adobe illustrator pen tool girl

Step by Step Adobe Illustrator Tutorial for Beginners

In Adobe Illustrator, for Beginners, Step by Step Adobe Illustrator 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 $19

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. Follow Along to more of our 50 Beginner Step by Step Adobe Illustrator Tutorials.

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Adobe Illustrator Resources

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Download our (Updated) 200 Adobe Illustrator Brushes + Resources to Follow Along on YouTube. Many of you are coming from YouTube looking to download our (updated) Adobe Illustrator Brush Libraries. Follow Along to our Beginner Tutorials Playlist or use them with Your Own Artwork. *Our Brushes include the Anchor Point and Tablet Friendly Guides to Follow Along to our 100 Beginner Tutorials Playlist on YouTube. VIEW OUR ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR BRUSHES + RESOURCES 

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Download our (Full) Adobe Illustrator Resource Bundle of 200 Brushes and 400 Textures to Follow Along on YouTube. If you are looking for our Full Resource Folder with all of the Brushes and Textures. Our Resource Bundle includes our (updated) Brush Libraries and (new) BMP Textures for Adobe Illustrator. *Our Resource Bundle includes the Anchor Point and Tablet Friendly Guides to Follow Along to our 100 Beginner Tutorials Playlist on YouTube. VIEW OUR ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR RESOURCE BUNDLE

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Follow Along with our 100 Full-Length Adobe Illustrator Learning Modules in our Active Learning Curriculum on Teachable. If you are a fan of our YouTube Channel and Step-by-Step Format, there are 100 Full-Length Adobe Illustrator Tutorials, Challenges, and Tool-Based Workflows in our Active Learning Curriculum on Teachable. *Includes our Adobe Illustrator 200 Brushes + 400 Textures as a Getting Started Bonus. VIEW OUR ACTIVE LEARNING CURRICULUM ON TEACHABLE*