Learn the Illustrator Pen Tool to draw a folk art shaped heart. You’ll learn how to draw with the Pen tool, how to know which way to drag to make a shape and how to adjust the path when done. Also shows using the Twirl, Scallop and Crystallize tools.

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The text for the video:

Hello, I’m Helen Bradley. Welcome to this video tutorial. In this tutorial I’m going to show you how you can use the Illustrator pen tool to draw a folk art heart. I’m going to focus on how to use the pen tool for people who haven’t used the pen tool very much before. And in the process we’re going to create an interesting heart shape that could be used for a lot of things including adapted for use in one of my other tutorials which shows you how to create a half drop repeating pattern. But let’s get started on the folk art heart. I’m going to show you how to use the pen tool here to make a folk art heart. So we’re going to click the pen tool to begin with and we’re going to draw the heart shape. I’m going to start with some color though because it would be really nice to see this heart as we make it. So I’m going to give it a dark pink fill and I’m going to make a darker pink for its stroke. Let’s take this pink and let’s just adjust it a little bit. I’ll double click on it and let’s make it a bit darker. And we’ll give it a bit of a weighted stroke as well, let’s say 5 points. I think this document is a letter size sheet of paper so this should be a pretty good start. So with the pen tool selected I’m going to click and drag. So my first point is going to be at the sort of bendy bit of the heart, so I’m going to click and drag. And I’m dragging up here in the direction that I want to go in, and then I’m going to let go. Now my paper on art board has taken off so I’m just holding the spacebar down to move it back into position. I haven’t lost my pen tool or my shape. I’m all ready to go and do the next bit. Now having gone up here the next point I want is about here. So look at my heart shape. I’m going down towards here. So I’m going to click here and drag in the direction I want to go in, and I’m going all the way down to the bottom pointy bit off my heart. I still haven’t let go of the mouse button. I’m not overly worried about the shape. I’d like it to sort of look heart shape, but I can fine-tune it later on. Now I’m letting go the mouse button. The next bit I need to focus on is where I want the pointy bit. And the pointy bit because it is going to be pointy, I want it to come down, point and up again, I’m just going to click. So I’m thinking about here is a good spot so one click is all I need. And now I have half my heart shape. Now I could do all sorts of things like flip this over and join it back together again, but this is a folk art heart so it’s supposed to be uneven. So the next point is going to be up here somewhere and I’m going to be drawing in this direction. So I’m going to click here and drag in the direction that I want this line to go, click, drag. You can see if I went the other way my line wouldn’t go the way I want it to, so I have to click and drag up towards the top right hand corner of this art board. And I’m just going to shape it as I go. And I think that’s a nice sort of shape. I’m going to now let go the left mouse button. And here’s the next piece of our heart shape. The last piece is the final piece, and I’m just going to click here to finish off. And there’s the end of my heart. This is a closed shape, so if I click the move tool or press V to move I can now move my heart around. And I can also adjust it with this tool, the Direct Selection or A tool. And what I do with that tool is just drag over a point on the heart that I want to adjust, and then I can pull it into a different position and I can reshape the curve. And if I want these handles to work independently of each other they will. All I need to do is hold my mouse pointer over the handle and hold the Alt or Option key so it gets that little plus symbol beside it. That means that these handles will now operate independently of each other. And sometimes that allows you to create something that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to create. Now I want as I said a sort of folk art style heart so I want a beefy side and a less beefy side. Now I’ve got the Direct Selection Tool selected but you can see that when I’m dragging on it I’m actually dragging on the path. That’s because I don’t have just this point selected. To do that I just drag over this point, and when these are hollow boxes and this is a filled one it tells me that I’m working on this point alone. And I’m going to call this good. This is now my folk art heart shade. Now because it’s a shape in Illustrator we can do some other things to it. So let’s look quickly at how we might decorate this heart using some of Illustrator’s tools. There are some fun tools in Illustrator that you can use to work on this heart a little bit to give it a more sculptured look. For example there’s the Twirl tool. Now I’m going to select the Twirl tool. My brush is pretty big. So I’m going to Alt or Option drag on it, and I’m dragging down towards the bottom left corner of the image to make the shape a little bit smaller. That’s a good sort of shape for this brush. And now I’m just going to twirl. Now I twirled a little bit too much there so that you really can’t see what I’ve done. What happens when I use the Twirl tool is that it twirls the edge of this shape. So I could create my heart with a twirled edge by just twirling this edge with this brush. Now I’m pressing Ctrl or Command Z to undo that if I don’t like the twirl. So I’ve just got my fingers over Ctrl or Command Z so I can undo a twirl if it’s not to my liking. So that’s one way that we could decorate the edges of this heart. We could also use tools such as the Scallop Tool, and scallop will allow us to scallop the edges off this heart. But I’m thinking that I don’t have nearly a big enough brush here. So I’m going to Alt or Option drag towards the top corner of this image, the top right hand corner, and see if that’s a better option for the Scallop Tool. And I can pull out the edges of the heart. Now it’s not looking particularly effective on this heart shape but for other shapes it may be of interest to you. Let’s have a look and see what the Crystallize Tool will give us. This will give us some crystallized edges. So in actual fact for this heart that may work reasonably well. Let’s just undo it and have another shot at it. I’m just going to click and drag as I click. So undo it again, click and drag and just see if that’s going to give me anything of interest. The other tool I could choose is this Wrinkle Tool, and that will wrinkle the edges as well. So we could run that around the edges of the heart if that was the effect that we were looking at. But there are some interesting tools here that having drawn your heart shape you could now come and do something a little more interesting with it. This might do for somebody who’s trying to illustrate something on say looking after someone’s heart because we’re getting almost a sort of blood pressure reading or heart pressure reading effect around the edge of the heart. So there are a whole heap of tools here that you can use. Having already created your heart with the pen tool it can now be adjusted because it is a vector object in Illustrator using all these tools.


Helen Bradley