The Pen Tool: Design A Pin | Jon Brommet | Skillshare

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The Pen Tool: Design A Pin

teacher avatar Jon Brommet, Crusoe Design Co.

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      The Basics


    • 3.

      Practice Drills


    • 4.

      Vectorizing Your Work


    • 5.

      Thank You!


    • 6.

      A Message From Future Jon


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About This Class

In this class, you will learn how to use the Pen Tool in Adobe Illustrator & Photoshop with ease. The Pen Tool is arguably the most important tool in Illustrator, as it can unlock the ability to draw almost anything you can think of. The best part is, it's far easier to master than you might think, and it works nearly identically in both Photoshop and Illustrator, as you will see in this tutorial series. Increase your efficiency and workflow quickly with these tips and tricks.

In this class I will show you each aspect of the pen tool and proper techniques to get the most accurate bezier curves and shapes. I will give you a few small exercises to practice from and then show you how to vectorize your own illustration or lettering.

The class project is to create your very own small illustration to use on a pin.

So, press play, and I'll see you in class! And don't forget to follow me and check out my other great classes as well!

Meet Your Teacher

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Jon Brommet

Crusoe Design Co.

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Level: Beginner

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1. Intro: Hey, Skillshare, and welcome to my new class, The Pen tool: Design A Pin. My name is Jon Brommet and I'm going to be teaching you the fundamentals of how to use the pen tool. It is arguably the most important tool in Adobe Illustrator, and once you know how to master it, you can basically do anything when it comes to vectorizing your artwork. In this class, I'm back onto the amazing contest. I say that every time, but always try to outdo myself. This time around, three different students are going to win their own pin design and they're going to get 50 copies of it for free. They just have to pay for the shipping. Please let your mark information for that under the discussion. So I hope you'll check out the class. Maybe even if you know the pen tool, you might still want to just try it out so that you enter the contest. Pretty unbeatable. Anyway, click "Enroll", and we'll see you soon. 2. The Basics: So welcome to the class. We're going to start off with the basics of using the Pen tool. So it should be fairly obvious, since this entire class is going to be using Adobe Illustrator, that we want to have Adobe Illustrator open. I'm using the newest version at the moment, so I have some presets but, of course, if you don't have that, it's no big deal, just go to File, New, and make a document any size you want. At this point, you can click any of these, it really it doesn't matter what size it is, I just want to show you the basics. Now don't get too intimidated if you're unfamiliar with Illustrator that I've got a lot of different panels open over here, they're not too important, you can just go ahead and click "Window," go down to workspace and make sure essentials is checked. Of course, you're going to have the toolbar over here, which is most of what you'll need for this class. So we're just going to go over to the Pen tool. You can see that I have it highlighted here. It's five down from the top, and we're going to go ahead and click that. Now, if we hover over it, you can see a P in brackets. What that means is that if you hit the letter P on your keyboard, it is a quick tool to go here, so I don't have to bring my mouse over here. It's the same thing with the Selection tool, which we'll be using a lot, that is the letter V. Now you can see that there's a little arrow at the bottom right-hand corner of the Pen tool. So if we go ahead and click and hold, you'll see that we've got some more options for the Pen tool. Now over here, there's also a little arrow which if I click it, it's going to expand those out into its own little panel. For the purpose of showing you exactly what these do, I'm going to leave this open for right now. So with the Pen tool selected the main one, you'll see that there's a little asterisk just to the bottom right of the arrow. What that means is that you're going to start with your very first anchor point, a point is once you click that little dot there, that is the start of your shape. So now as you can see, we have this what they call the elastic band, which is showing you where, if I click here, here, here, where my line is going to go and how it's going to look. If you actually hold the Shift while you're in this, it's going to snap to 45-degree increments, so you can see that your angles are exactly perfect. I'm going to go ahead and hold Shift, and I'm going to go and click over here. Now it's doing it again. Now you may see a lot of these weird little pink lines and things that are jumping out, and when you hover over things, it says things like anchor, to let you know that's an anchor point. The reason for that is I have smart guides on. So I'm going to go ahead and, again, click my "Selection tool," which is V on the keyboard, D selects the Pen tool. I'm just going to show you that if you review and you go down to guides, and you'll see smart guides right underneath that, or command, or control you on a PC. That gives you an extra bit of precision. It's a little distracting at first, but I'll show you that it's pretty useful in the end, so try not to get too distracted by that. What we're going to do is I've gone back to my Pen tool by clicking P on my keyboard. Now, if I hover anywhere over this line that I just made, as you can see that it's actually selected, I'm using the Selection tool, so you'll see that this line is selected. While it's selected, I click P to get my Pen tool. If I go anywhere along this line, you're going to see that I can create a new point, I'm just adding a little anchor point to my path. I'm going to go ahead and click, and now you can see that there is another point added to this line. So I'm going to click a couple times just to show you. Another thing you can do is you can actually select the Add Anchor Point tool. It's essentially the same thing, but for the most part, the Pen tool is going to do these things automatically for you. So just like that, we have the Delete anchor point tool. So if that's selected, we could go over to an anchor point and we could click it, and you can see that it's gone, it deletes it for you. But again, if you have the main Pen tool selected and you go over to it, it'll automatically show a little minus icon in the bottom right-hand corner, which means the same thing, it's automatically going to delete that for you if you click. We'll go ahead and we'll click there to delete, and now you can see that I have no points other than the two that are making up the line. I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to click again in the center. Now we've got that anchor point tool, so the last part of it is right here. We're going to go ahead and click that little arrow. Now, if we click and drag on that point, you're going to see these little handlebars come out, and that is how we make a Bezier curve. So if you click and then let go, you can see that you have a nice curve. I'm going to again just hit V on my keyboard to hold my Selection tool and then I'm going to click away. You can see that that makes a pretty nice line. All of these tools that you'll see here, all four of them are actually really easy to get to without even having to actually click on them. Again, if I make sure that just my Pen tool is selected, I can click here, and this time, I'm not going to hold Shift just to show you the difference. I'll click down here, I'm going to hit "Escape," so that I'm not going to keep creating more lines with one continuous path, I'm instead going to add an intersect just by hovering over and clicking. Now instead of going over here and selecting this tool, if I actually just hold Option or Alt on a PC, it's automatically going to appear. So now I can click over that line and do the same thing, to add quick curve to it. Alternatively, if you have a newer version of Adobe Illustrator, you can actually make one of these Bezier curves without drawing that extra point. Again, I'm just going to draw two points to make my line, I going to hit "Escape" so that I'm not continuing it. Then, if I have option held but not on over an anchor point like last time, I can actually click and drag, and you'll see the two handlebars are coming out to make a curve. If I let go, you can see that I have a nice curve there. That's the basics of the Pen tool, those are the four little components that make it up and the basics of how you're going to use this tool going forward, that's how easy it is to make a curve. So in the next video, I'm going to show you some practice lessons to get used to how to control it, and how to draw what you want to draw, and then I'm going to show you how I made my enamel pins for doing the same method. So we'll see you in the next video. 3. Practice Drills: As mentioned in the last video, I'm going to show you some practice steps to get used to how to use the Pen tool and make sure you're really comfortable with it. Again, we're opening Illustrator. It doesn't matter what your document size is at this point. If you actually have a Mac version of it or if you have Helvetica installed, there's a little trick that I'm going to show you here. So I'm clicking TMI keyboard, which is the text tool. I'm just going to click anywhere and we're going to choose Helvetica as the font. Make sure it's just the regular one. You're going to "Type", "Glyphs", and as you can see, if we double-click there, we've actually got the Apple logo. If you're unfamiliar with how to resize something, we're using the selection tool. We're going to go over to the corner and we're going to click and drag. We can skew it, or if you hold Shift, it'll make sure that holds the proportions. So we're going to blow that up. Now, this is technically a kind of a piece of a font, so I just want to make a shape, so I'm just going to "Type", "Create Outlines". So there you go, you've got the Apple logo, and that's a little hidden thing that you may not have known before. If you don't have Helvetica, of course you can just use Google or whatever and just quickly copy the Apple logo. Again, this is just to give you something to be comfortable with. It doesn't actually have to be the Apple logo, you can use the Nike one, or just maybe something that you're really familiar with. What I want to do is I'm going to select this and I'm going to make it a really light gray. So let's say 10 or so percent. I'm just going go ahead, and I'm actually going to this I think for the sake of what I'm doing. Now, we have a rastered image, which is just basically a box if we go into wire-frame mode, which is command y or control y. So with that, I'm just going to click and drag it, and then I'm going to go to "Object", and I'm gonna go to "Lock", "Selection". So now, that's not selectable anymore. That's going to be really useful when we're drawing with our pen tool. So of course, we're going to hit the pen tool and we're going to try and get comfortable drawing the shape. You can start anywhere you feel comfortable with but sometimes, it's easier to start on point. So we'll go there and we'll click. Now, if we go up here to this kind of curve, we're going to try and click in the middle of it. If we click and hold and drag and I'm using the Shift tool, but you don't need to. But if you use the Shift tool, you can see that we have that line pretty smooth there. What you'll notice a lot of the time is sometimes, you're not going to get everything perfect. Another little cool trick is if you actually hold the spacebar, you can see that I can move this point anywhere I want. So I can maybe shift it over there and make sure I'm comfort with that. Again, if any of these aren't perfect, it's easy to go back and change them. Another thing I'm doing is making a really perfect curves at this moment. A lot of new artists, when they're uncomfortable with the programs, what they'll end up doing is they'll click, draw a little curve and click, click, and they're going to have a million points making up their shape. That's not the nicest way to do it. It's not the smoothest way to do it. If you want to be a master at the tool, I'm showing you the proper way. So another thing, if you want to get really crazy, it doesn't work out all the time. But a lot of hand letters, when they're making, especially if they're doing cursive or script writing, another way to make your curves really perfect is to make sure that your handles are going either horizontally straight, vertically straight, or maybe even a 45-degree angle. But essentially, a curve like that that's halfway there is sort. What you'll find is that in general, that curve just isn't going to be as perfect as say, one that straight or one that has that 45-degree angle. So I'm going to try and keep it straight, but again, it's not always going to be perfect. Since you're just learning, you don't have to have these perfect curves. You just want to have a pretty good handle on how to use the tool. So again, we're going to click roughly in the center point. Now, because I have my smart guides on, it's snapping to this point over here on the right, which can be pretty handy just to make sure that you've got a pretty even design. But in this case, it's not, so we're going to hold that space bar again and we're just going to drag it down a little bit. You can actually see, I'll zoom in here in a second. Let's go ahead and we're going to give this a little fill. I'm going to make it pretty small like a half point. So if you zoom in, you can see that we're actually missing some stuff right now, and then my curve isn't as perfect as it looked. But using the direct selection tool, which is just A on your keyboard, we're going to go here, we're going to click it, and we're going to just move stuff around and try and get things as perfect as we can. You can click on these handles and you can actually shrink the handle itself one by one. So maybe that handle is a little bit too strong there and things like that. Again, this kind of thing will take some practice. It's going to take just a lot of work to get used to making sure everything's the exact right proportions, in the right shape, especially your first time. So it's going to be pretty useful for you to go back and just refinance those points. Again, I'm really used to using the pen tool. I've been using Adobe Illustrator for something like 15 years now. So if I skip something or I don't explain something I did, that's just because out of habit, I forget, it's just natural to me. So make sure you go into the discussion and say, "John, how the hell did you do that?" So as you can see, we've got this elastic, which is going to show us our next point. Again, we're roughly going to go halfway on this curve. Now, this curve is a different one so we're going to have to try and change some angles of a bit probably soon. Again, I'm just clicking and then I drag and hold, and now I'm using my space to move around, see if we can get one big curve there. It's not perfect, but I'm going to leave that re-word is for right now. Now, it's rough for sure. But again, I'm going to show you how to go back and really finesse those points. Now, I'm snapping with my guides, so you see, I'm getting close and then it snaps down because it's trying to match up this line here. So sometimes, that's going to be inconvenient. So what you can simply do is I'm going to go Ctrl Z, and I'm going to get hit "Command U", which turns off my smart guides, and now, I have all those little distractions popping up, and it'll also let me more easily draw where I want to. Later on, I'll show you why I used them though, because they can be really awesome to use. So as you see here, this isn't a perfect 45-degree angle or 90 or any of that kind of stuff. We're going to break that rule a little bit, it's going to happen from time to time. Now, here's another thing. If you click that point and I'm holding option, that's going to allow me to move just this handle without affecting this handle. If I let go of option, you can see it moves the entire line. So the problem here is that if I got this line exactly where I wanted like this and let go, when I go to draw my next line, it's going to follow up this handle, which causes me problems, as you can see, that's not going to be able to get that nice curve. So what you want to do is you click there, drag, get your line to where you want, and now if you hold option, you can move this handle to guide you to the next thing. In this case, if you actually bring it right back to the bottom, especially with your smart guides selected, it'll just snap there and you won't have a handle. So we'll go ahead and we'll just make a small handle here. So you can draw one here. But as I showed before, you could probably make this curve just using this point and this point. Again, the goal is definitely to use as few points as possible. So we're going to go over here and we're going to drag that out, and then we're going to go back with the direct selection tool and we'll just finesse these lines. Again, these ones aren't the perfect 45, but that's okay. So we got a little bit hairy over here and to the right or to the left even. So let's just go ahead and let's try dragging that out farther so that it follows that there, and we're going to bring that in a bit. You might just need a play around with it a little bit to get that happy balance. If it's not perfect, it's not the end of the world, you just want to get it as close as possible. Of course, no one's going to be comparing it to that original. Again, we're using the direct selection tool, we're going to drag that in their direct selection tool, try that a little bit, try that. There you go. We've got the base of the Apple logo. This one's really simple. You can use this making two points. Again, a lot of people like definitely students when they're first starting, they all click there and they'll make that little line. Then they'll click here and make that little line and they'll just keep on going. What you're going to find is generally that's going to be less perfect of a curve. It's not going to be as smooth. If you get in a really complicated vector artwork, with thousands of points and lines and things that actually just going to make your file bigger, this is not a good way to go about it. I just deleted that and I'll show you that you can make this again using two lines, or two points. I just want to show you that one little tool real quick again. I'm actually going to go straight ahead and I'm going to click this next point. If I hit "Escape", as I showed you, because otherwise if I were to click right now I would draw an x line. If I hit "Escape", now I've just got this line selected, and I'm going to hold option and I'm going to click in the center of this design and I'm going to drag. As you can see, we can get that line pretty perfectly. We'll go back to our Pen tool. I'm going to drag this out. Again at this point, I'm just guessing where this arrow is going to be. Maybe it won't be here. That's easy to change so. Click over here. That's what happens. I actually got pretty close. Again, you can finesse those points from there. Now, if we go ahead, I'm going to unlock that original layer. That's "Unlock All". We no longer need that rasterized version of the logo. We have a perfect vector Apple logo. You can see we use very few points. Another thing I wanted to show you real quick, is if I go back, and I'm just going to get that Apple tool, to show back up again, that little Apple logo. I don't know exactly how this is made, but if we go to "Type", "Create Outlines", as you can see, look at all the points they've used, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. Twenty points just in that base shape. We managed to create it using only 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 points. Less than half the amount of points and we were able to make the same perfect shape. That is always your goal when you're using the Pen tool. Hopefully, this makes it a little more comfortable. I'm going to show you one or two more quick things and how to get used to it. Then we're going to get into actually drawing and inking your illustration, or hand lettering. We'll go ahead and we'll delete those. If we go over to the Shape tool, we're going to make a rectangle. You can just click and drag for a rectangle or you can click and hold Shift to make a square. We're going to go ahead and make a circle, and we're going to grab the Star tool. I'm holding Option and Shift just to nicely constrain it. You can make a Polygon tool or any of these sorts of things. We're going to grab all of these and we're going to make them gray. We're going to go Command two just to lock them up again. I'm going to show you how to make these just using the Pen tool. Again, I'm going to make sure I have my smart guides on, because they're really useful when you're drawing rectangles I find, or squares. That's Command U. What we're going to do is we're going to draw here. The cool thing about using the smart guide is that it's going to actually snap to this line, basically based on this point that you've drawn here. It will also see the arrow work underneath right now. But normally, this is just a raster image, you're not going to see that. But if I click "Command U" again, now it's gone. You can see if I draw this, it doesn't snap. It's hard without holding Shift to make sure you get that perfect line. Once if I were to click here, I'd have to hold Shift to click here. Hold Shift to click here. Now the problem is, I might actually miss this line. It's easy enough to go over here, and you hold Shift and this line straight as far as Illustrator sees it. But now you can't make this line straight because you've actually overshot it. Whereas, if I delete all that and I make sure my smart guides are on, if I click here, my smart guide is going to snap to that original point. I'll click there. It's going to snap to it again. Now, it'll see this original point and it'll show me that this is how it will snap. I've got a perfect shape right there. We can go ahead and fill out with any color and we're good to go. Same thing will go with the circle. We're going to click and drag. We're going to make sure we get these handlebars out nice and far. Roughly the halfway point or of course because I've got the smart guide that's going to show me the exact ones. I'm going to snap. You can see that maybe brought those handles out too far. Going to get those to snap to the original. The only reason why I'm having you do this is so that you can basically see how Adobe Illustrator makes its basic tools, its basic shapes. You'll know how what goes into making those. You can see that I've got some hairy spots. If you're looking really closely, you can see that that is not a very nice curve right there, and I've missed some spots. We'll go over here. Now again, if you have the Pen tool selected and you want to move both of these arrows at the same time, just hold Option, click and drag. This might take some finessing. We're trying to get everything pretty even. We almost have it. This can be a bit tedious of course to go back and make sure all your lines are exactly perfect. But the cool thing about doing this and holding Option, is that you know that both of your handles are basically using the exact same guide. If one's shorter, then you're not going to have that perfect curve here that matches this curve. Again, this one's pretty straightforward. You just click in and just straight lines. If you get to this point where you have your fill selected and you can't see what you're drawing over, just go over here and hit that to swap it and it'll put it on your stroke. Now you can see what you're doing. Again, this is cheating a little bit because Adobe sees the shape still underneath even though it's locked, so it's snapping to those shapes for me. Whereas, if I go to "Object", "Unlock All", if I rasterized this as if it was just an image, now it's not going to snap to those points the same, because it actually doesn't see where this point is necessarily. Although it still seems to be based on that. We're clicking there and now we're going to hold Shift, click here. Let go of Shift to click there. Let go of it again, hold Shift to make a nice straight line. There you go. Those are basic shapes. Getting into some different curves, you can always just experiment. With more practice, you're going to get a lot better at it. One thing I found out when I was researching this class is there's actually a cool little website. If you go to, there's this thing called The Bezier Game. If you click "Get Started", it's going to show you how to make a point. We've got this 90 degree points. We click here, we click here. Another thing you can see, it says nodes. That's the same as an anchor point. That's just what Adobe Illustrator calls them and some other programs called them nodes like CorelDRAW and things like that. This is a perfect 45. You're just going to hold Shift, click, hold Shift, click, hold Shift, click, hold Shift, so far and close your path. Actually, I missed a little bit there. But this is pretty cool. It shows you exactly how to drag out your handlebars and shows you what to do. Go ahead and have fun and practice using that website. I think it's a really cool tool. We're going to get onto the next video. I'm going to show you how I actually made my enamel pin. I'm going to show you how you can basically trace your original rough sketch, make it perfect with vector using the Pen tool, and unlock unlimited possibilities in Illustrator. Seems drastic but seriously the Pen tool is the most important tool that you're going to find in Adobe Illustrator in my opinion. Let's meet in a second. 4. Vectorizing Your Work: Now that I've shown you the fundamentals of using the pen tool and giving you some examples of how to practice using it, I want to go ahead and show you how I ink my illustrations. When I'm using the term ink, really you're vectorizing it using Illustrator or so on, you're vectorizing your artwork but in a traditional comic books style, when you take a rough sketch and then you put the inks over it, that's the name that they use so I'm just kind of transferring that to the digital world. Before we get into it, what I want to do is show you a couple of things here, what do you know we landed on my website. Anyways, I just want to quickly plug that of course, my enamel pins you can buy simply by going to my shop, which opens my Etsy and you can see here that they are available and they are made by the amazing Apple metal Co. When I wanted to start this class, I sent out an email to a bunch of different enamel pin providers and Apple metal was by far the most excited to work with me. They are excited to sponsor the best contests for you guys and they do work for huge companies like Disney and things and they do really great work. I highly recommend them. I know that their website right now is not the most visually appealing, and they were hoping to update it, but they have been so busy with the holiday season that they haven't had a chance updated before this class goes live. But nonetheless, check them out it's You can take a look at their custom pins and you can always email them to get a quote, of course for this class you might be able to win some anyway. Another thing is they just started an Instagram account, it is brand new they only have four posts and 11 followers so check that out, go to and maybe there will be some new photos here by the time you see this but as part of your project I want you to post what your favorite pin is by them so you could of course go here, scroll through the different types of pins, there's a couple of different pages or you could go from Instagram and just post what you think your favorite one is as well as your favorite from across the Internet. I want to show you of course a little bit bigger how they actually turned out. That's the back I thought was kind of cool that they actually like we're willing to put my name on it in the website and stuff like that, normally that would be an additional fee. I made the backer board and as you can see the pins turned out really fantastic, I couldn't be more excited with how they look. They make really, really high-quality minor black nickel plated I believe it's called, of course was just white. You can use a few different colors, I think they wanted you to just say under five, but five is quite a lot of colors to use and of course you can see I basically only used one. But now I'm going to get into how I actually made these pins using the pen tool and just show you how I made it so let's get into this. This is my enamel pin. It went through a few different variations that I also tried and experimenting with color, as well as size. That's definitely something that I recommend for you, you need to try and keep your pin under two inches. So what I would do is I would actually print out your pin on paper at the right size and take a look at how they look because you'll find, when you're looking on screen you get carried away with little details and then when you print out a pin at only an inch, inch and a half or something like that, you'll notice all those details are gone because that's actually a very small medium to work with so you need to try and keep your design is simple as you can, try to not have very much detail and just trying to keep it basic because that size is so small so that's important to keep in mind when you're making your pin. I'm going to zoom in here, in this example I have a rough sketch, but it was so basic that I didn't even bother scan it and bring it into the computer, I just started to redraw the owl on its own. You can always start at any different point when you're drawing, in this case I actually used the circle tool which is right here, they call it the ellipse. So I would go, I'm holding option and Alt to pull out from the edges and basically I would click on the center hold shift to keep it on the same line otherwise it goes like this and then if you hold Alt, that will also duplicate it so if you let go now, you'll see you have a second circle. By doing that, I would then bring them in close together, I'm going to go ahead and use the Pathfinder. Now, this class I'm actually considering Part 1 of sort of a two-part series. My next class I'm going to go into depth about using the shapes and using the Pathfinder because they're really useful when it comes to creating illustrations but for this one I wanted to just focus on the pen tool, so if you want to learn more about that definitely keep an eye out because next month I'm going to come up with my next class. Again, I have my smart guides on so everything is kind of snapping so right now I'm snapping to the center of this which is nice. I'm just going to drag out here. Again, at this point, I'm not trying to focus too much on mimicking what I have on the right, I'm just sort of showing you how I would go about drawing my lines and how I kind of manipulate the points to get the look that I want. What you could do there is you could actually close that now, the easiest thing to do when you want to try and get something perfectly symmetrical is just a mere it rather than draw one side and draw the other side because it will never be the same. Some of my illustrations I actually want it to be hand-drawn, I'm not concerned about it being perfect before these pens I thought it would just be more visually appealing for them to be accurate. Now if you don't like these straight sharp lines, we can go over to the Stroke panel which is window stroke, you can see I have it checked and I'm just going to change the cap to round and the corner to around joint and now we get these nice rounds. You can also align the stroke to the outside, this is actually a path here, this light blue line in my case, so it's actually half on either side but I'm going to send it to the outside like so. Now if I do the same thing, click, hold, shift, drag over with Option or Alt on PC and then go over to the Reflect tool, just hit "Enter" and then you can see I have vertical selected click okay and then you can bring it back, it should snap to that point and again we're just going to be used to unite on the Pathfinder, which I will teach you more about later. That's the basic idea and you can move things up and down, of course and then we're going to get a circle here to do the part of the chest that's sort of the same idea, I'm going to hold, then I'll click and drag, and then we're just reflect it and kinda just slowly build your shape up. I'm not going to build my shape completely from scratch right now and rebuild it because I think that's a bit tedious for you guys to watch but you get the idea here of what I was doing when I was building it and you go smaller, and you just make sure all these strokes that change are the same size, at least for the style that I was going for. I could draw the shape of the body, I want it to be a little wider over there. If that happens where you've got your stroke but there's also a fill, then you can just go over here and click that tab, No Fill, and of course, we can move these over to make sure they snap to those edges, and I would mirror it and so on, and you get the basic idea of how I would start to build up the owl. So the same thing goes with the compass pin that I've created. The difference here is I actually had the sketch that I scanned in, but you can see that it's really rough. I wasn't concerned about making it perfect or following the lines exactly. Sometimes when I'm sketching this thing and I know I'm going to make it perfect in Illustrator anyway, I just want to get the basic idea out of the way, so I know what I was thinking at the time. So what I would do is I would zoom in here. Now, a cool thing with Adobe Illustrator is if you actually select your scan, and I hit Command or Control X on a PC, and that is going to copy it, but also delete it. Now, if I go over to my layers, you can actually see I had on here anyway. But if I go to my layers, I'm going to click a new layer. I'm going to paste that by clicking Command V. Now I'm going to double-click my layer, and I'm going to select Template. I'm going to dim the image a little more to say 25 percent. Now, this is no longer selectable. It's automatically locked by default, and the cool thing is we're just going to drag this layer on top of it. Now, the difference between this and if I just had, I'm just going to paste the image over here, is that, if I'm drawing along this line, let's just say I was drawing the sea, and I got a little bit lost with my artwork, if I go Command Y, which is the wire-frame mode, I can't see the image. This is more important when you're doing some detailed work. So I'll delete that. If we go over here where I have my template layer, if I were to start drawing here, and I got lost, again, it's a weird example right now, but if this is really complicated artwork it'll happen. Now if I go to wire-frame which is Command Y, you'll see that I can see just the line, but my sketch is still there, so it's really easy to reference points. It's really noticeable when you start building layers and you want to see, where did this connect? I can't see over top of the artwork I've already drawn. What I would do with my skull is, as you can see, it's not very symmetrical and it's imperfect, but I'm going to use it as my base. So I would drag out these arrows here, wanted to make that 90 degrees. Again, you can always come back and adjust these lines. Now again, I mentioned about having these sharp edges and the way it ends, I prefer to have it rounded for this case. I still got my smart guides on. So it's going to snap, my line's going to snap to this point, which is really useful when I want to mirror this. If this is over just a slight bit one way or the other, it's going to be much more difficult to mirror your artwork. So having your smart guides on is really good for this. So it snaps there. I'm going to drag out, get my rough shape, and then we can repeat the process. Snap there, snap there, and then my original illustration that I wanted to have Xs for the eyes, but in the end I ended up changing that. So we're using the Reflect tool again, which is going to reflect it. I'll bring it over to that center point, and that's how I would have done it. Now what you would do is you would grab all these little strokes. Again, holding Shift and Option when you're dragging, let go. So we're going to drag this over. Again, because I have my smart guides it's going to snap to that point. That's really useful. You guys can try and experiment with not using them, and you'll see the difference pretty quickly. That's all you would do, is you just bring it back, snap there. Basically, these are two separate lines as you can see. So if you want to join them, you just select over both points, you go over here, and you'll see connect selected endpoints. If you click that, now this becomes one piece of artwork. Again, that's groups, so you can see that's now all nice one line. You could do the same down here, and the same with these points, and it's just a good way to clean up your artwork, can make everything nice and smooth. So that's the basic idea of how I would ink my artwork. Again, I end up playing with a lot of these paths, and I'll redraw and make sure I get things the way I want. You can see that the skull actually went through quite a different few stages. I redrew it a few different ways, changing each thing and I decided to go with the more traditional socket for the eyes. But that's what you want to do, and it's pretty straightforward. Like I said before, I'm going to do another class that explains a little bit more about having these lines and how you can use the Circle tool, the Rectangle tool and the Pathfinder to make really cool artwork that's obviously quite perfect rather than having to try and draw perfect circles and things, or even like half moons. If we go back to this owl pin, you could try and make that moon using the Pen tool and there'd be nothing wrong with that. You could do something like this. Of course, if you finesse it for awhile, you'll probably be able to get it quite accurate. But, it would be a lot easier if you were to use the Ellipse tool. Drag that over to there, select them both to use our Pathfinder, and you have a nice moon really quickly. So if you want to learn more about that, stay tuned because next month I'm going to have a class that explains that. So that's it. That's the basic of using the Pen tool in Adobe Illustrator. Again, I just want to go over the fundamentals and give you guys a good jumping board to learn from. I didn't want to go over each little detail of how I made everything, just because I'd wanted to make the class nice and short. But if I skipped anything or there's something that I might have just missed, make sure you let me know in the discussion and I'll do my best to make sure that I'll explain it fully. Even if I have to, I will upload a bonus video. If you want to know how to make the laurel, that's around the owl, you can look that up on YouTube pretty easily. Basically, you're just making a pattern brush, and you can quickly just repeat those patterns and then vend them. It's pretty useful, but again, I'm trying to keep this course as basic as I can, so it doesn't over-complicate things for you. We'll dump it in the next video real quickly, and I basically just want to say thanks in that video, but I also want to show you a little bit of behind the scenes about how these pins are made because I think it's really cool to see how they're done, and the more you know about the process, the better you'll be at designing for them. Again, like I said, just make sure that you actually print out your pin just to make sure you have the correct amount of detail for the size that it's going to be. I'm so excited to see where you guys come up with. I think that this is going to be a really awesome class, and I hope you guys check out each other's artwork and comment on it, because it's always cool if you can build a community, and you never know, maybe you'll get some work out of it or something like that, and try and communicate with each other when you can. On to the next one. 5. Thank You!: Thanks very much for taking the class. I thought it would be interesting to show you the behind the scenes of Apple Metal Factory. These videos were sent to me just from them, so I'm going to do my best to try and explain them, and hopefully, I've got everything correct and it'll be easy enough to follow. But it is going to go quick, so hopefully you'll be able to keep up and move along. This is the engraver. Basically, what this will do is it will take your initial design and it's going to build a mold. It's actually made of zinc alloy, and from there, they'll then take that mold and then that's what they're going to use to stamp into the metal of your design. This is the actual stamp that they'll actually put the metal in so that it punches your design into it. From there, they actually need to cut the shape out then afterwards with this big die cutting. The initial thing only puts the design in and this actually cuts it out for you. From there, they then the polish these pins. You can see them just polishing on a large polishing wheel there. They can do quite a few at a time, but if they do too many, apparently it's not quite as clean. From there, they, of course, lay in the ink. This is interesting. You see that they actually squeeze the ink in. This is why you need to make sure you have a border so that the ink holds into that space. So make sure your design has a border between each ink color. From there, it goes into this to cure and dry. It's 220 degrees for five minutes to dry the ink. Sometimes the polish doesn't get everything smoothly, so they do the rest by hand and, of course, they glue on the little pin part that actually makes it stick into the fabric and then they bag them. So you can see right there, and then they add a little gloss to the back, and all that's done by hand and then shipped out to us. I hope you enjoyed that, and we'll see you guys later. That's it. I hope you enjoyed the class. Thank you so much for enrolling and be sure to check out next month when I do a class on shapes and using the pathfinder. Basically, you can pair both these classes together and know all you need to know about making perfect artwork. Check out the resources that I've given you to show you the cool website that'll help you practice the pen tool. A couple of books that you can check out that also teach a little bit more about making perfect vector artwork. Of course, thank you so much to Apple Metal Co. They sponsored an amazing contest and they are extremely supportive right from the start. Please check them out at, and also check them out on the brand new Instagram that they just set up, Apple Metal CN. Thank you so much, and I look forward to teaching you guys the next class, will see you soon. 6. A Message From Future Jon: Wait, one more thing. I'm adding this. This is future Jon Brommet talking to you. I hope you enjoyed the class that you just watched. Some of these classes have been recorded a few years ago. I just wanted to give a little up to date on what I'm doing now. You can see that I've put out a ton of classes potentially from the class that you just watched as you may have been watching one of my older classes. If you go over to my profile, you can click it somewhere on the Skillshare website or go to It's spelled just like that with no H, just J-O-N. You'll see here I've got things broken down in my newest classes. This may even look slightly different for you because I'm putting out classes once a month right now. I've got my most popular classes, illustration, efficiency in Illustrator, Photoshop stuff, and then all of my other classes. Make sure that if it's not already selected, you click "See More" to see the rest of it. So many different classes. I hope you guys will be inspired to learn lots more and hopefully you're enjoying my classes and want to see more. If that's not enough, I'm @jonbrommet on Instagram. You can check out my Instagram as well to know what I'm doing and I post all my new artwork there, and of course to let you know when I'm doing new Skillshare stuff. I've started a YouTube channel where I put short videos that are instructional. I obviously advertise a bit of Skillshare class, but short videos that I can't really put a whole-class out, I put here on YouTube. I even do things like have conversations with other teachers, like Tabitha Park. I need to do that stuff more often. If you head over to, I've newly updated my website. I have a digital shop where you can grab my Procreate brushes or other things like that. On top of seeing that my different portfolio elements and things like that, I've also got a Etsy shop, which I'll click here and would open this. You can buy all of my pens and different art things that I've created and I will ship them to you from here. I've gotten them all produced here in my home and they look awesome and I know that they're cool. I just recently started a Threadless shop, which you could click here. Of course there's about and Skillshare and contact. Everything's linked from my website. This new Threadless shop has all my merch that can be printed on demand on a really weirdly wild variety of things. Let's just click one of these things here. It's going to open a t-shirt, but let's just say maybe instead of a t-shirt you wanted a duvet cover or shower curtains. Why wouldn't you want those things? I don't know. Anyway, I've got lots of different things going on. If you'd like what I'm doing, please check out more of it and I'll keep making more things. Thanks everyone. Bye bye.