adobe illustrator pen tool girl

Step by Step Adobe Illustrator Tutorial for Beginners

In Adobe Illustrator, for Beginners, Tutorials by Jason Secrest

Step by Step Adobe Illustrator Tutorial using the Pen Tool

In this beginner step by step Adobe Illustrator CC tutorial, we will be going nice and slow through a simple workflow of inking using the Pen Tool. We will be adding shadows and halftone pattern fills to complete these cartoon characters. We will be going through our resource anchor point guide to build our character and practice using the the pen tool. Looking to Follow Along? Download Brushes, Textures + Tutorial Resources

adobe illustrator pen tool girl
Anchor Point Guides

Anchor point guides are designed to make life easier as you are learning where to place anchors while using the pen tool and how to adjust handles using the direct selection tool(A).

Using Pen Tool

We will be using our 2 step approach to using the pen tool(P). The first is using straight lines to just get down our anchor points. We will then be using the anchor tool(shift C) to create curves and handles.

Color & Shadows

Using live paint and the knife tool are fast ways of getting down flat color and shadows without having to use pathfinder to new create shapes.

Zoom In

All of our initial preferences are designed to gain more control over what you are clicking on. The more you can zoom in and see your anchors and handles the better.

Smart Guides

Under VIEW make sure you have your smart guides turned on. Under your PREFERENCES (smart guides) you should definitely have your anchor/ path labels selected.

Anchor and Handle Size

In your (general) PREFERENCES there is a setting which can enlarge your anchor points and handles to make them easier for you to see before clicking.

Direct Selection Tool

The white arrow can grab and adjust the anchors, handles, and paths. All of the other settings are designed to let you know what you are selecting before you click and drag.

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 (Download + Install). 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.

adobe illustrator cartoon brushes girl

Download Brushes

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.

Cartoon Brushes

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.

DOWNLOAD + INSTALL

ILLUSTRATOR BRUSHES

BRUSHES W/ RESOURCES

How to Color in Adobe Illustrator

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. Select All. Go up to Object - Live Paint - Make. If you have a grayed out Make it simply means you didn't have anything selected. I recommend Deselecting by clicking on your artboard before clicking on a Color Swatch. *Remember Everything is still Selected so it will Color the Full Selection if you click on a Color Swatch. Click on the Live Paint Bucket (K) and Click to Dump Color. It will feel like the Paint Bucket in Adobe Photoshop. View Full List of 100 Step by Step Tutorials, Challenges and Tool-Based Workflows in our  Adobe Illustrator Active Learning Curriculum.

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Adobe Illustrator Resources

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200+ Adobe Illustrator Brushes specifically designed for Illustrators and Cartoonists to speed up their workflows. Includes Cartoon Brushes, Jittery Hand, Caffeinated Cartoonist and Hand-Painted Brushes. Follow Along to the Tutorials on the or Use with your Own Artwork. Includes Tutorial Resources for the Website and YouTube. VIEW ILLUSTRATOR BRUSHES

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Illustrator Resources include our 200 Brushes, 400 Textures and Tutorial Resources. Many of you are coming from YouTube and are looking for our Illustrator Resource Folder to Follow Along to the Tutorials or use with Your Own Artwork. Includes the Tutorial Resources to Follow Along on the Website and YouTube. VIEW ILLUSTRATOR RESOURCE BUNDLE

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Our Active Learning Curriculum on Teachable includes all of our Tool-Based Workflows, Unit Blocks, 100 Full-Length Modules and Illustrator Resources. What we are going to do in our Getting Started Guide is catch you up on how to Download our Illustrator Resources, Select a Tool Based Workflow and Follow Along to our Learning Modules on Teachable*VIEW ACTIVE LEARNING CURRICULUM