The Pen tool at times can be frustrating; take a look at using the Pencil tool instead to create more organic shapes and make the process easier.
(electronic whirring) - [Instructor] Welcome to drawing vector graphics laboratory. Not everything in Adobe Illustrator needs to be created using the pin tool. Too many people default to that and discover some shapes are just really hard to create using a pen tool. So in this movie, I'm going to show you imperfect shapes that are best created using the pencil tool instead. With the recent updates to this tool, it's more useful than it ever has been before. So let's jump into this. In the midst of a project, I was asked if I could create some spot illustrations, specifically of fruit. That's not really why I was hired, but that's fine. It was all part of a packaging assignment. And I was provided this reference photo. This was kind of the positioning and the perspective they wanted on the fruit. And I said, I can work with this. So this is a good example of me not actually drawing anything and building what I drew from, which is mainly what I do most of the time. This is just working directly from a photograph and we're going to use this to guide our proportions to guide our building. So like a photograph, I'm going to place it. We'll go ahead and set the transparency on this to like 40. And we'll go ahead and lock this layer and above it, it's just simple deduction of shape. So I have this path I created that makes out the bottom curve and then the inside part of the fruit, I have this shape, but notice how it's not perfect. I did this with the pin tool because it was easier to do this, but there's certain shapes I want to create now to go with this art, to go with that kind of subtle imperfection of style that is best suited to do with a tool, specifically the pencil tool. So if we go over here, the pencil tool will be right here and this is the one we're going to be using. Right now, I've used the pin tool to create these, but the shapes we want to create are these interior pieces of fruit and on an orange like this, they're segmented into these rectangular shaped, depending on how you cut the fruit, maybe you peel it. These would be wedge shapes themselves from an opposite direction than what we see here. But we're going to turn on this layer because this layer, we're going to draw on and we're going to draw with the pencil tool, but I want to do one setup on the pencil tool first. So we're going to double click on this. And by default, it's going to default to accurate, meaning it's not going to try to smooth anything out and it's going to give you more anchor points. I think it's a bit overkill. So we're going to go over two clicks. One, two, so it be right in the middle between accurate and smooth. That means the algorithm for this tool is going to subtly smooth some of the more complex paths that we're drawing and it's going to look better and match the aesthetic. We wouldn't want to go all the way to smooth, that will oversimplify it and just be a little bit frustrating. So we want to do some of the decision making, but not all of it, I guess, is what this setting is saying. And we'll click okay. So on this layer, let's go ahead and zoom in. We're going to build this shape right here. So we'll take the pin tool. We're going to use the same stroke as showing here and now with the pin tool, I can just drag this out and you can see, this goes a lot faster than if I tried to do this with the pin tool and it doesn't need to be perfect. Actually, we want that subtle imperfection and that's one shape we'll draw. Now, keep in mind, I'm using my mouse to draw this. If you have a way calm, this is going to go even faster and be easier to control. A mouse isn't ideal for this, but we're making it work in this case. So here, these shapes aren't perfect triangles. They're kind of free form. They're all rounded of sorts. So even when they go straight, they bump around and round. And they come to round it and in. So you can see how fast this goes. We'll create one more. And we don't want these to touch cause we want that space in between because if you look at the fruit, that's the way it is and that'll work fine. So that's how I would use the pencil tool to create these irregular shapes within the confines of this fruit. Now, like a good cooking show, let's go ahead and zoom out. I've already done that and oh, look, I drew on the wrong layer. So these should be on the pencil drawing layer right here, but I accidentally drew on the wrong layer. So don't make that mistake. There you go. But let's turn on another layer here. And these are all the shapes I drew the exact same way. I just didn't want to spend that much time drawing all of them, we just drew three. But the same principle, the same exact settings, the same tool using the pencil tool. And I'll just select these now. And I'll go ahead and unite it with the pathfinder. And if you check appearance, this will be a group. We want to change that to a compound. And once we do that, I can take this interior shape of the fruit here and I can make a clone of it. Command C, command F will bring it up to the layer that we have the pieces on. We'll select both and we'll go intersect. And that trims it where the top edge is here. And when I do that, it's going to revert back to a group. So I always pay attention to make sure that stays a compound like that. So that's all I did to create the interior part of this fruit to mimic the photograph. It's imperfect, but it's precisely built, I guess, is how you could put it. So once we have the base vectors, we can go to coloring this. And our tonal family is based off of reality, based off of the fruit. We'll select this bottom part. This is the base color we're going to fill in here for the orange peel. The outside part of the orange peel. I don't even know if that's the proper term. That's why I'm calling it. We're going to color this color here, orange and the inside part, the pulp of the fruit. I do know what pulp is. We're going to go ahead and color this and this will be this first color, but it won't be the full value of this first color. It'll be a 50% tint to that. And that's why we use global colors so we can click on color and on this case, we'll make it 50% and that's going to work good. And then we'll take the interior of the fruit, right here, the shapes that we manually drew, and we're going to go ahead, apply another color and we'll apply this color to that. And it goes pretty quickly from this point. We want to continue to add some detail to pull this off. Add a little bit of texturing because what you usually see between the pulp on the inside and as you get towards the peel, there's that zest layer and it kind of gradates between these two. So to imply that, we're going to use an organic shader brush and all I mean by that is we've created a brush down here and this is going to be a pattern brush that reflects on both sides. So let's say we make a clone of this, command C, command F and just so you can see what we're doing, we'll colorize this an orange color and we'll slide it over and we'll snap it to the anchor point. And if we zoom in on this, you can see it just repeats that pattern from left to right and right to left on the opposing side. So I just wanted to point that out. You'll want to make a pattern brush. This is the pattern itself. And another thing I want to point out is make sure when you create a brush, you use an equivalent of an RGB black. Now, I learned the hard way because I created a whole brush set for retro supply and I just used the regular black, this default black that comes in illustrator. And when that goes into an RGB environment, that black becomes a dark gray. Thus, it made all the brushes just slightly transparent, which was thrown people off. It's because I didn't think through it. If I did, I wouldn't have made it with the regular black. So this is colored, this inky black. That's what I color it. And all this is is that equivalent of RGB in process. So you won't run into that problem. So learn from my mistake, don't do that. We'll go ahead and open up the brushes pallet. And all we're going to do is drag this over onto the new icon and we're going to select pattern brush and click, okay. This is going to default where it should be right on the flat part over here. Illustrator is going to say, hey, I made a corner for you and we're going to say, hey, no thanks, stop doing that. And we're going to just use this and we're going to click on colorize and click tints, this will allow us to color it and we're going to name it. So we'll call it organic shader, like that. Everything else can stay default and we'll click okay. Now that we have that, we can actually get rid of that now. We have this path we created on the inside, and this is what we're going to apply this pattern brush to. So I'm going to select that and I'm going to click the pattern brush and you can see how it flipped it a different way. And so if that's not the way you want it to go, then you'll want to change the orientation. So if we click into here, right now, it's orientated this way. So if we click it like that and click, okay and click apply to stroke, you can flip it around if it's the wrong way. I happen to get it the wrong way there. So it's applied to the path. Whatever the color of the path is, is the color that the brush is going to be. Now, we obviously don't want it to be this magenta color. We want it to be a color more in line with this color here. And that's what we're going to do. But right now, it's a light brush. And I don't like keeping light brushes light brushes, so we'll go ahead and just color it the way it should be like this. And we're going to use a tint to this color. Actually, we're not going to leave it that full value. We're going to knock it down quite a bit, but now it's a light brush. We need to expand it. We'll expand appearance. This turns it all into shapes. We'll unite those and if you go to appearance, there'll be a group. We'll change it to a compound. We're going to take this inner pulp shape here. We're going to clone it. Command C, command F makes a copy. We're going to move that to the organic shade or level that we have. Select both and intersect it. And once again, it's going to revert back to a group. So you want to pay attention to that and makes sure it's a compound. Now we can go ahead, re-select the color we had. We're going to change the value from a hundred percent to about 60. We wanted it to be somewhat faint. And if we de-select it, that's the result you get. That's the result we wanted. It implies that level in between the surface of the peel and going inward through the zest to the actual pulp on the inside. And we're going to go ahead and click on this layer now because this layer, we can turn off our original sketch. This layer will have all the shading detail on the actual peel side. Now notice this, if I pull this down, that's the color and it's this color right here, which looks muted and you might be thinking, why did you do that? Well, this is a muted value of an orange, so it doesn't have as much red and yellow in it. And if we position this back, we have it over the top. So all we're going to do is we're going to go to multiply. And then after we multiply, we're going to hit the value, knock it in half to 50, like this. And you can see it now looks really nice against that base color. We have a little highlight sliver here just to imply the thickness of the peels. So everything's turning out the way we want it to now. One thing we want to do is we want to continue to use the pencil tool. When I was looking at the original photograph, we can actually move the photograph up here and turn it back on. You can see it has these little veins running through it. And when I originally approached that, this is how I tried to pull that off. And I created all these with the pencil tool. So if we go ahead and select the pencil tool, we're going to draw another one of these on the same layer. Let's go ahead and zoom in and we'll grab the pencil tool and I'm just going to draw one right here. Kind of like that. Once again, it doesn't have to be perfect because it'll kind of smooth it out. Now, if you don't like it and you want it actually smoother, then what we can do is we can double click into here and let's put it one more step over towards smooth and then we'll redraw it and you'll see how it might look a little better this way and it does. So this would be a case where I had to have it a little more smoother. Now that we have all of these shapes, we can go ahead. Let's zoom out so we can see what we're doing. We're going to select all these and I have a quick key set up to hold option down. I can hit F one and it selects all the same value of stroke. And if you want to set up your own keyboard shortcut to do that, you can go to select, same and you can see same fill color, same stroke color and I've used the stroke color right here and it's selected all of these. Now we're going to set the width of these. So we're going to go three, like that. But these look really bad, so let's go ahead and zoom in then you'll see how the next one affects it. We're going to go up to profile and pick the first width profile here. And this is kind of what we want. This is what I was shooting for. And on these, we can go ahead and go to swatches. We'll color these... Like this color. And this is more in line with what we wanted and I would want to expand these. So I'd want to go to path, outlined stroke and turn them into actual shapes. And that's kind of, like a good cooking show, that's kind of what I've done here. And I'm going to turn this on. And this is what I came up with for the final pulp detail on the inside. If I select this and go to the gradient tool, you can see, we have a radial gradient blending from one of our yellow colors here out to the darker color right here and this is creating that nice radio glow within the shape of the pulp detail. So far, that's looking good. And then I created the same type of detailing. We can turn the tunnel family off now. The same type of detailing above it with white. And this is replicating once again, that look and feel of the pulp. If I select these right now, I have this 85. We might try it at 70. I have this at full value, then it went to 85. Now that I'm looking at it again, I'm almost thinking it needs to be lighter. I think that kind of fuses together with everything well. And it's at this point, I started second guessing myself. I was looking at this and I wasn't sure if I liked it. I thought it looked cool, but I just wasn't sure if it was communicating as well as the photograph did. So, this is where I kind of set it aside. The next morning, when I looked at it, I was like, yeah, nobody wants to eat a hairy orange. That's kind of the thought that popped in my head. So this is where I art directed myself. I decided to get rid of all that inner detail, focus on the fruit, everything else I liked. And then I'm looking at this again, going, you know, an orange is more orange on the inside. So I decided to do a new overlay with additional colors. And I think compared to this, this looks a lot more believable. And then I went back to the pencil tool and really started looking up photograph reference of the inside. And the inside of these wedges are like little, not slivers, as much as they are like little cells all bound together. And when you look at an orange up close, you never realize that when you're eating it, but it's kind of strange, but it does kind of simplify down to shapes like this. And this is what I decided to go with moving forward. If we zoom in, once again, I want to create the edge here. And that's all I did on all of this is I just went in here and just created a shape, kind of like this. And we'll finish it like, oh no, that's the wrong shape. I had the path selected. That's not what I wanted. I used the wrong tool. I use the paintbrush tool. We want to use the pencil tool, pay attention, Bon. So we're going to retry that using the correct tool and like this. And that's how the shape was created. That's a lot faster to do this than to try to sit here with the pen tool. I'd still be building it and I'd still be building that shape and building that shape and building that shape times a hundred, that's a long time, Really not an efficient way. The pencil tool makes really short work of it. And in my opinion, gives you better results. So we'll select all of these. I'll go ahead and unite them. We'll make sure it's a compound. And then I'm going to take the clone I have here of the inside peel shape, select both of these, inset it to trim the top off. We're going to have to make this compound path again. This is why I have a keyboard shortcut for compound path, that's F seven. So every time I do this, I just hit F seven to fix it. I wish it would just stay compound all the time, unless I tell it not to do that. But unfortunately, that's not the way it works. Once we have this, I've set up a graphic style that's going to work great for this. And it's just the color yellow blending out to zero alpha. So if I select the gradient, you can see how that's working here. One thing I should mention that they've changed in the gradient tool with the latest update is, you used to hover over this bar and it would expand and you'd see all the color was blending and it doesn't do that anymore. And I really preferred having that feature in there. Other respects in terms of the live gradient interacting as you move it is nice, but I kind of like seeing that, but this is how the inner detail works on this now. I think this works a lot better. We've even added a nice highlight that goes over the top of it and for that satisfaction value, we have that nice little wet droplet to really breathe kind of life into it. I really like this a lot more, after not looking at it for a while and coming back and kind of scrutinizing it and art directing myself, I realized, okay, the hairy approach just wasn't working. I like this a lot more. So did the art director I was working with and it also was really easy just to edit the color on the art to get lime and lemon. So it saved me time in the long run. I've never actually been called up and hired to create fruit artwork like this, but in the midst of a packaging illustration, the client had need for fruit to appear. So this is how I created spot illustration for the flavors, orange, lemon and lime. So it's how I approach this and kind of solved it creatively. It was a good mix of various methods to achieve the final look and feel needed. So thank you again for watching DVG Lab. I appreciate your comments and suggestions. So please, if you have any, don't hesitate to email me at [email protected] As always, never stopped drawing.
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Skill Level Intermediate
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