Start your free trial now, and begin learning software, business and creative skills—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.

Start Your Free Trial Now

Thick and thin linears

Thick and thin linears provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Von Glitschka as par… Show More

Drawing Vector Graphics: Linear Line Illustration

with Von Glitschka

Video: Thick and thin linears

Thick and thin linears provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Von Glitschka as part of the Drawing Vector Graphics: Linear Line Illustration
please wait ...
Thick and thin linears
Video Duration: 6m 16s 2h 3m Intermediate


Thick and thin linears provides you with in-depth training on Design. Taught by Von Glitschka as part of the Drawing Vector Graphics: Linear Line Illustration

View Course Description

Linear line illustration (LLI), or continuous line drawing, is an adaptable and fun style to work in, resulting in clean, clear designs that are suitable for print or animation. In this course Von takes you through the process of creating a linear line illustration using Adobe Illustrator. While showing how to build an LLI digitally, he explains the aesthetic rules, the tricks to getting more depth out of it, and tips for adding color, motion, and a sense of life to your drawings. Members will also be offered a challenge to get their feet wet.

Topics include:
  • Drawing freestyle and photo-based LLIs
  • Building simple and more complex illustrations
  • Shape building
  • Vector welding
  • Introducing color, symmetry, and motion in linear drawings

Thick and thin linears

A linear line illustration is just that, a line. Of course, it can be any color you want, and be shaped however you decide but, in the end, it's just a line. A stroke, if you will. But it doesn't have to remain as such. A great way to infuse even more flair and character. Into linear artwork is to add thick and thin detailing to your continuous line. Thankfully, Illustrator makes this process very easy.

So let me show you how this is done. So in a previous movie you saw this linear artwork that I ended up with. And once again it's based off of my nice tight refined sketch. So there's no guess work in terms of building it. And this is how the final form came out. As stated, it's a linear line drawing. Meaning it's one continuous line that makes up the artwork. And this specific stroke that makes up the vector path in this art. Is just a simple five point stroke.

And this looks fine as is. It has a subtle drop shadow to it to add to the overall aesthetic. But, I think we can improve on it, and we can improve on it using a tool that Adobe provides called the Width Tool. Over here you can see that highlighted in the tool palette. And we're going to apply it to this base art. But, before we do that, we want to work with a version of the art that doesn't have the drop shadow on it. So, I have that here. You can, actually use the Width Tool and adjust art with the drop shadow already applied to it.

Such as this, like that. But, it will just slow down the process a little bit because it will have to crunch all of those numbers to, display the rasterized drop shadow and we don't want to deal with that. So we're going to go to just, the base vector shape path that we're working with here and we're going to simply go through this entire path from. Start to finish, we'll zoom in so we can see what we're doing, and it's always good to zoom in and not try to work on your artwork like you're standing across a room looking at it. It's going to make precision building a lot better if you, zoom in when necessary.

The way the Width Tool works is we select it. You can select it anywhere on a path. And pull it out, and it will expand it or contract it in terms of its thick and thins. Most of the time a good rule of thumb is to, do the width adjustments based off your anchor point locations. So, this first one I'm going to do, I'll pull it out. And that's all I do is I just click on the path and pull it out. Now if you hold option down,. You can retract one side, and just do it from one side or the other, like that.

And if you just pull out, in general it'll do it from both sides. So, you can, choose however you want to, thicken the path. Either one side or the other. In this case, we want it just to be, thicker in the medium part of this segment and it deals with one segment at a time. And it'll, adjust the whole path but in this case we're just adjusting this one segment. Now we'll continue and this is a good example. You can, grab anywhere on a path. So, I'm going to grab right about here and I'm going to adjust it like that.

That looks good. Go ahead and move the screen over. And I'm going to jump ahead just a little bit and, adjust this, I don't want to leave this the exact thickness of stroke that I want it to be just a hair thicker so, I'll do that, think I might make this, just from one side going out, so I'm holding the. Option key to do that, just to pull it out on that one side to make it thicker.

Let me think. That looks pretty good. Since this is a quill tip, I'm going to leave that segment the same thickness I had it originally. And now I will go ahead, and make the other adjustments, so it's very. Easy to work with this tool. You just simply click, drag and, then it's just visually, adjusted in terms of the static you want to achieve. You just pull it out as far or as little as you want to achieve the look you're intending and going for it. Now, on this specific.

Artwork. The whole reason I'm using the Width Tool, is it's also going to lend itself, conceptually, to my overall concept that I'm going to show you in terms of how I use this, specific piece of artwork. Now, at times, when you use the Width Tool, you're going to run into this little, issue. And it's okay. We're going to go back after we expand this path, and, fix that. So, in the final form, you'll see how I fixed that. Now everything's going to be able to be pulled off with an algorithm, within any program, Illustrator or otherwise.

So you're always going to have to pay attention to, when you're building stuff to make sure it looks, the way you've intended it to. So. I've gone through the entire art, and you can see how I've now adjusted it. Now, it lends itself conceptually to my design, because it now has that, kind of look that I drew it with an ink pen. Where it's thin because I'm just laying it on the paper and drawing the line out. And as the ink flows out it's getting thicker and then thinning down again when I'm speeding up the pen and drawing out.

So it kind of lends itself to the whole visual concept I'm working with. Which is, a journal and this quill pen. So, it's a, writing kind of metaphor I'm working with in this visual. Now the way I utilize this final artwork and its another good example of how you can use linear line art for a wide range of, design projects as this branded a software applications called ScribeSoft. And I nested it with an overall shape and worked int he logo type with it.

And so that's how I ended up using this specific, linear line work to brand a piece of software. So, look for ways you can use the Width Tool to, not only make your linear line work and, designs more intriguing visually, but also, it can lend itself to the concept you're creating.

There are currently no FAQs about Drawing Vector Graphics: Linear Line Illustration.






Don't show this message again
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.

Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ .

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

* Estimated file size

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.

Mark all as unwatched Cancel


You have completed Drawing Vector Graphics: Linear Line Illustration.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


Upgrade to View Courses Offline


With our new Desktop App, Annual Premium Members can download courses for Internet-free viewing.

Upgrade Now

After upgrading, download Desktop App Here.

Become a Member and Create Custom Playlists

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of online learning video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Log in

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

You started this assessment previously and didn’t complete it.

You can pick up where you left off, or start over.

Resume Start over

Learn more, save more. Upgrade today!

Get our Annual Premium Membership at our best savings yet.

Upgrade to our Annual Premium Membership today and get even more value from your subscription:

“In a way, I feel like you are rooting for me. Like you are really invested in my experience, and want me to get as much out of these courses as possible this is the best place to start on your journey to learning new material.”— Nadine H.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from

Sign up and receive emails about and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.