• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Chapter 4. Drawing with the Pen tool > Creating the pear illustration

Creating the pear illustration

In this next part of the lesson, you’ll create an illustration of a pear pierced by an arrow. This procedure will incorporate what you have learned in the previous exercises, and will also teach you some additional Pen tool techniques.

Choose File > Open, and open the L4end.ai file in the Lesson04 folder, located inside the Lessons folder within the AICIB folder on your hard drive.

Choose View > Zoom Out to make the finished artwork smaller and leave it on your screen as you work. (Use the Hand tool () to move the artwork to where you want it in the window.) If you don’t want to leave the image open, choose File > Close.

Now you’ll open the start file to begin the lesson.

Choose File > Open, and open the L4begin.ai file in the Lesson04 folder.

Choose File > Save As, name the file Pear.ai, and select the Lesson04 folder in the Save In menu. Leave the type of format set to Adobe Illustrator Document, and click Save. In the Illustrator Options palette, leave the options set at the defaults and click OK.

Creating the arrow

You’ll begin by drawing the straight line for the arrow. The template layer allows you to follow along directly over the artwork.

Choose View > Straight Line to zoom into the left corner of the template.

Separate views that show different areas of the template at a higher magnification were created for this document and added to the View menu.

To create a custom view, choose View > New View. For information, see “To use multiple windows and views” in Illustrator Help.

Choose View > Hide Bounding Box to hide the bounding boxes of selected objects. Select the Pen tool () in the toolbox, and move the cursor to the dashed line of the arrow in the artwork. Notice that the Pen tool cursor has a small “x” next to it. If you recall, this indicates that clicking will begin a new path.

Click point A at the left end of the line to create the starting anchor point—a small solid square.

Click point B at the right end of the line to create the ending anchor point.

Click once to begin a straight line.

Click again to end it.

When you click a second time, a caret (^) appears next to the Pen tool. The caret indicates that you can split the anchor point to create a direction line for a curve by dragging the Pen tool from this anchor point. The caret disappears when you move the Pen tool away from the anchor point.

Remember that you must end the path before you can draw other lines that aren’t connected to this path. Choose Select > Deselect, or use any of the other methods discussed in the previous exercises.

Now you’ll make the straight line thicker by changing its stroke weight.

With the Selection tool () from the toolbox, click the straight line to select it.

Choose Window > Stroke to display the Stroke palette.

In the Stroke palette, type 3 pt in the Weight text field, and press Enter or Return to apply the change.

Splitting a path

To continue creating the arrow for this illustration, you’ll split the path of the straight line using the Scissors tool, and adjust the segments.

With the straight line still selected, select the Scissors tool () in the toolbox and click in the middle of the line to make a cut.

Cuts made with the Scissors tool must be on a line or a curve rather than on an endpoint.

Where you click with the Scissors tool, you will see a newly selected anchor point. The Scissors tool actually creates two anchor points each time you click, but because they are on top of each other, you can see only one.

Select the Direct Selection tool () in the toolbox and position it over the cut. The small hollow square on the cursor indicates that it’s over the anchor point. Select the new anchor point, and drag it up to widen the gap between the two split segments.

Click with the Scissors tool to cut the line.

Drag to separate the new line segments.

Adding arrowheads

Adobe Illustrator lets you add pre-made arrowheads and tails to open paths by applying an Effect. The Add Arrowhead feature is available under the Filter menu as well as in the Effect menu. The benefit to using an Effect is that the arrow dynamically changes with the stroke to which it is applied. A filter, on the other hand, has no relationship to the stroke.

When a path with the Add Arrowhead Effect is changed, the arrowhead follows the path, whereas the Filter arrowhead remains in its created position. Read more about Effects and how to use them in Lesson 11 “Applying Appearance Attributes, Graphic Styles, and Effects.”

The Add ArrowheadFilter.

The Add Arrowhead Effect.

Now you’ll add an arrowhead to the ending point of one line segment and a tail to the starting point of the other line segment.

With the top line segment selected, choose Effect > Stylize > Add Arrowheads.


Choose the top, or first, Effect > Stylize command. The second Effect > Stylize command applies painted or impressionistic effects to RGB images.

In the Add Arrowheads dialog box, leave the Start section set to None. For the End section, click an arrow button to select the number 2 style of arrowhead (a thumbnail preview appears in the dialog box), and click OK.

Illustrator adds the arrowhead to the end of the line (the last anchor point created on the uncut line).

Using the Selection tool (), select the bottom line segment, and choose Effect > Stylize > Add Arrowheads to open the dialog box again. Select the number 18 style of arrowhead from the Start section, select None for the End section, and click OK to add a tail to the starting point of the line.

You can reapply the same arrowhead style to other selected objects by choosing Effect > Stylize > Add Arrowheads.

Choose Select > Deselect to deselect the artwork, and then choose File > Save.

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint