My Essential Drawing Tools in Adobe Illustrator

My Essential Drawing Tools in Adobe Illustrator

When it comes to forming custom shapes, tracing designs and just drawing in general within Adobe Illustrator, there are plenty of options available to achieve your desired final project. I have outlined the essential drawing tools that anyone can learn and use to make awesome creations in Illustrator.


The Line Tools

The Line Tool selection offers the classic straight-line segment tool as well as the very useful arc tool. Both of these line tools are very intuitive to use. There are other line types available to use but I found these two to be the most useful and common in my designs.

The Shape Tools

The Shape Tools include several useful figures in its subcategories. The rectangle tool is an obvious favorite due to its ability to create a perfect 4 sided figure (including squares). The rounded rectangle is another useful shape. Although you can technically adjust the corners of a rectangle to be rounded, the rounded rectangle takes those extra steps away. The ellipse tool will form all the variations of circles and ovals you could possibly need.



Both the fox and cat were created using a combination of line and shape tools.



The Shape Builder Tool

The Shape Builder Tool has completely changed the game in terms of quick creative shape building. In just a few clicks you can merge, cut out, and color shapes, in the exact way that you imagine. This tool is a favorite among many designers for good reason.




The Shape Builder can definitely get messy but the results are incredible! A completely unique shape can be formed in minutes.


The Curvature Tool

The Curvature Tool takes the hassle out of drawing line paths with mixed curves and corners. The tool can very intuitively adjust to different line paths. Even if the first path didn’t come out exactly the way you need, it’s very easy to adjust the anchor points so that they better fit the need line or curve.


All of these little critters were created using the Curvature tool.


The Pencil Tool

The pencil tool offers a classic hand drawn stroke look. What’s amazing is how many ways it can be altered to create different kinds of strokes. This tool can most easily be used with a stylus pen and tablet, however, with the smoothness setting adjusted, even drawings made by a mouse can look clean and well done.


Adobe Illustrator offers an impressive selection of different brush sets. Depending on what look you’re trying to achieve, the pencil tool in combination with a brush stroke yields gorgeous results.


I was able to quickly make some hand drawn strokes over this photograph using a combination of the pencil tool and one of the brush vector packs from Adobe Illustrator.


The Width Tool

The Width Tool is another neat gadget. A simple stroke or line segment can be made wider at specific anchor points and narrower at others. This gives many possibilities in design including 3D effects, font curvature, and just overall aesthetic appeal.

The Width tool adds a nice touch to these ordinary drawings by varying width and narrowness of various anchor points along their path.




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