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How to Create a Vector Pencil in Adobe Illustrator

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In the following tutorial, I'll show you how to create a the base shapes to create a pencil. We'll continue to add depth to the pencil and add some finishing touches with the help of some custom brushes. So let's begin!


Step 1

Using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw a green vertical ellipse.

Copy it and Paste in Back (Command + C then Command + B), move it to the right.


Step 2

Grab the Lasso Tool (Q), and select the anchor points of both ellipses closest to each other. See the image below for reference.

Press the Delete button on your keyboard.

Then go to Object > Path > Join (Command + J) twice.


Step 3

Swap Fill and Stroke by pressing Shift + X on the keyboard.

Go to Object > Transform > Rotate and achieve the result shown in the helpful diagram below. Name the Rotation Angle value (indicated with an arrow in the diagram below) the "Main Angle."


Step 4

Draw a blue path shown below by using the same technique described above.

Fill this path with an angled linear gradient.


Step 5

Illustrate the following green path shown below.

Use the same technique in order to create the end parts of the pencil.

The full pencil is shown below. You should receive something like that.


Step 6

Select now the eraser of the pencil, Copy and Paste in Front (Command + C then Command + F).

Fill the copy with an angled linear gradient shown below...

...go to the Transparency panel, and change the Blending Mode of the copy to Multiply as shown.


Step 7

Select now the main green part of the pencil, Copy and Paste in Front (Command + C then Command + F).

Fill the copy with an angled linear gradient shown below...

...go to the Transparency panel, and change the Blending Mode of the copy to Luminosity as shown.

Decrease the Opacity of the path.


Step 8

Let's modify the end of the pencil.

Convert it to the following view...

...by using the next mesh. Do it by yourself (without assistance), if you know how to achieve this result. But if not, continue to read the next steps of the tutorial.


Step 9

First, illustrate a rectangular path (shown with semitransparent one for your convenience in the image below) over the pencil as shown...

...and fill it with an angled linear gradient.


Step 10

The pencil is not illustrated in the next images for your convenience in order to show the necessary mesh creation. So, you have the next rectangular path.

Go to Object > Expand and convert it to Gradient Mesh.

You will achieve the next result.


Step 11

Take the Lasso Tool (Q) and select all the lower mesh nodes.

Go to Object > Transform > Scale and set the scaling value to 0. See the picture below.


Step 12

Go to Edit > Preferences > General (Command + K), and set the Constrain Angle to the "Main Angle."

Select the upper mesh nodes...

...go to Object > Transform > Scale again and set the horizontal non-uniform scaling value to 0 in order to decrease the mesh handles. You should achieve the next result. See the picture below.

The vertical scaling value should be fitted so as to place the mesh over the pencil end.


Step 13

Select the green end part of the pencil, Copy and Paste in Front (Command + C then Command + F).

Select both: this copy and the mesh itself, and go to Object > Clipping Mask > Make (Command + 7).


Step 14

Change the Blending Mode to Color Burn in the Transparency panel and change the Opacity of it as shown below.

Do the same with the next shown path. Up to this point in the tutorial you already know how to achieve this without assistance.


Step 15

In order to continue the creating of a pencil model, we will need to create Art Brushes for the shading. Using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw an elongated elliptical path filled with black.

Copy and Paste in Front (Command + C then Command + F). Go to Object > Transform > Scale and decrease the ellipse copy twice as small. In other words, set the percentage to 50%.

Change the Opacity of the largest ellipse to 0%.

Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options and set the values in the dialog box as shown.

Select both ellipses and go to Object > Blend > Make (Command + Alt + B).


Step 16

Drag and drop this blend into the Brushes panel, and choose the Art Brush option in the opened dialog box.

Specify the options for the brush in the second dialog box. Name this brush "Black brush". Change the Colorization Method of it to Hue Shift.


Step 17

Open the Brushes panel and click there the "New Brush" button. Choose the Bristle Brush option in the opened dialog box.

Specify the options for the brush in the second dialog box. Name this brush "Bristle Brush 1".


Step 18

Using the Pen Tool (P), change the Stroke color to black, and the Filling color to None, and draw a usual horizontal line. See the image below.

Go to Object > Expand, then go to Object > Ungroup.


Step 19

Go to Effect > Distort & Transform > Roughen. Specify the options for the path in the dialog box.

Go to Object > Expand Appearance.


Step 20

Go to Object > Transform > Scale and decrease the vertical scaling to about 20%. You should achieve the next picture.

Drag and drop this blend into the Brushes panel, and choose the Art Brush option in the opened dialog box. Specify the options for the brush in the second dialog box. Name this brush "Pencil brush". Change the Colorization Method of it to Hue Shift.


Step 21

How to illustrate notches over the metallic part of the pencil?

First, grab the Pen Tool (P) and draw a shown path. Apply the "Black brush" to it as it is shown in the helpful diagram below.

Do the same with the next shown path. Apply the "Black brush" to it as well, but now change the Stroke color to white. Follow the helpful image below.

Decrease the Opacities of both paths.


Step 22

Copy both paths, and Paste them in Front (Command + C then Command + F). Decrease the Stroke Weights of them, and move it slightly in order to make a notch more contrasting.

Illustrate as many notches as you desire.


Step 23

Apply the "Black brush" to the next shown paths in order to emphasize on the border of the metallic part of the pencil.


Step 24

Take the Pen Tool (P) again and draw two paths as you can see them in the picture below.

Go to Object > Blend > Blend Options, and set the Spacing to Specified steps, and the number of steps to about 25.

Go to Object > Blend > Make (Command + Alt + B).


Step 25

Crop this blend by using the corresponding Clipping Mask shown in the picture below (Command + 7).

Select the blend and go to Object > Expand.

Then apply the "Bristle Brush 1" to the paths. Change the Stroke color to brown, and decrease the Stroke Weight if necessary. See the image below for reference.


Step 26

Draw the next 3 paths to which the "Black brush" (with black and white Stroke color) is applied. Of course, they should be cropped with a Clipping Mask too.

Decrease the opacities of paths to which the "Black brush" with white Stroke color is applied. See the image below.

Change the Blending Mode of all the paths to Overlay in the Transparency panel.


Step 27

Now using the Type Tool (T) print any letter under the pencil. Select an interesting and wonderful font in the Character palette.

Go to Type > Create Outlines (Command + Shift + O), and change the Filling color to green. You should achieve the next result.

The letter should lie. Thus, go to Effect > 3D > Rotate.


Step 28

Swap Fill and Stroke of the letter by pressing Shift + X.

Go to Object > Expand Appearance, then go to Object > Ungroup. You should achieve the following result.

Apply the "Pencil brush" now to the letter's stroke, and decrease the Stroke Weight of it if necessary. See the picture below.


Conclusion

The final image is below. Use the techniques you've learned here in your own artworks. I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial.

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