As we get started working in Illustrator, we'll learn how to work with the most basic tools that will be used in almost every Illustrator session: the shape tools and the selection tools.
Using the Shape Tools
We will begin by working with the shape tools. An important part of working with Illustrator is understanding how to use the shape tools. Several common shapes, such as rectangles, ellipses and star shapes, are available to work with in tool form, but almost any shape can be made by combining and altering these basic shapes.
Let's see how to create a rectangle now.
Step1. To select the Rectangle tool, in the Tools panel,
Step2. To position the cursor,
Point to the left side of the artboard, at 7" on the vertical ruler
Step3. To draw the rectangle,
Press & Drag down to the bottom right corner of the artboard
Working with Strokes and Fills
Every object in Illustrator is defined by a path. The path is the underlying shape, which Illustrator remembers as a set of geometric coordinate points connected with lines. Paths are not visible unless they have a stroke, which is a border around the edge, or a fill, which is coloration that fills the inside of the path.
It might help to think of paths as a "connect the dots" puzzle. A stroke is then the connecting line between the dots, and the fill is the shading applied inside the connected dots.
We will alter both the stroke and the fill of the whole rectangle to get a better sense of these concepts. To alter whole objects, we'll use the Selection tool.
Step1. To activate the Selection tool, in the Tools panel,
Step2. To select the rectangle, on the artboard,
Click the rectangle
Step3. To select the Fill swatch, in the Tools panel, if necessary,
Step4. To switch to the Swatches panel, in the Panel dock,
Step5. To change the Fill color, in the Swatches panel,
Click a green swatch
Step6. To work with the Stroke instead of the Fill, in the Tools panel,
Step7. To change the Stroke color to None, in the Swatches panel,
Step8. To deselect all objects on our artboard, from the Menu bar,
Click Select, Click Deselect
Drawing with the Ellipse Tool
The Ellipse tool is designed to make simple circular or oval shapes. We are going to use it to create a pond on our ‘grass'.
Holding down the Shift key will keep the ellipse perfectly proportional while drawing. This will result in a perfect circle. This technique works for other shape tools that we will work with throughout the workshop, and we'll use this keyboard modifier a number of times as we work on our artwork today.
Here, we might not necessarily want a perfect circle – to help create a more realistic pond, we will create several overlapping ovals and circles to make a more natural looking pond.
Before we start making our pond, let's change the Fill color for our objects to a shade of blue
Step1. To set the set the Fill color, in the Swatches panel,
Click, Click a shade of blue
Step2. To select the Ellipse tool, from the Tools panel,
Press & Hold, Click
Step3. To draw an oval, on the artboard,
Press & Drag down and to the right
Step4. To draw a circle, on the keyboard, press and hold:
Shift key, Press & Drag down and to the right
Step5. Continue drawing overlapping ovals and circles.
Step6. To activate the Selection tool, in the Tools panel,
Step7. To begin copying a shape,
Click the object
Step8. To copy the shape, press and hold:
Alt key, Press & Drag the shape
NOTE for MacOS Users: Instead of the Alt key, Macintosh users should hold the Option key.
Step9. Continue to copy or create more round shapes.
Step10. To save the file,
Click File, Click Save