are fast ways of getting down color and shadows without having to use pathfinder to create shapes.
Illustrator Cartoon Inking using Pen Tool
Adding on Line Variation using Cartoon Brushes
You will have more control over the placement and width of each of your lines using the Cartoon Brushes. The process will be a combination of using the Brushes to get down the initial thickness and stroke width. The second step will be modifying the placement of the variation using the so we can edit later. This 2-Step Process allows for more control over your Line Variation compared to using your Tablet with Pressure.
1. The Direct Download will make it very easy to download the zipped brushes file. Simply Extract All of the contents and follow along with the rest of the video.
Open Other Library
2. In your Brushes Panel, Window – Brushes. In the Bottom Left Hand Corner you will see a Brushes Library icon that looks like books. Click on it and scroll down to Other Library. Open Brush Library from folder.
Adding Line Weight
3. Depending on your own Style or preference, I would recommend adding a little more line weight to your artwork. The mistake I see a lot of beginners make is keeping the line weight at 1pt.
4. We have 17 Brush Libraries in our folder. You can use any one of them during this tutorial. All you have to do is line up the thin edge which will be floating in space. The Thick ends will represent our values which will be merging into other areas and strokes.
Coloring in Adobe Illustrator
Open the Swatch Window. On the bottom left hand corner you will see the Open Swatch Libraries icon. At the bottom of the drop-down menu you will see Open Other Library. Go to our resource folder in the Color Palettes folder to Open ASE files. The ASE files have been created to make your life easier while going through the Challenge Series. Once you open the Library- click on the folder icon next to the swatches to move them from the library to the swatches.
One of the easiest and fastest ways of filling in your color is through Live Paint. Live Paint is a part of the Shape Builder Tools which builds the shapes in the exact shape you need it without having to use pathfinder. Once you are in Live Paint just point and click to create new shapes.
If you are enjoying our Step by Step and Active Learning curriculum, I would consider the Tutorials + Challenges . This will give you access to the Full-Length Tutorials and Challenges including the Coloring and Value Steps.
(New) Active Learning
Well this is going to be awkward. I have been publishing (NEW) step by step content over the last year on our Teachable site. Our Premium Plus is all our (NEW) Tutorials + Challenges + Workflows, which is our library of 100+ Active Learning Tutorials + Pro Series.