Shading and Depth in YouiDraw

In this tutorial we will try out some techniques to add depth to our YouiDraw vector art.  I got this idea for my students from Creative Bloq and though we have far fewer options than they do, I think we can create a pretty cool piece of art.  Adding depth in YouiDraw:

  1. To start, open a new document in YouiDraw.  Go to youidraw.com and click on the DRAW icon.  Then click “start from blank”.
  2. At the top right click the grid icon and check Show Grid & Snap to Grid.  Then close that box.
  3. Make your document 640 x 800 pix in the document setup tab (larger if you plan on printing this).  Then click the zoom percentage at the top right and select “Fit on Screen”.
    shading in youidraw
  4. Now you are going to draw a mountain scene that looks something like this:
    youidraw depth tutorial
  5. First draw a blue box at the top as the sky.  Uncheck the “stroke” box so that there is no border.
  6. Create the individual mountains by using the Convex Tool.
    Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 7.46.55 PM
    Change the number of sides to three, uncheck the the stroke box, change the fill to grays to start out with.
    youidraw shading
  7. Copy and paste the triangle then draw a rectangle over the second triangle intersecting in the very middle.
    Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.52.03 PM
    Next select both the second triangle and the rectangle and click the “subtract” button at the top of the art board.  This is what you get:
    Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.52.21 PM
    Now place the half triangle over the original one and make the color slightly lighter.
    Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.52.41 PM
    Select the darker triangle that is in the back and open the effects (feather) tab in the Properties panel.  Check inner shadow and make your shadow appear on the left outside edge of the triangle.  My settings are shown here:
    Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 8.54.13 PM
  8. Now just copy and past that mountain to create another one.  Change the shape, size, and color of this one.  To select the individual pieces of the group to change the color you will use the layers pallet and the drop down menu next to that group.  Select a single layer there and change the color in the properties > shape tab.
    youidraw-tutorial
    After you create a few mountains across the back you’ll notice that you are now on the other side of the art board and the sun will be on the left of it.  This means you need to switch the mountain around so that the shadow is now on the right.  Simply grab the right edge of the mountain and drag it to the left to flip it around.  Click the pencil and save!
    Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 9.28.36 PM
    Now you will need to change the angle of the shadow as well.  Select the back triangle in the layers panel and change your settings to look like this:
    tutorial for youidraw
  9. Start at the back and work your way forward.  Grays at the back and greens to the front with a big sun in the middle.  Remember that the sun (the source of light, and the reason for shadows) is in the middle so the shadows will be all around the edges of the artwork, away from the sun.  Copy and paste the original triangle for the mountains on the left side and the flipped one for the mountains on the right side
    Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 9.49.30 PM

    1. Keep adding mountains and the sun.  Use lots of shades of green and gray.  SAVE YOUR WORK!
      adding depth in youidraw
    2. After you finish you will notice that you can see everything that hangs over the edge.  Zoom out and add a dark gray frame of sorts so that you can see where your drawing ends.  I just used one rectangle and copied it three more times.
      Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 10.37.01 PM
    3. Nice!  Now we will add a gradient to the sky.  Select the sky.  Click on the fill swatch at the bottom left.  Select Linear Gradient.  Move the little black dots with number 1 and 2 in them to the position as shown.  Click on the color drops at the bottom to make sure the colors are blue and white, with white at the bottom.  Click OK and save the file.
      youidraw tutorials
    4. Now give the sun a little depth by adding an inner shadow to it with the following settings.  Choose a yellow color that is just slightly darker.
      Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 10.39.59 PM
    5. Next create three little triangles using the Convex tool (change the sides to 3!).  I zoomed in a lot to do this.  Make them white without a stroke.
      Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 11.03.28 PM
    6. Now use the Pen Tool to draw random shapes that are similar in width to the bottom of the triangle.
      Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 11.03.47 PM
      Get rid of the black stroke and you have awesome snow caps.  Might be a good idea to select the two pieces of one snow cap and group them.  Do the same for the other two.
      Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 11.04.06 PM
    7. Add a few snow caps to some of your gray mountains.  You may have to make them skinnier or wider and maybe even move them around in the layers panel so that they are in the right position.
      Screen Shot 2016-03-02 at 11.15.50 PM
    8. Now save the YouiDraw file and you are done!

adding depth in youidraw

 

YouiDraw Tutorial – Create a Lego character by adjusting simple shapes

In this YouiDraw tutorial you will create your own Lego character.  The idea here is to learn how to adjust simple shapes to fit your needs.  Rather than using the Pen Tool all of the time, sometimes it might be easier and also look more precise, if you draw a simple shape and adjust it as needed. After you create this basic character, personalize it as a specific character of your choice.

To get started go to https://www.youidraw.com > Drawing > and Start from Blank.

  1. The first thing to do in this YouiDraw tutorial, is to draw the head. Create a small rounded rectangle using the Rounded shape tool.  Place it near the top of your art board. Change the stroke size to 3 and the radius size to 20.

character in youidraw

Now create a bigger one just below the first one.  Change the stroke size to 3 and the radius size to 20.

lego head

2. For the body add a third even bigger rounded rectangle just below that.  This will create the body. Change the stroke size to 3 and the radius size to 20.  Save your file.

lego head and body

3.  At this point you may want to make a grid visible.  Click the grid button at the top and check the box that says “show grid”.

show grid

4. Now we will use the Edit Tool to adjust the body.  First, uncheck the fill box for the body.  Remember you will have to select it with the Move Tool first. move tool

create a lego character in youidraw

Now, with the body still selected switch to the Edit Tool. edit tool Two finger click on the bottom left vector point that is on the left side. Delete this point.

youidraw tutorial

On the remaining bottom left vector point, two-finger click on that vector point and cancel the Bezier.  This removes the curve.

youidraw tutorial lego

Click and drag on this point to move it just below the point above it.  Notice the red highlights.  This lets you know that the point is directly below and to the left of the vector points around it with 90 degree angles.

youidraw lego tutorial

Now do the exact same thing to the other side.

youidraw lesson

Next you will make the shoulder area more narrow.  Using the Edit Tool move each of the points at the top of the shoulders in a little.  Use your grid to make sure they are evenly spaced under the head.

free youidraw tutorials

edit tool in youidraw

Move both outer vector points in.

tutorial for youidraw

Add the white fill back to the body by clicking the “Fill” box in the properties panel when the body shape is selected.

add white fill

5.  Now add a neck with either the Rounded shape tool or the Rectangle shape tool.  Change the stroke size to 3 and move it to the back by clicking the “Backward” button until it moves behind the head and the body.  Save your file.

neck

move backward youidraw tutorial

6. Now it’s time to move on to the arms.  The grid can really help you here.  If, so far, your Lego guy is roughly the same size as mine you should be able to count grid squares to make your arm the right size.

Start by creating a rectangle with the Rectangle Tool and an oval with the Ellipse Tool like so.  It’s a good idea to zoom in at this point.

youidraw leg character tutorial

Using the Move Tool, tilt the oval using the little blue adjustment circle at the top of the selection box.  Line up the left edges of the rectangle and oval.  Remember Youidraw will show a red align line when they are lined up properly.

using youidraw

Then select both the rectangle and the oval and click the union icon to merge the two shapes.

youidraw tutorial

Now place an oval over the very bottom of the shape.  Try to line up the oval with the shape’s left and right edges perfectly.  Zoom in more if you need to.

tutorial

7.  Next let’s work on the hand.  Place another smaller oval just under the last one you created.

tutorial for youidraw

Place a rectangle just over the smaller oval.  Again, line up the left and right edges.  I zoomed in quite a bit.

vector tutoiral

Select both the oval and the rectangle and click the Union icon just as you did above with the arm.  This is the result:

high school vector tutorial

Now draw a large circle overlapping the shape you just made.  Don’t forget to hold down the Shift key as you draw so that the tool will create a perfect circle, not an oval.

you idraw lesson

Again, select both shapes and use the Union icon to merge them.

youidraw lessons

Now hold down the shift key again and create another smaller circle inside of the larger one.

free vector tutorial

Next select the new circle and the bigger circle shape as well.  You may need to check the Layer Tree to make sure that you do, in fact, have both selected.  This time click the Subtract button at the top of the art board (not the Union button).  This will subtract the smaller circle out of the larger shape.  You should be able to see the grid inside of the smaller circle now.  Like this:

youidraw

Place a rectangle like this over the circle shape.  Select both and click the Subtract icon at the top again.

lego arm

youidraw

Draw an oval inside the “hand” like this.

youidraw simple shapes

Now draw another oval on top of that one.  Make sure the top, bigger oval is mostly inside the curve of the hand.  Make sure the ovals intersect to look something close to this example:

creating in youidraw

Select both of the new ovals and click the Divide icon at the top of the art board.  (Like in the graphic above).

youidraw tutorials

Those two ovals are now divided into three pieces.

divide tool in youidraw

You can move and delete the bottom two.  What you have left should look like this.  Change the fill color to be just slightly darker than white.  This will give the inner hand the look of a shadow.

arm 17

Now use the Backward button at the top of your screen to move this gray layer behind the rest of the hand.  Now it should look like this:

arm 18

Save your file from this YouiDraw tutorial!

Now select each piece separately (arm, bottom of arm oval, hand, and shadow shape) and change the stroke width to 3.

Select the hand and the shadow shape and click the group button at the top of the art board.  Then double click on that layer in the Layer Tree and name it “hand”.  Move this layer group into place on the arm.

arm 19

Select the hand group, the arm, and the bottom arm oval and click the group button.  Name that group arm. Save your file.

arm 21

8. Next we will arrange the arms with the body.  Use the Move Tool and move the arm over to the body.  Use the little blue adjustment circle to tilt the arm.

how do i use youidraw

Move the arm to the back using the “Backward” button.

backward button youidraw

The other arm is easy!  Just copy and paste the first arm.  Select the first arm with the Move Tool and two finger click on the arm for the menu and select copy. Then two finger click and select paste.

youidraw

There is not a reflect option so you will need to manually flip it.  With the arm selected, grab the rectangle on the left middle of the arm and drag it to the other side.  A good way to see that you make it the right proportions is to make sure the the hand stays a perfect circle.  You will just have to eye ball it.

youidraw tutorial

now it looks like this:

tutorial

Now move that arm to the other side of the body, tilt it and line it up, then use the backward button to move it behind the body.

Don’t forget to save!

how to create a vector lego character

9.  The legs are easy with this YouiDraw tutorial!  First, draw a rectangle just under the body.

youidraw

Use the Line Tool to draw a line just below the body on the pants.  Hold down the shift key and then draw the line to make a perfectly straight line.

line tool in youidraw

Continue using the Line Tool (and the shift key) to draw two more lines that will be the leg joints.

leg joints

Add a rectangle for the left leg.  After your draw it you can use the Move Tool to make sure it is lined up with the top part of the pants.  Remember YouiDraw will show you the red align guides when you have it in the right place.

you i draw tutorial

Now just copy and paste the leg and move the new one to the other side using the red align guides.

pants

You’re almost there! Hold down the shift key and add two lines near the bottom of the leg.  You can use the Move Tool to make these lines skinnier or wider if needed.  You can also copy and paste the first one to create the second one.

youidraw

Congratulations!  You are done with the basic character.  Add more features to make up a new character or to mimic an actual Lego character.

YouiDraw Tutorial - Create a Lego character by adjusting simple shapes

Here are some ideas for the face.  Google image search for even more ideas.

vector Lego face ideas

Hope you enjoyed this free YouiDraw tutorial.

Free tutorial using simple shapes in YouiDraw

using simple shapes in YouiDrawCreate a person using only simple shapes in YouiDraw!  Follow the directions below to create your own character.  Feel free to change the colors and sizes/dimensions.  Don’t forget to save often!

(This idea came from the creative people over at Tuts+. If you are working in Illustrator head over there.  But for a tutorial using YouiDraw, you’ve found the right place.)

Step 1

Using the Ellipse Tool draw an oval head.  You can select the color in the Fill Color pallet.  Then click the Stroke Color pallet and make the stroke transparent.

youidraw simple shapes

Step 2

Next draw another ellipse for an eye. Might be a good idea to zoom in.  (If you can’t see it, it is probably just because it is the same color as the face.)

youidraw

Step 3

Add two more white ellipses to make the eye more realistic by reflecting light.

character in youidraw

After that is done, your Layer Tree will look like this:

you i draw

Go ahead and rename the eye to “Eye” and while you are at it, rename the face to “Face”.

youidraw

Step 4

Now just make a copy of the eye and paste it:  select the eye, type Ctrl-C, then type Ctrl-V.  Move the new eye into position.  Now the eye is in your layer tree at Group 2.  Rename Group 2 to “Eye 2”.

youidraw simple shapes tutorial

To be safe, click the pencil icon and click Save As.  Name your file.  Now go to drive.google.com (you can just click here) and make sure that it is there.

Step 5

Draw two more small ellipses for a nose. They should be slightly darker than the face.  Don’t forget you can draw one and then Copy and Paste it.  Group the two dots and name the layer group, “Nose”.

youidraw tutorial

Step 6

Draw two more ellipses for ears.  I used the same color as the nose.  Rename those layers “Ear 1” and “Ear 2”.

youidraw

Now select each ear separately. Two-finger click on it and select Arrange > Send to Back. youidraw

Step 7

Now we will make the mouth.  Off to the side of the face draw two ellipses as shown here.

youidraw vector art

Now select both ellipses.  You can do this by shift-clicking both in the Layers Panel or you can use the Move Tool and draw a box around both (like I did here with the dotted rectangle).  Every shape that falls in the dotted rectangle will be selected.

create a simple mouth in youidraw

With both selected.  Click the Divide button at the top of your window.  It is divided at the points where the ellipses intersect.  Now there are three pieces.  You have to click away then on each individual piece to move them.

divide tool in youidraw

Now delete the two pieces that you do not need leaving only the smile.  Name it “Mouth” in the Layer Tree.

subtraction tool in youidraw

Now put on the face.  The fill color should be white and the stroke should be transparent.

free vector art tutorial

Step 8

Now for the neck.  Draw a rectangle as shown and send it to the back like you did with the ears.  I used the ear color.  Name the new layer Neck.

getting started in youidraw

Step 9

Now you are ready to group the entire face.  Shift-Click all of the layers OR two finger click on one of the shapes and click Select All.

getting started with you i draw

Now, with everything selected, two finger click again and select Group.

beginners guide to youidraw

Rename your new group: “Head”.

nameing in the layer tree

Click on the Pencil and click SAVE (or Ctrl-S)!

Step 10

Add hair to your person by copy and pasting circles onto the top of the head.  If you would like to get creative with the hair, go for it.

free vector art tutorials

Now select all of the circles that make up the hair and group them.  Name the new group “Hair”.

free vector art tutorials

Step 11

Let’s create the body. Use the Rounded Rectangle Tool and draw a maroon rectangle.

you i draw

Now add a circle that is the same color as the neck just above the shirt.  Be sure that it is overlapping.  Select both and click the divide button at the top of your window.

youidraw free tutorial

Now select the top portion and delete it.

youidraw

Now make the bottom of the circle the same color as the neck.  Select both pieces, group them, and name the new group “Body”.  Now move the body just below the neck.

simple shapes youidraw

free tutorial

Step 12

The legs are made with rectangles and a gray lines.  Create the legs for your character as shown below.  Don’t forget you can create one leg, group all the pieces, then copy and paste to create the other leg.  Add a rectangle to connect the legs.  Group all the pieces and name the Group “Legs”.

using youidraw

If the legs are not the right size for the body, just use the move tool and adjust the size of the the whole leg group.  Now two finger click on the legs and select Arrange > Send to Back.

vector art how to

Click on the Pencil and click SAVE (or Ctrl-S) and continue on using simple shapes in YouiDraw.

Step 13

To create a foot you will draw an oval.  Then draw a circle overlapping it like you see here.  Click the divide button at the top of your window.  Delete the top of the circle and change the bottom of the circle to skin color.

youidraw divide tool

Add shoe laces.

youidraw

Use the divide tool to delete the unneeded parts of the dark gray oval.  Do that two more times to complete the shoe laces.

simple vector shoe

youi draw

Group all the pieces and name the new group “Foot”.

youidraw art

Step 14

Copy and paste the foot to create the other one.  Name the Group “Foot 2”. You will want to make it point the opposite direction so select it and grab the left edge and pull it to the right to flip the whole shoe over.

using youidraw

youidrawing

Place the feet on the body.

vector drawing

Step 15

Now add a sign.  Draw a rectangle and tilt it slightly.  First make the stroke color transparent, then click on the fill color and choose Linear Gradient.  Double click on the two color drops to select two different shades of light gray.  Name the layer “Sign”.

teach graphic design for free

Step 16

Next we will add arms and hands.  Draw an ellipse the same color as the neck and a rectangle just above it.  Select both shapes and click “Subtract” at the top of your window.  Name the new shape “Arms”.

using the subtraction tool

youidraw

Two finger click on the arms and click Arrange > Send to Back.  Move the arms behind the body.  Adjust the size as needed.

simple shapes in YouiDraw

Now to create hands you will make four ellipses.  Group them, name them “Fingers” in the Layer Tree, tilt and adjust the size as needed.  Copy and paste to create the other hand. Name the other hand “Fingers 2”.

youidraw tutorial

Place them on each end of your sign.

free tutorial

Now just add a message to your sign and you are done!  Nice!  SAVE IT!
(Hint: If you move the whole character to the top of your art space leaving some white space at the bottom, the YouiDraw watermark won’t cover his legs.  Hope you enjoyed this free tutorial using simple shapes in YouiDraw.

learn vector art free

teach vector art free

Awesome student examples using simple shapes in YouiDraw

Two ways to use the Pen Tool in YouiDraw

There are ways to use the Pen Tool in YouiDraw that I like to teach my students. Both work pretty well but both have their drawbacks. Either one can help you to master the Pen Tool in YouiDraw.

The main thing to think about is where your vector points will go.  Since, in YouiDraw, you are not able to change direction as you draw, you will need to stay focused on where the points are, not necessarily how your curves look.  You can always clean up the curves or add adjustment handles after your drawing is complete using the Edit Tool.

Here are the two methods that seem to work pretty well:

  1. Add points and handles as you go…you will likely create a not-so-accurate drawing that will need to be adjusted but if your points are where they need to be, it’s easy to fix.
    ways to use the pent tool
    For more on this method visit this tutorial where I show you how to draw this entire bunny.
  2. The other method is to just click around (without creating handles) to place your points where they need to be.  This will create straight lines.  You will then double click the vector points to add the handles and make adjustments with the Edit Tool.
    ways to use the pen tool in youidraw

Notice in both of the examples above that the vector points are in the same places on each bunny.  Either way works.

More detail on using the second of my two ways to use the Pen Tool:

If you are going to draw this heart for example…

heart template for youidraw

You will click to add each vector point…

drawing in youidraw

then complete the path by clicking on the first vector point you created…

you i draw pen tool

Now double click on the first point.  Handles are automatically added but they are not in the right position….

youidraw pen

Hold down the Command (Mac) or Ctrl (PC) key on your keyboard and grab one handle control point and move it into place.  Release the control point then the Command/Ctrl key.

you idraw practice

Do the same thing with the other handle for that point.  Hold down Command/Ctrl and grab the handle control point and move it into place.

handle control points

My template doesn’t show me where to position the other handle control points so I’ll have to eye ball it.  Double click on another vector point.

draw a vector heart

Then hold down the Command/Ctrl key and move each handle into place.

Two ways to use the Pen Tool in YouiDraw

Repeat the process for the vector point on the other side of the heart.  The bottom point may not need any adjusting at all.

ways to use the Pen Tool

Nice work!  Now hide your template if you used one and add some color.  I chose a gradient from the library.

use the Pen Tool in YouiDraw

 

Vector Art and the Bézier Curve

Creating drawings in vector art software like YouiDraw and Adobe Illustrator involves some complicated math.  Lucky for graphic designers, this software does all of the math for you!  Whew! But it’s helpful to know how the Bézier curve in illustrations works.

Check out the below Bézier curve diagram (as well as the bunny graphic).  Most digital illustrations are made up of a series of curved lines like these.  Curves are created between vector points and are adjustable by manipulating the position of the adjustment handles that connect to the vector points.  You can move the handles (and thus the curved line) by grabbing the handle control points and dragging them where needed.

bezier curve diagram

bezier curve diagram example

Here is a very helpful and short video that explains how the curve is created.

Cubic Bezier Curves – Under the Hood from Peter Nowell on Vimeo.

Now try creating your own Bezier curve right now using free software by following my tutorial called Pen Tool Basics.

How is YouiDraw different from Illustrator

There are some major differences in YouiDraw vs. the Adobe products.  If you have never used Photoshop or Illustrator you probably don’t need to know this information.  If you are like me, and started in Photoshop and Illustrator and now find yourself using/teaching YouiDraw, you will want to know the differences.

There are several, but here are the major differences that I have found.  Let me know if you find others.

  1. You can not change the curve direction as you draw using the Pen Tool in YouiDraw.  You cannot draw a curve then hold down the Option (Ctrl) key to change your handle direction.  You have to complete the drawing, THEN go back and use the Edit Tool to change individual handle directions.  This can be pretty annoying and hopefully they will change this soon.  Comment to let me know, if you see that they do add that capability.
  2. You cannot add text to a path.  I’m not finding any way to create curved text at all.
  3. The layers in the Layer Tree and in opposite order in YouiDraw to what you find in Illustrator and Photoshop.  Your background is the top layer in the tree and the bottom layer is the top layer on your art board.

Did you find any other ways YouiDraw different from Illustrator?

Master the Pen Tool in YouiDraw

I got the idea to create a post to help my students master the Pen Tool in YouiDraw from the very helpful people over at PDS fan.  If you are using Photoshop head on over there but if you are looking to master the YouiDraw pen tool you’ve found the right place!

If you still need some very basic practice and additional information on the YouiDraw Pen Tool you might try this tutorial first: Pen Tool Basics.

Let’s get started!  If you are wondering, how do I use the Pen in YouiDraw, well you are about to find out.

PART 1 – Set up the work space

  1. First, download this bunny.  I created it in YouiDraw and anyone is free to use it for this tutorial.

learn vector drawing in youidraw

2. Now go to https://www.youidraw.com > Drawing > and Start from Blank.

3. Next, change the size of your art board.  To do this you click the Properties tab and then the document icon.  Adjust your width and height to Width=380 and Height=400.

Screen Shot 2015-11-22 at 9.18.42 PM

4. Click on the pencil (top left) then Insert Image. youidraw file menu Find and select the bunny file that you just downloaded.  This will add it to your art board.

learn youidraw pen tool

5. Now, with the bunny selected, make the opacity 50% in the Properties panel under the feather (effects) icon.  Name the layer “Template” in the Layer Tree by double clicking the label for that layer.  Then lock the layer by clicking the lock icon.  Now you cannot select it or move it.

how to use the pen tool

6. The main thing to think about in YouiDraw (and possibly any vector software) is where your vector points will go.  Since, in YouiDraw, you are not able to change direction as you draw, you will need to stay focused on where the points are, not necessarily how your curves look.  You will clean up the curves after your drawing is complete using the Edit Tool.

There are two methods that I have found that work pretty well:

  1. Add points and handles as you go.
  2. Or add just the vector points, then add handles later.

Here are starting examples of each.  Notice that the vector points are in the same places on each bunny.  Either way works. (Click here for a basic description and examples of each.)

For this tutorial, I will be using the first method (creating the handles as you go).

pen tool in youidraw

**One more thing to remember when using the Pen Tool:  If you mess up, or undo, or switch tools in the Tool Panel while in the middle of using the Pen Tool in youidraw, you cannot pick up where you left off.  You will likely have to start over.

OK back to the lesson.

PART 2 – Drawing the outline using the pen tool in youidraw

7. Select the Pen Tool pen tool and click behind the neck and drag up and to the right. Don’t release the mouse until the handle is like my example below.  This creates a vector point with handles on each end.

you i draw pen tool

8. Next click below the ear and drag up and to the right.  Release the mouse.

you i draw pen

The curve you are drawing has a white fill that will eventually cover your template layer.  At this point you may want to uncheck the Fill box in the Properties Panel under the shape icon.

youidraw tutorial

9. Now click 3/4 of the way up the ear and drag up and toward the point of the ear.  This will be a small handle.

learn you i draw pen tool

10. Now click just on the other side of the ear and drag down toward the top of the head.

learn you i draw

11.  The next point will be at the point between the ears at the top of the head.  click there and drag very slightly up the other ear.

using the pen in youidraw

12.  Now click 3/4 of the way up the other ear and drag up and toward the point of that ear.

master the pen tool in youidraw

13. Now click just on the other side of the ear and drag down toward the top of the head.

you i draw pen tool

14. Next, click where the ear meets the head and drag slightly in the direction of the nose.

youidraw pen

15.  Now click on the nose where you image the curve of the head would be even though you can’t see it under the nose.  Drag downward.

vector pen tool

16. Now click where the head meets the body and drag downward.

using the pen tool

17.  Getting the curve of the chest can be tricky. Remember, each time a curve changes direction or shape, you need a new vector point. Place your next point just above where the chest puffs out the most. Drag a very short handle down and to the left.

pen tool

18.  Now click where the leg meets the body and drag down and to the right.

youidraw pen

19. Click where the leg meets the foot. Drag and down and very slightly to the left.

bunny foot

20. Click on the bottom of the foot and drag a small handle to the right.

master the pen tool in youidraw

21. Click on the other side of the foot and drag upward.

master the pen tool in you i draw

22. Then click where the leg meets the belly and drag down and toward the right.

draw a vector bunny

23. Next click where the belly meets the leg and drag to the left.

creating with the pen tool

24. Click were the back foot would meet the ground and drag straight to the right.

pen tool vector

25. Now click where the curve of the back foot starts to change directions up toward the tail. and drag a bigger handle up and to the right.

pen

26. Now bring the next point all the way around to the top of the back and drag toward the beginning point.

vector

27.  You are almost done with the basic outline.  All that is left is to click right on the first vector point that you created (notice the little circle that appears next to your pen when you hover over that point) and this will close out your shape!

youidraw

28. Now select the Move Tool in the Tools panel and click off of the bunny (anywhere on the art board).  Your bunny is deselected and it should look something like this:

what it looks like

29.  If you haven’t saved yet, now would be a good time! Click on the pencil tool then Save As.  This will allow you to save your work to your computer or google drive.  Choose your drive, name the file, and click OK.  From now on, with this project, you will be able to click the pencil and just click Save.

PART 3 – Clean up the vector handles

30. Now, while you are using the Move Tool move tool, click on the black line around that makes up your bunny outline.  This will select the bunny.  Now choose the Edit Tool edit tool in the Tool Panel.  Notice that all of the vector points are now visible.  The Edit Tool allows you to make adjustments to your curves, including adjusting only one vector handle at a time, adding vector points, and deleting vector points.

Click on the vector point behind the ear…the first point you created. This allows you to see the two handles associated with this point. Hold down the Command (Mac) or the Ctrl (PC) key on your key board THEN grab (click and hold) the handle control point of the handle that is pointing up toward the ears. Now move this handle so that it is shorter and in a position like you see in my example below.  When you have finished moving it you can release the point THEN let go of the Command/Ctrl key.

adjusting handle control points

31.  Next, hold down the Command/Ctrl key and select the other handle control point and move it around so that it is facing the back of the bunny.

adjustments

makind adjustments

31.  Now click on the vector point just above that, the one that is at the bottom of the ear.  You will now see the two handles for this point.  Hold down the Command/Ctrl key then click the handle control point of the handle that is pointing downward.  Move it to the right until the curve matches the shape of your template.

adjusting with the edit tool in youidraw

32.  In this same way, you will go all the way around the bunny selecting each vector point then adjusting the handles to make the curves match the template.  Don’t forget to hold down the Command or Ctrl key before you move a handle control point.  If you forget, it will adjust both handle control points at the same time and this is not what you want it to do.  Not to worry.  If you forget, just let go of the handle control point and undo using the undo arrow at the top of your screen.  Then start again.

Screen Shot 2015-12-18 at 11.11.36 AM

33. Continue on around the bunny, selecting each vector point and adjusting it’s handles one at a time as needed.

youidraw

This next graphic is just so you can see how the handles of each vector point are positioned.  (this is a compilation of screen shots that I put together for this purpose…you are never actually able to see all handles at one time in YouiDraw.)

vector handle position is important

Remember that a curve is determined by the handles on either side of it.

what determines a curve

Moving either handle will change the curve.  In my example, to make the curve match the template better, I will move the top handle up a bit.

adjust the vector handle

34. You can now easily zoom in and make any other needed adjustments.  The back foot on my bunny is not long enough.  I can simply click on that vector point and drag it out to the correct position.

move a vector point

In the same way I can move the vector point that is in the wrong position just above the front foot to it’s correct position.  Then I adjusted the handles as needed.

adjust the handles

Your bunny may have other adjustments that need to be made.

Save your work.

PART 4 – Add the finishing touches

35. Now use the Ellipse Tool to create the ear, nose, eyes and tail.  I usually will create these things away from the main art work and then move them into place.

Draw a long skinny oval using the Ellipse Tool.  Make sure the fill box is checked and click the swatch beside it to select a pink color.  Uncheck the stroke box.  Rename the ellipse layer “ear” in the layer tree.  Rename the body also if you haven’t already.

add the ear

Next select the move tool.  Click and drag the handle to tilt it then move it into place.

click-and-drag-to-tilt1 click-and-drag-to-tilt

Screen Shot 2015-12-19 at 4.50.04 PM

36. Now add circles to create the whites of the eye, the nose, and tail.  To make a perfect circle you will need to select the Ellipse Tool and hold down the shift key while you draw the circles. For each circle select the appropriate color and uncheck the stroke box.  Name each circle in the Layer Tree.

perfect circle in youidraw

37. To make the inner eye, create two perfect circles that overlap.  Don’t forget to hold down the shift key.  You will then select both circles.  To do this use the Move Tool and select one circle then hold down the shift key and select the other circle in the layer tree.

union tool in youidraw

Now click the subtract icon at the top of your art board. The top circle is subtracted from the bottom circle.

using the subtract option

Select a green fill color and uncheck the stroke box and move the eye into place.

youidraw eye

38.  Now all you need to do is select the body again and add a gray fill color and uncheck the stroke box.  If for some reason you can’t see any part of the bunny, you may have some of the pieces out of order in the Layer Tree.  Here is what mine looks like.  Remember the top layer in the Layer Tree is the back layer on your art board.  The bottom layer in the Layer Tree is the top layer on your art board.

layer tree

Hide the template by clicking the eye icon in the layer tree and you are done!  Nice work!  You just created an awesome drawing with the pen tool in youidraw. Don’t forget to save.

finished bunny

Youidraw Pen Tutorial – Pen Tool Basics

For this Youidraw pen tutorial we will go over very basic functions of the Pen Tool.  For something a little more advanced try this tutorial: Master the Pen Tool in YouiDraw.

For more about vector art in general take a look at this post about vector art and the Bezier curve, it includes a short and very informative video on exactly how the Bezier curve is created.

Now we will create a few very simple curved lines.

Simple Curved Line – Youidraw Pen Tutorial

  1. First, download this template graphic. (Two finger click (or for PC, right click) on the jpg below and choose to save it to your desktop.)

pen tool practice tutorial

2. Now go to https://www.youidraw.com > Drawing > and Start from Blank.

3. Next, click on the pencil (top left) then Insert Image.  youidraw file menu Find and select the above graphic that you just downloaded.  If you kept the file name it is called pen-tool-practice-tutorial.jpg.  This will add it to your art board.  You will now be able to use it as a template.

4. Name the layer “Template” in the Layer Tree by double clicking the label for that layer.

Youidraw Pen Tutorial

Now, click the lock icon for your template layer.  Now you cannot select it or move it.

lock layer in youidraw

5.  Now to get started drawing your first Bezier curve, select the Pen Tool. pen tool Notice the first vector point on the left hand side.  Click on that point and drag straight upward without releasing your mouse until your reach the top of the first handle control point.  YouiDraw lets you know that you are drawing perfectly straight by highlighting the handle red (see example below).

youidraw pen tool step 1

6. Next, click on the second vector point and drag straight downward.

you i draw pen tool step 2

7. Continue in this way following the template.  Click the vector points and drag to the end of the handle on the template.

finish the drawing with the pen tool

8.  Nice! Now to finish the drawing you will need to exit out of the Pen Tool by selecting another tool.  I always recommend selecting the Move Tool at this point. move tool Once you do, this curve is finished.  Hide the template layer to see only your drawing by clicking the “eye” icon next to your Template layer in the Layer Tree.

hide the template in youidraw

Your drawing actually has a white fill.  If you click on your curved line and then on the swatch next to the Fill Check-box you can select a new color and see the fill.

change fill color in youidraw

Or you can uncheck the fill box to remove the fill completely.  You can also select other options for your line (or Stroke).  (*Remember your curve has to be selected…blue box around it…for the fill and stroke properties to appear under the Properties Tab.)

change the stroke properties in youidraw

Curved Line That Changes Directions – YouiDraw Pen Tool Basics

A curved line that changes directions is a bit more tricky in YouiDraw.  As of right now there is not a way to change the curve direction as you draw.  In that case you will draw your curve the best you can with the Pen Tool, then go back and make adjustments with the Edit Tool.

  1. Download this jpg  (below) as you did above to use as your template. Then go to https://www.youidraw.com > Drawing > and Start from Blank.  Click on the pencil (top left) then Insert Image.  youidraw file menu Find and select the jpg that you just downloaded.  If you kept the file name it is called youidraw-pen-tutorial.jpg. Rename it “template” in the Layer Tree and click the lock icon to lock it in place.  (If you don’t remember how to do all of this go back to the top of this page for instructions.)

youidraw pen tutorial

2. Now to get started on this scalloped pattern, select the Pen Tool pen tool and click on the first vector point and drag straight upward without releasing your mouse until your reach the top of the first handle control point.

first pen tool drawings

3. Next click on the second vector point and drag straight up again.  You’ll notice that your curve does not look like the template.  Don’t worry, you’ll fix that later.  This happens because YouiDraw automatically creates another handle directly opposite the one you drew when you drug your mouse upward.  You cannot change that handle while you are drawing…only after your drawing is complete.  In this case, that opposite handle is pulling the curve down when it really needs to go up.

drawing in YouiDraw

4. Continue on with the rest of the vector points.  Click on them and drag straight up.  It should look something like this:

drawing step 3

5. Now you need to exit out of the Pen Tool by selecting another tool.  I recommend selecting the Move Tool. move tool When you click the Move Tool it will look like this.  The blue box around it means it is selected.

Screen Shot 2015-12-25 at 4.09.57 PM

6. While the curved line is selected switch to the Edit Tool. edit tool Now you can see the vector points.  Click on the second vector point from the left…the second point you created. This allows you to see the two handles associated with this point. Hold down the Command (Mac) or the Ctrl (PC) key on your key board THEN grab (click and hold) the handle control point of the handle that is pointing downward. Now move this handle so that it is pointing upward…directly on top of the one already pointing up.  When you have finished moving it you can release the point THEN let go of the Command/Ctrl key.

step 4

step 5

7. Now, repeat this process for all of the points.  Click on the third vector point.  Hold down the Command (Mac) or Ctrl (PC) key, grab the handle control point that is pointing down and move it straight up.

step 6

8. Continue with the rest of the vector points until your line matches the template.  Don’t forget to hold down the Command or Ctrl key before you move a handle control point.  If you forget, it will adjust both handle control points at the same time and this is not what you want it to do.  Not to worry.  If you forget, just let go of the handle control point and undo using the undo arrow at the top of your screen.  Then start again.

undo

step 7

9.  Hide the template layer to see only your drawing by clicking the “eye” icon next to your Template layer in the Layer Tree.  Nice work!

pen tool basics for youidraw

When you know how to create these two type of lines, you can create MANY more complicated drawings also!  Hope you enjoyed this YouiDraw pen tutorial.  Let me know if you found it helpful.

Try this tutorial for something slightly more challenging:  Master the Pen Tool in YouiDraw – Vector Bunny