Tag Archive - a beginner’s guide to illustrator

Illustrator for beginners: Overview of the tools & functions [Part 1]

If you’re new to Adobe Illustrator, the first thing you would need to familiarize yourself with are the tools. They may seem very alien to you right now, but this quick guide will help give you a clearer view of what each tool is and what they’re used for.

As there are so many tools, I’m splitting up the tutorial into 6 parts so that it gives you time to digest and practice ;)

1. The first most basic tool is the Selection Tool.

2. The Direct Selection Tool

3. The Magic Wand Tool

If you’ve been using Photoshop, taking one look at this tool tells you that this is the magic wand tool. But don’t be mistaken. In Illustrator, its functions and uses are not at all the same as how you’d use it in Photoshop.

4. Lasso Tool

A helpful tool that lets you select areas of a complicated object quickly.

5. Pen Tool

The pen tool is probably the most intimidating tool for beginners, but it’s also one of the most valuable tools.
Since I want to make it as simple as possible for beginners, I’ll just provide the very basics of using the Pen tool for the time being. I will do another more detailed post on the Pen tool in the near future ;)

6. Add Anchor Point Tool

7. Delete Anchor Point Tool

8. Convert Anchor Point Tool

Well, that’s it for the time being. In Part 2, we will cover the rectangle tool, the line segment tool, paintbrush and pencil tools as well as the blob and scissors tool. I’m also giving you the free vector bee for practice purposes. Download vector bee here.

Learn To Draw Cartoons In Ai From Scratch: A Beginner’s Guide

As with anything, practice and patience leads to success. Drawing your own cartoon character is no different. The first thing you should understand is this: don’t be overly ambitious to start off with. Surely you are not expecting an instant Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse at the first try.


1. BEGIN with SIMPLE & CLEAR shapes. Don’t try to make everything perfect yet. As you advance along the way, you will eventually know how to fine-tune the curves, colors, etc. For the time being, at least get a character defined.
2. PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE. There’s no shortcut to success. Don’t be overly ambitious – your mouse isn’t going to look like the one in Ratatouille any time soon.
3. Practice makes perfect. The more you practice and play around with the tools in Illustrator, the more familiar you will be with them. If you don’t know what each tool is used for, first find out, then come back to this page ;)

Today, you will be taking the first step to drawing your own cartoon mouse.

There you have it – your first basic cartoon mouse. Your mouse should hopefully look different from mine, based on the colors of your choice, and variation in shapes. However, DO make sure it at least does LOOK like a mouse ;)