youidraw pen tutorial - youidraw pen tool basics

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

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