In this tutorial, you’ll begin drawing in Illustrator using a series of tools and techniques including the Pencil and Pen tools to draw what you see here.

What you learned: How to setup and draw with the Pencil tool, edit paths with the Pen tool and isolation mode with the Direct Selection tool, and combine rough shapes to create final paths with Shape Builder

Aside from creating and combining shapes to make artwork, you can also draw more freeform paths with the Pencil tool and make edits to those paths using a variety of methods.

Start with the Pencil tool

The Pencil tool in Illustrator is a great tool to start drawing with because it can be used to create expressive paths that can be edited.

  • With the Pencil tool selected, set the smoothness of the path in the toolbar: 0 for more precise paths and 10 for clean curves.
  • Drag to make curves, tap twice to make a straight line.

Edit with the Pen tool

The Pen tool is used for more precision when it comes to drawing and editing paths and is a great tool for editing paths you draw with the Pencil tool. 

  • With a path selected and the Pen tool selected, you can tap on the path to add a new anchor point to control the path, press and hold on an anchor to remove it, or drag anchors to change the shape of the path.

Edit paths

There are other methods for editing the paths you draw including common actions bar options, the Direct Selection tool, and Shape Builder.

  • With the Selection tool selected, double-tap artwork to edit it in isolation mode with the Direct Selection tool. 
  • In the common actions bar, you can remove anchors, convert between curve and corner points, and more.
  • With more than one shape selected, tap Combine Shapes to see Shape Builder and Pathfinders. With the Shape Builder, you can combine shapes permanently, and with Pathfinders, you can combine them so you can still access the original shapes.

Adobe Stock contributor: anatolir

Presenter: Brian Wood

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