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Adobe Illustrator has long been the most popular and viable vector-drawing program on the market but, for many, the learning curve is steep. In Illustrator CS3 One-on-One: The Essentials , author and leading industry expert Deke McClelland teaches the key features of Illustrator in a way that anyone can understand. He also goes beyond that, showing users how to get into the Illustrator "mindset" to make mastering Illustrator simple and easy. The training covers how to use the core drawing and shape tools, the transformation and reshaping features, text and gradients, and color management and printing features. Even if learning Illustrator has been a struggle in the past, this time it is going to make sense. Exercise files accompany the training.
All right, now it's time to start drawing inside of our illustration here. Have you ever been so excited to draw anything in all of your life? Woo-hoo! Don't pretend you're not excited man. I know, I know you're excited. All right, so here's the deal, if you've been working along with me inside the Horus.ai document, awesome. Just keep working. If you want to catch up with me and you can open this illustration: The template.ai because I've already got my guides relegated to an independent layer. I've already converted the Horus layer to a tracing template and we are working on the Draw here layer. Make sure the Draw here layer is active and turned on, so that you can see the contents of the layer. I've already created a couple of Pen Tool paths in advance.
We are going to be drawing, in this exercise we're going to be drawing this straight vertical line right there. Not a lot to it, but still going to pass along a couple of techniques here that I think you'll find useful. I'm going to select the Line Segment Tool by clicking on it here in this little mini flyout menu that I have available to me. If you don't have such a flyout menu, and you want it, then you just go ahead and click and hold on the Line Segment Tool and release at this tear off location over here on the right side of the flyout menu and notice by the way, you can have multiple instances of the exact same flyout menu if you want, and I know some artists who really like this. They've got big huge monitors, and they like their tools to be available to them in opposite corners of the monitor, for example.
So that the tools are always conveniently accessible/ I don't happen to work that way, especially when I'm working on such a tiny screen, but something you might want to be aware of. Also you might want to be aware of the keyboard shortcut associated with the Line Segment Tool. It's backslash, because after all the Line Tool looks like a backslash (\). Having selected the tool in whatever way I choose here, I'm going to begin drawing with it and I'm just going to start drawing with it in any location. Notice it's just a matter of dragging from one point to another point. That's all there is to it. But check this out, while you're drawing with the Line Segment Tool, you can press and hold the spacebar in order to move the tool on the fly like that. As soon as you get the line segment exactly where you want it, then go ahead and release the spacebar and continue dragging with the tool. But here's what I want you to do.
I'm going to go ahead and undo the addition of that line by pressing Control+Z or Command+Z on the Mac. I want you to begin drawing from this guide intersection right there and it's important by the way, that your Guides layer is unlocked. I'm going to begin drawing from this location so that I am assured I'm starting my line from exactly the right point and then as I draw, I'm going to press and hold the Shift key in order to constrain the angle of my line and what I really want is a vertical line. I have to press the Shift key, press and hold that Shift key, until I release the mouse button.
And I'm going to release the mouse button as soon as I snap my cursor into alignment with this bottom guide right there. And once I've done that, I'll go ahead and release the mouse button and then I'll release the Shift key and that assures me that I have a perfectly vertical line. Now there is a big problem with the line, and that is that it stroked improperly here. It has this very thin stroke associated with it. I want the thick rounded stroke that I've already assigned to my eye and eyebrow paths right there, and I'll get that stroke by grabbing my Eyedropper Tool, notice the Eyedropper Tool here inside the toolbox, and you get to the tool by pressing the I key, and then you can click on one of these paths like so, and Illustrator will go ahead and assign the lifted attributes to the selected line segment right down here and that's all there is to it. I have now successfully drawn a vertical line that is now properly stroked here inside of my illustration, my ongoing illustration here.
In the next exercise we will add an arc in order to start off this loopy line over here.
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