Draw Better and Faster with Illustrator CC
Illustration by John Hersey

Drawing straight and perpendicular lines


From:

Draw Better and Faster with Illustrator CC

with Deke McClelland

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Video: Drawing straight and perpendicular lines

In this movie, I'll show you how to draw both straight, and perpendicular lines using the Pencil tool. So, once again start by selecting the Pencil tool, and let's say I want to create some eyes and a mouth inside of my heart here, and I want the top of my first eye to be a straight line. If you want to draw a straight line with a Pencil tool, you press and hold either the Alt key here on the PC, or the Option key on the Mac. And you need to keep it down, and as long as you have that key down you'll see that straight line next to the cursor.
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Watch the Online Video Course Draw Better and Faster with Illustrator CC
1h 52m Appropriate for all Apr 02, 2014

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Illustrator CC does something that few updates to the program have done: It promises to change the fundamental way that you draw. Yes, there was the Pen tool in Illustrator 1, Pathfinder operations in Illustrator 5, and dynamic effects in Illustrator 9. But Illustrator CC changes the entire nature of the game. Deke's not exaggerating; the things he's about to show you are that big. Learn about the "new" Pencil tool, on-the-fly corner rounding, and freeform curve bending. 3 features in 3 short chapters that will change the way you see Illustrator. Then Deke shows how to combine them all in a real-world Illustrator project that proves his thesis: drawing has never been faster, better, or easier than this.

Topics include:
  • Drawing effortless arcs, paths, and lines with the Pen tool
  • Selectively and dynamically rounding corners
  • Drawing complex shapes with round corners
  • Bending segments with the Pen tool
  • Beveling and enhancing artwork
  • Drawing multiple lines at the same time
Subject:
Design
Software:
Illustrator
Author:
Deke McClelland

Drawing straight and perpendicular lines

In this movie, I'll show you how to draw both straight, and perpendicular lines using the Pencil tool. So, once again start by selecting the Pencil tool, and let's say I want to create some eyes and a mouth inside of my heart here, and I want the top of my first eye to be a straight line. If you want to draw a straight line with a Pencil tool, you press and hold either the Alt key here on the PC, or the Option key on the Mac. And you need to keep it down, and as long as you have that key down you'll see that straight line next to the cursor.

And now you drag with the tool in order to draw a straight line at any angle, and as soon as you release the Alt or Option key, then you'll continue drawing a freeform line like so, and then I'll go ahead and connect things at the end there to close the path. If you want to draw a perpendicular line, or a line at a 45 degree angle, then you press and hold the Alt key or the Option key on the Mac, and you drag just as you did before. But then you add the Shift key. So now I've got both a Shift and Alt keys down here on the PC.

That would be Shift and Option on the Mac. And as I drag around, you can see now I have a vertical line, now I have a 45 degree line, and now I have a horizontal line like so. And then, if you want to continue drawing freeform, then you release those keys, both the Shift and Alt keys, with the Shift and Option keys on a Mac. And then you continue to drag like so, until in my case I go ahead and close that path outline. You can also press the key while you're in the midst of drawing. So let's say I start off drawing freeform like so, for the mouth.

And then I want to connect the top with a straight line. Then I had to press and hold the Alt key, or the Option key on the Mac, as I'm drawing. And I'll go ahead and drag over to the first point there, and then I'll release my mouse cursor. And next I'll release the Alt or Option key, in order to finish off that shape. Alright, now I'll switch back to my black arrow tool. That is this selection tool at the top here which you can get by pressing the V key. And I'll go ahead and drag that selected path up a little bit and I might adjust the position of this left eye as well.

And then I'll go ahead and select all three of these shapes by shift clicking on the other two, and I'll shift click on the red heart as well here. And then I'll go up to the Object menu, choose Compound Path, and choose Make, in order to combine them all into a single compound path, so that those new shapes are cutting holes in the heart. And that folks, is how you draw straight lines by pressing the Alt or Option key when drawing with the Pencil Tool. Or if you want perpendicular lines, you go ahead and add the Shift key, as well, here inside Illustrator CC.

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