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Lesson 3. Painting > Stroking with color

Stroking with color

Next, you'll outline the squiggly area around the bottom left hat. Painting just the outline of an object is called stroking.

Using the selection tool (), click the squiggly shape around the hat in the bottom left rectangle to select it.

Select squiggly shape in bottom left rectangle.

The Fill box in the toolbox displays a pale green color. The Stroke box in the background has a red slash, indicating the squiggly shape's stroke is unpainted (a stroke of “None”).

You'll start by swapping the fill color with the stroke color.

Click the Swap Fill and Stroke button to reverse the colors of the selected object's fill and stroke.

The Fill box now has no fill (a fill of “None”), and the Stroke box has a pale green color. (The color will become apparent in the next step.) With a fill of None, you can see through to the fill underneath—in this case, the gray color of the rectangle's fill.

Now you'll change the weight of the line that you just stroked using the Stroke palette. Stroke weight is the thickness of a line. In the Stroke palette (beneath the Transparency palette), the line has a weight of 1 point.

Click the Stroke tab to bring the palette to the front of its group. Then type 7 in the Weight text box and press Enter or Return to change the stroke weight to 7 points. The squiggly line now stands out.

Change the Stroke weight to make the squiggly line stand out.

Next you'll use the Stroke palette's options to change the line from solid to dashed.

First, drag the Swatches palette by its tab to move the palette down and away from the Stroke palette.

In the Stroke palette, hold down the mouse button on the triangle in the upper right corner of the palette and choose Show Options from the palette menu. (You use this same technique for choosing options from other palette menus.)

You use the Stroke palette options to specify how to cap the ends, join the corners, and make lines dashed or dotted.

In the Stroke palette, select the Dashed Line option. The Dash and Gap text boxes become active.

To create a dashed or dotted line, you specify the length of the dash (or dot) and then the gap, or spacing, between the dashes. You can create a dashed or dotted line with as few as two values or as many as six values. The more values you enter, the more complex the pattern.

Type the following values in the Dash and Gap text boxes, pressing Tab to advance to the next text box: 12, 0, 12, 0, 12. Leave the last Gap box empty. Press Enter or Return to apply the change.

Now you'll select a cap for the lines to create a dotted-line effect.

In the Cap options area of the Stroke palette, click the Round Cap button (the middle button). Click away from the artwork to deselect it and see the result.

Select Round Caps for dashed line.


For examples of other effects you can create, and information on stroking lines, see “Using the Stroke palette” in online Help or Chapter 6 in the Adobe Illustrator User Guide.

You can select objects by a common paint attribute (such as their stroke color or weight) and change them all at once.

Select the border of one of the rectangles, and click the Stroke box in the toolbox to select the rectangle's stroke.

Choose Select > Same > Stroke Weight to select the strokes of all the objects that have the same stroke weight in the artwork (in this case, all of the rectangles).

In the Stroke palette, type 2 in the Weight text box and press Enter or Return to globally change the stroke weight to 2 points.

Click away from the artwork to deselect it, and choose File > Save.



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