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Adobe Illustrator: Create Line Drawings Part 2

Adobe Illustrator: Create Line Drawings Part 2

Brush tool: Select path, redraw overt, all fixed!

Fixing Your Drawing When you have finished laying down your drawing, you can now go back and fix any small mistakes you may have made.

Using the Brush Tool, Highlight the stroke that you want to fix. Now, simply “redraw” a brush stroke over it. Notice that the stroke that you highlighted changes. I find this tip useful for fixing slight curves, or changing the endpoint of a stroke.

I used the brush tool to lengthen this stroke.

Select your path. Redraw over it. All fixed!

Changing the Thickness If a stroke is just slightly too thick or thin, highlight it, then select a different brush. The stroke will change to the size of the new brush. You can also use the Stroke palette by changing the “1 pt” to another value. “2 pt” will double the thickness, “.5 pt” will half the thickness, and so on.

The Pen Tool If need to remove just a portion of a stroke, use the pen tool to add points to the path. Use the Direct Selection tool to delete the unwanted parts.

The ellipses I draw went straight through my pie. I used the pen tool to fix the overlapping areas.

Select your path. Add points with the pen tool. Delete your unwanted line.

Keeping Your Drawing Organized – Layers and Groups

If your drawing is a bit complicated, it will benefit you greatly if you stay organized. Group paths that are part of the same element, such as a person or an object, by selecting all the paths and going to Object–>Group (or pressing command+G). Now, when you click on one of the paths using the Selection tool, the whole group will be selected. This will make it easier if you need to move or resize your object. It will also keep your Layers palette more organized. If you want to add paths to your group later, click and drag them in your Layers palette. If you need to select a single path, use the Direct Selection Tool or ungroup by going to Object–>Ungroup.

How to Use Your Finished Drawing

You can experiment with different ways to finish your illustration. If you just want to color your drawing with solid colors, I like to use the pencil tool in Illustrator. Create a new layer and place it underneath your drawing. It may also be a good idea to lock your drawing layer, so you don’t accidentally modify it. Pick a fill color and set your stroke color to empty. Draw your shapes underneath your drawing. If you accidentally color outside the lines, you can modify the shapes in the same way fixed your brush strokes. Select your shape, then redraw your edges with the pencil tool to fix it.

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Coloring with the pencil tool.

Also experiment with different inking styles. Try different sizes and types of brushes to create different effects. In the picture below, I used a very thin brush to add some cross-hatching to my drawing. I liked how it gave it a more hand-drawn feel.

Adding some cross-hatching

I also like to copy and paste my drawing into Photoshop. The beauty of creating your drawing in Illustrator is that you can resize it any size canvas you like. I keep it on it’s own layer and paint underneath.

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