How to use the Pen Tool in Illustrator

Hello! My name is Lyric and I am the new summer intern at Fabric Eleven Design. Today, I am going to tell you some basics about vector illustration.

Digital artists draw in vectors. A vector is an equation that a program like Adobe Illustrator uses to describe an image. This image can be as simple as a dot or a line, however these equations become increasingly complex as they are combined to form shapes and figures.

The great thing about vectors is that they can be scaled to any size without becoming pixelated. That makes them incredibly versatile, and they can be applied in many different ways. For instance, a logo is always created with vectors so that it can be used on business cards, a website, or even a building’s facade.

Another common use of vectors is for fonts and icons for the web. Responsive websites implement vectored typography and images because they can be easily scale to fit  a large desktop display or a tiny android screen.

A Summer Example of Vector Illustration

As an example I drew a honeydew ice pop in Adobe Illustrator to celebrate the beginning of summer.

Whenever I want to make a vectored illustration my first step is to find a reference image. I base the basic wireframe of the object on this image, or several others in combination, in order to establish the structure of my illustration. Once I am happy with the wireframe of the object, I can choose the color scheme of my illustration. For a honeydew popsicle I chose several shades of sea-foam to imply three dimensions and shading and a tan color for the stick. My colors are applied to both fill and outline different elements of the object. Next I can manipulate the line widths of the popsicle to make it seem like it takes up space:


Now that my illustration is complete I can easily change the colors to make different flavors, multiply, rotate, and warp the vectors to make some fun summertime imagery.

Thanks for stopping by!