Creating Line Drawings in Adobe Illustrator
- How to place a sketch into a new document
- Some digital drawing tips
- How to fix little mistakes after you’ve drawn your stroke
- Ways to finish and color your drawing
- Try “drawing” with your brush, as opposed to just tracing your sketch. Try not to be too stiff and concentrate on staying loose and spontaneous. Try not to break your flow by fixing every little mistake. Just push through, and you can go back and fix it later.
Don’t concentrate so much on making an exact tracing of your sketch. Stay as loose as possible.
- Use a variety of line. I’ve made a custom brush palette with several different sizes, from a bold 7-pt line to a very thin .5-pt line. You’ll notice that any drawing I do has a balance of thick, medium, and thin lines. Also put some variation within the strokes themselves. Use a tablet and set the brush to be affected by your pen pressure.
Notice the use of both thick and thin lines in my little drawing.
- Lay down each stroke with confidence. Your lines will be smoother and more stable. Try to keep your strokes longer, instead of shorter. When drawing with your tablet, try to use your whole arm, and not just your wrist.
- Take advantage of the shape tool for those objects that are just too difficult to draw with the brush tool. I’ll usually resort to the shape tool for circles, ellipses, and squares. You’ll notice that I use the ellipse tool for the table in my Bake Sale video.
The table in my Bake Sale Drawing was done by drawing two ellipses.
- 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.
- 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.