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 pen tool.
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.
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.
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 Brush Libraries include our 70 Cartoon, 100 Comic Strip, and 50 Vintage Mascot Brushes
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How to Color in Adobe Illustrator
One of the easiest and fastest ways of filling in your color is through Live Paint. Live Paint Bucket 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 do 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 with everything selected. Click on the Live Paint Bucket (K) and Click to Dump Color. It will feel like the Paint Bucket in Adobe Photoshop.