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  1. Design & Illustration
  2. Halloween
Design

CorelDRAW: Shape Building Basics

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Difficulty:BeginnerLength:QuickLanguages:
Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

This CorelDRAW tutorial focuses entirely on creating elements from basic shapes using a small selection of the program's shape tools. Additionally, we'll play with some of the tools, toolbars, and dockers dedicated to altering said shapes. Join me in firing up CorelDRAW X7 to create a simple harvest pumpkin with rectangles and ellipses.

1. From Rectangle to Pumpkin

Step 1

Create a New Document and draw a rectangle with the Rectangle Tool (F6)Select the newly drawn rectangle and in the Property Bar, you'll find options for altering the shape and radius of its corners. Choose Round Corners and enter 2.0" for the Corner Radius.

Rectangle to Rounded Rectangle

Step 2

In order to adjust the shape's nodes, select the rounded rectangle and hit Convert to Curves (Control-Q). Using the Pick Tool, Scale the rounded rectangle inward so it's thinner. Then, use the Shape Tool (F10) to adjust the shape's nodes so the top of the shape is narrower than the bottom (see below).   

Convert to Curves and Adjust Nodes

Step 3

  1. Copy (Control-C) and Paste (Control-V) the rounded rectangle shape and, using the Pick ToolDouble-Click the copied object so you can rotate it toward the center of the design.
  2. Copy and Paste the shape on the left and hit Mirror Horizontally in the Property Bar. Once again, adjust the nodes of each shape with the Shape Tool so you've got more of a lumpy pumpkin look.
  3. In Object Manager, place the two side shapes behind the center shape. Paste another pumpkin section behind the three objects already drawn. Rotate it to the center, Scale it down, and adjust the nodes as needed.
  4. I opted for six objects total. Group (Control-G) your pumpkin shapes together.
Copy and Paste Objects to Create  Pumpkin

Step 4

Select each section of the pumpkin in Object Manager and in Object Properties (Alt-Enter), change the Outline to null and each object's Fill color to a varying shade of orange. From front to back, I chose these four shades:

  • #FFB02D
  • #FF9C1E
  • #FF862C
  • #FF782C

Copy and Paste the pumpkin group and Ungroup (Control-U) the objects. With all of them still selected, hit Weld in the Property Bar. When you Copy and Paste an object, you'll notice it's already aligned with its parent item. Push the welded object behind the pumpkin group in the Object Manager and set the Outline to dark orange (#F74A00) at 4.0 pt Weight.

Change the Object Properties

2. From Ellipses to Leaves and a Stem

Step 1

  1. Use the Ellipse Tool (F7) to draw a circle (hold Control to keep it uniform in shape).
  2. Hit Convert to Curves in the Property Bar and use the Shape Tool to pull the right node out to the right, extending the shape into a sideways teardrop.
  3. With the Smear Tool, select Pointy Smear in the Property Bar and bring the right side to a point. Adjust the tool's size and pressure to your liking.
  4. Switch to Smooth Smear and carefully brush it across the leaf shape so it looks longer and more like a wiggling, waving leaf.
  5. How extreme of a shape your ellipse becomes is up to you. My final shape is seen below.
Create a Leaf from an Ellipse and the Smear Tool

Step 2

  1. Place the leaf on the top of the pumpkin. Scale and Rotate as needed. Copy and Paste the leaf so you have two of them. Add an Outline of 2.0 pt Weight in the Object Properties docker.
  2. Draw an ellipse that bisects the first leaf.
  3. In the Property Bar, change the drawn shape from Ellipse to Arc. Set the Outline color to match the leaves' outline color.
  4. Select both the arc and leaf, and hit Intersect in the Properties BarDelete the arc object in the Object Manager and set the newly created shape's Outline to 2.0 pt Weight.
  5. CopyPaste, and Rotate for the second leaf. Make sure the leaf's vein is behind the first leaf in the Object Manager.
Using the Arc Feature of the Ellipse Tool

Step 3

For the stem, we'll use two alternate shape tools. 

  1. Start with the 3-Point Ellipse Tool and draw a line that takes up the width of your stem.
  2. After clicking with your mouse, drag the tool upward to create the ellipse. Keep it horizontal and relatively narrow.
  3. Set the Fill color to brown (#996633).
  4. Use the 3-Point Rectangle Tool to drag a line across the width of the ellipse and pull a rectangle down to the length of your stem.
  5. Set both of the objects at brown for the Fill color and null for the Outline color.
  6. Copy and Paste the ellipse twice and place one at the bottom of the rectangle. Weld one of the top ellipses, the rectangle, and the bottom ellipse together.
Using the 3-Point Polygon Tools

Step 4

  1. Change the welded object's color to a darker brown (#663300).
  2. Use the Shape Tool to select the nodes of the bottom of the stem shape and bring them inward.
  3. Keep the bottom rounded by adjusting both nodes and node handles. Group the two objects together.
  4. Place the stem underneath the first three sections of the pumpkin (you will likely have to Ungroup these objects to place it). Add a dark brown Outline to the main stem shape of 2.0–3.0 pts Weight.
Putting it all Together

Step 5

Under the Polygon Tool (Y) in the Toolbox, there are a plethora of custom shape tools. Grab the Spiral Tool (A), set the number of Spiral Revolutions to 2, and chose Logarithmic Spiral. Draw a couple of spiral shapes and place them near the stem and leaves.

Creating Spirals Easily

Great Job, You're Done!

You've learned the basics of CorelDRAW, running through the Ellipse ToolRectangle ToolProperty BarObject ManagerObject Properties, and Smear Tool. What other objects can you create with assorted polygons and custom shapes? Show us your pumpkins or other Halloween designs in the comment section below!

Final Pumpkin Design
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