Illustrator - drawing tools
a few tools to draw things in Adobe Illustrator
Adobe Illustrator has several different drawing tools you can use to make and edit shapes. This breakdown covers some of the common ones that you will be using. We will cover the geometric tools in a different breakdown.
The Pen Tool is the default drawing tool that allows you to draw your shapes a point at a time. Learning to use the Pen Tool is the foundation of everything else you will do with vector drawing. Especially important is being able to add, delete, and modify anchor points, even if you create shape paths with different tools.
Pen Tool Cheat Sheet - great reference for how to create different curves.
The Bezier Game - Online game to practice working with bezier curves.
Drawing with the Pen, Curvature, or Pencil tools from Adobe Help - a solid explanation on how to use the basic drawing tools.
The Curvature Tool draws more organic curving paths using a different sort of geometry than the Pen Tool. Some people prefer this over the Pen Tool.
Draw Curves Easily with the Curvature Tool by Brian Wood - good video explanation of how to use this tool.
How to Draw & Edit Curves from Adobe Help - an exercise to draw parts of a guitar primarily using the Curvature Tool.
The Pencil Tool allows more freeform shapes to be drawn. Illustrator adds the anchor points for you as you go. Even better, you can go back and draw over paths to update and revise them.
Draw Smooth Lines and Shapes with the Pencil Tool from Adobe Help - a video guide with source files on how to use the Pencil Tool.
How To Use The New Pencil Tool in Adobe Illustrator by design tuts - a guided exercise to draw a potted plant using the Pencil Tool. It covers the variations quite well in a practical format.
The Paintbrush Tool is similar to the Pencil in that it allows freeform drawing, however you have the ability to add specialized brush tips for more stylized strokes rather than the default uniform thickness.
Using the Paintbrush Tool from lynda.com - a video demo showing how to use the Paintbrush Tool.
A Comprehensive Guide: Illustrator's Paintbrush Tool and Brush Panel from tutsplus - covers all the different brush types and how to adjust them.
BLOB BRUSH TOOL
The Paintbrush Tool draws the outline strokes of shapes. The Blob Brush Tool draws the fill shapes. This tool is really good for coloring in shapes to build the overall path.
How to Work with the Blob Brush Tool by Howcast - well presented video tutorial on how to use the Blob Brush Tool.
How to Use the Blob Brush in Illustrator by 99designs - variations on using the Blob Brush Tool with examples of possible applications.
A few things to be aware of when using Illustrator:
Many of the tools have options that you can adjust. The trick is to double-click on Tool icons to get to the Tool Options. This makes sense, but isn't expected behavior if you are coming from Photoshop. If you double-click on an icon and nothing happens, that tool doesn't have option that can be adjusted.
The Properties menu (usually on the right side of the interface) allows you to change settings for each individual element. If you don't have any element selected, changing the Properties will change the defaults for whatever tool you have selected.